GB Sampedro’s new series tackles youth sexuality

Leah C. Salterio - The Philippine Star
GB Sampedroâs new series tackles youth sexuality
Clockwise, from top: Wilbert Ross, Angela Morena, Katrina Dovey, Denise Esteban and Migs Almendras.
STAR / File

“Sex is not a bad word,” that is what director GB Sampedro said with his forthcoming eight-part series, High on Sex.

“Without sex, wala rin tayo sa mundo,” GB added. “Pero parang taboo, bastos or something na kailangan mong ilagan ‘pag pinag-usapan ang sex. Dapat nga openly pinag-uusapan ang sex and sex is being discussed, especially sa mga kabataan. But (the subject) seems taboo, rude or something that you have to avoid. Sex should be openly discussed and sex is being discussed, especially among the youth.

“Hindi sila mabigyan ng ibang interpretation or ibang kulay when they talk about sex. I think ‘yung modern times natin ngayon, naging open na ang isipan ng mga tao ‘pagdating sa word na sex.”

High on Sex will premiere June 5 on Vivamax. Starring in the series are Wilbert Ross, Migs Almendras, Angela Morena, Denise Esteban and Katrina Dovey. Dovey works anew with Denise Esteban, who was her co-star in Doblado.

GB is the award-winning director of the action-drama film, Astig. He also megged the sexy-comedy, Kaka and romantic sexy-comedy, Crush Kong Curly. More recently, GB directed Kinsenas Katapusan and Doblado.

The series is the story of a group of high school friends, their adventures and misadventures in trying to find their respective sexuality and preference.

The scenes and the theme are daring. “Pero tama siya sa age that the characters are portraying,” GB explained. “Hindi siya daring for a mature audience. Daring siya for a young audience.”

The cast was handpicked for the series. “I find the material na akma para sa kanila, so pinili ko sila isa isa na mapagbigyan tayo to complete the cast.

“Sa start pa lang, OK na kaming lahat. Alam na naming kung paano magtrabaho ang isa’t isa. Alam ko na rin kung ano ang limitations at kung ano ang pwede at hindi pwede sa mga artista ko.”

The series wrapped up shooting, with post-production now being completed. The whole experience doing the eight-part series was something the cast enjoyed.

“I was very happy and I enjoyed the filming” Angela granted. “I felt like a student again. Although I’m still a college student. ‘Yung pagiging high school ulit na na-miss ko before.

“But I can’t relate to my character. Sobrang bigat at energetic ni Mavic. Every day, sinasabi ko sa co-stars ko after the shoot, maliligo ako. Sobrang bigat niya para sa akin at sineryoso ko.”

The shoot was fun for Katrina. “I got to experience senior high again,” she admitted. “Now with my friends who are in the industry as well. That was a really fun experience. We got to spend two weeks together. That really formed a bond between the whole cast.”

It was easy for Katrina to relate to her character. “I was definitely introverted,” she granted. “She goes through a lot and I could relate to my character a lot.”

Denise was pleased they formed like a real family while shooting High on Sex. After all, they were together for two weeks, she said. “I’m also able to relate to my character, especially with the bullying part. I have experienced it before.”

Wilbert missed his student days when he started shooting the show. “Nakaka-miss ‘yung mismong feeling na ganu’ng edad, sobrang excited pa ‘yung mga students,” he shared. “May hinahabol kang crush mo, tapos hindi ka gusto.”

Doing another series for an online platform is harder for GB this time. He last worked on Viva’s 10-part original series, Tropang Torpe, aired in 2020.

“It has been a while since I did a series. The process was difficult here in High on Sex, especially in connecting the characters, sa limang bida. I also have my boundaries this time, although mas maluwag sa online.

“The support characters din kasi play vital roles in completing the story. Para tahi-tahiin ‘yan at kung paano nag-sali-salibat ang buhay nilang lahat and kung paano nagkaroon ng resolution sa ending. That was the main challenge.”


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