Watch: Teaching Students Who Live Under a Bridge in the Philippines

I just want to spread hope and inspiration during these trying times. Today is day 15 of the enhanced community quarantine. In the Philippines where I am from, the COVID-19 positive cases have reached almost 1, 500 as of this writing. The least thing that I can do is to spark some positivity. I have realized that as much as possible I try to inject that in my films, so I thought might as well share them.

In this short documentary, we take a look at the inspiring initiative of a teacher who spearheaded the Education Under the Bridge advocacy. She is Teacher Fe Matullano-Lustañas from Parañaque. She is a public school teacher by profession but on Saturdays, she teaches the out of school youth who reside in a coastal area of Parañaque. Most of these kids do not have a permanent home.

We filmed this back in 2018. I made it with the help of my friends in UP Film Institute. Thanks once again to Kim Ilaya, Isabelle Toledo and Josh Lomahan to name some. Luckily, the film was recognized by the Change Film Festival. We won 2nd place.

If you want to donate or volunteer, Teacher Fe can be reached through her official Facebook page, or through this program found iniVolunteer Philippines. Please study hard and educate those who need it the most: the young children, the underprivileged and the marginalized.

Education must be available to everybody. Education is not a privilege; it is a human right.

Thank you so much!

Kumu, positivity amidst the #COVID19 pandemic in Manila

As I write this, we are currently on Day 12 of the enhanced community quarantine here in Metro Manila, Philippines. It is March 25, 2020, Wednesday, as I write this.

While everyone wants to remain hopeful that we will survive this pandemic, the anxiety and fear combined is very much palpable where I live. I reside in Quezon City, near Mindanao Avenue or C5.

I have not been going out for days in an effort to adhere to the social distancing measures enforced by our government. Except for when I really have to buy groceries and medication.

When I did, I was really surprised that outside, it looked like a ghost town. The otherwise bumper to bumper sight in our main roads is nowhere to be seen. Yet this is not a feeling of comfort or relief, it is fear. Fear of the unknown and the unseen. We do not know for how long this pandemic will last. We also do not see the enemy: #covid19.

I must admit, I am very fortunate to be able to work from home during these trying times. Some of my kababayans are not as lucky. Online, I have read numerous accounts of people who have lost their main source of income ever since the lock down. Some have been mercilessly laid off, some were not required to go to work anymore. In a snap, they were jobless.

Freelancers and independent contractors like me got worried too, when one by one, our gigs or rakets were cancelled. This really made a dent in our cash flow. The constant bills keep on piling up, but the active income has stopped.

Ever since I led the freelancer life, I felt that I had to maintain a multiple income stream. This is to provide a buffer during emergency situations. Never did I think it would be this soon though. In theory and in all fairness, that seemed fine and logical. But that seems hardly so at present. But I firmly believe we shall get pass this.

As someone who constantly worries about my cash flow, I accepted a project from #kumu months back. Let me put my worries into context. The economy is volatile. Though they say that the Philippines has a booming market and economy, I always thought of the worst. I always thought anything can happen. The good, the bad, the worst. And the first one who should be able to help yourself, any time, any where, should be yourself.

At that time, it was crystal clear that Kumu is about building a fun Pinoy community. What is Kumu? As posted in this online portal, it is a “Filipino-centric social app that lets users host and watch livestreams, do virtual hangouts, as well as join interactive quizzes and social games. The app, which takes its name from the Pinoy greeting ‘kumusta?” Sounds well and fun, right?

But as March came in and the tragic deaths related to the novel corona virus piled up, everything else in the world has changed. Travel bans, both local and international, were implemented. A collective panic was beginning to grow. And now we’re prohibited to go out of our house. Three weeks ago, this was unheard of. Unthinkable even.

But what can a social app contribute to the present circumstances? That’s why Kumu is presenting “Social DistanSing”.

While other people underestimate the arts and entertainment in providing ‘relief’ during this period, I would like to point out though that it is also through these very things that we find comfort and solace amidst the chaos and fear.

When you see a daily update of rising death tolls worldwide due to COVID19, the future looks grim. And it is in those times when we look for something that can get us through the day. At this point, sometimes we turn to entertainment. To music, movies, poetry. Otherwise, we’d go bonkers even before the virus hits us.

How does this Kumu Social DistanSing event work? Basically it is a live stream session featuring Filipino celebrities and influencers whose collective goal is to raise funds.

Host, endorser and actor, KC Montero, who is also the Vice President of Marketing at Kumu shares this onhis LinkedIn account:

Extremely thankful for friends with giving hearts.. Kumu is collaborating with artists to help raise funds! We pledge that virtual gifts given on the Kumu Cares livestream will be donated to alleviate the plight of Filipino families most in need during this time. Download Kumu and catch your fave artists Go Live from March 26-April 8, from 4 to 9PM. On Kumu, no need to logout for other payment platforms, donations go straight on the livestream via virtual gifts!

I am really glad that we, Filipinos, are doing everything that we can to help each other out, in the best ways we know how. Philippines has been heralded as the social media capital of the world, and now we can use that to our advantage. To exercise our compassion and actually help others, too!

So I encourage everyone to download #kumu and take part in this noble cause. It’s accessible, easy and fun. Most of all, it is life-changing.

Here is the first batch of live streamers:

Spread the love, everyone!

Florence

 

Heart Evangelista on love and career, plus fashion secrets!

We got to work with Heart Evangelista last March for GMA Network. We went to her office in Quezon City to shoot an ‘office tour’ plus several other quirky things to let people know more about this lovely and multitalented woman. The result was the online content that were launched via the social media platforms of GMA Network like Facebook and Instagram, and we officially named the project called “GMA Artistakeover”.

What you will watch below contain a side of Heart that you rarely get to see in soap operas that she stars in or her official Instagram page. Her showbiz BFF, Lovi Poe, will also make an appearance here to send her warmest regards to GMA’s Artist of the Month for March.

Meanwhile, for this April, we will give a warm Kapuso welcome to Derek Ramsay who is the Artist of the Month!

 

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Visual Diary: Juancho Trivino and Joyce Pring

#JuanChoyce was on the show! They have been very vocal about their budding romance ever since they were paired onscreen as hosts on GMA’s morning show, Unang Hirit. So when Juancho Trivino visited Kapuso Artistambayan, where Joyce is one of the hosts, their fans definitely anticipated for something sweet to unfold!

With their inside jokes, Juancho’s sweet ‘banats’ and Joyce smart comebacks, this was definitely one of the funniest and revealing episodes I had witnessed. Thankfully, I was able to capture some sweetness overload behind the scenes after we wrapped up! Sharing these to all of you!

 

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Visual Diary: Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix

You can view the full episode here:.

By now, you may have heard about the positive reviews that netizens are sharing online about the GMA Primetime Series called Sahaya. Weeks leading to its Philippine premiere, its stars and Kapuso loveteam, Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix visited Kapuso Artistambayan to update us what it’s all about and to reveal some exciting things about their onscreen pairing. Here are some snaps of what went on during their guesting.

Ways for you to spend a fun and relaxing Friday night at home

TGIF! After a stressful week, finally, it’s Friday night! You might think of welcoming the weekend by hitting the bar, going to parties or splurging on good food. After all, it’s a good idea to reward yourself from all the hard work you’ve done this week.

But other than going out, there are actually exciting ways to spend a Friday night without breaking the bank. You can do these fun and budget-friendly ideas to kick off the weekend at home.

  1. Watch and Chill
modern family
One of my favorite shows ever, Modern Family. Image from Google.

This is the best time to catch up with your favorite TV shows, online videos, and vlogs which you might have missed these past weeks because of your grueling schedule. If you’ve skipped viewing trending videos lately because you thought they are a distraction, then now is the perfect time to binge-watch those without feeling guilty!

Craving to re-watch your all-time favorite movie? You can relive the magical feeling, too! You have the entire night to relax and stay updated with all the trends.

2. Pamper yourself

pamper

Let’s face it, if you’re on a tight budget, expensive trips to the spa is not really a good option. But that does not mean you should skimp on yourself and miss out on a little indulgence to feel good.

You can recreate the spa vibes at home with these affordable and DIY ideas. Light some scented candles, turn off the lights and take a hot shower. If you have extra time, shake your worries off and play some chill music plus take a long bath.

You can also look good and feel good by applying homemade face mask and hair spa recipes that won’t cost you a fortune.

3. Catch some sleep

young beautiful woman sleeping and smiles in his sleep in bed
Image from Google

 

 

Adulting can be very demanding. Carrying out multiple responsibilities and meeting even the most mundane tasks may result to a sleep deficit. If you seriously need to make up for your lack of sleep, this is the perfect time. Sleeping is also going to be beneficial for your health rather than staying up on a Friday night. Studies show that sleep deprivation can have serious consequences.

So if you find yourself worrying about overspending or getting bored at home on a Friday night, consider these precious options that you can easily accomplish. Sometimes, it’s nice to have the evening all to yourself for some rest and relaxation.

If you have other Friday night rituals that you want us to know, feel free to suggest them on the comments section.