Piolo’s lighthearted spoofs of romantic movies take on poignant meaning during the pandemic

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    Nowadays, it seems like we need less, not more, drama in our lives. Many of us already feel overwhelmed by the pandemic, lockdowns, and our fears for the health of our loved ones. The challenges we face today are such that we need to feel relief, security, and just plain assurance that things will work out for the best.

    It’s not only us average Juans that feel the pressure. Even actors who had thriving careers went in lockdown and could not engage in the work they’re most passionate about.

    A few entertainment programs have been slowly coming back on air, but it will likely take a while before movies and live shows even start to come back. As for Piolo Pascual, he’s able to do his acting in three new videos on BDO Unibank’s YouTube channel and on BDO Kabayan Facebook page. All three videos are lighthearted spoofs of his hit romantic films that feature overseas Filipinos (OFs) as characters. The videos were based on the films “Milan” and “Starting Over Again.”

    For Piolo, the release of the videos under present circumstances takes on a more poignant meaning –light-hearted though they may be.

    “When we first worked on these videos, iniisip ko na it was a very light, witty way of looking at ourselves as an audience. Mahilig talaga tayo sa mga madrama na films. Natuwa ako rito sa project kasi nabalikan namin ‘yung mga classic, memorable lines galing sa films,” Piolo said, adding that he now appreciates the videos in a more meaningful light.

    “Nag-isip ako: bakit nga ba mga overseas Filipinos ang mga karakter sa mga films natin?

    HIndi ba dahil marami silang hinaharap na challenges? Itong storytelling, ‘yung pag-share natin ng mga kwento ng buhay nila, parang tulay ‘yan na nagko-connect sa atin.

    “Ang nagiging resulta niyan, ‘yung mga nasa abroad, ‘yung mga mahal natin sa buhay na malalayo, they feel less lonely. Nagkakaroon tayo ng link sa kanila, through these movies.

    Mas ramdam natin na kahit magkalayo tayo, our stories connect us. Ramdam natin na nandito pa rin tayo para sa isa’t-isa,” he said.

    Piolo thinks that the videos actually have an important, two-fold message for all of us today. “Una, ‘yung ma-realize natin na pwede naman nating malagpasan ‘yang drama.

    Pagdaraanan pero lilipas din. Life goes on. May mga seryoso tayong problema – but we can still look at the lighter side, we can still have a good laugh.

    “Gusto ko rin sa mga videos ‘yung meron siyang call to action. May sense na kahit maraming problema, may magagawa pa rin tayo. Kahit mahirap ang mga pangyayari, there’s always a light to guide us. We can always find ways to overcome,” he said.

    Piolo feels for the plight of overseas Filipinos today, many of whom have been laid off. He now hopes that the videos can help spark a conversation about the situation of OFs and encourage others to band together and help them.

    “Sa Dubai, may mga Pinoy na ang sweldo, kinaltasan ng 30-percent. ‘Yung ibang overseas Filipinos nawalan ng trabaho. Ilang dekada na suportado tayo ng mga bilyon-bilyong remittances nila. Ngayon na sila naman ang nangangailangan, dapat lang na tayo naman ang tumulong sa kanila,” he said.

    According to Piolo, his working relationship with BDO opens him up to possible ways to help. “Sa BDO, bukod sa BDO Kabayan Savings and remittance centers, may mga pa-seminar pa sila sa mga overseas Filipinos. Tinuturuan sila ng maayos na financial management. Kailangan talaga ‘yan ngayon para ma-maximize natin ang income natin habang nasa pandemic tayo.