It’s Lilia Cuntapay season once again, and not just because it’s Halloween.
Cuntapay, who will forever be remembered as the yaya who spooked a blanched Kris Aquino in “Shake, Rattle & Roll 3,” is in demand these days.
She is a regular on the TV5 fantasy series “Enchanted Garden,” and her movie, Antoinette Jadaone’s “Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay,” opened in commercial theaters this week.
On invitation of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, she led the Semana Ti Ar-Aria parade on October 29. Ar-Aria is the Ilocano festival that honors the dead.
Cuntapay has just returned from the Busan (South Korea) fest, where “Six Degrees” had packed screenings and where, she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, she was feted like a star.
“A limousine picked me up,” she recalled. “I stayed at Seacloud, an oceanfront hotel. It was so cold there.”
In spite of the freezing weather, the love of Korean fans kept her warm throughout her five-day stay, Cuntapay said.
“I was afraid they would expect someone young and glamorous,” she related. “But when they saw me, they mobbed me, asking for pictures and autographs. Koreans also love ugly people like me pala.”
Her trips to the Udine (Italy) and Busan fests made the shabby treatment that bit players in local productions often got, all the more pointed. “Extras like me are replaced without proper notice. Worse, sometimes we are not paid for our work. We are ignored and not given importance on the set. I hope things will change, that people will start to respect all co-workers. We are just trying to earn a living; we are all just employees.”