False: Posts claiming Carmelite nuns watched controversial film with mahjong scene

August 9, 2022 - 10:28 AM
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Cory Aquino wth Carmelite nuns
Late former president Corazon Aquino with the Carmelite nuns in an archival photo posted by the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation on July 17, 2022 on the occasion of the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. "we remember how the Carmelite Nuns of Cebu took on the extraordinary task of protecting President Cory, on February 23, 1986—two days to the EDSA People Power Revolution," the foundation wrote.

Claim: Some posts claimed that the Carmelite nuns from Jaro, Iloilo supported a dramedy “Maid in Malacañang” in the province.

A Twitter user posted a photo that showed three nuns and another person at a theater. One of the nuns was holding a movie ticket.

The online user claimed that the nuns in the photo were Carmelite sisters, whose monastery was also supposedly depicted in the controversial movie.

The uploader also supposed that the snapshot was taken at the Festive Walk, a shopping center in Iloilo City.

“The Carmelites (Monastery) of Jaro Iloilo are there too enjoying the movie. So ano na Cebu?” the tweet reads.

The Facebook page of the “Maid in Malacañang” director, Vincentiments, on August 4 posted a screenshot of this tweet.

The page thanked the nuns shown in the image and identified the nuns as sisters from the Carmelite Order of nuns.

“Maraming Salamat sa CARMELITE SISTERS from JARO, ILOILO—sa panonood ng #MAIDinMALACAÑANG, hindi apektado dahil malinis ang kanilang konsensya at nakakaunawa ng balangkas ng pelikula,” the post reads.

RATING: This claim is false.

Facts

Iloilo Metropolitan Times, a tourism and business newspaper in Iloilo City, debunked the claim in a fact-check report on August 5.

The publication stated that the two nuns wearing brown clothing are from the Missionaries of St. Therese (MST) of the Child Jesus Convent in the town of Pavia in Iloilo City.

The report also pointed out that Carmelite nuns are cloistered.

“Carmelite nuns are cloistered. They do not leave the monastery, except when necessary and they only speak if it is essential,” it said.

A religious organization named Frater Rhexx also previously explained that Carmelite nuns are among the contemplative and enclosed clergy.

The organization posted this in reaction to the depiction of the Carmelites playing mahjong in the drama-comedy.

“The nuns, far from how the movie depicted them, are contemplative or cloistered—nuns who stay inside the walls of the convent, offering their days and nights in prayer and silent contemplation,” the org said.

“They do not interact with the outside world except by necessity—the reason why we often see them behind window grills. It’s a significant sacrifice for faith,” it added.

Aside from the people in the photo, it should also be noted that there is no Robinsons Movieworld inside the Festive Walk mall in Iloilo City.

The shopping center is one of the establishments of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, thus its movie house is part of “Megaworld Cinemas.”

Why it matters

Vincentiments, the studio of director Darryl Yap, boasts over two million followers on Facebook.

Its false post about the nuns had since garnered 45,000 reactions, 1,400 comments, and 2,300 shares on the platform.

The Carmelites were also caught in the crossfire due to their portrayal in a scene where they were supposedly gambling with the character of late former President Cory Aquino.

The scene was set in the aftermath of the 1986 snap elections.

READ: Carmelite nuns, religious group respond to viral movie’s mahjong scene 

This story is part of the Philippine Fact-check Incubator, an Internews initiative to build the fact-checking capacity of news organizations in the Philippines and encourage participation in global fact-checking efforts.

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