Candy Pangilinan (right) with son Quentin

One year since the pandemic lockdown was imposed and with more COVID-19 positive cases than ever before, actress Candy Pangilinan firmly believes that Filipinos are currently suffering from “the fatigue of the day.” compliance”.

“The Pinoys are now asking, ‘Ito na naman ba?’ But what can we do? Other countries are going through the same thing,” Candy told Inquirer Entertainment in an exclusive Zoom chat.

“People say this is already the second wave. I believe this pandemic will last more than two years. We should all ponder: ‘Is this the way we live from now on? Is this how we want the next generation to live their lives?’ Of course, we don’t,” Candy pointed out. “We have to do something about this. We have to learn to take care of each other, not just ourselves.”

The actress added: “’Di na pwede’ yong ‘apathetic acting.’ We cannot say, ‘Bahala kayo! Basta OK ang pamilya ko.’ If we’re told not to go out, then please, don’t go out. Maybe it’s because we don’t care about others that we’ve encountered this.” This is also why Candy says these days her daily prayer is no longer just involving her family and close friends. She explained, “Recently, I have been praying not only for my family but also for my barangay. I realized that if my neighbor got sick, my family could get sick too. After a while, I began to pray for the whole country. A short time later, the whole world.”

Candy said she’s grateful that unlike some people, she doesn’t experience bouts of anxiety or depression. “I guess it’s because I’m always thinking about what my son can do at home during the lockdown that I don’t have any mental health issues,” she points out.

Activity that fills the void

Candy’s 17-year-old son, Quentin, was diagnosed with autism when he was just over a year old.

“It’s hard for kids like Quentin not being able to go out. They’re stuck at home, so you really have to fill their schedule, or the lack of things to do will cause tantrums, even chaos,” she says. “Before the pandemic, our lives were well planned. We are so used to knowing our schedule from Monday to Friday. Suddenly, we had to cancel activities or reschedule them.”

Candy said she had to come up with activities to fill in the gaps in Quentin’s schedule, “I think that has worked very well for me too. I don’t have time to be bored. When I’m at home, I don’t have time for myself because Quentin is always by my side. I used to have time for friends, or time for ‘me’. Now, I can’t even stay in the bathroom longer because Quentin will be at the door screaming, ‘Mom, come on!’”

On the biggest lesson she has learned from our collective pandemic experience, Candy said: “There was a time when I kept thinking, ‘Sayang! Ito pa naman ang plano.’ After a while, I realized that because I kept clinging to unsuccessful plans, I forgot that I should be grateful that I am alive right now.”

Primary care

Candy said her priority was to make Quentin understand what was going on. “I explained it to him in the simplest way I could. I said, ‘There’s a virus. Danger. If you are infected, patay. Maybe you’re healthy so you can manage, but Nini (Candy’s mother and Quentin’s grandmother) is old and she could pass away.’” Caring for children, like Quentin, has special needs. Is it harder during the pandemic? “Before this happened, Quentin used to have face-to-face meetings with his therapist. Now, he does everything online. And hirap! I had to buy a swivel chair for him when he was restless. He had to go through a lot of adjustments. I understand him perfectly. I also have a hard time concentrating when the webinar is too long. I’ll doze off, sometimes. What’s more for kids like him?

Quentin went through some crises at the start of the lockdown, his mother admits. “We did Zumba together. We had an all-day party with everyone in the house. I was forced to buy a treadmill,” recalls Candy. “Thanks to him, I learned to be more creative. We have developed a more special relationship because we are always together. He wanted to be by my side all the time,” Candy said.

Lots of work done

Despite her preoccupation with Quentin, Candy still manages to get a lot of work done as an artist. She is a cast member of the recently concluded series “Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit.” She also shot several digital films for Viva Entertainment and wrote two scripts after attending screenwriter Ricky Lee’s workshop.

“I really enjoy working in the new normal,” Candy declared. “It is time and energy efficient for the actors, and cost effective for the producers. All of you in one place. You have a specific schedule to follow. You all have to know your lines before you get to the set, so that means you get more shots done in a day. Everyone does well on tiptoe.”

Candy said, the advantage for her as an actress is: “I start a project knowing in advance what will happen to my character. It’s not like before when I used to ask, ‘Am I going to die early on this show? How long will I be doing comedy here?’ Now, I know what is expected of me. I’m really in favor of key sets. Kaya naman pala,” she commented. request

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