Fifth Solomon

Chronicling Fifth’s journey as director

November 18, 2021 Mario Bautista 930 views

SolomonFIFTH Solomon is one of our youngest writers-directors today. His real name is Robert Solomon Pagotan V and he is only 29 years old. He’ll be 30 in February next year. He has a twin brother, Robert Pagotan IV. He is simply called Fifth as he’s the 5th Robert Pagotan in their family. Comedian Chariz Solomon is his elder sister.

He first tried acting in some soaps and gained fame when he joined PBB All In in 2014, where he made waves with his on air revelation that he is bisexual, which he says has really liberated him.

His first try at directing was on Youtube, doing vlogs, also in a short film, “Manibela”, which he entered in the Metro Manila Filmfest short film category where it won the most gender sensitive award.

He took up masscom at FEU then went to Australia to get his master’s degree in Melbourne for Media Practice. He then wrote his first script for the romcom, “Nakalimutan Kong Kalimutan Ka”, which is based on his own experiences in being broken hearted.

A friend agreed to finance it and he offered the lead role to his good friend, Alex Gonzaga. It did well at the box office and that started his directing career. Now, his new movie, “Dulo”, a romantic drama starring the reel and real love team of Diego Loyzaga and Barbie Imperial, is showing on Vivamax starting December 9.

He has already finished another movie, “The ExorSis”, starring sisters Alex and Toni Gonzaga in a horror comedy that made it as an official entry in the coming Metro Manila Filmfest this December. And he is directing yet another movie, “Sassy Girl”, a local adaptation of a hit Korean comedy. As a rule, he writes the scripts of the movies he directs, just like another young Viva writer-director, Darryl Yap.

“Mas comfortable talaga ako kapag ako rin ang sumulat ng dinidirek kong movie,” he says. “Alam ko kunsaan ko dadalhin ang narrative. For ‘Dulo’, it took me one week to write the script then another week to revise it.

“Viva likes it kasi makaka-relate raw ang young viewers sa story nina Dex and Bianca. We show how they meet, tapos nag-sex, nag-live in, then slowly, nauwi sa conflicts and they tell each other na ‘nakakapagod kang mahalin’. To save their relationship, they go on a road trip so dun natin makikita if they can iron out their problems or nakarating na ba sila sa dulo at the end na ang love affair nila.”

So what will be the take away of viewers after they watched the film? “The film will help you make a lot of realizations, like kailangang pasayahin ko muna ang sarili ko, bago ko mapasaya ang ibang tao. Mahilig akong mag-observe ng ibang tao, lalo ng mga magjowa, and I make notes on my phone kung anong nakikita ko sa nangyayari sa kanila. For me, the movie also answers the question kung kailangan ba natin talaga ng karelasyon para tayo sumaya? Deep inside, sinasabi ko, okay na akong mag-isa, kasi i have trust issues. Seven years na akong single. E sa panahon ngayon kapag single ka, kadiri ka, ipapako sa plaza, kakaawaan ka. Hindi ba puedeng mag-isa ka pero masaya ka?”

He’s glad to direct real life sweethearts Diego and Barbie in “Dulo”. “Bagay na bagay sila sa lead roles ng Dex and Bianca. It’s easier to work with a young cast kasi alam namin ang kultura ng mga kabataan ngayon. Pati ‘yung mga inuman, mas nakakakonek ako sa kanila. Kapag mas matanda sa’kin ang cast, it’s three times harder kasi ang hirap makasundo ng iba. Others question me, bakit siya? Minamaliit nila ako. Kaya ba niya? Kaya parang challenge naman for me to prove to them that I can give them a good movie.”

So how’s the acting of his leads in “Dulo”? “Si Diego, magaling siya. Huling-huli niya ang angas ng character niya as Dex. Si Barbie rin naman, kuhang-kuha rin niya si Bianca. Talagang nabigyan nila ng justice ang roles na sinulat ko.”

Diego says he’s good because Fifth’s script itself is good. “Every single scene he wrote, realistic, parang totoo ang characters niya,” says Diego. “Ang situations niya, so believable. It’s also so easy to talk with him, hindi ka mahihiya.”

Barbie says Fifth is an old friend. “Sa ABS noon, ilang beses ko siyang nakasama na sa gimmicks. So for the movie, nag-adjust ako kasi director ko na siya. Pinupupo ko na nga siya. Pero masaya kami sa set, walang stress.”