During the online press conference for Maalaala Mo Kaya’s Father’s day special episode, actor Cris Villanueva revealed that his family contracted the COVID-19 virus after he contracted the illness last March. Cris also shared how the virus affected his work even after he had fully recovered.
“Dito naman sa Finding Papa episode sa MMK, it’s not my first time to work in the pandemic because yung first ko was a teleserye. Na nung nag-wo-work kami sa teleserye akala namin alam na alam na namin kung paano iwasan ang COVID and then just before we ended the show, most of us got COVID.
“All of a sudden, everything changed. Hindi pala namin alam how to dodge it and what COVID is all about. All of a sudden yung mga emotions and pati the way we think nag-iba. Like one time I pulled direk Jerome (Pobocan) aside, sabi ko, ‘Direk, I think I’m having a hard time concentrating. Can you help me kasi nawawala ako.’
“Since nagka-COVID ako, nahirapan ako mag-concentrate at hindi ko maalala minsan yung character. Basta COVID is different from all the sickness that I’ve had. Kaya nung ginagawa namin ito, I would always remind direk Jerome to help me with this. Mabuti na lang matiyaga si direk. Pumupunta siya sa tabi ko, kinikuwento niya ulit, binabalik niya ako dun. Kasi nga I think piniga niya ako literally,” he shared.
The MMK actor said that people should not be relaxed even after following strict safety protocols because the pandemic is still ongoing.
“COVID is so real. Napaka paranoid ko ng tao. I always have alcohol in my pocket. I wear a mask all the time. I always wear a shield. But then hindi pa rin ako nakaligtas. Nagkaroon pa rin ng COVID. Sa set namin napaka ingat na. May health officer dun na nagbabantay sa amin. Talagang lahat ng puwedeng ipaalala sa amin pinapaalala. But then I think the only way para maiwasan niyo ito is not to go out. Please stay home kung wala naman kayong gagawin at hayaan niyo na lang na may isang designated na tao na lumabas para bumili ng pagkain at bumili ng kailangan bilhin. Until now hindi pa rin namin alam kung saan namin nakuha yung COVID but my whole family got infected,” he recalled.
Aside from his physical symptoms which became severe at one point, Cris said it was more painful for him to imagine what could have happened to his children.
“The torture of you thinking na magkakaroon sila ng grabeng sintomas, sa mga anak niyo at kaibigan, hindi po biro yun. Nakakabaliw isipin na ang mga anak niyo may COVID at kayo wala rin kayo maitulong kasi pati kayo infected. Please don’t go out. Mag-stay na lang kayo sa bahay hanggang mawala ang pandemic. It’s not a joke. Masakit siyang klase ng sakit. So iniisip ko na lang kung napunta sa mga anak ko yung sintomas or sa kakilala ko, sa kaibigan ko. Hindi niyo kakayanin mga kaibigan. So please huwag niyo sasabihin na walang COVID. hindi totoo yan or madali lang ito. Please take it seriously,” he said.
Watch the MMK two-part episode of titled Finding Papa starring Cris Villanueva and Maris Racal as father and daughter on June 12 and June 19 at 9 pm.