In the past few years, we’ve been getting more and more representation when it comes to seeing LGBTQ+ characters and narratives on screen. However, when it comes to local content, Filipino media that depict these stories come too few and far between. Thankfully, there isn’t a complete lack of it. “Gaya Sa Pelikula,” a Filipino BL webseries directed by JP Habac, just dropped last September 25, and we’re definitely excited to see more of it!
It follows a 19-year-old film buff and architecture student, Karl (Paolo Pangilinan), during the semestral break as he lives on his own for the first time, and Vlad (Ian Pangilinan), a rebellious upperclassman from next door.
In the premiere, we see Karl struggling to make ends meet on his own and Vlad hiding from his family for an unknown reason. The compromise they make by the end of the first episode seems to be the perfect solution to both of their problems and, without them realizing, is the exact setup that paves way for the romance between the two.
How the Series Was Born
“Gaya Sa Pelikula” was written by actor and writer Juan Miguel Severo. Earlier in April, he mentioned that, amid the success of Asian BL series, such as 2Gether: The Series, he was planning to pitch his own Filipino BL series. Days after, he announced on Facebook that the show had been greenlit.
Posted along with the announcement was a video of him practicing his pitch. In the video, Severo talked about how he wonders if his past-self, who wasn’t as comfortable with his sexuality as he is today, would have doubted himself as much if he had seen people like him and stories like his on-screen. “The more that I got comfortable with my sexuality, the more my need to tell stories about my community got stronger,” he said.
Diversity On-Screen and Off-Screen
It’s safe to say that we can expect this series about love, coming out, and accepting one’s sexuality to be treated with the sensitivity and authenticity it deserves. Aside from having Severo behind the script, it was established from the beginning of production that it was important for the main artistic team and cast to be members of the LGBTQ+ community.
With only the first episode out, it may be too early to form an opinion. However, with a team of creatives and talents from the LGBTQ+ community who not only intimately know the real-life experiences that inform these stories but also strive to learn more about how they can depict these narratives the best that they can, we’re looking forward to seeing more.
You can stream the premiere episode and all the other upcoming episodes here.