Uploader of viral Lea Salonga video not sorry for barging into her dressing room, posting on social media
Christopher Carpila, who drew backlash for uploading the viral Lea Salonga dressing-room video, remained firm in his stance to not apologize to the Broadway star, stressing that he didn’t do anything wrong.
Speaking to broadcast journalists Julius and Christine Babao in a One PH interview, Carpila stressed that he merely wanted to have a “remembrance” of seeing Salonga in the flesh, during the Broadway production of “Here Lies Love.”
“Siyempre tayong mga Pilipino, diba kapag may show, gusto natin para may remembrance tayo, makapag-pictures tayo. Noong labasan na, nagtanong kami sa isang personnel kung saan namin pwedeng makita si Ms. Lea [Salonga],” he said.
“Ininstruct niya kami na pumunta sa exit door, which is kung saan lumalabas ‘yung mga artista kapag talagang magsa-sign ng autograph or pauwi na, so pumunta po kami doon. Ito po ‘yung sa pinakalabas ng theater,” he further added.
(Of course, we Filipinos would want to have a remembrance through pictures every time we watch a show. When it was time to go, we asked a staff member where we could find Lea Salonga. We were then instructed to go to the exit door, where the artists go to sign autographs or leave the theater. This is the exit of the theater.)
The uploader then claimed that he and his friends had been waiting for Salonga for a “long time,” which led them to ask a production staff where they could find the latter. In response, they were told that the Broadway star could be found in her “dressing room.”
“Tinanong niya po anong pangalan namin. So pagkatanong ng pangalan namin, pumasok na siya sa loob,” he said. “After a while, bumalik siya and then tinanong ulit ang pangalan namin. Hindi po namin alam kung anong ginawa niya, kung may kinonfirm or whatever, then lumabas siya nang pangatlong beses… sabi niya, ‘You can go inside na.’”
(He asked our name, and then he went inside. After a while, he returned to ask our names again. We don’t know what he did, if he confirmed anything or whatever. Then he went out for the third time and said, “You can go inside.”)
Following this, Carpila pointed out that he and his companions were allegedly assisted by a personnel to Salonga’s dressing room where there was a line outside meant for “photo ops and chika-chika.”
“Wala po kaming na-name drop na kahit sino noong time na ‘yun… at pagdating ng moment namin, parang ready na kaming lahat,” he said. “Tapos noong nakita namin siya, alam niyo ‘yung kandila na parang nalusaw? Parang hindi namin ine-expect but of course, nirerespeto po namin si Ms. Lea.”
“Baka that time pagod po siya or whatever. Naiintindihan po namin ‘yun kaya kung mapapansin niyo po, noong nag-instruct siya sa amin na doon, doon, sinunod pa rin namin siya,” he continued.
(We didn’t name-drop anyone at the time. And when our moment came, we were all ready. And then when we saw her, it felt like a candle sort of melted. We didn’t expect that would happen, but of course, we respect Ms. Lea. Maybe she was tired or whatever at the time. We understand where she’s coming from, so if you can see, when we were instructed to go at a certain spot, we followed her.)
Carpila then alleged that he witnessed Salonga doing a “meet and greet with fans” outside her dressing room, adding that some were even interacting with the latter at the time.
“Tapos right after ng show, suddenly doon sa exit which I think na malapit sa dressing room, nakita ko po si Ms. Lea. Bigla ko pong kinalabit ‘yung mga kasama ko na gustong magpa-picture sa kanya [sa] dance floor, dahan-dahan kaming lumapit [sa kanya] pero sabi niya [sa security], ‘I don’t know them,” he added, as he noted their group also tried to approach the singer-actress at the theater’s “dance floor.”
(Then right after the show, there was an exit that was near the dressing room. I saw Ms. Lea. I told my companions who wanted to have pictures taken with her, so we slowly approached her, but she told security, “I don’t know them.”)
It can be noted that Salonga revealed on Twitter that she was apparently “crowded” by Carpila and his companions on the dance floor and had to seek the help of security at the time.
‘Honest mistake lang po ‘yan’
In what seemed to be a shift from his earlier remark, the uploader also claimed that one of his companions indeed claimed that she knew “Here Lies Love” co-producer G Tongi, but stressed that she just made an “honest mistake.”
“Honest mistake lang po ‘yan kasi na-rattle na po siya. Kumbaga, na-shock po siya dahil sa bungad sa’min ni Ms. Lea (It was just an honest mistake because she was rattled. Perhaps she was shocked at how our encounter with Ms. Lea turned out to be),” he said, adding that one of his companions knew someone who’s apparently an acquaintance of G Tongi.
During the interview, Carpila nonetheless stressed that it was not his intention to tarnish Salonga’s name, although he noted that he “didn’t do anything wrong” during their viral encounter.
“Alam ko na wala po akong ginawang masama,” he said in response. “Tao lang ako na ‘di nakapag-isip ng iki-click… tayong mga Pilipino kapag nakakaramdam ng konting sakit ng dibdib, nakakapagpost tayo, nakakapagsalita tayo ng mga bagay na hindi natin alam ang naging consequence. Ayun po siguro ang nangyari sa akin, dahil sa disappointment lang.”
“Nirerespeto ko po si [Lea Salonga]. Hindi ako nagsisisi na pinost ko siya kasi nga lumuwag ‘yung dibdib ko [pagkatapos]. Nailabas ko disappointment [at sama ng loob] sa dibdib ko. Nailabas ko na siya… I think hindi naman po ako nag-cross sa boundaries niya. Naipakita naman po sa video ‘yun. Hindi naman ako lumapit sa kanya nang malapit na malapit,” he further explained.
(I know that I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m only human who’s unaware of what to click at the time. For us Filipinos, it’s normal to post or speak up on social media when we feel disappointed, even if we’re unaware of the consequences. Maybe that’s what happened to me, just plain disappointment. I respect Lea Salonga. I don’t regret posting the video because it allowed me to release my disappointment. I don’t think I crossed any boundaries. I showed it in my video. I didn’t even come close to her.)
Days after the video became viral, Salonga revealed on Twitter that she initially gave Carpila and his companions the “benefit of the doubt,” but G Tongi and the “Here Lies Love” producers said they had “no idea who they are.”
The Broadway star also shared that the group of supporters were “escorted out of the building” but that they returned to the venue.
“Just know that this has reached the highest echelons of our producing team and has already been addressed with all relevant departments. There are now more stringent security regulations in place, and I for one will no longer be entertaining near those innermost spaces to ensure that security will have eyes on me at all times,” she said. /ra