David Chua on coping with COVID-19 pandemic and network shutdown

David Chua with Kelley Day (standing, right), mentor Korina Sanchez (seated, left) and Raymond Bagatsing

When work in front of the camera became scarce for ABS-CBN talent David Chua in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and the Kapamilya network shut down, the actor said he tried to adapt to the situation by working behind the camera instead.

David, whose last on-cam project was the drama series “Love Thy Woman,” recently put up a production outfit named Dark Carnival Productions or DCP.

“When these things happened, I found myself stuck at home. But I didn’t want to just sit around feeling helpless and go hungry. Since I’m already in broadcasting, I thought of putting up a small production house,” David told Inquirer Entertainment in a recent Zoom chat.

David found work as a director for “Rated Korina,” the magazine show hosted by Korina Sanchez on TV5.

Current agenda

“My wish was to go on cam, but since there weren’t any offers for me at the time, I learned to cope. I wrote a script for a TV series and edited videos. I did one for ‘RK Online’ and when Ate Korina saw it, she said, ‘David why don’t you direct a segment for the show?’ I hesitated and told her I had no experience in directing. She replied, ‘You can do it. Collaborate with my brother and finish it’,” David recalled. “I thought, since I have friends who are writers and directors I should ask them to collaborate, too. I wasn’t alone—and that gave me confidence. That’s how DCP started during the lockdown,” David said.

In addition to DCP’s current agenda, he was lucky to lay down his blueprint for a TV and movie project.

“TV5 has approved of the horror series already. (Beauty queen-turned-actress) Kelley Day and Raymond Bagatsing will be part of it,” David beamed.

Recently, David was in Baler, Aurora province to shoot for an information campaign video on the importance of having fast internet connection in the provinces.

Grief and loss

The struggle for David didn’t just involve the financial aspect of it, or the fact that he was unable to express himself artistically. David is also coping with grief and loss of her mom Lucy, who passed away in 2019.

“I remember her every single day. I just try to keep myself busy,” he confessed. “Putting up a production company was also one of my mom’s dreams for me.”

David said he tries not to let his fear of getting infected by the virus affect his work, too. “I make sure to wear my face mask and shield. If I feel something weird in my throat, I rest and take LianHua (herbal medicine for influenza). If I lock myself in my room because I’m scared of the virus, then it has already defeated me. I also take a swab test every two weeks,” he added.

Experiencing anxiety attacks isn’t new to David. As a result of his struggle with fear and stress, he developed alopecia (hair loss) a few years back.

Nowadays, aside from praying, he would go out of the house to get some sunshine, and resumed exercising.

“I studied scriptwriting and eventually wrote some stuff,” he recalled. “Don’t let depression defeat you. Set your goals, then learn how you can best accomplish them.” INQ