Onion skin is a soft, thin piece of paper for office supply used as duplicate of any important document for record purposes. With the advent of the modern computer gadget, duplicates for the purpose are, I think no longer in use. But this article has nothing to do with records or office supplies but it hinges on the sensitivity and consciousness of people who react on impulse about insignificant issues. Those often referred to as onion-skinned or balat-sibuyas.
Several weeks ago, Sam Milby and Piolo Pascual formally filed a damage suit against Columnist Lolita Solis at the office of the Manila chief prosecutor, Atty. Joseph Lopez, accompanied by their lady lawyer, Atty. Josebet Alonzo. They are demanding a P12M. The lawsuit was triggered by a column written by Lolit Solis where she said she saw Piolo and Sam at the pool side of the Sofitel Hotel coffee shop in Malate whispering into each other’s ears. The article I believe has no indication of any malicious reporting. It was simply an item written by Lolit about two popular movie stars in a very candid situation. But people reacted the following day and opined that the coulumn item was malicious in intent. Some movie reporters picked up from the column and even declared that Lolit was in fact insinuating the whispers in showbiz that Sam and Piolo are gay. My gosh, how can some people make a mountain out of a molehill? Of course, the expected reaction from both actors is to defend and deny they are gay. But really, who wrote that they we indeed gay?
In an early evening talk show, Piolo appeared to deny the malicious insinuation that they are gay. Both Sam and Piolo appeared in more talk shows to air their grievances against Lolit. The issue became big news that more movie reporters took the cue, wrote more intriguing articles that magnified the insignificant column item of Lolit Solis.
The word of mouth is so effective that soon, the simple column became the talk of the town. Piolo fought valiantly to depend himself in front of TV cameras. I suddenly remember that In previous years, column items and even articles casing questions on Piolo’s gender never elicited an angry and violent reactions on his part. Why then did he particularly react that way to Lolit’s column?
Many times it had been said that good or bad publicity is still publicity that will keep the subject in circulation– alive, kicking, still very much a part of the business.
Some years back, if I remember right, there was a similar incident involving the Yllana brothers, Anjo and Jomari on the gay issue of Rustom Padilla. That time, Rustom and Carmina Villaruel were still living together. A case of libel was then being prepared against Anjo and Jomari Yllana, but on second thought, the Padilla’s opted to withdraw the lawsuit until it simmered down eventually. For sometime, the gay issue about Rustom remained in the back seat until it was with a big bang when Rustom himself confessed in Pinoy Big Brother over national television that he is gay, shocking the entire Padilla clan. For a time, Robin and Rustom apparently avoided one another because of that revelation. Now, where is Rustom Padilla? Still in the news and actively doing movies after movies after his gay admission. He appears to be happy and at peace with himself after his coming out of the closet.
Long before Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby appeared in the movie scene, rumors about male actors being gay were written by some movie reporters. The gay issue is most often written about a new rising movie actor perhaps to create dimension for the new actor, but there was never a court case filed against a movie reporter. Even action heroes were not exempted from the gay issue, most of them shrugging their shoulders with a loud laugh. The gay issue for movie actor, it appears is a habitual and continuing strategy for every actor who choose to be in the film industry.
Actresses were not spared, some of them being tagged as lesbians but movie press people never magnified such reports although there few movie actresses who openly admitted they are gay. One of them is Aiza Seguerra.
But what is so shocking about being gay today when gay people are proud and happy about being gay and even proclaim this to the whole world? Because today, majority of the populace doesn’t mind at all. If you are gay, go out and announce it to the high heaven. If you are not gay then you have no reason to mind people who say you are. After all, you know yourself more than any body else. One’s sexual orientation is something personal. It does not have to be denied or admitted lest it triggers controversies. The gay issue, I think, is a waste of time, effort and money, but who cares? Piolo had for so many times said he is not gay. Then for God’s sake, leave it as it is.
Piolo Pascual had been in the business for over a decade now and I trust he had been exposed to all kinds of intrigues and had been tough enough to know when to react impulsively and when not too. If he is not gay, why make so much fuss about it? After all these years of hurdling intrigues after intrigues, issues after issues, he should have been immuned to all this brouhaha! If both Piolo and Sam had just brushed the whole thing off, then they should have been spared the trouble of going to the court.
Sam Milby, I think is that kind of a mild mannered, gentle person who will not allow himself to be dragged into any trouble or controversies. In a previous article I wrote about Sam Milby, I was very effusive and immediately predicted he will make it big in showbiz. I found him likable, someone who is incapable of hurting anybody–someone who seemed to be wishing nothing but good things for his house mates. Harmless Sam! Friendly Sam! Talented Sam! With his innocent smile and expressive eyes, he will become a big star, I wrote then. Sam stayed at Big Brother’s house for a few weeks and was evicted because ABS-CBN management bigwigs saw a gold mine in him and immediately included him in some shows and paired him named stars in the network’s TV programs and in the movies.
Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby are the dominant male stars in the studio and big budgeted projects are being prepared for both. Piolo just staged another concert at the dome with Sam Milby as one of the guests. I do not know the real score behind the filing of a case but I have a feeling it is in preparation for a bigger project in the future. When Sam Milby declared his desire to file a case against Lolit, the uncertainty of his decision was written all over his face. There seemed to be a strong force behind the filing of the libel suit and he could not refuse.
Remember that both Sam and Piolo are foreigners from another country as both are citizens of Uncle Sam. They owe it to the Pilipino people to be discreet about their actions. The case in question created a negative uproar from the gay community who felt insulted and maligned. Will this gay community decide not to patronize the movies of Piolo and Sam. In fact, there is now a rumor spreading around that movie press people in sympathy to Lolita Solis will boycott both and shun articles about them. That might immediately affect the career of both actors, although there is at the moment no official declaration about the boycott.
Now that the libel suit against Solis is formally filed in court, I am of the belief that it will not prosper. Several libel cases have been filed against some press people, Cristy Fermin and Lolit Solis included, but none have been convicted. The merit of the case I can see is weak and, in the end, an amicable settlement will prosper. If the case will be pursued in court, several postponements will be enough reason to lose interest in it. Both Piolo and Sam are busy with their movie careers, filming both for the screen and for TV, their availability to appear in court will greatly be affected. One thing Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby have commitment for shows abroad and it too might jeopardize the proceedings of the case.
Lolit is not as busy with work compared to Sam and Piolo and she will have all the grandeur of appearing in court every time a hearing is scheduled. It will take time for the court to make a decision and, in the long run, after several postponements, the anger kept in the protagonists’ heart might simmer down and they may therefore opt to fore go with the case. This is how I look at it and if it happens, a big number of people will feel relieved.