Michael V leads tribute to COVID-19 heroes


    BIANCA Umali has two projects that are now both on hold because of the coronavirus lockdown: “Half Worlds” with HBO co-starring Sam Concepcion and GMA’s “Legal Wives” where she plays the youngest of the three wives of Dennis Trillo.

    “I really prepared myself then thinking I’d be very easy making lagari sa sets ng dalawang projects ko,” she says. “But ‘yun pala, makakapahinga ako nang matagal because of this lockdown. So I’m just taking advantage now of the chance to rest muna.”

    She makes sure she complies with all the requirements to insure her and her loved ones’ safety during the lockdown. “Frequent washing of hands and social distancing are a must. So is the use of a face mask. Kaya lang, may shortage na raw ng face masks dahil sa lakas ng demand. Kaya nga, naisipan kong gumawa ng do it yourself face mask using existing cloths like your handkerchief or shirt. You just have to be creative in times like this. Okay naman. Very practical.”

    She shared in her social media account how she makes her DIY (do it yourself) face masks and netizens gave her much favorable feedback.  “Natuwa naman sila. Hindi na raw pala kailangang bumili pa. A face mask is a requirement in all areas placed under quarantine. It’s mandatory for all residents to use one when they go out. Ngayon, kung hindi nyo naman talaga kailangang lumabas, then the best pa rin to just stay home to make sure you’re safe.”


    Michael V is in two regular GMA-7 shows, the long-running gag show on Fridays, “Bubble Gang,” and the hit Sunday family sitcom, “Pepito Manaloto.”

    “Pero dahil walang tapings ngayon, pahinga muna tayo sa bahay at bonding time muna with the family,” he says. “But you can still watch the best episodes of our shows being reshown in their usual timeslots.”

    Michael V is one top celebrity whose marriage is going strong. He just celebrated his 26th wedding anniversary with his wife, Carol Bunagan, on April 19. They had a small celebration for family members, but what made it so special is the sweet and touching video presentation that Bitoy (his nickname) made for his wife.

    He said he wants to treat out his wife Carol and their kids to a big celebration outside because it’s a very special occasion, but he cannot do so as no restaurants are open during the quarantine. He says the important thing is that they are still together and their marital relationship remains going strong for the past 26 years.

    Bitoy and his family are very thankful to the health workers and other frontliners who continue to serve during these dangerous times of the coronavirus. He made special mention of the medical workers who offered their lives while serving afflicted patients.

    Bitoy and other grateful artists made a tribute song posted on the Facebook page of the Department of Education, entitled “Dakila Ka, Bayani Ka,” written by composer Arnie Mendaros and musically arranged by Albert Tamayo. About 40 artists volunteered to be part of this worthy endeavor that honors our frontliners.

    “Dapat lang namang kilalanin natin ang sakripisyo ng ating frontliners,” he says. “Kaya nu’ng sinabihan ako ni Albert kung available ako for this project paying tribute to them, oo agad ako. And so we did it kasama mismo ang DepEd Secretary nating si Leonor Briones and musician Ricky Gonzales na parehong tinamaan ng virus pero gumaling. Nagkaroon ng kakaibang impact at meaning ‘yung kanta dahil talagang sila mismo, na-experience nila ang kadakilaan at kabayanihan ng mga frontliners natin.”


    Betong Sumaya is a real entertainer as he is finding his own ways to amuse viewers even at this time of the lockdown. In his Instagram account, he put up his own stories called Laba Serye that shows him personally washing several pieces of clothing, including under garments, while he’s belting out popular juke box songs.

    Betong is staying in his own unit in Quezon City while his folks are staying in their family home somewhere in Rizal. “Actually, inaaliw ko lang ang sarili ko na kumakanta habang naglalaba,” he says. “So nakakatuwa namang nagustuhan ng mga tao at naaaliw rin daw sila.”

    Betong has two regular shows with the Kapuso network. He’s seen Friday nights in the long-running gag show, “Bubble Gang,” and he’s seen hosting “Centerstage” on Sundays with Alden Richards.

    “But both shows are now on hold because of the corona lockdown,” he says. “This virus has really disrupted our lives kaya dapat lang na tayong lahat, magdasal na matuklasan na ang antidote o lunas dito.”

    And even while we’re on lockdown, Betong has managed to release his debut single as a recording artist of GMA Music. This is the catchy novelty song titled “Nang Minahal Mo ang Mahal Ko.”

    “Music has always been part of my life,” he says. “My mother was a singer at bata pa ako, sumali na ako sa singing contest. I’m grateful to GMA Music for now giving me the chance to record my first song. I am truly so thankful at nag-uumapaw ang kaligayahan sa puso ko kasi pangarap ko talaga ito, pero hindi ko alam kung paano maisasakatuparan hanggang sa nabigyan nga ako ng chance ng GMA Music. Isa na namang lifelong dream ko ang natupad. Thank you, Lord. Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala. Hindi naman din kasi lahat nabibigyan ng ganitong chance, kaya I’m very thankful sa GMA Network, GMA Artist Center, at sa GMA Music.”

    Composed by Jerry Olaguer, “Nang Minahal Mo Ang Mahal Ko” is currently being aired exclusively on Barangay LS 97.1 Forever and all other Barangay FM radio stations nationwide. Listeners may also request for the song on the mentioned radio stations. “Nang Minahal Mo Ang Mahal Ko” is now available for streaming on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and other digital stores worldwide.


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