Working on the film “Jacqueline Comes Home” has reminded its lead stars Meg Imperial and Donnalyn Bartolome about a thing or two.
The movie is on the controversial story of the alleged rape and murder case of Chiong sisters, Jacqueline (Meg) and Marijoy (Donnalyn), which happened 21 years ago in Cebu.
At a recent press conference, Meg reiterated people, especially the youth, need to be extra careful about their safety at all times.
Donnalyn added that while attending late night parties is unavoidable at times, they should inform parents on their whereabouts.
“No matter how careful we are, we will never know if there’s a bad guy out there,” Donnalyn said in Filipino. “We should be all responsible, we should know how to double check or background check the place or the person first.”
Meg advised the youth to be more careful in going with people they just met online.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and I think that would be best for all of us,” she said.
Based on the release, “Jacqueline Comes Home” portrays how the Chiong sisters went missing on July 16, 1997. The two were allegedly snatched from a waiting shed, dragged into a vehicle, and transported to a godforsaken place where they suffered inhumane acts in the hands of evil men.
Donnalyn admitted she was initially worried to do the film given its controversial story.
“When I first read the script, it really got to me. However, there were doubts if I can give justice to the role or if I can make it realistic since this is a real-life story,” she said to that effect. “But I’m proud to say that I gave my 100 percent for this film. The story is relatable to me because I’m also very protective of my little sisters.”
With regards to the rape scenes, Donnalyn praised first-time director Ysabelle Peach Caparas, the daughter of awarded comic strip creator Carlo J. Caparas, for being careful in doing it.
Meg lauded the director too, saying she’s very meticulous with her work.
“She would even skip meals just to finish the scenes!” she said. “I worked with her before that’s why I know what dynamics she wants in terms of acting. I saw her work ethic, I saw how professional she is on and off camera, and I have huge respect for her knowledge of the craft.”
“Jacqueline Comes Home” has gathered mixed reactions from netizens from the time the trailer was released online a few weeks back.
Meg reiterated it focuses on the experience of the Chiong family and how they coped with all that happened.
“We even changed the names of the other characters so it will not look like we are targeting one person,” she explained. “We know that this is a very sensitive story but it’s not about choosing sides, it’s about the family and how they survived.”
Direk Peach shared she created the film in a way that it is open for interpretation. She also said her mother, the late Donna Villa, had always wanted to produce this film.
Produced by Viva Films, “Jacqueline Comes Home” also stars Joel Torre, Alma Moreno and Ryan Eigenmann. The movie is now in theaters.