For Liza, back-to-work safety measures not enough assurance vs COVID-19 | Inquirer Entertainment

For Liza, back-to-work safety measures not enough assurance vs COVID-19

/ 12:30 AM June 19, 2020

Liza (left) and Enrique Gil in Croatia in “Make it With You”

Liza (left) and Enrique Gil in Croatia in “Make it With You”

“I want the economy to go back up. I want everyone to start going back to their normal lives, but I don’t want people to risk their lives, too.”

Thus said ABS-CBN star Liza Soberano following a recent announcement that “Make It With You,” her teleserye with real-life boyfriend Enrique Gil, would no longer return to television after it was discontinued due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) first enforced in March.


“As much as I would want to go back to work—I really do because it’s already boring at home and I’ve read all my books, as well as finished so many Netflix shows—but I really don’t think it’s already safe out there,” Liza told Inquirer Entertainment.


She said the fact that the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to go up “doesn’t make me feel secure at all … Even though there are safety measures that are being practiced—a copy of the guidelines has been sent to me recently—but there isn’t real assurance that we cannot contract the virus. It was a tough decision.”

Liza recalled her reaction to management’s announcement of a work stoppage in March: “When they initially told us that there’s a possibility that we’d stop taping, we were like, ‘How’s that even possible? How are you going to do it because it’s never been done before?’ So I was surprised, but at the same time, there was a sense of relief because I knew not one of us would get sick while taping.”

Liza said this also made her sad because “we were getting to the really good part of the story, as well. I was excited for all the revelation to come. But, of course, the priority of ABS-CBN was to keep everyone safe.”

Prior to the announcement, Liza said everyone at the “Make It With You” set in Rizal was on the phone, waiting for news about how many were infected with the coronavirus. At the time, Liza said, there were only 14 positive cases. Three hours before ABS-CBN announced the work stoppage, Liza said she had already received a text message from her manager, Ogie Diaz, confirming the sad news.

“We were all sad because we didn’t want to separate. We’ve been taping every day for almost two months already. I remember that we all wanted to hug and kiss each other before leaving, but we couldn’t. There were mixed emotions,” Liza recalled.

She disclosed that she never stopped working even during the lockdown. She and Enrique were kept busy doing photo shoots for Star Magic’s “Love From Home Lockdown Portraits,” which is an e-catalog featuring all Star Magic talents.


She also participated in a webinar organized by Sen. Risa Hontiveros about children being more vulnerable to online sexual predators, especially as a result of the lockdown.

Liza Soberano

Liza Soberano

Asked to recall how she first got involved and took a stand against online sexual exploitation of children (Osec), the 22-year-old actress said: “I was on Twitter that day when I chanced upon [the tweet of Sen. Hontiveros]. Kumulo talaga ang dugo ko. The senator was explaining how during the pandemic, while in quarantine, all the kids have access to the internet. Some of them are stuck at home with people who are making them do those videos.

“Knowing that most of these people are family members—or just nasty people—the kids can’t defend themselves. They’ll grow up so scared of everyone and, they’re going to be damaged for life. So, how do you fix that? How do you stop these things from happening again?”

The actress added: “That’s when I realized that I should be voicing out what I truly believe in; that I should actively promote my advocacy, because then I would be able to reach so many people, and maybe, that could help save one or more children’s lives.”

Liza said her resolve was strengthened by the fact that she has eight younger siblings—from both her American mother and Filipino father, who separated when she was young. “I’ve always had this certain protectiveness over them. Sometimes, I feel more like I’m their mom,” she shared with Inquirer Entertainment. “It’s been in my nature to always be nurturing. I just can’t stand knowing that I have so many younger siblings—I have three younger sisters—and that this could possibly happen to them or their friends, or to my cousins, who are all female and are younger than me.”

This was why learning all about online abuse on kids “made me even madder,” Liza declared. “I just can’t imagine how people could do that to them. I kept imagining the faces of these poor kids every time they’re … [under] these circumstances.”

Not a lot of people know that Liza, Hope Elizabeth Soberano in real life, is also a businesswoman. In December 2017, she opened her own spa, called Hope Hand and Foot Wellness Center, in Quezon City.

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Asked how her business is coping with the lockdown, Liza, the entrepreneur, replied: “It’s a tough time for all now, especially for companies like mine that deal with people. We’re trying to think of ways of how we can ease our way in and still make our clients feel comfortable and safe at the spa. I honestly don’t know yet how we are going to deal with the situation.”

TAGS: ABS-CBN, Enrique Gil, Liza Soberano, Make It With You

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