Today I find myself on the side of Philippine Media as they lock and load for what looks like the gathering storm of a monumental battle against the Forces of Primitivism. On the side of modernity is Dolphy, the King of Comedy, who stands before the Inquisition accused of heresy. This “heresy” involves what sounds like otherwise hilarious scenes in his latest film Father Jejemon — a movie that most likely will see its producers laughing all the way to the bank considering the publicity it will get (or may already be getting) as a result of this latest of Pinoy-style circuses.
One scene in the movie that sent the Church and other groups fuming was that of a priest, portrayed by Dolphy, accidentally dropping a host into the cleavage of a woman taking communion during Mass. Another showed a host getting stuck on the dentures of an old woman.
Joining the fray is the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) whose chairman Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares came to Dolphy’s defense asserting that “there was no malice on the part of Manong Dolphy in the movie. At times they get carried away, but thatâ€™s the reality in the industry”.
The Roman Catholic Church of the Philippines, yet again, finds itself on the side of moronism, specially considering its presumptuous threats against the State:
[Church officials] have called on the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to delete the offensive scenes or face a boycott of moviegoers.
That remains to be seen, padres.
What a pickle these men-in-robes have gotten themselves into. They are up against two mighty pillars of modern society: (1) freedom of speech and (2) secularism. The latter, in particular harks to the headline of the first Inquirer.net report on the matter that goes “King of comedy told to respect King of Kings” — inadvertently highlighting how perhaps our esteemed clerics forget that their “King” is not necessarily all Filipinos’ king.
The King of Comedy, unfortunately hasn’t been acting very kingly recently, instead bowing to pressure from the Choir of Angels:
â€œRVQ Productions, upon learning the publicâ€™s sentiments against some scenes on the teasers, immediately exercised self-regulation and deleted voluntarily the evoking scenes. This may be a good example where the MTRCB and a film production company have found a good accord, where the true benefactors are the viewing public,â€ Llamanzares said.
Zsa Zsa Padilla, the movieâ€™s producer, is willing to delete some scenes even if it means added cost in the production.
What a shame. It would’ve been interesting to see who Filipinos are going to rally behind — the King of Kings, or the King of Comedy?