THRILLMAKER: Getting the local TV and film industries jabbed

Published June 12, 2021, 5:21 PM

by Joee Guilas

Photos by Ali Vicoy

The government launched vaccination activities for the A4 priority group last Monday which finally flashed the green light for all workers to get their shot in the arm salvation from the deadly COVID-19.

Among those expected to benefit from this new opening of the vaccination gates are some 35 million Filipinos, including those from the entertainment industry and the media.

The list of vaccine recipients was expanded from the original concept of covering only those classified as economic frontliners to now include everyone who work outside their homes and have high levels of interaction with the public (which practically translates to almost all Filipino workers). The widening of the coverage was done as more vaccine supplies are expected to arrive in the country and to fast-track the reopening of the country’s economy.

As the entertainment and media industries are among those highlighted as being a part of the A4 sector, more and more participants in such industries are now showing willingness to having their arms jabbed with anti-COVID vaccines.

In fact, the Metro Mania Film Festival organizing committee, working hand-in-hand with the Movie Welfare Foundation, Incorporated (MOWELFUND), has initiated a mass vaccination activity for film and media workers last Friday at the MMDA Grounds. The activity, which was attended by familiar faces from television and the movies as well as those who provide the public with their regular feeding of news, was said to be just the first of a series that will be held exclusively for the sector.

Among those who came to get themselves vaccinated were: Joko Diaz, Allan Paule, Jeffrey Santos, Marco Alcaraz, Precious Lara Quigaman, Joross Gamboa, Mike Tan, Jerome Ponce, JM De Guzman, among others.

An industry leader who is behind the vaccination program told The Thrillmaker: “The moment vaccination was launched for the A4 category, we made sure right away that vaccines will be made available to those in the entertainment industry. While hindi naman talaga tumigil ang productions, being vaccinated is better kaysa swab sila ng swab. This will surely help the industry and even the forthcoming MMFF by year-end. New content will be created.”

So what have so far been the post-vaccination experiences of people belonging to this category? After getting the formulations into their systems, would they recommend for others to have it too, or would they promote even greater vaccination hesitancy for the public? Here are the reactions shared by some stars who have already been fully vaccinated:

KAT DE CASTRO, TV Host/PTV General Manager. I actually cried when I was given my second and final Sinovac dose. I am hypertensive so the pandemic brought my anxiety levels to an all-time high. Because I am fully vaccinated, I am more confident now to do personal errands and I am able to give 200% of myself once more to various work assignments. It has become my advocacy to encourage others to have themselves vaccinated in order to protect the population. I often tell them to research more and not listen to hearsay. People should know that the best COVID vaccine is the one readily available for you. Those little doses bring so much hope that things will be alright soon.

MR. FU, Star DJ/Multi-media Personality. No alarming side effects for me. More than anything else, it gave me peace of mind. Yung kahit papaano, protektado ka na. Feeling ko nakalulon ako ng baton i Darna! May ganon?!

NOEL FERRER, Talent Manager/Entertainment Columnist. I tested positive fro COVID19 after I got my second dose last May. My symptoms did not progress because of the vaccine and I was asymptomatic the whole time. Through my whole COVID experience, as I am exposed to the different manifestations of love (the 4Fs—Faith, Family, Friends and Food—for the body and for the soul), I am more convinced with what my doctors said, that the vaccines saved me!

FERNAN “MS. F” DE GUZMAN, Entertainment Writer/PMPC Vice President. Unang-una, ang pakiramdam ko pagkatapos kong mabakunahan ay protected na ako sa COVID19. May panlaban na ako. At napansin ko, mas lumakas ako dahil kaya ko nang maglakad ng matagal nang di hinihingal. Sana lahat ok, para matapos nang lahat ang hirap, ang pandemic.

JACQUE MANABAT, Broadcast Journalist, ABS-CBN. I signed up for vaccine once I heard those with comorbidity are now part of the prioritized batch. I have asthma, but did not stop from doing field work. It was my choice despite knowing the hazards of the job. The real stories are on the ground. I followed all health protocol but at the back of my mind, there’s fear. With the vaccine, I somehow felt relieved. It’s an added layer of protection for me, my crew, those I mingle with outside, and of course, my family.