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How newly engaged Ritz is coping amid ABS-CBN shutdown, virus scare

/ 12:10 AM July 08, 2020
Ritz Azul

Ritz Azul

“Keeping quiet about the issue doesn’t mean I don’t support the company,” said actress Ritz Azul when Inquirer Entertainment asked for her sentiments on her home network ABS-CBN’s bid for franchise renewal and its shutdown in May.

“When I first saw ABS-CBN saying farewell, I didn’t know how to react. I cried about it for several nights,” she recalled. “Even though I didn’t start my career as a Kapamilya, I consider myself a part of the company. I also cried because I was worried not just about my work there as an actor, but also for the thousands of employees there that will be displaced if ever the company would close down for good.”

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Still, Ritz said she would not pretend to know everything that’s happening within the network. “That’s why it’s hard to talk publicly about a sensitive issue. I don’t really understand what’s going on, especially since people are saying that laws have been violated. I don’t know what those laws are. For me, It’s better to simply continue praying that things will eventually work out fine for the network,” she pointed out.

Ritz said there’s also the issue of how to best cope with the Covid-19 pandemic that she had to consider. “During the first few weeks of the lockdown, I admit to feeling agitated. I was looking for something to do outside the house,” Ritz recalled. “Before joining show biz, I used to be a homebody. I grew up in the province (Pampanga) and was used to not seeing a lot of people. But when I became an actress, I got used to a fast-paced life.

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“When the quarantine was imposed, hinahanap ng katawan ko ang dating buhay. I felt bored just staying at home. I would constantly think of what to do,” confessed the actress, who returned to Pampanga from her halfway home in Quezon City when the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was announced. “When the lockdown got extended, I was already able to adjust. I thought, ‘You really can’t predict the future. You shouldn’t be planning too far ahead, because only God knows what’s going to happen then. You have no power over it.”

These days, Ritz said she prefers “to simply go with the flow. I stopped overanalyzing things. Anyway, I read an article that this will probably last for two years. I plan to focus on making sure that my family is healthy and safe.”

Ritz, who recently got engaged to businessman boyfriend Allan Guwi, is still unsure of going back to work. The sitcom “Banana Sundae,” where Ritz is a regular cast, already bid farewell after airing for 12 long years. She was last seen in the hit series “Los Bastardos,” along with Joseph Marco and Jake Cuenca.“Before the lockdown, I was supposed to promote the last film I made,” said Ritz, referring to the Regal Entertainment-produced “The Missing,” directed by Easy Ferrer. The horror-thriller flick was supposed to be an entry in the 2020 Summer Metro Manila Film Festival, which got canceled because of the pandemic.

“Everyone is being extra careful because many have died due to the virus. Sobrang naging praning ako. Prior to the ECQ, I went to Bali. When I came back, I already got fever and colds. I eventually got better, but I still isolated myself for several days. I had to make sure I didn’t have the virus because I have a baby sister and a mom, who is immunocompromised.”

Ritz said it was actually her mom who first expressed worries about her health and had asked if she could forego going back to work for a while. “I’m considering what she said. I’m now thinking of other ways to earn money for the family. My family is used to living simply. We don’t mind eating what we can harvest from our own backyard.”

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