'Abominable': Nun hits mahjong scene in 'Maid in Malacañang'

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 03:34 PM

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MANILA – A Benedictine nun on Wednesday said a scene from the movie “Maid in Malacañang” depicting Carmelite sisters playing mahjong angered her.

Activist and educator Sister Mary John Mananzan said the scene was “ridiculous” and “out of this world.”

“Alam niyo, first of all, I’d like to say kung hindi nakakagalit, it is ridiculous. Ridiculous as in out of this world yung ginawa nila ‘no. Kasi my goodness, yung Carmelite sisters ba naman are contemplative, mas strikto pa nga sila kesa sa amin na active,” she explained.

"You know, first of all, I'd like to say that if not enraging, it is ridiculous. What they did is ridiculous, as in out of this world. Because, my goodness, Carmelite sisters are contemplative. They are stricter than us who are active.)

Mananzan noted that contemplative nuns spend their days in prayer.

“Sobra namang ano, distorted ang imagination ng gumawa ng pelikula na yan. Kasi, namemeligro ang bayan, magma-mahjong ka? Kahit hindi ka madre dapat hindi ka mag-mahjong.”

“Eh madre ka pa naman, at that time they were making fasting, abstinence, adoration, sacrifices for the country,” she said.

(The one who made that film has a distorted imagination. The nation is in peril and you're playing mahjong? Even if you're not a nun you shouldn't be playing mahjong.)

The nun also lambasted the film’s attempts at distorting history.

“So it is a talagang (It really is a) distortion...I am not even saying--alam mo yung sinasabi na it is a, para bang (You know when they say )it is a renovation of history? No. Distortion,” she said.

“Talagang (Really) it is so abominable. I can say that,” she added.

Asked if she can accept the controversial scene as part of a director’s artistic interpretation of history, Mananzan said, “My goodness, anong klaseng art yan ano? What is artistic there?”

“I don’t see anything artistic. It’s a lie. It is a distortion of reality. Ang distortion ba ng reality art?” she asked.

The sisters of Carmelite Monastery in Cebu on Tuesday called out the mahjong scene as malicious, explaining that they were praying for peace in the country at the time.

“The attempt to distort 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. 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,” the said in a statement.

Director Darryl Yap, meanwhile, has said that he sees nothing wrong about playing mahjong as a past time or friendly game. 

He also pointed out that there was no mention of the Carmelite sisters in the clip.

Mananzan, however, said Yap should consider pulling the film out of cinemas. 

Asked for her message to Yap, Mananzan said “Mag-apologize ka (You should apologize). You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Do not call yourself an artist and maybe you ano, you take out that film. Do not show it, nakakahiya (it's embarrassing).”

--TeleRadyo, 3 August 2022