THE COMPLEX ART OF BEING BELA PADILLA (IN THREE PARTS)
BY ALLAN P. HERNANDEZ
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHAIRA LUNA
If you’ve seen it, think about Meet Me in St. Gallen all over again. Remember how a good part of that movie is made up entirely of conversations. Consider how unnerving it must be to carry out that kind of talk without ever losing the plot. And to be vulnerable and honest like that for hours. Your well will surely run dry of hugot. Good thing it was only a movie—because real talk with Bela is much more fun and engaging. You can actually talk about nothing and it will mean something. We wish you can have the same chance we had, because everything there is to love about Bela starts with the talking…
Scare Me And It’s Over
No matter how you imagine you could be spending forever with her, there is really only one thing you can ever do to end it with Bela Padilla with utter finality: Make her watch horror movies.
Say, you’re in a theater watching a screamer, this is what will happen. No, this actually happened:
“I remember watching Mama (2013)—these two kids who were left somewhere and they’re eating cherries and they don’t know how to talk and they scramble everywhere. It was in Greenhills and it was a week after a shooting incident happened in the US because of a Batman film. I was watching Mama and my senses were super-heightened. And then the movie stopped playing and the whole cinema went black. I ran out screaming because I thought somebody was going to shoot. People were probably looking at me thinking, ‘what’s happening to her?’ Finally I went back inside and my then-boyfriend was like, ‘you’re just going to leave me here?!
“So yeah, I can’t watch horror movies. I won’t be able to sleep,” Bela says.