The boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, so the saying goes. A crisis reveals who we are inside. In comedienne Ai Ai delas Alas’ case, the pandemic has not wiped the smile off her face.
In an online interview on Friday, showbiz’ Comedy Queen shared what she has been up to during the pandemic. With the entertainment industry in a standstill, she has branched out with her Martina’s Bread and Pastries, where she not only gets to earn but also help.
Proceeds from the sale of her products have been used to help frontliners and to benefit the urban poor affected by the pandemic.
And in all of these, she has cultivated a sense of gratitude.
“God is so good. Hanggang ngayon, we’re surviving. hindi tayo nagkakasakit,” she replied when asked by a reporter about her realizations during the lockdown. “Sa pandemya, maraming bagay bagay na lumalabas ang iba’t ibang ugali ng mga tao dahil seguro sa pagkaburyong. Medyo wild.”
She is grateful for family. She has put the four months of quarantine to good use – enjoying a better relationship with her family by bonding with husband Gerald Sibayan and sharing homecooked meals with her brood.
“Lahat kami gumagawa ng bread sabay sabay sa isang lamesa, at saka sabay sabay rin kaming kumakain, na hindi pandesal ha,” she related, “Dati kasi kahit once a week hindi kami nagkikita. Ngayon nagkikita kami mas madalas kesa sa normal.”
Another thing she is thankful for is her career. The 55-year-old actress has recently signed up a five-year contract with GMA Network and is now co-managed by GMA Artist Center.
She has shows lined up, hopefully with Alden Richards and Sanya Lopez – two stars she hopes to work with. She also happens to be celebrating a milestone – her 30th anniversary in showbiz. The “Comedy Queen,” who started as a karaoke master, continues to feel enthusiasm towards her craft.
“Na burnout din ako minsan sa buhay ko, pero ma-re-realize mo rin na napakaswerte ko na at my age, marami pa akong ginagawa at marami pa ring kumukuha sa akin and it’s a blessing,” she said, “’Pag may blessing ka, wag ka mag inarte. Pagka nawala blessing, nganga ka.”
Ai Ai does understand that adjustments have to be made for the love of her craft. She is willing to take a pay cut – if that is what it gets down to. After all, showbiz is one of the most badly hit industries of by the pandemic. Ever resourceful, the family breadwinner is sure she will find other ways to augment her income.
“Syempre kung maiiwasan, hindi [sana bawasan ang pay], pero kung wala tayong magagawa, at least may kalahati kesa wala,” she said. “Maraming nawalan ng trabaho, swerte pa rin kami meron pa rin kaming trabaho. Although kung kalahati Lang ng talent, maghahanap ako ng iba pang mapapagkakitaan, gaya ng pagbe bake.”
Has she thought of slowing down?
“In five or six years maybe,” she said.
Before that time comes, she wants to tick off two things in her bucket list.
“Hindi pa ako nagiging madre, at gusto ko bago ako mag retire makasama ko si Ate Vi [Representative Vilma Santos] sa movie,” she revealed.