Charmie Joy Pagulong – The Philippine Star

October 26, 2021 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Director Darryl Yap and his stars have warned everyone about the threats of catfishing and the dangers lurking in dating apps in the Vivamax “sexy psychomedy” Sarap Mong Patayin. Catfishing means that someone is pretending to be somebody else online.

Lassy Marquez, Kit Thompson and Ariella Arida recently shared their experiences and thoughts about online chatting and dating during a digital media conference.

Beks Battalion’s Lassy used to chat via MIRC, Yahoo Messenger as his pastime. He recounted how he was almost held up by a chatmate at their meeting place.

“May i-me-meet ako, feeling ko hold-up talaga. Buti na lang talaga nandun ako sa gasoline station. Tapos sinabihan ako nung kasama ‘Umalis ka na, kasi baka may mangyari sa’yo na masama.’ Parang naawa siguro sa akin,” recalled Lassy.

Due to this incident, he advised people to be very cautious with whom they are talking to online.

Ariella Arida: Be careful when dealing with someone online.

“OK lang makipag-chat, makipag-kilala, makipag-kaibigan, pero dapat maging matalino ka pa rin sa pakikipag-chat,” said Lassy. “Maging maingat ka pa rin kasi hindi mo alam ang kapahamakan. Mangyayari at mangyayari talaga anytime, anywhere.”

“Kilalanin mo maigi yung tao. At siyempre kahit kilala mo na, lalo mo pa siyang kilalanin. Walang masama sa pakikipag-chat,” he added.

There was also this one time he was chatting with someone virtually and it turned out to be his friend within their circle. “Nangyari na yan before, nung hindi pa ako pumapasok sa pelikula. Kinuwento ko nga before na nagka-gulatan talaga kmi ng kaibigan ko na siya pala yung naka-chat ko. As in. Sa comedy bar pa talaga.”

On the other hand, Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella admitted she would try dating apps whenever she is traveling abroad but “no successful story.”

“Hanggang chat-chat lang. Walang catfishing na nagaganap. I’m the one personally chatting. Mostly din ang mga nakaka-usap ko ang dating sa kanila, I’m messaging them because kailangan ko ng tour guide dun sa place kasi nga tourist ako,” said Ariella. It was a “harmless” and “fun” experience for her.

Nonetheless, she reminded the public to be “responsible and careful” when dealing with someone online. “Madali naman i-Google yung tao na yun at madali namang pakiramdaman kung totoo ba yung kausap mo. Well, ako nga mas risky on my part kasi I do it when I travel. Pero I never tried meeting them in person. Hanggang message lang. Hindi kaya ng sarili ko na makipag-meet.” Ariella is currently in a relationship with a non-showbiz Filipino guy.

#Y and Momol Nights lead actor Kit said he never got involved in catfishing but also tried dating apps.

Lassy Marquez: Be cautious with chatting to strangers.

“I think it’s wrong to pretend that you’re someone else. Andami ko ng nakikitang mga tao na nag-e-extort ng pera. It’s kinda weird that you’re on a dating app, then you talk to so many people, but at the end of the day, you’re still looking for a deeper connection,” Kit asserted.

He furthered, “Sometimes, I feel like (with) dating apps, it’s hard to find real connection through phone kasi you’re just swiping left, swiping right or whatever it is. Nawawala yung value and genuine connection.”

Written and directed by Darryl, Sarap Mong Patayin revolves around Yael (Kit), a 25-year-old guy who works out in a CrossFit gym, Krista (Ariella) and Noel (Lassy), Krista’s friend and partner in catfishing.

According to the synopsis, Yael’s picture is seen on Course, an online dating app where participants can engage in sexual activities. He believes he is chatting with Krista and the one he’s fantasizing over.

Yael decides to meet “Krista” in person. The latter is aware of Yael’s existence, but she is not the only one handling her account.

Noel is excited about meeting Yael. Together with Krista, he plans their succeeding actions. Noel is in need of funds and if they play their cards right, he and Krista will get what they want.

Although the movie is not based on true events, it “is actually a social issue now,” said direk Darryl.

Director Darryl Yap: Catfishing is a social issue now.

On his advice on how to avoid getting “catfished,” he offered, “’Wag tayong masyadong maging gullible. ‘Wag tayong magpapaloko. Maybe the reason why people are very prone to such is because we are too sad. So let us make ourselves happy. Maybe that’s it.”

He wittily suggested to just watch movies on Vivamax to keep ourselves busy. “Makaka-iwas tayo sa catfishing kasi busy tayo. We are far from danger. We are far from illegal actions. We are far from hurting ourselves if we are busy and if we are happy.”

(Sarap Mong Patayin, which is the title of the theme song by Marion Aunor, is still streaming on Vivamax.)

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