Mental health advocacy group lauds Liza Soberano for using platform to send message about ‘Tililing’ poster

February 8, 2021 - 6:58 PM
Composite photo shows Liza Soberano and the poster of "TIliling." (Instagram/Liza Soberano and Facebook/Viva Films)

A mental health advocacy group supported actress Liza Soberano who denounced the poster of an upcoming movie by controversial director Darryl Yap for how it depicted people with mental health issues.

MentalHealthPH retweeted the actress and thanked her for using her platform to send a “strong message.”

“Ending the stigma starts with us. Thank you Ms. @lizasoberano for using your platform to send this strong message. Mental health should NEVER be a joke. #StopTheStigma,” the group said on Monday.

It also shared a screengrab of Soberano’s post on its Facebook page and added that mental health “should never be a joke and never will be.”

The actress shared her sentiments on the movie poster of “Tililing,” an upcoming film by VIVA that features the actors with exaggerated facial expressions and their tongues stuck out.

“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,” she tweeted Monday morning.

Soberano, a psychology student, began taking up her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Southville International School and Colleges in 2018.

As of writing, her tweet has earned more than 36,400 likes and more than 7,900 retweets with over 1,400 of them quote tweets.

A Facebook user who claims to suffer from “depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts” likewise aired his sentiment over the movie poster and shared a selfie to prove a point.

“This is my most recent selfie. This is what a person with mental illness looks like. I don’t have my tongue sticking out. I don’t have a crazed look in my eyes. I am a regular person who happens to be suffering from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts,” Judd Anthony Labarda wrote.

He lamented the movie poster to be “oversimplifying mental health issues” and “perpetuating that mental illness is something to poke fun at with problematic language and imagery.”

“Now, here you come in, oversimplifying mental health issues as ’tililing,’ describing people with mental illnesses as ‘baliw,’ generalizing us as ‘may saltik,’ when so many people advocate for those of us suffering with mental illnesses to be viewed as regular people who may have a chemical imbalance or have gone through traumatic experiences,” Labarda said.

“We’re trying to break the stigma people have by using language and images more conducive to giving people confidence in seeking help and realizing they’re not crazy at all,” he added.


Meanwhile, Yap responded to Soberano’s criticism through the VinCentiments Facebook page and said that the movie will not “disappoint” the actress in terms of raising awareness on mental health issues.

“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,” part of his statement said.

Yap added that members of the cast have dealt with their own struggles that reinforced their mental health, which he said is the reason they would not accept the project if it contradicted their beliefs and personalities.

“Matatalino ang aking mga artista, at matapang ang kanilang direktor. 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,” he said.

In a 2019 press conference about the film, Yap said that the title is “a Filipino term for someone who is not sane.”

“And ako when I write, gusto ko yung madaling ma-digest ng tao,” he said.

The film stars Gina Pareño, Baron Geisler, Candy Pangilinan, Donnalyn Bartolome, Yumi Lacsamana, Cai Cortez and Chad Kinis.