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Joey Reyes on staying relevant in the ‘new normal’: Accept, adapt, advance

/ 12:03 AM June 01, 2020

These words have become filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes’ mantra for the past three months: “accept, adapt and advance.”“Accept, because you have no choice,” explained Reyes. “Adapt, because that’s the only way you can deal with the situation; and then advance, find a way to make do with what you have, then move on.”

The local show biz industry took a forceful blow after the government on March 15 ordered all of Luzon to go under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to help stop the spread of Covid-19. This also meant that work for TV and film had to be discontinued because mass gathering was prohibited. On May 15, restrictions have been loosened and work can now resume in most industries.“Right now, we’re in the process of adapting, but slowly moving to advancing,” said Reyes, who’s also a film producer.

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He added that he has since been busy having Zoom meetings with other film producers “to find out what we can do, because realistically speaking, we can’t simply resume shooting, especially since we have yet to come up with a vaccine for the disease.”

Looking back to the first days of the ECQ, Reyes said the situation had been confusing for him because “all of a sudden, the things I was doing were cut short. I was in the middle of a shoot when I realized that I can’t go on anymore, even though I still have four more shooting days. It was supposed to be shown around Mother’s Day.”

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Reyes was referring to the Regal Entertainment-produced “Mommy Issues,” starring Pokwang, Gloria Diaz, Sue Ramirez, Jerome Ponce and Ryan Bang.

“Pokwang couldn’t go on. She has a baby, and her old mother lives with her. Like me, Gloria is also a senior citizen and isn’t allowed to go out of the house,” he explained. “We decided to stop shooting, but we didn’t know that the break would stretch this long.”

Reyes said another problem cropped up as he was trying to resume filming. “All our locations have turned us down because of the threat of the disease. I really can’t blame the owners because, like them, I surely don’t want people I don’t know to set foot in my property. Not only that, we can no longer shoot in public places, or areas that could generate crowd,” Reyes shared with Inquirer Entertainment.

Another cause for concern was the fact that the resumption of the operation of movie theaters remains uncertain, said Reyes. “I don’t think this will happen within the year. Our projects that are currently in preproduction for cinema are all geared for 2021. Those that we’re working on now are for digital release,” he added.

Reyes said that prior to ECQ, he had felt so “harassed with work” that he wished he could just stay home and rest for at least three days. “I wanted to just lie down, sleep and read. I didn’t know that the three days would end up becoming more than 60 days! The lesson I’ve learned is to be careful because God can give you much more than what you asked for,” he quipped.

Asked how he was coping with being stuck at home, Reyes said the experience had made him realize something: “I do have lots of clothes and shoes! I saw them all together in my closet because I wore nothing but boxer shorts for over two months. Dealing with the pandemic will really change the way you think. You will realize that you keep buying stuff that you don’t really need.”

What’s needed right now, Reyes pointed out, is for people to create works that reflect the present reality. “Your stories can no longer be about those that you were doing before. They have to be relevant to the times, because people have changed,” he added. “This is the challenge for industry people now. We are given a great opportunity to rediscover ourselves, and at the same time, we now have new and exciting ways to communicate.” INQ

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TAGS: enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Joey Reyes, Jose Javier Reyes
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