Nothing to apologize, says ‘Maid in Malacañang’ director on ‘mahjong’ scene

THE director and writer of the controversial film “Maid in Malacañang” said that he has nothing to apologize to those offended by some scenes in his film.Darryl Yap, who was in Cebu with the cast on Saturday, August 6, 2022, for the film’s local premiere, also urged his critics to watch the film first before judging it.“For the people asking for boycott and sorry, for them that are waiting to apologize to them. Im sorry I cannot apologize for the hurt that was taken voluntary,” Yap said, during a presser held at the Bai Hotel in Mandaue City.Yap said despite the calls from critics to boycott, he was still glad that more people came to see the film.“It (earned) P63 million in three days, I don’t think the people, naririnig nila ang pag-boycott,” Yap said.No misinterpretation on ‘mahjong’ sceneAs to the film’s controversial scene in which the late President Corazon Aquino was playing mahjong with nuns, Yap added that he consider it “unbelievable” that the late president and democracy icon and nuns were not seen playing the game.“I don’t believe na misinterpret ko, former president Cory has a Chinese blood, dun naman sa kanyang nun friend na may Chinese blood din. Tapos sabi ni miss Anne (Nelson) na lagi silang magkasama, exposed sa mahjong, hindi ako naniniwala na hindi sila nag-mahjong,” Yap added.Yap was referring to the 1988 Mother Jones story “In the Grotto of the Pink Sisters” written by American journalist Anne Nelson. In a tweet earlier this week, Nelson clarified that there was no mention of late president and the sister playing mah-jong. But Yap said that Nelson’s comment was sought out by the detractors of the film. He earlier emphasized that Nelson’s article was not the reference of his story.Reacting to the controversial scene last Wednesday, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, eldest daughter of the democracy icon, told Joanne Ramirez of The Philippine Star, that Aquino never played mahjong during Edsa or her presidency.During the press conference, Yap stressed out that if they featured another Filipino pastime in the movie such as Aquino playing “tong-its” with the nuns, it would have been a different story.Yap claims that the issue on the nuns playing mahjong was blown out of proportion even though he didn’t specifically mentioned the Order of the Discalced Carmelites in Cebu in his film.Other religious orders supportive of the filmDespite criticisms he received from members of the Discalced Carmelites in Cebu, Yap said that this was in contrast with the Carmelite Nuns in Iloilo was very supportive to him.On Tuesday, before the film’s premiere on August 3, 2022, Yap defended the teaser of the movie showing the Aquino playing mahjong with nuns.Yap said there was nothing wrong with the depiction of the nuns playing rather it was meant to pass the time and a game between friends.That particular teaser earned the ire of the sisters of the Carmelite Monastery in Mabolo, Cebu who condemned it for being “historically distorted” was made without theirconsultation.Aside from Yap, Sen. Imee Marcos, who served as the film’s creative producer, and members of the main casts such as Ruffa Gutierrez, Cesar Montano, Christine Reyes, Ella Cruz, Diego Loygaza, and Karla Estrada is in Cebu to graced the premiere of the film in Cebu.