Carmelites nuns on ‘Maid in Malacañang’: Attempt to distort history is reprehensible
CEBU CITY — Carmelites nuns here have denounced the controversial trailer of the film “Maid in Malacañang” showing nuns playing mahjong in the very place where former President Corazon Aquino hid to survive the prying eyes of a dictator’s military men in 1986.
Sr. Mary Melanie Costillas, the prioress of the Carmelite Monastery in Cebu City where Aquino spent 14 hours hiding, said any distortion of history is reprehensible.
“Depicting the nuns as playing mahjong with Cory Aquino is malicious. It would suggest that while the fate of the country was in peril, we could afford to leisurely play games,” she said in a statement released Tuesday.
“The truth was that we were then praying, fasting, and making other forms of sacrifices for peace in this country and for the people’s choice to prevail. While in our prayer, we were certainly in fear that the military would come to know of the whereabouts of Cory Aquino and would be knocking at the monastery’s door.”
They knew the risks of allowing Aquino inside the monastery but prayerfully discerned that ending Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship was all worth it.
No one from the movie came over to them to gather details on what really happened, Costillas said.
In the movie, the nuns wear white habits instead of brown habits, as Carmelites do.
“Any serious scriptwriter or movie director could have shown such elementary diligence before making such a movie. After all, many of those nuns in the Carmelites Monastery of Cebu in 1986 are still alive and mentally alert,” Costillas said.
Msgr. Joseph Tan, the spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cebu, advised people who want to watch the movie to not treat it as though it was real, saying the film was clearly a fictional rendition of history.
“It may be based on the events that took place in history, but there is always a certain amount of poetic license, so much so, that the details may necessarily be as accurate as actually unfolded in the history,” he said, clarifying that his statement was based on his personal views and not from the archdiocese.
“Just take this movie for what it is, as a form of entertainment and realize its genre is one of theatre of the historical fictionalization of the event of the history,” he added.
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