mental health awareness

LOOK: Mental health group recreates controversial ‘Tililing’ poster

Bonz Magsambol

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LOOK: Mental health group recreates controversial ‘Tililing’ poster

Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines

‘Hindi lahat ng makakakita ng original poster ay magbabasa, mag-iimbestiga, o manunuod. Maaaring tumatak ’yang impresyon na ’yan sa utak nila [nang] matagal o habambuhay’

A group of mental health advocates supporting people with anxiety and depression recreated the controversial poster of the upcoming movie Tililing, which had drawn flak online for supposedly making fun of people suffering from insanity.

In the viral poster, the 6 stars of the movie are photographed with their tongues stuck out, as if depicting a sign of developmental delay or psychiatric or neurological condition. “Tililing” is a derogatory Filipino slang for insanity.

“We can’t judge the movie if we haven’t seen it yet. Let us just hope that it’s done tastefully. The thing is, the poster is problematic,” the Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines (ADSP) said in a Facebook post on Monday night, February 8.

ADSP recreated the poster by replacing the photos of the actors with photos of individuals just smiling.

[Hindi] lahat ng makakakita ng original poster ay magbabasa, mag-iimbestiga, o manunuod. Maaaring tumatak yang impresyon na yan sa utak nila [nang] matagal o habambuhay, the group said.

(Not all who will see the poster will read, investigate, and watch. It might leave a wrong impression that will last for a long time, even a lifetime.)

Paano ang mental health community? Stigmatized na nga kami, di ba? Medyo hindi maganda ang dating ng poster na ito. Hindi lang sa pag-stereotyping, sa ikinabit na expression sa salitang tililing, kundi sa salitang tililing mismo, they added.

(What will become of the mental health community? We’re already stigmatized. This poster is sending a bad message. Not only in terms of stereotyping, but also with the expression they associated with “tililing” and the word itself.)

The group also said not all who have mental health issues manifest their struggles outwardly.

“’Yung ibang may pinagdadaanan, sila pa yung nakatawa. Sila yung pinakamasaya sa barkada, ang breadwinner ng pamilya, ang boss ng kumpanya, ang pinakamagaling sa eskuwela,” ADSP said.

(Sometimes, those who are smiling are the ones going through something. They are the happiest among the group, the breadwinner of the family, the boss in the company, and those who excel in school.)

The Youth for Mental Health Coalition Inc called on the media and the government to create “comprehensive standards and systems in the portrayal of mental health in TV and films.”

“We hope that VIVA Films, operating on core values such as professionalism, honesty, and integrity, will be an ally of people living with mental health conditions. We also hope that the creators of Tililing consider conducting talkback sessions after the show to further contextualize and strengthen the message of mental health promotion,” the group said.

They also called on the the Department of Health to “urgently roll out” its promotion initiatives as stated in the Philippine Mental Health Law.

Actress Liza Soberano was among those who flagged the distasteful movie poster.

The movie directed by Darryl Yap was originally slated for a 2020 release, but was presumably pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.