Seeing the glass half full (Conclusion)
In this part two of our forum, more celebrities share with Inquirer Entertainment what they thought were the positive things that resulted in the ongoing Luzon-wide community quarantine to help prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
JOHN LAPUS. Actor-director John “Sweet” Lapus said being confined at home had hit him really hard because he was used to always seeing his friends. “I’m used to being with them everyday. I’m so dependent on them. We’re together even at work because we’re from the same company,” he pointed out. “So when this quarantine started, it was really very difficult for me not to be able talk with to them in person.”
So far, the best thing that Sweet has experienced as a result of the lockdown was the wireless screen-sharing app called Zoom. “I now get to talk to most of them often. Ang saya! Truly, friendship knows no distance and certainly knows no quarantine,” he quipped.
Sweet said they even had an “e-numan” session the weekend before the city-wide liquor ban was imposed in Quezon City and Manila. “We are now planning to do ‘Zoom-ba’ together, since most of us are gaining weight as a result of the quarantine,” he shared with Inquirer Entertainment.
“I recommend Zoom to others who are missing their friends and loved ones. When this is over, Zoom can hire me as its endorser. Zoomuch love, Sweet,” he quipped.
ANNA LUNA. Actress Anna Luna offers this piece of advice: “Use your time wisely during this monthlong community quarantine. Enjoy the quality time with your family and try to reflect about the things that are happening around us.”
AIKO MELENDEZ. Aiko Melendez said that being an actress and a single parent to two kids had made her accustomed to “a life that’s fast-paced.” But now that everyone is temporarily out of work, Aiko said she got to “reflect more and be more sensitive to the small things around me.”
She added: “I get to appreciate the beauty of life amidst the chaos now. I also get to spend time with family, which is priceless, as well as with the Lord. I appreciate Him more now, because I’m blessed to still be alive.”
GLADYS REYES. Actress Gladys Reyes said the advantages of being stuck at home were “being able to help my kids with their homework, bonding with them while watching movies, and just being with them 24/7 without thinking about work.”
She also said that since the imposition of the quarantine, her husband, actor Christopher Roxas, who was also a chef, “has the time to cook for us everyday.”
MAUI TAYLOR. The monthlong quarantine has enabled actress Maui Taylor to “spend time teaching my kids their school lessons,” she said. “I also get to sing, dance and help them with their artworks. The best part is seeing how competent, focused and smart they really are with their school work.”
On the lighter side, Maui said, the video-sharing app TikTok “has brought out my creativeness. I get to post funny videos that netizens look forward to everyday.”
ARTHUR ACUÑA. Actor Art Acuña said that what “stands out for me during this surreal and dangerous pandemic is that ‘character is truly what you do, not what you say.’ I’m not being judgmental here; the Lord knows how imperfect we all are, but a crisis of this magnitude reveals and magnifies the moral core in each of us; and that we have to acknowledge this for it to be of any benefit during our lifetime.”
He added: “This also reminds me of an old saying, ‘I love humanity. It’s the people I can’t stand.’”
FRANCINE PRIETO. “Everyone is at home giving comfort to one another. Even their pets are happy,” said actress Francine Prieto.
Francine and husband, Frank Shotkotski, has three pets: Wafu, the shih tzu; Falkor, the pekingese; and Jupiter, the Russian blue.
“This virus has also taught us to love and take care of ourselves. Because of this new threat, we have learned to eat more nutritious foods and remain health-conscious,” she added.
According to Francine, the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) “serves as an eye-opener that we should vote for the right leaders who can help us in times like this. The Bayanihan spirit amongst us is very strong, as well as our sense of humor. It’s even more contagious than the virus.”
JUNJUN QUINTANA. Actor Junjun Quintana believes that what the disease is really giving humanity “is an opportunity to pause. It is teaching us to focus on the present, because that is all we really have now.”
He explained that “If we dwell on life before COVID-19, or if we try to predict what is going to happen afterwards, that can only lead to more anxiety and fear. Isolation can really affect us negatively, both mentally and physically. That’s why we should simply channel our energies to what we can control right now, today.”
Junjun said we could achieve this by “engaging in healthy behavior, monitoring how much information we consume and just being extra positive with the situation. We also have to take this as an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends.”
SANDINO MARTIN. Actor Sandino Martin said the most important lesson that can be learned from the monthlong quarantine was that “we realize that we’re all interconnected. You catch up with people you know, or even those that you just met on the street by asking them ‘kamusta ka?’ or ‘kamusta po kayo?’ You generally hope that they’re doing well. You also realize how words can become a powerful tool in uplifting the spirit.”
“I really hope that after this quarantine, people will be nicer to each other and value more the idea of community and human interaction,” added Sandino. “To quote a dear friend of mine, it would be nice to get together and hug everyone you know when all this is over.”
SHERILYN REYES. Just like Aiko, actress Sherilyn Reyes said being quarantined had taught her to be more appreciative, “even of the littlest things.”
“Our family is used to just being home when there is no work. We hear Mass, go to the mall or eat out once or twice a week, so the quarantine did not really make a big difference on us. However, the uncertainty of how long this is going to be has made me value even the littlest thing,” Sherilyn pointed out. “Regulating the use of your shampoo, for example, or making sure the soap dish has no water in it so you do not waste your soap, or putting just the right amount of sauce in the saucer—Everything you can think of that maybe you merely took for granted before.”
Sherilyn, a mom of three, said the experience had also taught her to give more value to the health and well-being of her family. “We shouldn’t take for granted the proper way of washing our hands,” she pointed out. “Also, we now show care and compassion to other people, (especially the front-liners) by helping in any way we can.”
Sherilyn, husband former basketball player Chris Tan, sons Ryle Paolo and Lorenz Christopher, and daughter Anya Sabrina, would go live at 10 p.m. every night to give entertainment to their social media followers. “Even for just an hour, they could forget the sorry situation we are in now. They are also helping us get through the long days,” she said.
“We hope that this will soon be over. We hope to see everyone in the finish line, healthier, stronger, and with deeper love for ourselves, our families and friends, for our country and fellowmen, as well as a stronger faith in God.”
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