Thoughts on Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay

The story follows the life of a popular bit player nominated for the first time. Wanting to deliver the perfect thank you speech, she writes, re-writes, erases and re-writes again as her everyday encounters. She is always the white lady in horror movies.

Before That Thing Called Tadhana, writer and director Antoinette Jadaone gave us Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay. The mockumentary is a finalist at the 2011 Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival where it won six awards including Best Actress for Lilia Cuntapay, a professional extra and dubbed as the “Queen of Philippine Horror Movies”.

No surprise there as the film uniquely and successfully showed the truths about the life of an extra and life itself without being overly dramatic. Not only that, but Lilia Cuntapay proved she can be in the lead too. She has a sense of humor and a charm that makes you want to listen and see what she’ll say and do next.

I remember a scene where she took her neighbor’s advice and went to Starbucks so she can write her thank you speech. After seeing the prices, she asks herself what’s wrong with Starbucks’ coffee. And when it was her turn, she orders a bottle of water instead. To her surprise, the cashier asks her for Php 40.00. Cuntapay directly asks, “What’s wrong with your water?”

It was a short scene but it made me laugh. Plus, it also showed how much she loves acting that she is willing to try new things just to be able to write the perfect thank you speech.

Besides that, Lilia Cuntapay also delivered lines that speak to your heart. There was a scene where she was called for work and arrived at the set before the call time. Director Antoinette Jadaone asks her why did she come early. Lilia Cuntapay simply says that she would rather wait than have people wait for her.

“Ang buhay hindi para sa taong mainipin. Kasama sa pagiging tao ang paghihintay.” (Life is not for impatient people. Waiting is part of being a person.)

“Ang mga extra simpleng characters lang. Walang past. Wala ring future. (Extras are just simple characters. They don’t have a past and a future.)

Hearing the last line from her, it dawned on me that extras with lines or no lines are only there to fill the space. They don’t even support the characters and are simply forgotten. But not Lilia Cuntapay.

Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. –

Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay is another proof that many recognize her. And with Lilia Cuntapay’s passing, the film had some benefit screenings at Cinema 76 (160 Luna Mencias St., San Juan, MM) last August 25 – 28, 2016.

If you weren’t able to catch those screenings, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay as well as other Filipino Independent and mainstream films are available on HOOQ. This includes Shake, Rattle & Roll III (and other series) were Lilia Cuntapay made her debut.

Images from

Wanna leave a reply?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: