Agot Isidro: It’s a citizen’s right and duty to give feedback to the gov’t
Amplify the good and reject the bad,” said Agot Isidro when the Inquirer asked what advice she could give to younger celebrities who have a large following on social media.
Agot admitted to being the subject of negative comments for posting online her opinions—both good and bad—on a number of burning issues.
“Make a stand in whatever way you can. You can’t just not speak up when you know that wrong things are being done. You have to take notice of the bad, constructively,” said Agot during a recent visit to the Inquirer office in Makati City.
Agot and young actress Gabby Padilla were the celebrity storytellers at the Inquirer’s Read-Along session this month. The session, sponsored by Ayala Foundation, carried the theme “Love for Country.”
“I understand if the young ones choose to keep quiet, because some of them have a lot to lose. I, on the other hand, am much older and really don’t care [about bashers] anymore; but I would have been as vocal when I was younger, given the chance,” the singer-actress pointed out.
Interestingly, Agot said a lot of the negativity merely happened online. “I can still go out without feeling any danger for my life. There were countless times when I would have people come up to me to say ‘thank you’ for speaking up,” Agot noted.
She said having bashers did not deter her from making her opinions known. “I personally handle all my accounts. I’ve blocked a lot of them (bashers) already, especially those who are really rude. I’ve done this to keep them from committing a sin against God at my expense,” she quipped.
Agot, however, said she only chose which issues to react to. “It has to be something that is important to me,” she stressed. “I just want for things in our country to work right. Besides, it is also a citizen’s right and duty to give feedback to the government.”
On the big screen, Agot was recently featured in the screen musical “Changing Partners,” directed by Dan Villegas. Agot is also a regular cast member of ABS-CBN’s afternoon drama series, “Asintado.”
For Gabby, a celebrity’s personal stand on social issues “has to be solid … I’m very vocal about my opinions, but I recognize that having a bigger audience is a responsibility.”
Gabby, who has managed to successfully cross over from theater to film, will soon be seen in Jerrold Tarog’s big-budget historical film, “Goyo.”
“Veteran theater actors would tell me, ‘Keep doing theater!’ While my mentors in film would say, ‘Make more films. There will be more opportunities for you here,’” Gabby told the Inquirer. “But the one piece of advice I will treasure the most: ‘Wherever you are—be it in theater, film or television—remind yourself why you’re there, that is to act and tell a story.’”
The actress took up theater arts and media education in college, and appeared in a number of plays, including Atlantis Productions’ adaptation of “Matilda.” On the big screen, she played lead in the 2016 indie films, “Repleksyon” and “Sin-o ang Tiktik?”
In TBA’s “Goyo,” Gabby plays Dolores, the younger sister of Remedios, who is the love interest of the film’s lead character, Gregorio “Goyo” del Pilar.
“There used to be a misconception in textbooks that Dolores was Goyo’s girlfriend. They found a handkerchief with her initials, and they assumed that she and Goyo were having a relationship when, actually, Dolores was just her sister’s messenger,” Gabby said.
“It was in further research for the film that they found this to be true … we find that there are other things to be learned about our history,” she said.
“Getting a role in ‘Goyo’ is a big deal,” Gabby added. “I remember watching ‘Heneral Luna’ as a fan. I was already acting but I didn’t imagine myself being part of it. Fast forward to a year or two later, I’m part of the team that has the same aim as I do—to tell a story.”
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