MANILA – Veteran comedian and TV director John Lapus did not spare details as he opened up about his process of moving on from a failed relationship, saying he needed professional help at one point.
Lapus was one of the cast members of “How To Move On in 30 Days” asked about the topic during the series’ Wednesday media conference, ahead of its April 4 premiere on YouTube.
Lapus has had three relationships so far, including his current. His second, with a model whom he did not name, ended badly, after he discovered his partner’s infidelity, Lapus recalled.
“Iyong pangalawang boyfriend ko, ‘yun lang talaga ‘yung talagang bad breakup,” he said.
While Lapus managed to move on in 30 days — as in the series’ title — the “formula” for doing so included the intervention of a close friend, acclaimed actress Eugene Domingo, and several sessions with a psychiatrist.
“In all fairness, noon tinanong, bigla kong ni-compute, nagawa ko po in 30 days — 30 drunken nights, almost 30 sex partners, 1 psychiatrist, 1 super-duper close friend who brought me to the psychiatrist, and 1 new boyfriend after 30 days. That’s the formula kung bakit ako naka-move on,” he said.
Lapus surmised that he had been so used to being the friend who comforts, rather than the one who seeks to be consoled, that he was unequipped to handle his heartbreak over his previous relationship.
“I think that’s what happened kung bakit kailangan talagang dalhin ako sa psychiatrist, kasi sanay ako na ako ‘yung tumutulong sa friend galing sa bad breakup, ako ‘yung nagpapatawa, ako ang tinatawagan ng mga kaibigan kong namamatayan.
“Noong niloko ako ng second boyfriend ko, parang nahiya akong lumapit sa mga kaibigan ko, akala ko kaya ko by myself. Napreng-preng pala ako, hindi ko alam,” he said.
Domingo, with whom Lapus has co-starred in several films, was one of the friends he was able to confide in. He recounted how Domingo helped initiate his process of healing, saying the comedienne, without his knowledge, booked a package with a psychiatrist that he could opt to attend.
“One day, sinabi niya sa akin, magkakape lang daw kami, samahan ko lang daw siya. Ako naman, go. Tapos, nagulat na lang ako, nag-park siya sa isang bahay and she became teary-eyed. She told me right then and there: ‘Kailangan mo ng tulong, kasi paulit-ulit ka. Bayad ko na ‘yan. That’s 12 sessions.’ That’s what happened,” he narrated.
By the eighth session, Lapus felt he was already recovered, and no longer needed the remaining appointments with his doctor.
“‘Yung actual diagnosis sa akin ng psychiatrist: repetition due to manic depression. Paulit-ulit mong kinikuwento sa mga kaibigan mo, hindi mo alam naikuwento mo na pala 30 minutes ago, yesterday, the other day. It’s an actual disorder ng mga taong hindi makapag-move on. Gagawin mo talaga ‘pag masamang-masama ‘yung loob mo,” he said.
“Surprisingly — ang mga psychiatrist, ‘diba akala natin they’re more on science, the body, the mind — my psychiatrist actually told me to pray. I think that’s the number one thing. Which I did,” Lapus added.
Reflecting on his experience of moving on, Lapus said he diverted his attention elsewhere, and had a tendency to cope in unhealthy ways, forgetting that he had his faith to also turn to.
“Emote na emote tayo sa mga kaibigan natin, galit na galit tayo sa mga ex natin, gustung-gusto natin mag-move on, magpa-parlor, iinom, makipag-sex, nakakalimutan natin minsan mag-pray. Kasi mas nagiging powerful ‘yung anger, ‘yung hatred, ‘yung insecurity — nakakalimutan mong magdasal. I think iyon ‘yung number one na nakatulong sa akin,” he said.