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Giselle Sanchez criticized, Cory Aquino Mahjong scene 'research' explained

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Giselle Sanchez criticized, Cory Aquino Mahjong scene 'research' explained
Giselle Sanchez as Cory Aquino in a scene in “Maid in Malacañang.”
Viva Films

MANILA, Philippines — Actress Giselle Sanchez attempted to explain her decision to portray the late former president Corazon "Cory" Aquino in the controversial movie “Maid in Malacañang,” but several social media users were not as impressed.

Sanchez published a lengthy post on her Facebook page with excerpts from her Manila Bulletin column “Gossip Girl,” saying that she was aware of the bashing she would receive but had always wanted to work with director Darryl Yap.

While a number of Facebooks users praised the actress, many slammed Sanchez for participating in what is seen as an attempt to distort Philippine history.

"Just say you wanted to do the role or needed to do the role. But please do not use or parrot the line that 'Art should disturb'," said playwright Floy Quintos. "Your movie is in no way Art... It is simply a piece meant to provoke and irritate."

Quintos added that the controversial movie was not the work of artists, but of provocateurs who "simply want to gain Likes, Views, Instant Fame and Notoriety" and artistry had no involvement whatsoever.

Related: Cory Aquino Mahjong scene: Giselle Sanchez responds to backlash

In Sanchez's Facebook post, an Internet user claimed in the comments section that Sanchez was partially responsible for the portrayal of Carmelite nuns who have since responded with their own statement.

A point of contention from many users was that Sanchez claimed to have sought confirmation from Sen. Imee Marcos, a creative producer on the film, but did not seek verification from other sources like historians.

Some users were gentler in their criticism, with one pointing out that entertaining "both sides" could lead to validating subjects, while another said, "unity not founded on truth will never stand."

Some comments to Giselle Sanchez's Facebook post
Screenshots by Philstar.com

Yap backs Mahjong scene

The scene in question sees Sanchez's Aquino playing Mahjong with nuns after saying on the phone "Get them (Marcoses) out of the Philippines.”

While the prioress of the Carmelite Monastery has released a statement regarding the portrayal, Yap has since defended why he included the scene in his film.

Yap posted on the Facebook page of his studio VinCentiments excerpts from American journalist Anne Nelson's piece, "In the Grotto of the Pink Sisters," from Mother Jones Magazine.

The director highlighted a portion of Nelson's article that said Aquino had frequented the Grotto of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and that she grew close to a Sister Christine Tan who often played Mahjong with her fellow nuns.

Yap then claimed the Carmelite nuns were just reacting as he said Aquino was in Manila when the Marcoses fled the country, not among the Carmelite Order in Cebu.

"Maid in Malacañang" is currently out in cinemas, competing at the box office against FAMAS 2022 big winner "Katips," which revolves around student activisits during the martial law era.

RELATED: 'Katips' producer challenges 'Maid in Malacañang'

CARMELITE NUNS

CORY AQUINO

DARRYL YAP

FLOY QUINTOS

GISELLE SANCHEZ

KATIPS

MAID IN MALACAñANG

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