With dozens of celebrated films and multiple accolades under her belt, Director Cathy Garcia-Molina revealed that success is not as perfect as it seems to be.
In an interview with Toni Gonzaga “Toni Talks" uploaded on the actress' YouTube channel Sunday, December 5, Direk Cathy opened up about how she measures her own success in the film industry and why she chose to momentarily quit directing for the sake of her children.
Direk Cathy reached a new height in her career when her 2019 film “Hello, Love, Goodbye” became the highest-grossing Filipino film of all time. Responding to Toni’s question about how she feels to have reached that milestone, Direk Cathy said that the sense of achievement she feels goes beyond monetary value.
“Wala akong pride diyan, Toni,” she answered. “I don’t take pride in that but I take pride in the number of people na natuwa because of that film, kasi it equates to ay ang daming nanood, ay ang daming napasaya, ay ang daming natuwa.”
“Siguro na-inculcate ‘yan sa akin ni Direk Marilou Diaz-Abaya eh, na ang totoong success ng isang pelikula ay by the number of hearts you touched. That’s what kept me going, kaya tumagal ako nang ganito katagal sa industriyang ‘to,” she further explained.
When Toni remarked that success usually comes at a price, Direk Cathy knowingly giggled before saying, “Always, always. That’s the reason why I’m taking a break.”
She continued, “Hindi ko ginustong maging direktor, nadala ako dito, hindi ko alam, siguro with God’s grace, no? Ni hindi ko alam na marunong ako mag-direct. Basta ang alam ko, natutuwa ako ‘pag nagkukwento ako."
“And ‘pag maraming nakakanood ng kinukwento ko at natutuwa sila, parang natutuwa din ako. And according to many, I’ve been making people happy. Little did I know and realize that while making many people happy, I think I’m not making my kids happy,” she candidly spoke of her ultimate realization.
“Alam mo naman kung paano tayo magtrabaho, parang halos 24 hours nandun ka, either nagmi-meeting ka, nagshoo-shooting ka, or nagpo-post prod ka. Ang lahat ng kapalit nun, ‘yung anak mo, yaya mo nag-aalaga,” she said.
As Direk Cathy described the toll her career took on her family, she recalled the pivotal moment that made her decide to switch up her priorities.
“There was a time na meron palang namamalong yaya ako, buti vinideo ng driver ko, nakita ko kung paano pinaiiyak ‘yung anak ko. At that time, imbes na magalit ako dun sa babae, nagalit ako sa sarili ko and immediately I made a letter to Tita Malou (Santos, Star Cinema Executive Adviser) and Inang (Olivia Lamasan, ABS-CBN Films Managing Director) and I said, ayoko na po. Ayoko na pong magdirek kasi kapalit nun, anak ko,” she said, looking back on that crucial experience.
“Had I been there, hindi magkakaganun ang anak ko. Had I been there, hindi ko kinailangan ng yaya na posibleng manakit sa mga anak ko,” she reminisced.
Nonetheless, Direk Cathy eventually returned largely because of her heart for the people she’s worked with over the years and how her work directly impacts them.
“If you remember 'Amnesia Girl,' nung in-offer sa akin ‘yun sabi nila, Cathy, para may pang-hamon ang mga tao ng Star (Cinema),” she shared. “Parang how can you say no to that, no? Knowing that magkaka-bonus ang mga tao, magkaka-keso’t hamon sa Pasko. Kaya kahit alam mong mahirap at imposible ‘yung schedule, ginawa natin.”
The great news is, Direk Cathy continues on doing what she does best. Her upcoming film "Love At First Stream" starring Daniela Stranner, Anthony Jennings, Jeremiah Lisbo, and Kaori Oinuma will premiere at the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival!
Watch the full interview here:
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