INTERVIEW: GAY ACE DOMINGO
PHOTOGRAPHY: CHARLES BUENCONSEJO
What did you want to be when you were young?
Every boy wanted to be like their dad. So I wanted to be like my dad, Wilfredo, who was an engineer. He had surveying equipment na parang telescope. I thought they were used for looking at the stars. At the same time, I also wanted to enter the medical profession because my mother, Baby, was a nurse.
When did you start thinking of becoming a director?
I think the thought came slowly. Growing up, I was interested in the arts. My dad was into photography so I got into that. Also, the brother of my lola had a quaint studio in Davao where I grew up; his studio had a backdrop of a fake mountain and I was fascinated by it. My mom bought me a Viewmaster toy, which I loved. I grew up reading comics—DC, Marvel, Aliwan, PSS, Funny Komiks. As a teenager, I studied dancing—jazz, ballet, and breakdancing, which was uso then. I wrote poetry. I joined the high school dramatic guild. I wanted to be an actor.
Seemed like you wanted to do it all...
Suddenly, I wanted to do everything! In my first year of college, I took up Medical Technology to be with my friends. I lasted for only a semester. I didn’t like it. Then I heard about the Actors’ Workshop Foundation here in Manila. I flew from Davao to Manila to audition. I didn’t pass the audition so I was brokenhearted. I told myself, “Shit. Anong gagawin ko?” Then on my way back to my boarding house in Recto, I bought a newspaper from a boy. I read an ad for the cinema workshops at the Mowelfund Film Institute. I went there, answered some essay tests and qualified for the workshops.