For Sef, Valeen and Archie, laughter is still the best medicine despite trying times
Despite the pandemic, the cast of “Bubble Gang” continues to step in front of the cameras and try their best to make their viewers laugh. Many people are riddled with problems; some are having anxieties, or feeling depressed. And as actors, the least they can do, they said, is to help assuage people’s sadness in their own little way.
But they’re just like everyone else at home and off the screen—they think about their loved ones’ health, worry about their future, and pine for the little things they used to do, but no longer could … at least, for the time being. “It’s tough. There are moments when you can’t help but wonder how long this will last. You get impatient. But still, we have to adjust and do our part for everyone’s safety,” Valeen Montenegro said in a virtual conference for the long-running GMA 7 comedy show, which started to air new episodes last month.
Valeen, who currently lives alone, finds herself longing for physical contact every so often. “Something as simple as hugging your family and friends … but that went away. One of the things I have learned is that you can’t take anything for granted,” she said. “After everything’s done, I will be hugging everyone!”
Thankfully, social media somewhat fills the gap. The actress is a fitness enthusiast and one of her goals is keep people moving, even if they’re stuck at home.“I put out workout-related content on Instagram and Facebook—I’m a firm believer that exercising can help boost our mood and immune system,” she said. “I also want to be of help to my followers. I do my best to help small and new businesses by promoting their goods … You can still do worthwhile things at home.”
Archie Alemania has pretty much adjusted to life in quarantine. But the one thing he just couldn’t get used to is not being able to spend enough time with his children.
Although he has his 1-year-old son with wife Gee Canlas, Archie doesn’t get to see much of his three older children from previous relationships.
“Back then, I could just pick them up, watch movies, or go out of town with them. Now, I can’t do that even if I’m free; we can’t get together. It’s difficult, but we have to stay safe,” he related.
Financially, Archie is doing fine. He and Gee are grateful they have savings; that there are still work opportunities coming in. “But ‘yung sa family lang ang may kurot, because things aren’t how they used to be with the kids. That’s what I’m having trouble with. Other than that, I would say I have adjusted to our situation,” he related.
For Sef Cadayona, we don’t have much of a choice but to adapt to life in the “new normal.” “There are protocols; there are things we have to do. Instead of looking at these things as hassles in life, just think that what we’re doing is for everyone’s own good,” Sef said. Life under lockdown, he added, quickly made him realize what really mattered to him. “We should enjoy the simple things in life … you became more appreciative of the little things,” he pointed out. “And I hope we can continue having this kind of mindset even after the pandemic’s over.”
Sef is also thankful that “Bubble Gang” has already resumed production, even if it means thinking of work-arounds and having to improvise at home. “The show has always been adaptable—it can go with the situation, to viewers’ tastes and mood,” he said. “Now, we’re also trying to be more sensitive.”
And this time, competition is out of the question. “We simply want to do our job, which is to make people happy,” he said. “We’re not thinking about competing with other shows.”
Valeen described this phase in “Bubble Gang’s” run as having “college life” feels. “We’re experimenting with different things … We do everything. We set up the lights and the cameras, and it can be physically and mentally draining,” she said.
As cliche as it as may sound, laughter is the best medicine, she pointed out. “And there’s truth to that,” Valeen said.
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