Transgender beauty queen slams MMFF entry ‘PakBoys,’ calls for film’s disqualification

Published December 1, 2020, 11:51 PM

by Robert Requintina

Mela Franco Habijan

Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Franco Habijan slammed movie director Al Tantay and cast members who allegedly made fun of transgenders in one of the scenes of the Metro Manila Film Festival 2020 entry “PakBoys: Takusa.”

On Facebook December 1, the transgender woman vowed to end toxic masculinity in the local movie industry.

Habijan’s full post:

“Dear Direk Al Tantay, Viva Films, the creatives, and the main cast of “PakBoys: Takusa”,

“Naiinsulto po ako!

“I just saw the trailer of your movie. Honestly, basing from the title, I already had an idea of what it would be about — toxic masculinity.

“True enough, the first 10 seconds of your trailer presents a trans woman peeing… while standing. And then Dennis Padilla is seen bothered and feeling victimized by sleeping with her.

“Nakakapanliit kasi ginagawa niyo na namang katatawanan ang pag-ihi namin! Nakakainsulto kasi ginagawa ninyong katatawanan ang katawan namin. Nakakagalit dahil pinagtarawanan ninyo ang pagiging trans woman namin.

“Ano ang nakakatawa sa ipinanganak na may txxx pero ang  isip at puso ay babae? Sa nakatayong umiihi? Sa pakikipagtalik sa trans woman?

“I pity you, because as the world has evolved, you are still stuck in your discriminatory, slapstick, LGBTQIA-phobic comedy.

“At habang may galit at lungkot, may awa. I pity you, because as the world evolved, you are stuck in your trashy, slap stick, LGBTQIA-phobic comedy.

“Pero habang mukha kaming katawa-tawa sa inyo, as a trans writer and actress, I commit: Babawiin namin ang kuwento namin! Hindi niyo hawak ang katawan namin. Hindi niyo hawak ang komedya namin. Hindi niyo hawak ang pagkatao namin!

“We will fight back and end your toxic masculinity.

“PS. I hope the MMFF upholds their criteria on gender sensitivity and gender inclusivity. Given the transphobic scene, they will be sending a wrong message to the audience about us. Thus, this film must be disqualified from the festival.”

Habijan was crowned Miss Trans Global 2020 during a virtual pageant held last Sept. 12

Habijan is a communication graduate of Ateneo de Manila University in 2008 (cum laude). She served as a writer for ABS-CBN’s Gandang Gabi Vice, The Buzz, Simply KC, and Your Face Sounds Familiar. She also teaches writing for media and mentors campus journalists on feature writing.

“Pakboys: Takusa” is one of 10 official entries for this year’s virtual Metro Manila Film Festival.