How Vilma Santos-Recto fights depression, anxiety during pandemic

Published August 9, 2021, 7:57 PM

by Robert Requintina

Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto

She may have everything but Star for All Seasons Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto of Lipa City revealed for the first time that she suffered from depression and anxiety during the pandemic.

“I would wake up so sad because I know the pandemic is still around. And then I would think about the people affected by COVID-19,” said Ate Vi during an exclusive interview with entertainment broadcaster Cristy Fermin on her popular radio show “Cristy Fer-MINUTE” on Radyo Singko FM on Monday, Aug. 9

Ate Vi added: “I have friends who died of COVID-19. It’s so depressing.”

These days, Vilma said that she’s staying with her son Lucky Manzano and daughter-in-law Jessy Mendiola. “We’re complete now. Our family bonding is complete.”

In fighting depression, Vilma said she turns to God for guidance.

“I just pray. I turn to God when I am depressed,” she said.

Aside from that, Ate Vi keeps herself busy almost every day. “I talk to my family, I talk to my constituents. I keep my mind busy. I exercise. I feel alive when I am in a Zoom meeting because I get to talk to people.”

Vilma and Cristy have been good friends for quite some time now, saying they enjoy each other’s company.

Ate VI said that she will never forget Cristy when she went to the wake of her mom two years ago. “It means so much to me when friends go to a wake. I will never forget them until the end.”

Cristy also recalled that moment when Vilma was in a hurry to attend the funeral of her mother. “Ate Vi asked me to wait for her. She really made an effort to pay respects to my mother.”

Vilma said that she’s in close contact with her siblings, who are based abroad.

“We would call almost every day and remind one another to keep safe during these challenging times,” she said.

Asked how she managed to stay beautiful despite the age, Ate Vi said: “I don’t do anything special. I also have problems, I am not perfect. I just exercise. I just try to be happy.”

Vilma said that she’s also busy with the vaccination program in her district, adding that she wanted her constituents to get jabbed. “So far, only 40 percent of my constituents have been fully vaccinated. I’m thankful that vaccines are coming in. So hopefully, all of them will get vaccinated against COVID-19.”