Actor Cris Villanueva agreed to taping a “Maalaala Mo Kaya” episode under a lock-in set-up when he was cast as Maris Racal’s missing father in “Finding Papa,” a two-part episode of the ABS-CBN series, scheduled for airing on June 12 and 19.
“It’s not actually my first time to work in a pandemic time. It’s actually my second time kasi ‘yung first ko (because my first) was a teleserye,” he said during the online press conference yesterday, May 31, for Father’s Day episodes of “Maalaala Mo Kaya.”
When he and the entire team were doing the teleserye, Villanueva said they thought they knew all along how to avoid getting the virus.
“All of a sudden, just before we ended the show, most of us got COVID. And then all of a sudden everything changed. Parang hindi pala namin alam (It was as if we did not know) how to dodge it, what COVID-19 is about,” he recalled.
It affected Villanueva’s acting performance. While doing his MMK episode, he had bouts of confusion.
“All of a sudden pati ‘yung mga emotions, the way we think ay nag-iba. One time, I pulled Jerome (Pobocan), sabi ko, ‘I think I am having a hard time concentrating. Can you please help me? Kasi nawawala ako, sabi ko,” he said.
(All of a sudden, even when it came to the emotions, the way we think, it changed. One time I pulled aside Jerome Pobocan, I said, “I think I am having a hard time concentrating. Can you please help me?” Because I was getting lost, I said.)
It turns out that since he got the virus, Villanueva had difficulty concentrating on his scenes during the taping. Sometimes he can’t remember his character.
“Basta, COVID is different from all the sickness that I’ve had,” he stated. Still, Villanueva is grateful to their director Jerome Pobocan for being caring and helpful.
“Buti na lang matiyaga si direk. Pumupunta siya sa tabi ko. Ikinukuwento niya uli. Binabalik niya ako doon. I think piniga niya ako literally,” he said.
(It’s nice that out director is very patient. He goes to me. He shares the story again and brings me back to the scene. I think he squeezed [the performance out of me], literally.) JB