Veteran actress Tetchie Agbayani believes that freedom of speech should not be limited to ordinary citizens and that celebrities should speak their minds if they feel there is something wrong in the way things are done.
“You know, they say artista daw, stick to acting. Stay apolitical, ‘wag ka nang sumawsaw,” she said during the online press conference for “Init Sa Magdamag” on April 15. (You know, they say actors should stick to acting. Stay apolitical, don’t engage.)
But Agbayani asserted that artists are citizens as well and thus have the right to speak up.
“They have a voice. They have a unique position na (such that) because of their popularity, mas pakikinggan sila (people will all the more listen to them),” she explained.
Whether one is a celebrity or an ordinary person, Agbayani believes that people cannot just stay silent when they see injustice being committed.
“As a Catholic, as a Christian, if you see na merong nagaganap na hindi tama, hindi makatao, hindi maka-Diyos, obligasyon mo bilang tao, bilang anak ng Diyos, na kumibo dahil kapag hindi ka kumibo, kinukunsinti mo ‘yung mali na ginagawa,” she pointed out.
(As a Catholic, as a Christian, if you see that there is something happening that is not right, not humane, not godly, it is your obligation as a human being, as a child of God, to speak up because if you stay silent, you’re tolerating the wrongdoing.)
She likened the situation to a parent who sees her child doing something wrong. A parent should call the child’s attention, she said.
Meanwhile, being one of the veterans in the TV series, Agbayani observed that stars of today are very lucky because of the support they get from their networks.
“So, kapag naka-trabaho mo na ang mga young stars ngayon (So when you get to work with the young stars today), especially from the network that I am working with at the moment, polished na (they’re already polished). They know their craft. They’re good at it. They look well. They dress well. They’re well-mannered,” she noted.
Agbayani recalls that in the past, contract stars are only good for a certain number of films.
“Pero after the film is done, walang overall na sumusubaybay sa ‘yo, gumagabay sa ‘yo, dinadala ka sa acting class or dancing class. Ngayon mas suportado ang mga artista kaya ang suwerte-suwerte ng mga artista sa ngayon,” she said.
(But when the film is done, there is no one in charge overall to follow you, to guide you, who will get you into acting or dancing classes. Now, actors are supported, that’s why they are very, very lucky.)
In the series, Agbayani plays Olivia Alvarez, the controlling mother-in-law of Rita played by Yam Concepcion.
The show’s pilot episode was streamed on April 17 on the iWantTFC app and website, and on WeTV iflix. It will be aired on free TV on April 19, via TV5 and A2Z channels, and via digital TV box ABS-CBN TVplus. Digital TV box users can scan and look for A2Z channel in Metro Manila and in some parts of Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan and Pampanga. JB