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Mental health support group releases own version of ‘Tililing’s’ ‘problematic’ poster

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Feb 09, 2021 12:40 am Updated Feb 09, 2021 1:40 am

Facebook mental health community Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines (ADSP) has released a rehashed version of Tililing’s “problematic” poster after the original image drew flak from actress Liza Soberano.

In the original poster launched on Feb. 6, actors Baron Geisler, Gine Pareño, Chad Kinis, Donnalyn Bartolome, Candy Pangilinan, and Yumi Lacsama are photographed with contorted faces and their tongues sticking out.

Meanwhile, ADSP’s remake posted on Feb. 8 shows five people smiling and one with a blank stare. They revised the title to "Tililing?" and added the subhead, “Dahil hindi lahat ng bigat ay nakikita. Yung iba, mukhang masaya pero meron ding problema.”

Tililing is an ill-suited term used in the Philippines to describe someone who is not sane or coping with a mental illness. 

ADSP pointed out that the movie’s title stigmatizes people with mental health conditions, who often hide it behind a seemingly positive aura.

“We can't judge the movie if we haven't seen it yet. Let us just hope that it's done tastefully. The thing is, the poster is problematic,” they wrote in their Facebook post. 

“‘Di lahat ng makakakita ng original poster ay magbabasa, mag-iimbestiga o manunuod. Maaaring tumatak ‘yang impresyon na ‘yan sa utak nila ng matagal o habambuhay,” they continued, adding, “Paano ang mental health community? Stigmatized na nga kami, ‘di ba. Medyo hindi maganda ang dating ng poster na ito. Hindi lang sa pagsi-stereotyping, sa ikinabit na expression sa salitang tililing, kundi sa salitang tililing mismo.”

“Even us patients and the professionals don't use this word. Even the government is careful in addressing people with mental health struggles. ‘Wag natin pausuhin,” ADSP said.

“And the sad part is, hindi naman lahat ng may "tililing"or may pinagdaraanan ay mahahalata mo. ‘Yung ibang may pinagdadaanan, sila pa ‘yung nakatawa. Sila ‘yung pinakamasaya sa barkada, ang breadwinner ng pamilya, ang boss ng kumpanya, ang pinakamagaling sa eskwela. Ika nga nila, maraming mukha ang problema. At gusto namin ipakita rin ang ibang muka— merong mukang masaya, highly functional, productive pero sa loob loob, may kadiliman,” the statement said.

The community also noted that while the move is deemed “a good marketing tactic,” it was not done accurately. 

ADSP wrote, “(We) do understand na for the sake of publicity, most people will do everything for marketing. Wala silang intensyon manakit, ang intensyon nila ay bumenta. Nung inisip ‘yung poster, siyempre ang inisip nila ay kung paano magiging catchy at mapansin. Hindi nila inisip na kung may matatapakan ba or accurate ba.”

“Kung maganda man ang intensyon ng pelikula, exciting yan! Sana may guidance ng mga eksperto para pasok talaga sa banga lalo kung para sa mental health awareness ito. If not.. oh well, that's showbiz,” the group said.

In the comments section of the post, ADSP added that the issue to be addressed should only be Tililing's poster and not anything else.

"Sa poster lang tayo mag-focus, guys. Wag niyo idamay ang movie o pagkatao ni Direk. Art is subjective and marketing is king pero if may matatapakan, para saan? Lalo na mahalagang topic 'to these days," the organization said, adding, "Direk, parequest nga po. Dagdag ka ng educational side para masaya with guesting of professionals. Baka pwede mini videos o sa press releases please!"

Titiling’s poster was first released on the VinCentiments Facebook page, which is the official account of independent theater company SaWakas. The film was produced by the company alongside VIVA Films. It is directed by filmmaker Darryl Yap, who directed the rom-com Jowable and boys love series Sakistran.

The poster of his upcoming film made the headlines on Monday after actress Liza Soberano pointed out how it depicted mental health as a “joke.” 

“Really hoping that this movie will spread awareness and enlighten us on the struggles of dealing with mental health. But the poster? It’s a no for me. Mental health is NOT a joke. Stop the stigma,” said Soberano, who, apart from being an actress, is a psychology major at the Southville International School and Colleges.

Later that day, Yap cleared the air, saying that film was produced with high regard to people with mental health condition, as its cast have likewise coped with struggles concerning their mental health. 

“Sa iyo Miss Liza Soberano, Ang iyong pag-asa na sana’y makapagbigay liwanag ang aming pelikula sa pagpapalawak ng kaalaman sa pangkalusugang pangkaisipan ay hindi masasayang, HINDI KA NAMIN BIBIGUIN,” Yap said in a post on Vincentiment's Facebook page.

“Ang aking mga artista sa pelikulang ito ay nagdaan sa mga pagsubok na nagpatatag din sa kanilang kalusugang pangkaisipan, sigurado kaming hindi nila tatanggapin ang isang proyektong ikapapahamak ng kanilang prinsipyo at pagkatao; Matatalino ang aking mga artista, at matapang ang kanilang director,” he added. 

“Kapag napanood niyo na po ang #Tililing ay mauunawaan ninyo bakit ito ang titulo, bakit nakalabas ang kanilang dila; at bakit namin tinitindigan ang kalidad at mensahe ng pelikula. Kaisa po ninyo kami sa inyong adbokasiya. Maraming Salamat po,” Yap concluded.

Meanwhile, Tililing star Baron Geisler tried to calm the situation by defending both Soberano and Yap.

In the comments sections of Vincentiment’s post, Geisler pleaded to Liza’s bashers to stop castigating the actress for her tweet.

“Please don’t bash Liza. Please be kind. Sometimes we get overprotective with our advocacies. She did not mean to look down on the poster,” the actor wrote. “I believe she meant well folks. Please be kind. Masakit ma-bash naranasan natin lahat ‘yan one way or another.”

He also affirmed Yap’s statement in a post on his own Facebook account: “’Di siguro Alam ng mga Tao na I was once a PMHA (Philippine Mental Health Association) Cebu warrior. I still battle with the sickness every day and it's no joke to wake up and fight for your life EVERY SINGLE DAY. Funny because on Feb 14 me and my wife JamieMarie Geisler will be going to Davao for a radio tour on mental health. Weird or swak at sakto lalbas din ang #Tililing#fightthestigma #CarryOn #YouAreNotAlone #bekindtooneanother

Banner photos from Liza Soberano's Instagram account, Vincentiments, Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines, and Darryl Yap's Facebook pages.