When a seasoned director like Erik Matti generalizes the Pinoy BL drama craze with this post: “Philippine Entertainment is at its most diverse in 2020 – BL Zoomin’ BL Schoolin’ BL Coming of Age/ BL with Sakristans. BL Triangle. Unrequited BL,” one can immediately say that it’s laced with sarcasm, the driest of wit, and yes, an open attack to Philippine-produced boys love dramas.
Matti has a penchant for controversial posts. It was also him who made sweeping pronouncements about the Pinoys’ Korean drama fixation as detrimental to the business that is Pinoy showbiz.
Are his rants meritorious and valid? Must we take all of them with the proverbial grain of salt and just sweep them under the rug? How can you teach someone way past his prime new tricks anyway or even let him see beyond and rise above his belief systems and passions he espouses?
Not all Pinoy BLs are created equal. Just like the motion pictures he directed, I daresay. Some of them are outstanding. Several are worth ones while. Others are more than the usual pink staples. And a handful, yes, are forgettable making you promise to discontinue watching the next episodes.
Speaking of “superior,” a BL drama that Matti must watch from the beginning is JP Habac’s Gaya Sa Pelikula. Episode 6 has become the talk and the toast of the BL community for a great number of reasons.
First, Karl’s (Paolo Pangilinan) comprehensible panic that led to the cat literally out of the bag – him exposing the truth about his relationship with Vlad (Ian Pangilinan) that it was for convenience and not because of love.
The crystal clear anger and disappointment of Ate Judit (Adrienne Vergara) with regard to the not so secret anymore, Vlad’s reveal of how hurt he was with his sister’s mean words when he was still a boy.
“Ayan babakla-bakla ka kasi, iniwan tuloy tayo ni Dad. Tigilan mo na ang pagpapanggap na lalaki. Talented iyan kaso bakla. Sayang kaso bakla, ” these lines from Pangilinan delivered with the requisite pain stung, reminding all who had experienced his similar situation of the wounds that never heal. His sister asked for forgiveness saying that she was also a confused kid who did not know any better and constantly tries to understand her brother’s predicament, are the second pluses in the episode that pulled the heartstrings.
Karl’s phone call realization that made most eyes well with tears: “Umuwi ka na Vlad. Hindi ko maintindihan. Wala akong makausap. Wala akong kasama. Malungkot ako rito kapag wala ka.” Tissue or hanky, please.
The literal opening of the closet and Karl’s accepting and coming out via a dance sequence and the surprise kiss shared by two leads, which to many opine as to the best BL kiss ever and the afterglow, sharing of the secrets conversation wherein Karl and Vlad shared their most personal issues are the fourth and fifth reasons.
And finally, the national spooning moment that showed the new lovers’ emotional intimacy was the exclamation point of episode 6.
Of all the Filipino pairs in BL dramas, Ian and Paolo, exude the most truthful couple dynamics. There, PangPang couple made it all the more evident during the longish lip-locking moments. Vlad lovingly planted a kiss on Karl’s forehead, and prior to that, the finger caressing near the armpit area of Vlad by Karl, and yes, how the “bed scene” ended with a tighter than tight embrace.
In Gaya Sa Pelikila, Vlad and Karl’s love for each other is unapologetic and it is the source of their courage and happiness. To those who are so conditioned, cynical, and wired to their truth that the love being shared by two men is an outright sham, the PangPang couple tells us that is high time for us to not only believe but embrace that love indeed knows no gender.
Whether it’s pink or not, romantic, erotic, or platonic, all BL dramas are important, even those that make us cringe.