Manolo Pedrosa can see the good and bad side in working under the new normal where everyone has to observe health protocols. It’s a frightening time. We’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, with many places at least partially shut down, others struggling to reopen safely. Some of us live in an area where the infection rates get worse. Others brace for what may come next and all of us watch headlines and wonder when it will all end?
Locked-In With Manolo Pedrosa
A lot of us have started to work at home. However, essential workers continue to exist. This includes workers in the industries from healthcare, food, and agriculture, emergency services, and transportation and delivery among others. Aimed to inform and entertain, actors can be counted as essential workers. Appearing in the GMA Network’s Babawiin Ko Ang Lahat, Manolo Pedrosa had a locked-in taping with the other cast. He had to spend time away from his friends and family just to keep working.
Admittedly, Manolo felt anxiety working with a lot of people in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he didn’t feel that way due to the risk of infection. He admitted that his introvertedness became the reason behind his fear and anxiety. Questions in his head started to rise.
“Anxiety from being introverted and to be stuck with a lot of people; not from the risk of infection. I am confident with the safety measures the management has provided for us to work on this pandemic. In regards to being introverted and coming in this lock-in taping. I felt anxious about how I will deal with being in the constant presence of people for a month straight as I enjoy virtually all of my free time in solitude. I was asking myself questions like: Will I have a roommate? Who will it be? Will I be able to handle the lock-in taping?”
An enjoyable experience.
Despite being an introvert, he experienced fun and fulfilling moments in his life. Manolo expressed how they made the whole locked-in taping enjoyable.
“Fortunately, it was one of the most fun& fulfilling work experiences I have ever had despite my introversion and anxiety coming in. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating even with the complicated adjustments required to work during this pandemic. Of course, it was a shock and pretty stressful at first but all of us—from the cast, prod, and crew—did our part to make the journey as smooth as possible.”
“I have so much appreciation for the production team especially as they had to do all the hard work of managing the scenes we have to work every day; even during our few rest days they still continued and having their pre-production meetings. I believe they took the brunt of the complications of locked-in taping so much props to them.”
A home away from home.
Manolo also credited his co-stars for giving him an entertaining and delightful experience being away from home. They became genuine friends as they motivate and encourage each other.
“Of course, a special shout out to the BKAL Millennials: Pauline Mendoza, Liezel Lopez, Therese Malvar, Kristoffer Martin, and to my roommate Dave Bornea! As the Millennials of this cast, most of our scenes would be together and thus our stand-by area as well. Shout out to Gio Alvarez and Tanya Gomez as they were usually with us in the group too.”
“This group of ours is truly special because, with all the complications and stresses of our work, we support each other. I think we would all go crazy if we did not have this kind of rapport, as lock-in taping is absolutely demanding physically and mentally. With that said, we always find ways to motivate each other, lessen stress and enjoy ourselves.”
Although they were stuck in a location far away from home, they had a whole routine that made their lives harmonious.
“Honestly every moment—from work, stand-by, and rest day—was enjoyable. Being stuck with each other for a month straight has forced us to become solid and harmonious, no matter the day. It would be hard to separate and choose one moment as this felt seamless to me as work, play, and rest interweave into the experience of locked-in taping. Each moment is as important as it builds from the other.”
An effortless bond.
Manolo Pedrosa also credits Kristofer Martin for leading the charge to build rapport.
“Shout out to Kristofer Martin! He has been our catalyst on us bonding every chance we get; he would go out of his way just to make sure everyone is together and enjoying. As the introvert of the group, I would say it wasn’t a nuisance at all. I genuinely appreciated it as it not only made the experience enjoyable but it was profoundly practical—This is is where I realized the importance of off-cam relationships and how it translates into on-cam chemistry—Work is almost effortless with a great bond.”
Manolo Pedrosa and his new hobby.
Aside from working, Manolo also used the pandemic as a way to find a new hobby. During the first three months of Enhanced Community Quarantine, he read more than forty books. This was a huge shock to him as he didn’t usually read when he was younger. He admits he fell in love with reading.
“I would say the most profound activity during the pandemic for me would be reading. In the first 3 months of ECQ, I was able to read 40+ books! It was a crazy journey for me as I was also shocked with this feat. I was never a bookworm; as a kid, I would just want to spend the whole day playing video games. Something with the pandemic had set that spark for me to fall in love with reading—I would say reading remains the most ‘pandemic-friendly’ as it kills a lot of birds.”
“First, you social-distance since you stay alone with your book. Next, you kill a lot of time and it distracts you from the chaos. And, last but probably the most important, you continue to learn. I have learned a lot with all those books read; not just practical self-help information but also awe-inspiring stories that I could forever cherish—Without a doubt, I would continue on reading even after all of this is over. The pandemic made me a life-long reader.”
The pandemic affecting his mental health.
“Of course, it did, and just like anyone else, it was a major shock to our livelihood; with that, I am struck and a lot of uncertainty and feelings of hopelessness. But in retrospect, it has made me stronger mentally and has taught me a lot of lessons.”
Publisher | Richie de Quina & Gwynn Crisostomo
Editor-in-Chief | Angela Baltan
PR & Advertising Manager | Josh Austria
Digital Manager | Allen Esteban
Words by Angela Baltan
Photography by Jai Murcillo
Hair | Arthur Tolentino
Makeup | Raffy Francisco
Stylist | Patty Yap
Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.