This issue is all about love.
In a world full of hatred and misogyny, I think it is safe to assume that we’ve taken baby steps in learning to accept and respect each other. It’s time that we did away with labels — these have eaten up so much of our consciousness that they created schisms. These should not even be here had we learned how to understand and respect each other.
While we have made little steps, it’s good to note that more and more people are free to be who they want to be.
Case in point is Jake Zyrus. The singer formerly known as Charice spoke before reporters during the launch of FrontRow Cares, the corporate social responsibility campaign of the multilevel marketing company founded by RS Francisco and Sam Verzosa.
Jake is no stranger to intrigue. He has loads of them especially after admitting that he is gay.
There were people who felt strongly about his coming out as if they were privy to his struggles in keeping true to himself. With the times changing and #LoveWins winning more people, Jake can somehow feel he is freer than he had ever been.
He presented a picture of someone who had been given the space to live life his way. And part of that evident joy is getting engaged to his non-showbiz partner. Without giving much details on their relationship, Jake shares he felt that she was the one for him because of the “bad times.”
“I’ve always been into serious relationships. I don’t like short-term relationships. I don’t like flirting,” he began, confessing that all of his past relationships had always been with women.
“When I’m in a relationship, I take it seriously because ever since I was a kid, I’ve always liked the idea of getting married and settling down with the person,” he continued.
“Those relationships were the same. Routine. I realized that she’s the one for me because we had to go through the bad times. In our good times, we know we’re in love with each other.
It’s given. The challenge was and is when the bad times come. That’s how we look at it — how we handled it. And that’s when I realized that she’s the one because we handled it like adults. So I said to myself that I’m gonna keep this person because she is good for my soul,” Jake shared.
The two are planning to marry somewhere in either the United States, Canada or Europe where the union of couples in their unique situation is recognized. He shared that since they are still young, they would want to enjoy each other’s company first before having a family. They do, however, talk about having one in the distant future.
He admitted that he is still not on speaking terms with his family. It is not a secret that he and his mom, Raquel, do not see eye to eye.
Jake cannot deny that he still feels something about his estranged family, but he has learned to live with it. “I’m not immune; I still get irritated and upset, but I guess I am handling it better.”
While the wedding is still being planned, Jake is happy to share more definite news: an endeavor close to his heart. The Jakesters Foundation holds outreach efforts in underprivileged communities.
FrontRow Cares will hold a charity music festival that will feature the biggest and promising names in the Filipino music scene. Jake will grace the stage at the Mall of Asia Grounds on 16 December with the likes of Ely Buendia, Parokya ni Edgar, Billy Crawford, Gloc 9, Callalily, Andrew E and Spongecola. This generation’s acts, Ex-Battalion, ChicSer, DJ Ace Ramos and FrontRow’s own talents Luxxe Stars, will also play for the festival-goers.
On the make-believe world, there’s one film that recently piqued my interest. I first chanced upon the trailer of Rainbow’s Sunset a few weeks ago.
The first thing that struck me was that it was a family drama starring an ensemble cast — Eddie Garcia, Tony Mabesa, Gloria Romero, Tirso Cruz III, Aiko Melendez and Sunshine Dizon.
As the trailer ran, however, it was not the big names featured in the movie who drew attention. What struck me was its resonant plot — two old friends, literally ‘old’ friends, defy expectations and norms and try to live the rest of their days being true to themselves.
Garcia and Mabesa have been friends for the longest time. Garcia is Ramon, a retired former senator married to Romero’s character. They have three children played by Cruz, Melendez and Dizon.
It is unclear whether Ramon’s wife knew the extent of this friendship. It is then revealed that they are more than the best of friends after Ramon gathers his children to inform them that their godfather Ninong Fred (Mabesa) is sick and that he will take care of him. Viewers then hear Sunshine’s narration that they have always known their uncle “swings the other way.”
Scenes of the siblings arguing with each other ensue. The arguments stem from their newfound knowledge that their father is gay.
The trailer shows what probably will be a definitive scene of the movie. Ramon, in a calm manner, utters the words he must have wanted to say for the longest time.
“I love him like how I love your mother,” he says. To which Melendez’s character frantically asks, “What would people say?”
“Let them run their mouths. What? They’ll say I’m gay?” he bravely declares.
It was a short clip, but it whetted an interest to see the film in December. Rainbow’s Sunset is one of the Magic 8 entries in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival opening on Christmas Day, 25 December.
Max Collins, who plays the role of young Gloria Romero, says of the film: “The story is really good. It’s a family drama that a lot of people can relate to, but the story hasn’t really been told as much.”
The last part is certainly true. While there have been a number of films that tackle same-sex relationships, only a few are about those who come out in their twilight years.
The dynamics between the individual and his close relations, more so with people like Ramon, is more complicated. Even if it will be liberating for the individual, there are still people who care for him and for whom he feels deeply who might not immediately understand and accept him.
I hope Eric Ramos’ screenplay and Joel Lamangan’s vision for Rainbow’s Sunset is more than a family drama. I hope it will be able to balance that clamor for entertainment and that desire to make people see other truths without prejudice and reservations.