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Carmina the worrier and Zoren the assurer in the Legaspi family

By: - Reporter
/ 12:30 AM August 21, 2020

Carmina Villaroel with (from left) Mavy, Cassy and husband Zoren Legaspi

Just like most mothers, Carmina Villaroel said she has always been persistent about conserving household resources—more so now that work in show biz has considerably slowed down, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even before the quarantine, kuryente na ang bukang-bibig ko! You know how us moms are: ‘Turn off the air conditioner now, it has been running all day! Turn off the lights when you go out of your rooms and not using them … You’re wasting electricity!’ That’s our forever reminder!” she told the Inquirer in a video interview for her lifestyle-cooking show, “Sarap ’Di Ba?”

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“Everyone’s affected, so we need to save up,” she added. “And I have to be stricter these days about that—times two!”

She and her husband, Zoren Legaspi, have also trimmed down the family’s expenses, making sure that no one’s making unnecessary purchases. “We only buy the basic necessities—food. That’s about it. No shopping. I mean, first of all, what’s the need? Saan ka punta?” she jested. “Let’s just keep it basic. Fortunately, the kids are obedient.”

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And it’s important, Carmina pointed out, to be honest about such things to their children, so they don’t feel as if they’re putting the burden on them.

“You have to be transparent and make them understand the situation. Communication is important. You just tell them so they know that there’s a reason you have to say no to some things,” said Carmina, mother to 19-year-old twins, Mavy and Cassy.

The GMA 7 actress and television host admitted that she’s quite the worrier. And the pandemic has her thinking about a lot of things the past couple of months.

“I think my fears are pretty much the same as everyone else’s. I worry about our family’s health and our future. I worry, not only for ourselves, but also for our house helpers and the people who depend on us. Can we sustain all these? Those are the things that go through my mind,” she said.

Luckily, Zoren is a more assuring presence at home. “Whenever he sees that I’m getting stressed, he tells me to take it easy. And he encourages me, tells me that we can do it and that we’re going to be OK,” Carmina related. “That calms my heart and mind. And he does it so smoothly.”

“Sarap ’Di Ba?,” which she cohosts with her family, resumed airing new episodes—shot from their home—last month. Aside from featuring delicious recipes and showing what it’s like in the Legaspi household, Carmina has also been promoting online businesses, which have been sprouting during the quarantine.

“It’s a way of helping those small businesses that are good and deserving. It’s something I do on my social media pages, and now we have a bigger platform with television,” she said.

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Working from home is convenient, Carmina said—no traffic to endure and you’re good to go after taking a bath and brushing your teeth. And you can start working at any time. But that’s no reason to slack off.

“We still set a goal … that this or that should be finished by a specific time. We don’t have all the equipment, so we rely on natural light. We have to adjust,” she said. “And I always remind everyone that we have to take care of the show. Tayo ang mapipintasan kung hindi maganda. We only have ourselves to blame.”

“There’s no easy job. But if you love what you’re doing, it will be easier and fun. We’re grateful we’re able to work from home,” she said.

The year 2019 was a busy and fruitful one for Carmina. Aside from “Sarap” and her endorsements, she also starred in the soap opera “Kara Mia” and made a return to the Metro Manila Film Festival after a 29-year absence with the horror film “Sunod.” And if it weren’t for COVID-19, taping for her upcoming soap would have continued.

How did she feel about this stall in momentum? “I don’t want to dwell on the negative, because I’m not the only one affected,” she said. “There were a lot of happy moments last year and I hope to bring those back—slowly.”

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