Aug 04
SNAPSHOTS OF A SCRIPTWRITER by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Aug 4, 2006

Pablo S. Gomez, the great komiks writer once said, “Ako lang ang maaaring sumulat ng talambuhay ko.” That statement is an understatement if one is to consider the very colorful life of Tito Pabs.

Presently manning the helm at SGP (Screenwriters’ Guild of the Philippines), Tito Pabs, had instituted reforms in order to revitalize his beloved guild. First in his list was to declassify the members. “Basta member lang, hindi yung may regular o associate pa. Mas maganda kung pantay-pantay,” Tito Pabs explained when he presided in the SGP general assembly held last July 28 at the FAP office. In effect, everyone present in the meeting instantly qualified for nomination to replace the post of chairman vacated by Serge Custodio who passed away two months ago. First to be nominated in the said special election for SGP chairman was Cris Vertido, the awarded writer for his script of Panaghoy Sa Suba. Next was this writer who immediately declined the nomination. Cris likewise declined the nomination for the same reason of lack of time thus Franco Deocareza, a veteran scriptwriter, was unanimously elected as the new board chairman of SGP.

Franco Deocareza,
the new SGP Chairman with a smiling face.

“Ibabangon natin ang SGP sa pamamagitan ng trabaho. Hahanap tayo ng mga projects sa pagsusulat,” Pablo Gomez exhorted his members as he pointed to Nita Eden So, whose two submitted storylines for a teleserye were almost approved by a big network. Not to brag albeit to encourage the writers, the amiable SGP president revealed that he received a good pay for his 30 or so stories bought by a TV network intended for future teleplays. For more encouragement, Tito Pabs also asked his members to submit storylines to the Film Academy for upcoming film projects. “Small time lang kasi digital daw pero ang mahalaga meron tayong output dahil sa atin aasa ang Film Academy,” Tito Pabs added.

The SGP general
assembly last July 28 at the FAP office

Not only a good writer, Pablo Gomez is also a good speaker. There was his story which he wrote a long time ago that he intended to revive into TV. It was about three friends, all of whom were gays and in their twilight years. One could feel the emotions in Tito Pabs’ voice as he recounted the climax where one of the gays was seated and already dead while the two others unknowingly continued with their recounting of the good old days. Unfortunately that project was nipped in the bud when Manay Po surfaced. “Pero iba yung sa akin,” Pablo Gomez countered, “kasi matatanda na yung tatlong bakla at actually sa home for the aged nga ang unang eksena.”

Further expounding on the topic, Tito Pabs made known his reservations on being gay. “Pag bata ka pa masarap kasi malakas ka, masaya lalo na pag may party,” he said with a chuckle. During his heyday, Pablo Gomez was thrilled to the bones whenever he would attend a dance party. Cross dressing was a taboo then but he had the guts to display his femininity to the guests and gamely exhibited his prowess on the dance floor. He was on cloud nine whenever a guy stared at him with admiration. “Pero malungkot ang bakla lalo na pag tumanda na. Wala kang asawa, wala kang anak, walang mag-aalaga sa iyo. Malungkot, mahirap talaga ang buhay ng isang bakla.” That piece of talk was sort of a piece of advice for the gays-to-be.

The SGP president,
the great komiks writer and renowned scriptwriter

With his writing, Pablo Gomez had no misgivings albeit he has an endless list of anecdotes, some funny and some unpleasant. One of which was when he submitted a story to a big time producer and later was told of the shelving of the project so he was surprised when he learned of a movie in the offing similar to his story. He approached the producer and with his meek tone inquired if the movie was indeed a rehash of the story he earlier submitted. The production staff denied at first but it didn’t take long for the producer to hand Tito Pabs a check in exchange for the proprietary rights of his original story. “Ganyan sila (referring to no one in particular). Nanakawin ang ideya mo tapos iibahin nang konti. Yung sa akin, nurse yung bidang babae tapos ginawa nilang doktor naman yung bidang lalake. Akala nila lusot na.” But that incident should not dampen the spirit of the writer. “Marami namang mga ideya na puwedeng isulat. Pag may problema saka na lang natin isipin,” he was referring to plagiarism and that he would be willing to intercede for a writer in need.

Pablo S. Gomez became a household name via his storytelling skills in the komiks of yore. The lowly komiks gave him the wealth he didn’t dream of. He had put up PSG Publishing Inc. housed in a four-story building in the corner of Balete Drive and Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City. With his own publication, Tito Pabs was able to provide aspiring writers the necessary breaks. He mentioned the name Carlo J. Caparas, a former security guard who, together with wife Donna Villa, now owns Golden Lions Film.

But Pablo Gomez got more popular when he started writing scripts for Fernando Poe, Jr. Many times it had been said that Susan Roces was the one who approached him. Being associated with Da King upped his rate to unimaginable heights. But Tito Pabs never names his price and he only bargains when the offer is absurdly low.

Pablo Gomez
flanked by SGP Director Manny Rodriguez
at the left and SGP Vice President Pablo

“Matanda na ako kaya ayoko nang maging presidente ng SGP,” Pablo Gomez turned serious this time. He is already 74 and a survivor of several heart attacks. “Kagagaling ko nga lang sa ospital. Kaya lang gusto kong maisaayos muna ang grupo natin bago ako bumitaw.” He reiterated his desire to revive the SGP, remembering those days when the scriptwriter had a bargaining power. But he had come to terms that most known scriptwriters are already in their senior years and it’s only logical to inject fresh blood in his guild. Come January 2007, SGP will hold a general elections and Pablo Gomez, the current SGP president, is hoping that the next crop of officers will have the time and the dedication to manage the Screenwriters’ Guild of the Philippines.

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