An Oral History of Mike De Leon's Batch '81
In 1980, Marichu Maceda set out to discover a fresh bunch of faces for a youth-oriented campus drama, but her choice director, Mike de Leon, had another movie in mind. Esquire talks to the cast and creators of Batch ’81, including de Leon—responding to media for the first time in 14 years—and finds out that despite the surprise pack-ups, pressure from the censors, and budget problems, a romance blossomed, a real brotherhood was formed among the actors, and one of the greatest movies in Philippine Cinema was made—the film closest to its star Mark Gil’s heart to his very last days.
This is an oral history of Ako Batch ‘81, Mike de Leon’s sparingly told exploration on fraternity culture made during the last years of Martial Law. For those who have not seen it—which is a shame, really, considering it’s one of the greatest films in Philippine Cinema—it follows the journey of pre-med student Sid Lucero, from seemingly worthless neophyte to all-powerful frat master. Along the way, each strike of a paddle hitting his ass, each dignity-crushing act of subservience, each death of a comrade would serve only to fire his lust to be on the better side of the fence—where the paddle is in his hands and it’s his turn to do the whipping.
When the film was released commercially in November of 1982, despite its poor showing at the box-office, it was received more than positively by critics. “Simply put, Batch ’81 is probably the greatest Filipino film ever made,” wrote Isagani Cruz in Panorama. “A rare product of the Filipino film industry,” said Bienvenido Lumbera in the Daily Express. “Polished, accomplished, disturbing, and, above all, intelligent.” It won Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay honors at the following year’s Film Academy of the Philippines Awards, and the Best Screenplay and Best Editing prizes from the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the group of critics who would later on name the film one of the ten important pictures of the 1980s. The film’s other major achievement, of course, is that it was an anti-fascist film made during the Marcos years, the fraternity in the story a micro version of its era’s authoritarian regime.
Batch ’81 was made 34 years ago, and the decades may have altered the cast and crew’s memories of making the movie—hence, for this oral history, while we also quote from the production notes written specifically for the Cannes Film Festival in 1982 where it was exhibited at the Director’s Fortnight, we also chose to include only the recollections the interviewees recall vividly. This is then how they would remember Batch ’81.
Mark Gil watching the character Arni get beaten up, with Mike de Leon and Rody Lacap.
In August 1980, MVP Pictures producer Marichu Vera Perez Maceda asked director Mike de Leon to make a youth film set in campus. This type of film was popular at the box office, with several movies cashing in on teenage romances, student love stories and youthful adventures. From this germ, de Leon decided to develop subjects not thoroughly explored before in local movies—fraternities and frat wars and initiations.
MARICHU “MANAY ICHU” MACEDA (PRODUCER): I have five sons. My fourth boy Edmond, he always sleeps with short pants. One night I found him wearing long pajamas. On the second night, long pajamas na naman. On the third night, long pajamas na naman. It’s not like him. And then I noticed he was kinda shifty.
I know my kids when they lie eh. “Tell me the truth,” I said. “Pull down your pants.” And then I saw may mga black and blue siya. “Where did you get this?” So finally he had no choice, he had to confess to me. He joined a frat. Outside of school. He was studying in La Salle. And I said “Okay, you get out of that frat immediately tomorrow because if you don’t I will personally go to that frat house of yours. If they have no place or no house, I will go to where they meet and then I will give them hell. So you better do it yourself.”
In 1980, I finally met (with) Mike, accidentally, then we got to talking. Sabi ko, “Mike, gusto ko gumawa ng pelikula tungkol sa frats.” He was also interested.
MIKE DE LEON (DIRECTOR): As far as I know, the fraternity was Joseph Olfindo's idea. [Olfindo was a frat man, and was previously assistant musical director for Mike de Leon’s Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising].
Marichu Maceda wanted to do a “youth-oriented” film and in the process perhaps build up her own stable of young stars, much like the Regal Babies at that time. I don't remember that story about her son joining a fraternity. I proposed the [frat] idea to Marichu because I thought it could be the perfect opportunity to launch a search for new faces, which is what happened. It took quite a long time but in the end, the search was only partially successful. Not all of the cast were new.
RAQUEL VILLAVICENCIO (SCRIPTWRITER): In August 1980, Mike called me and Doy—because he had already worked with us in Kakaba-kaba Ka Ba? —and he said Manay Ichu called him up and wanted to do a campus film. Ang uso noon mga sexy girls in bikinis, by the pool, or school setting. Si Mike siguro at that time naghahanap ng magagawa, but he was, like, sandali, campus project? He knew it was going to be a commercial project. But knowing Mike, O sige, I’ll accept the project, pero he has something else in mind. Hindi niya gagawin itong romantic film, bibigyan niya ng mas malalim na message. Like Kakaba-kaba Ka Ba?, underneath the comedy there’s a message there. Malalim ang intensyon niya.
When we were meeting pa nga, sabi ni Manay—kasi kilala na ni Manay si Mike eh, alam niya yung working habits—she was willing to put up with Mike’s working eccentricities. Manay was going to take it. That’s how much she wanted him. Kami naman, “Sige, why not?” We met with Manay, and right away Manay gave us the down payment. Ayaw niya na na may magba-backout. Gusto niya na kami itali talaga.
But we still did not know what we were going to do with that story. We discussed it, kaming tatlo [Raquel, Mike, and Doy], Anong magiging tema natin? Because we didn’t want just the usual campus romance story. Sabi ni Mike, “Let’s do it like we’re questioning if the present educational system is relevant to real life.” Hmmm, paano ko ‘yan isisingit sa mga romantic scenes, di ba?! Kami ni Doy nagtitinginan. Oh my god, what are we gonna do? I said, personally, mahihirapan na ‘ko sumulat nito because I’ve been out of school for so long and I don’t know anymore what’s happening on campus. Before I write anything I want to do some research. I want to sit in sa mga classes sa school.
So I decided to sit in sa Ateneo and La Salle. Pero parang naiinip ako kasi parang walang nangyayari. I wanted some real action. I wanted to research not in private schools but in the [public] universities. I think that’s where the action is. I want more grit. Parang I want this to be as heavy as Maynila Sa Kuko ng Liwanag.
“The scenes sort of created themselves and it really didn’t matter to me whether they looked like real frat situations or not. I didn’t know any better, so that sort of gave me the freedom to do what I felt was right.”
MIKE: Raquel made a very detailed character sketch of possible characters for the film. When the project was a go, Doy came on board and as we did in Kakaba-kaba Ka Ba?, Raquel and Doy worked on the sequence treatment together with a lot of meetings with me, Joseph Olfindo and (production designer) Cesar Hernando. It was my job to do a composite of the treatment or later of the script sequences that would more or less resemble a first draft of the screenplay. My own inputs as co-writer and director happened at this stage. Then more meetings, and I would work on a revised “second draft” which actually became the first working draft.
Mike de Leon discussing the seduction scene with Romero and Luarca
RAQUEL: Ang writing style namin ni Mike, it’s a lot of brainstorming, a lot of meeting, a lot of discussions. Very, very detailed to the last period, to the point when we finally go home to write our segments we already know it so well, even the dialogue. To the point where when you look at it parang isang writer lang ang sumulat. Si Mike is the overall monitoring eye—he’s the one who blends everything together—so by the time he starts directing it halos wala nang revisions because he had participated so much in the writing of it, sometimes to the point na siya yung nagsusulat, so he’s also credited as writer.
DOY: Most of the time the talks would veer towards irrelevant things, happenings in the industry. Those excursions into trivia would be the comic relief when nothing of consequence was happening with the story development. When a story emerges from the talks, we come up with a storyline. Usually, Raquel would write the synopsis...Then, when we had more details of the story, I would write the treatment, the scene-by-scene development of the screenplay. We would meet again and talk about the treatment. Then, Raquel and I would divide the work.
RAQUEL: Kami ni Doy sumulat ng campus stories in the beginning. Mike said they were bland, walang drama. He didn’t sympathize with any of the characters and the conflicts were not strong. So rewrite kami. Basically, when Doy and I rewrote the story, I had put in a lot of the characters based on my research, and I read a lot of books on education, just to keep abreast. There was one character there [in the revised story] who belonged to a fraternity. And when Mike read it, that’s what he liked. “Why don’t we just focus on this?” We presented it to Manay, kasi siyempre iba na ito doon sa original na gusto niya, and we were surprised that Manay liked it a lot. Sabi niya, I like the violence. We interviewed [fratmen] about initiation rites. And of course bawal sa kanila mag reveal [ng organiza-tion secrets]. They revealed some but not everything. Yung mga nakita mo sa Batch that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The characters were created based on the need of the story. We need this kind of character, because it will say this. Of course there was the role of Mark Gil. We already knew Mark’s story from beginning to end, how he would end up being the master, being lustful for power.
MIKE: I didn't want the role of Sid Lucero to go to a newcomer because it may prove to be difficult for me as director. Marichu wanted [Christopher] Boyet de Leon. I insisted on Ralph [Mark Gil’s real name is Ralph Eigenmann].
…with the first draft of the script over, MVP launched a search for new actors and actresses (ages 17 to 25 years) to play important roles in the movie…Except for the main character, casting was fi-nalized in December. The producer and the director agreed to hold an acting workshop in January to form the final cast. Once casting was complete, de Leon, production designer Cesar Hernando and cinematographer Rody Lacap began hunting for the appropriate principal locations…They decided to use the most convenient and cost-saving locations—the Sampaguita lot at Gilmore Avenue [owned by Marichu’s family, the Vera Perezes] and the LVN com-pound in Cubao [of the De Leons]. The old ladies’ dormitory at the Sampaguita studio was emptied of its furnishings, and turned into a men’s dorm…The basement of the Vera Perez house, earlier the site of the acting workshop, became the fraternity headquarters. For the neophytes’ headquarters, the old costume bodega at LVN became a room equipped with old school chairs, swivel chairs, blackboard and cabinets. Principal photography began in the afternoon of February 3, 1981.
CESAR HERNANDO: Very minimal yung design ng Batch. Although yung loob ng basement dinumihan namin, naglagay kami ng graffiti, yun na yung kalat niya. Naglagay kami ng masks sa wall. Actually yung mga masks galing yun sa kuwarto ni Dr. Perez eh, nilipat lang namin. Wala sa script yun. I thought they would serve as mute witnesses to what was happening. Yung dorm nila Mark sa Sampaguita, yun yung dorm ng mga Sampaguita actors noong araw.
WARD LUARCA (PACOY LEDESMA, THE WIMP): First shooting day, initiation kaagad. We were being whacked by paddles. We were asked to strip down and supposedly may boses ng mga babae in the background. We were really naked. I remember the night before when I knew it was going to be shot, since consistent naman sa character ko yung walang pakialam, kumuha yata ako ng old brief, binutasan ko pa yata. Kaya nung nag-tracking shot makikita mo ‘yun, the same briefs I used when we were asked to run in public.
JOSEPH OLFINDO (VERGARA, FRAT MASTER): It was not a real paddle, but it is more of an acoustic paddle. You know when we discipline our children we use a rod to spank so it stings…We started controlled [lang yung hampas]. Pero the actors’ facial expressions were not showing the pain. In fact, yung iba pa may notebook [under the pants], eh kita sa camera so they had to take it out.
NOEL TRINIDAD (COLLEGE PROFESSOR SANTILLAN): Tumatama yung paddles. Hindi naman to the extent na excruciating pero to go through that, you still feel the anxiety kasi it was so real in my mind. Hinampas kami talaga, pinaghubo kami talaga. Pinatakbo kami sa Greenhills naka-jockey lang kami lahat. People didn’t know na nagshu-shooting kami, hidden camera yun eh.
MIKE: It’s true I was never a member of any frat, or any club in school for that matter, but I don't think that was really important. The scenes sort of created themselves and it really didn't matter to me whether they looked like real frat situations or not. I didn't know any better, so that sort of gave me the freedom to do what I felt was right in every frat or hazing scene.
VIC LIMA (GONZALES, FRAT MASTER): Si Mark yata ang hindi pumayag na palitan ng fresh beer ‘yung baso niya [in the birthday scene where each neophyte was asked to sip beer and spit it back to the mug; the mug will be passed on to the next neophyte and he will do the same]. Mark really wanted everything to be totoo. Walang kunyari.
Isa pang bumilib ako kay Mark, yung eksena with Johnny Delgado. Eh fake dapat yung pag-clip ng forceps. Puta, ‘di pumayag si Mark. Nakita mo naman nung tinanggal ‘di ba? From puti naging pula [yung skin sa chest]. Gusto niya sakitan talaga, to give justice to the movie, na talagang ma-sakit. Ako nga napa-“Oh shit” sa likod. Yun ang gusto niya, kung mura mura, kung sampal sampal, suntok suntok, kung clip, clip mo ng totoo ‘yan.
CHANDA ROMERO (JENNY ESTRADA, THE PROSTITUTE): Before I got the role, Mike de Leon and I and a few other people would go out for drinks, usually in the lobby of the Peninsula. And usually pag nakapag-wine na ako I would go into these stories of my childhood in Cebu. Actually that whole recitation I did in the movie, “Roses are red…” [where she was hired to seduce the wimp Pacoy Ledesma] that’s from real life because my cousin who is very close to me used to go to Saint Theresa’s College and she picked up that whole monologue from there. And pag nagloloko na kami, we would recite that whole piece to each other.
When I got on the set I asked Mike de Leon, “Where’s the script?” Sabi niya, “Ah walang script, basta gawin mo lang yung ginagawa mo pag umiinom tayo sa Peninsula.” Actually ang hirap ng ginawa ko kasi it was all improv. Usually he’s so structured as a director and he’s someone who when he writes something it cannot be tampered with. I just realized how difficult that scene was to do because I had so much responsibility. But my scene was the only breather in the whole film. It was the first time there was so much laughter on the set. Because Mike can be so sullen and serious. He’s very strict and he’s very accurate, bordering on obsessive. But it’s good for the actor because you’re always on your toes.
DOY: I remember one specific scene that Marichu wanted to change. In the earlier draft of the screenplay, the competition between the two frats [which] happens during a college fair. I guess Marichu was concerned with the cost of staging a fair outdoors.
RAQUEL: Malaking budget ang kailangan doon, it would mean setting up the whole campus, daming extra, so we thought of a way to make it small, which is to turn it into a stage presentation with musical numbers. And as it happened, it turned out better kasi lumabas yung gusto ni Mike na darkness, naging frat wars.
MIKE ARVISU (ABET, FRAT MASTER FROM RIVAL SOS): The most memorable incident was when we had an early morning call and stayed on the set all day until late in the evening waiting for Mike to get ready to shoot. Unhappy with the setup and total "vibes" he just said "Pack up!" without shooting an inch of film. Everyone was upset and that's when Mark Gil explicitly told us that "actors are paid to wait" and if we can't deal with that, we might as well quit show business.
The motel scene with Leido and Andolong which didn’t make it to the final cut.
NOEL: Minsan ilag ka eh, kaya pag binati ka ni Mike, Ah okey, good mood siya ngayon. Minsan pagdating niya wala siyang kinakausap, nasa isang sulok. Masama mood nito. He knew exactly what he wanted eh. Pero as I said, he’s not a very easy director in a sense na mercurial eh. But you knew that he knew what he was doing. Eh dahil kami [actors] naging barkada, pa-rang ang feeling namin labas siya sa grupo namin. Siguro ganun ang feeling niya sa’min kaya nagkaroon ng tension, which was very good for the movie.
“I wasn’t going to disrespect Mike by getting another director to finish it. If somebody was going to finish it I was going to finish it myself. It was my investment. Maloka na lang siya masira ang pelikula niya.”
JIMMY (VINCE, FRAT MASTER) : Mike was a very serious director. He told me in a conversation, after yata uminit ulo niya—I knew it was part of work eh, anyone who works as intensely maiinis pag things are not going his way—I was there beside him. He said, “Alam mo Jimmy kasi, the film is the thing.” The film is the most important thing, so even if he is mired in the day to day of making it, concerns like yung mga nale-late, hindi nagco-concentrate, he is someone who will never lose sight of what he wants to do.
MIKE: There were other frat sequences in the screenplay that I didn't shoot anymore and a few others that were cut during editing because at a certain point, I thought the film had to progress from fun and games to a more serious, and perhaps more disturbing aspect of hazing, mind control and the loss of one's identity. That was a subject matter that has always fascinated me. I had a lot of books on Nazi Germany and one would have to be dumb not to see the parallels to the political situation we were all living in at that time. The casualties, of course, were the female characters, except for the character of Sandy Andolong. Many or most of the scenes of Bing Pimentel and Dang Cecilio were cut when the film was in editing. They just seemed to be part of an entirely different film.
SANDY (TINA): I was playing a kolehiyala who was on the loose side, medyo rebellious, was into drugs, drinking, smoking, supposed to be. I remember we shot a love scene in a motel with Rod Leido (Arni). It was very carefully done, I was wearing shorts and I was covered naman. Mike made sure there were only a few people in the set: Rod and I, Mike and the cameraman, and Charo Santos. Rod felt so awkward, Mike had to talk to him in a corner. I told Rod, It’s okay, put it into your head that I’m your girlfriend, and that it’s not the first time we’re doing this. It was a simple love scene but it was my first time to do one. I was trying to make myself relaxed. I asked Charo to be there in the room. I don’t know why she’s there but she was involved in the production. She was the one holding the boom mic.
BING (MARIEL): My first shooting day was our love scene [with Mark]. We were watching a movie, A Clockwork Orange. So you know there was contrast. We’re supposed to be making out and we’re watching this violent film. That was my first movie, my first day, and I was doing a love scene with a person who was a stranger to me. Lumalabas ugat ko sa leeg. I can still feel the tension in my neck because he was kissing me here and Mike kept saying “Bing, Bing, relax ka lang. Move your head a little bit.” You could really see that my veins were popping out because I was so nervous. That was my most nervous moment. I think we had like 28 takes until finally the director said, “Cut, mag-date muna kayo.” So we started hanging out to get to know each other but eventually we became girlfriend-boyfriend. First of all he was a very handsome, Adonis type, macho man. At that time I was very young so I was impressed by his character. But when I think about it now, gosh, I wouldn’t want [a guy like that] for my daughter!
“I wasn’t going to disrespect Mike by getting another director to finish it. If somebody was going to finish it I was going to finish it myself. It was my investment. Maloka na lang siya masira ang pelikula niya.”
Filming was halted in May, only to resume three months later…
MARICHU: At that time nadelay naman ang shooting ng Pakawa-lan Mo Ako. I ended up doing two movies, kasi Pakawalan was shot much much earlier. Eh dahil sa schedules ni Vilma Santos [the film’s star] na-delay nang na-delay. When you have two movies siyempre malaki ang gastos. And in the middle of filming Batch and Pakawalan Mo Ako kinakapos na ako ng pera. So I told Mike kinakapos ako, kailangan naming i-stop muna ang shooting, for a while lang. Pagkatapos I don’t know what happened na basta nagagalit na siya sa akin.
MIKE: I was young, hot-tempered, and immature at that time and I may have overreacted to the tumultuous shooting schedule. But how would you feel when after shooting the highly intense and inspiring electrocution sequence (based on the Stanley Milgram experiment), you would be told that shooting is suspended indefinitely?
MARICHU: Madalas na kami nag-aaway ni Mike. Hindi naman nag-aaway na nagsasagutan. He will just stop shooting, ayaw na niya. Ako patient lang, waiting. Hindi naman ako yung confrontational eh. It went on. And then si Mark Gil was the one who always tried to patch things up between me and Mike. He and his “batch.” They didn’t want to stop filming. They didn’t want Mike de Leon to quit. They didn’t want me to quit either. They would talk to Mike. Nakikita mo na pag dumadating si Mark mukhang problemado na. Tapos pag pasok siya sa office ko magla-light up na yung mukha niya. Alam ko na gagawin ng batang ito, kakausapin ako about Mike. And then nag-threaten na naman si Mike, magre-resign.
I don’t know if he wrote me a letter or if he just sent word, I don’t remember anymore, but he was going to irrevocably resign. That day napikon ako. So I wrote him a letter. “I received your (message), I accept your irrevocable resignation. However, I wish to inform you that I intend to finish this movie by myself, with or without you. Signed, Marichu Perez Maceda.” I wasn’t going to disrespect Mike by getting another director to finish it. If somebody was going to finish it I was going to finish it myself. It was my investment. Maloka na lang siya masira ang pelikula niya. (laughs) Ang natitirang eksena yung rumble. So nag-iisip na ‘ko. Diyos ko, tinawagan ko si FPJ, tinawagan ko si Eddie Garcia, hindi ko pa sinasabi sa kanila because, of course, they would refuse. But I was going to ask them—I didn’t get to the point of asking them—to guide me kung papaano magdirek ng action. Rambol yun eh, malay ko. Until si Mark Gil again and the batch they were the ones who patched things up and then nagkasundo na kami ni Mike, and then tuloy-tuloy na.
MIKE: The shots of one sequence, the killing of Arni (Leido) were six months apart. Continuity was a nightmare. Yes, at several points in the production, I actually thought of quitting but at the same time, I felt compelled to continue because of the scenes we had already shot. They looked promising and quite different and had a raw energy I didn't know I was capable of creating. Some members of the cast understood the stress I was under but didn't want me to give up. Batch ‘81 may have finally become an allegory of fascism when I asked Doy del Mundo to integrate the Milgram experiment into the screenplay. It was a piece of brilliant scriptwriting and I followed the script to the letter. Except for one thing which I added, the question about Martial Law.
MARICHU: I knew it was a movie about fascism. I knew it was going to be an anti-fascist movie. Tini-testing ako [ni Mike]—I was very close to the Marcoses. Hindi ako umaalma. Because to me Marcos was such a liberal-minded person, he would have enjoyed Batch ’81.
MIKE: The irony of it all was that the neophyte's father who supervised the [Milgram] experiment in the film was played by Chito Ponce-Enrile, the brother of the then Defense Minister [Juan Ponce Enrile]. And the ultimate irony happened when the film was finished and we needed a 'protector' of sorts to get the film out of the country. That protector turned out to be Imee Marcos who was close to Marichu. Imee to a lot of artists and intellectuals at that time presented the 'good side' of martial rule, if there is such a thing. But there was nothing ambiguous about my intentions in the film although strangely enough, I was told several times here and abroad that there was some ambiguity in the film—whether the film was pro or anti-fascist. In the end, Marichu and I reached a compromise: I could keep the Martial Law line [“Ang martial law nakabuti sa taumbayan, tama o mali?”] as long as I took out Nanette Inventor's disco performance of “Don't Cry For Me, Argentina” from the musical Evita—a clear reference to Imelda Marcos.
Post-production work on Batch ’81 resumed in October, but only intermittently. It picked up steam in January 1982. The 13,000 feet of film was further trimmed to a little more than 10,000 feet. Musical director Lorrie Ilustre recorded the soundtrack at Greenhills Sound Production in two nights, a month later. Mixing of the music, sound effects and dubbed tracks was finished by LVN soundman Ramon Reyes in the early morning of March 5, 1982, a year and three days after the movie’s first shooting day.
MARICHU: Si Maria Katigbak (then newly appointed chief of the Board of Review for Motion Picture and Television) binilang kung ilan ang “putangina” sa pelikula. Binilang niya. Eh maka-kasama ba yung putangina kung ten times mo sabihin o 20 times mo sabihin? Pinabawasan ang violence. Pero basically hindi nawala yung essence, especially yung torture, interrogation.
WARD: Nung napanood ko first time yung buong pelikula, Wow, sabi ko, I am proud to be part of this film. Yung production values ang taas. At saka masustansiya, may sinasabi. Matindi ang sinasabi. And because it is a matindi film, even an Imee Marcos watched it and liked it even if it was against Martial Law.
MIKE: At the end of the movie Imee said, "Nakakaloka kayo." At that time, watching the movie had a very intense sense of satisfaction, after what we went through making the film.
MARICHU: Imee loved it. Isa pa yung pasaway din, may pagkaleftist din yun eh. She wanted to buy it for the ECP after that premiere. I didn’t want to sell it. I just wanted it to be mine.
DOY: That Batch ’81 is a well-made film is a given. What makes it significant is its relevance. On one level, it can be read as the loss of individuality, the loss of freedom, which some critics see as a commentary on society at the time it was made. On another level, it can be read as a treatise on the fraternity issue. I wish the film would be irrelevant; but, with the killings that happen in frat wars and frat initiations, Batch ’81 remains a grim reminder of tragic consequences.
MIKE: I read a few years ago in an interview that Marichu claimed she had threatened to finish the movie herself and even to ask Ronnie Poe to finish the movie if I was going to continue being difficult. She said it jolted me back to reality. Unfortunately for that story, it doesn't exist in my memory. Maybe I've blocked it out but then again, maybe not. It’s not easy talking about a film that was made more than 20 years ago and selective memory is a real dangerous thing. That’s why I’ve come to dislike and distrust interviews, especially show biz interviews. And worse, these days, they end up in the Internet where nothing really disappears or dies and then, when you are your most vulnerable, like when you're old, they come back and annoy you all over again…Marichu may have her own version of events, but as Kurosawa showed us in Rashomon, whatever version of the truth makes you happy in your old age (Kurosawa didn't say this, that's me) by all means, go with it.
This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Esquire Philippines. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.