Max Eigenmann’s ‘pillar of strength’ during this difficult time
If there’s one person who is handling the effect of quarantine the best, it’s her,” said Max Eigenmann of her mom, actress Bing Pimentel, whom the former described as “the pillar of strength of everyone in the family.”Max lives with Bing, her youngest brother Diego, and two sons, Sandro, 14, and Massi, 9.
“One thing I didn’t expect was how much my relationship with my mom grew during the lockdown. Adjusting to being stuck at home was made easier because she was around,” Max pointed out. “The relationship between my brother and children is unique. They’re like siblings because their ages are close. I said that my mom is taking everything in stride because when she feels there’s tension between me and my brother, she would be the peacemaker. Or when I’d get too stressed out with homeschooling, she’d volunteer to be the one to tutor Massi.
“I’m happy because one of my fears then was that we would clash, but we turned out fine,” said Max, adding that she and Bing would often argue whenever she would buy groceries “because mom is so OC (obsessive-compulsive). She would ask for specific items that I won’t be able to buy.”
Max admitted that she has had clashes with her sons, too. “When the ECQ was announced, we made our helpers go home to their families thinking that it would only last for a month. They weren’t able to return since. I had assigned chores to my sons. They’d have laundry days, but many times they wouldn’t do it and I would remind them. My eldest son would find me naggy,” she recalled. “I think clashes like this is super common in any household.”
Max said her family’s time in quarantine has made them more prayerful. “My family and I weren’t very prayerful before this happened. I’ve always been a believer that there’s a higher power out there, but to be honest, I was never a regular churchgoer. When the ECQ happened, my mom and I made it a point for everybody to sit down together at every meal and bond,” she said.
Their prayers, Max added, would always be to express gratefulness “to God for keeping my family safe, for protecting the frontliners. We say thanks to Him because the virus hasn’t reached us up to now, especially me because I volunteered to be the one with the quarantine pass. I’d feel really anxious whenever I needed to step out of the house, especially during the first weeks of the lockdown.”
She admitted that there were moments when she would also feel angry about being forced to stay at home. “It’s because we’re living in a time when so many things are unknown and uncertain. Rules and protocols kept changing. We’d be under ECQ, and then GCQ, and then MECQ. It’s so confusing! Not knowing can be quite daunting,” she explained. “I’m happy that I haven’t really had any of the closest people to me experience extreme sadness. A lot of my friends have been handling it pretty well. I’m happy that I have a support system in place.”
Max said she was able to handle paranoia and the fear of the virus better now compared to six months before. “We didn’t have enough information about it when the lockdown started. I noticed that when I read all of these negative posts and news feeds, they always make me sad. That’s why I don’t read as much as I used to anymore unless its about health protocols.”
A big help in relieving Max’s anxiety and taking away her worries is yoga, she declared. “I’ve been doing yoga on and off for 14 years, or since my first son was born. When the quarantine started, I was able to do it almost every day. On good days, I get to do it twice. I join classes at Bliss Yoga Manila. I’m now starting to appreciate live Zoom classes—I used to just watch yoga videos on YouTube.”
Max said she’s ready to get back to work, too. “I feel that production companies are indeed taking the extra precautions to make sure that the sets are a safe environment. So if there’s anything I’d still wish for, it would be in terms of testing—I know rapid antibody testing isn’t accurate. I hope they’d require people to undergo swab tests first.”
Back in June, Max had to shoot for two days for a film for Brillante Ma Mendoza. “It wrapped up in January, but they wanted to have more scenes. Right now, I’m more ready for work than I was in June. I was still very scared then,” she confessed. “You see, we can’t hide in fear forever. We need to make a living. I just think that if there are policies that we have to follow, I just hope that we do. I’m taking precautions to take care of myself, so I hope others would do the same.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.