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Piolo’s new videos put the spotlight on helping overseas Filipinos

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 and other performers who had thriving careers--TV shows, concerts, movies, etc.--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 still able to do his acting in new videos that are coming our way.


Less drama, more action 
Soon, we’ll be seeing three new videos featuring Piolo that will be shown on BDO Unibank’s YouTube channel and on BDO Kabayan Facebook page. All three videos are light-hearted spoofs and puns of his hit romantic films that featured overseas Filipinos (OFs) as characters. The videos were based on the films “Milan,” where Piolo starred with Claudine Barretto; and “Starting Over Again” that paired him with Toni Gonzaga. 
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 eh, 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. 

According to Piolo, the videos’ call for “less drama” takes on more significance today. He said that all the “drama” we feel and go through -- loneliness, isolation, anxiety, even fear -- are valid responses to the pandemic. 
“Ang kaibahan lang, when we go through ‘drama’ in the movies, nagiging emotional tayo; malungkot, nakakaiyak, pero nagkakaroon tayo ng release. May catharsis. Gumagaang ang pakiramdam. Nagkakaroon ng pag-asa. May katapusan ang drama sa sine. Two hours lang. Pero ngayon, ang drama natin, tunay na buhay. Hindi pa natatapos. Naka-lockdown na tayo mga 100 days. Nakaka-miss na yung mga dati nating ginagawa,” 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. 

Time to help heroes Piolo said that he feels for the plight of overseas Filipinos today. He heard about how many have been laid off, while others are forced to receive lower salaries so they can keep their jobs and wait until the economic downturn passes. 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,” said Piolo. 
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.
” Piolo said that proper financial management is something we all need to do at this time -- but it has a particular urgency for overseas Filipinos especially those who do not have job security. Apart from that, he also pointed out that many artists have been holding online fund-raising shows and other projects in order to help overseas Filipinos, whose jobs were affected by the pandemic. 

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BDO Remit – through BDO Kabayan Savings – its special savings & remittance account for the overseas Filipino market – has become a lifeline for overseas Filipinos during the pandemic. BDO Remit has kept its services running to help Filipinos overseas and their families cope with the challenges of the pandemic.

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