Director Paul Soriano trended on social media over the weekend and it wasn’t because of a movie project. He posted behind-the-scenes photos of his campaign with presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and vice-presidential hopeful Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Upon closer inspection, netizens noted that the shoot dates coincide with Marcos Jr.’s supposed quarantine schedule. Soriano did explain what happened, but the Internet wasn’t ready to let it go.
Director Paul Soriano posts behind-the-scenes photos
— Paul Soriano (@paulsoriano1017) January 29, 2022
Last January 29, Soriano (who is also Toni Gonzaga’s husband) took to Twitter to share shots of his Unity campaign ad with Marcos Jr. and Duterte-Carpio. But one of the photos particularly caught everyone’s attention. Eagle-eyed netizens zoomed in on the clapper stamped with “1-8-22,” the date of the shoot. Soriano’s name immediately trended online with many calling the director out for accidentally revealing Marcos Jr.’s alleged whereabouts on January 8.
Netizens aren’t pleased
If Marcos Jr. was in isolation, why would he attend a campaign shoot on January 8? Netizens were quick to share their dismay online.
Some created a timeline…
While some just want answers.
Others had time to insert a joke or two
In true Pinoy fashion, jokes were made. While many were focusing on connecting the dots, some were making memes.
This guy with the same name.
Now we understand why Starting Over Again ended the way it did. (ICYDK: Iza Calzado played Patty, Toni Gonzaga played Ginny.)
Gonzaga’s iconic line from Four Sisters and a Wedding.
Paul Soriano clarifies campaign shoot dates
The UNITY commerical was shot all over the Philippines for one week. On January 8, 2022 I was in Davao with my staff and crew shooting the Davao portion of the commerical. We were in Brgy. Kapatagan capturing the beauty of Mt.Apo. ✌🏼🇵🇭 pic.twitter.com/abMKqZzpVf
— Paul Soriano (@paulsoriano1017) January 30, 2022
A day after he posted the behind-the-scenes photos, Soriano attempted to clear the issue. “The UNITY commercial was shot all over the Philippines for one week,” he tweeted. “On January 8, 2022, I was in Davao with my staff and crew shooting the Davao portion of the commercial. We were in Brgy. Kapatagan capturing the beauty of Mt.Apo.” Soriano included screenshots of his phone gallery that proved he was in Davao last January 8.
Marcos Jr.’s camp says no quarantine protocols were breached
JUST IN: The camp of Pres aspirant @bongbongmarcos thru his COS/Spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez clarified Direk Paul Soriano’s photo below with a date stamp of Jan 8.
— MJ Mondejar 🇵🇭 (@MJ__Mondejar) January 30, 2022
Marcos Jr. also confirmed in an interview with SMNI News that his quarantine ended on January 12. That means he couldn’t have been available to physically attend any commitments until after then. They also confirmed that Soriano was at Davao with his team for the shoot on January 8. In fact, the director was on standby from January 4 to 8, waiting for Marcos Jr. and Duterte-Carpio’s availability to start the shoot.
Netizens still find holes in the clarification
Even after Soriano’s explanation, many netizens still didn’t buy it. Some pointed out that if the shoot for the campaign was done in one week, shouldn’t Marcos Jr. still have been in isolation for that week?
Marcos Jr. allegedly started feeling symptoms on January 6 and he ended his quarantine a week later, on January 12. And so it was inevitable that many would question if the presidential aspirant or the production team did violate quarantine protocols.
No, Paul Soriano didn’t actually say that.
Soon after this blew up, photos of Soriano captioned with “I am not afraid of being canceled by the minority” started making rounds on the internet. The post makes it seem as if it was a direct quote from the director himself. It even incited a fresh round of criticisms by enraged netizens. However, in his interview with SMNI News, Soriano claims he never said that.
“I would just like to be on the record and say I never said that,” he insists. “I’m the type of person naman also that I will never cancel anyone. Hindi naman ako ganong tao. There’s no need for me to cancel anyone whether you like me, you love me, you hate me.”
As for how he’s dealing with the recent controversy, Soriano says that his “life goes on.” He continues how he normally would — helping his son with online classes, spending time with his wife, and solidly campaigning for BBM.
This issue is still a hot topic, but you know what would clear this up? If Soriano or Marcos Jr. would just release the date of the shoot where everyone was present.