Seeing the glass half full
(First of two parts)
The new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is far from over, and could claim many more lives worldwide. As governments scamper for ways to contain the virus, a large portion of the world’s 7.8 billion population is forced to stay at home and limit social contact.
Here in the Philippines, even while on a monthlong Luzon-wide community quarantine, the number of infected patients continue to rise. The quarantine, however, has forced airports, schools and businesses to shut down; resulting in job losses and widespread hunger.
Show business is no exemption. Broadcast networks suspended the airing of live shows and the production of TV programs since mass gatherings are prohibited. The shooting of films has stopped, too, because cinemas discontinued operations.
However, they say that every cloud has a silver lining. Inquirer Entertainment asked several celebrities what they thought were the positive things that resulted in their being stuck at home. Read on.
For actress Agot Isidro, staying at home has taught her to be mindful of things that she usually takes for granted, “such as mobility, connectivity and good health.”
Agot, who recently participated in the fundraiser called “Bayanihan Musikahan,” likewise said: “It also puts in perspective the things we need to prioritize: Health care, good governance and preparedness.”
“For people, it’s really the gift of time,” said singer-actor Ice Seguerra. “I have more time to appreciate the people, relationships, situations and things around me, as well as having breakfast, lunch and dinner with family, and conversations with people I haven’t spoken to for years because we were swamped with work.”
For Ice, it’s really Mother Earth that has “the most to gain” during the quarantine period. “She is breathing again. We now have greener trees, bluer skies and cleaner air,” Ice declared. “I can hear the birds singing again because the noise is down to a minimum.”
He further said: “Yes, COVID-19 is ugly, but it’s teaching us something very important: To appreciate things—and people—that really matter. My only hope is that after the virus is finally defeated, the lessons we’ve learned will be ingrained in all of us.”
TV host and weather anchor Kim Atienza said that he now has “so much quiet time to get closer to my God through prayer and reading His word, and through prayer fellowships via Zoom and Facebook.”
Kim, who can still be seen every night in the “Weather Weather Lang” segment of “TV Patrol,” also said that he now has “so much time to improve on new skills, such as fixing my motorcycle and bicycles, as well as gardening. Blessed with an indoor treadmill and a bike trainer, I’ll end up even fitter than I was before the lockdown,” he shared with Inquirer Entertainment.
Of course, Kim has “so much time to be intimate with my wife and play with the kids,” who recently taught him how to play the card game Pusoy dos. “They kick my ass all the time. Lampaso ako. I just learned that it’s actually a game of skill.”
Actor Mon Confiado believes that “no matter how bad the situation is, there’s always a positive side to it. Like now, we’re learning to appreciate things like sanitation, discipline and following instructions.”
Mon, who as a result of the quarantine had to travel by land to be with his family in Cebu, also said: “We get to bond with our families and appreciate their love. Our environment gets to rest from pollution, garbage and noise—and that’s a good thing.”
“Most importantly,” the actor added, “we get to witness how people show community spirit through shared group activities, like giving shelter or food to our front-liners and people who are in need.”
Besides giving time for Mother Nature to heal herself, actress and ramp model Marina Benipayo said, “We’re now given time to practice more tolerance, compassion and strength of spirit. We’re all affected, especially those who have no jobs but have bills to pay, but we remain hopeful.”
“And while we’re at it,” she added, “we recalibrate, recheck our priorities. People need to remember to be kind again to each other, to animals, to the environment, and especially to their own selves. It’s time to stop and smell the roses. Hopefully, we see that there are many other flowers in the garden that also need noticing.”
Given the free time and opportunity to stay at home, actor Ku Aquino said one gets to “spend it with your family.”
“You learn to appreciate what you have,” he added. “You discover your weaknesses and hopefully amend them.” The monthlong break from work should also give a person “the time for art and creativity,” Ku said, as well as help “deepen your faith in God.”
Being quarantined, said actress-TV host Dianne Medina, “is the perfect time to pray and contemplate.”
She said she realized “so many positive things” while forced to stay at home. “I was able to spend more time with my husband (actor Rodjun Cruz), and with the Lord,” she pointed out. The couple got married only in December.
“I learned that God can take away anytime all the material things in the world, even the most important to us—money and work,” she told Inquirer Entertainment.
“I miss my normal life,” the actress said, “but I know God is trying to teach us something through this deadly disease: That He is in control.” INQ
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