GMA head writer Suzette Doctolero cries foul over ‘Bagani’ depiction of babaylan: ‘Huwag nating gawing kalokohan’
It seems ABS-CBN fantaserye ‘Bagani’ is in hot water again. This isn’t the first, nor the second time the series has faced backlash; in the past, it had its fair share of criticism, specifically on its misuse of the “bagani” term itself, its cast’s “colorism” and its babaylan chant that offended some Kapampangans.
This time, the flak comes from GMA Network head writer Suzette Doctolero, who took to her Facebook account today to air out her grievances. Doctolero remains firm in her convictions, as she herself has written television series in the past that were inspired by Philippine myths and legends, such as the well-loved drama fantaserye “Encantadia,” as well as “Amaya” and “Indio,” among others.
In her post, she defined what a “babaylan” is to her followers, “…ang babaylan ang pinakamataas na katungkulan ng isang babae sa isang banwa (bayan). Katumbas ito ng isang datu, o political leader sa mga lalaki.”
She then asked people to be careful when it comes to writing, “lalo na at mula sa ating mayamang kultura. Utang na loob. Huwag nating gawing kalokohan lalo at maraming batang nanonood. Hindi ito katatawanan.”
Doctolero seemed to be referring to the ‘Bagani’ episode on Wednesday, when actress Dimples Romana, who plays babaylan Gloria in the series, had a dancing scene in the episode. Her dance seemed to mimic the famous “Shake Body Dancer” dance that was popularized by Magic Fire back in the ’80s.
While some found it entertaining, for Doctolero it was an assault on one’s “pagka-Pinoy.” She did, however, praise the direction and the cast’s talent while maintaining that the writing of the series was bad.
“Great direction, one of the best acting ensemble kasi magagaling ang mga cast, Good fx. Bad writing. Come on, guys, you can do better than that. Wag babuyin ang kultura at paniniwala,” wrote Doctolero on her Twitter account today. “Idepict ng tama. Assault sa ating pagka-Pinoy yan. Wag. Sa halip, itaas pa.”
“I’m one of the senior soap writers here so pls take my advice,” Doctolero said further. “Bihira ang chance na mabigyan ng malaking budget at airtime to depict our culture/history, gamitin ng tama kahit ba fiction yan o fantaserye. Make this the best soap ever. Wag sayangin. Pls wag babuyin. Pakiusap.”
The video of Romana’s babaylan dance may be watched below: /ra
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