Birthday boy Luis Manzano shares how he adjusts to ‘new normal’

Birthday boy Luis Manzano shares how he adjusts to ânew normalâ
Luis Manzano
PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid / Released

MANILA, Philippines — With his pedigree in the entertainment world, and his wide reach in touching lives of viewers since first stepping in the limelight as a VJ in "MYX" and a host in "ASAP," Luis Manzano has since been the default premiere male presenter on ABS-CBN in hosting reality programs and game shows.

His many accolades and successes are indeed glimmering, while his charm is forever endearing. But while we would appreciate him in the spotlight, with his gregarious and boisterous world surrounding him — how does a muted lifestyle constrained in his Greenmeadows home amid the current Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) affected him?

“To some degree, I’m a loner so it medyo works for me despite what people see on TV. But at the same time it’s sad honestly,” Luis admits in an exclusive interview through an online video chat.

But Luis stressed that while he may have found difficulty in adjusting to his alone time during the quarantine, he knows his conditions are a blessing compared to conditions being faced by people who need to work amidst the COVID-19 crisis. 

“We see people by the streets having to work. Our frontliners risking their lives while saving others. I am fortunate and I thank God every night for keeping us safe at home,” Luis noted. 

Luis said reliable and robust Internet connections are crucial in such times of uncertainty.

“I have PLDT Home connection at home so I can do so many things fast and conveniently online. And (in addition to) all the meetings online, easily watching TV series or movies, the Internet connection that we have in our homes can help save lives – to exchange vital information about the virus and vaccines, to share knowledge, and for communities to reach out to one another and send help. All these can be done easily with our PLDT Home Wifi at home,” he added.

One superb manifestation of this marvel of technology during the crisis is that he could continue his work as a TV host for the Sunday noontime show "ASAP Natin ‘To," as it has shifted to airing performances from artists via live streaming from their respective homes.

“Could you imagine doing 'ASAP' from home na nag-pro-production number pa. May kumakanta pa, may sayaw pa. Grabe what’s happening and what’s going to happen in the years to come,” Luis emphasized, as he stressed how the performances seem to “tug a lot of heartstrings” at this time. 

“With everything happening now, everything is amplified. You sing a nice, inspirational song, it’s gonna tug so many heartstrings. Even if it’s song you’ve heard countless times, if you hear it now, parang mas grabe ang tama sa yo because mas mararamdaman mo and you would relate to the song even more,” Luis further said.

And in adjusting to his “new normal,” Luis shared how he is coping, spending the entire day and keeping himself productive at home. 

Luis still keeps himself busy around the house—even if it isn’t much of a variety. “Basically, it’s workout, eat, watch TV, get ready for bed,” Luis revealed. 

He also detailed his other activities that keeps him busy during the lockdown. “It’s a bunch of TV, a bunch of news. I’m trying to pick up a new skill. Sulitin natin ito. If it’s something like learning a new language, something about business or stocks,” Luis pointed out. 

But above all, aside from still enjoying family ties through convenient innovation, the ECQ is an opportunity for introspection and reflection.

“It gives us time with our thoughts. It gives us time with the Supreme Being. Para sa akin, pagka ganitong nasa bahay ka lang when everything is a bit more quiet than usual, it gives you a nice conversation with God. That’s the way I see it. When everything slows down, mas masarap pakinggan ang mensahe sa yo ng Diyos.”

These realizations certainly affect his outlook in life.

“I appreciate everything more,” Luis declared. “You get to appreciate the smaller things in life and you realize you appreciate something no matter how minute or grand it will be. We always tend to appreciate something grand. But sa akin, there is more magic, there’s so much more love and appreciation with the minute details.”

Luis, who turned 39 while the ECQ is still in effect on April 21, looks forward to spending a post-birthday bash with family and friends in Batangas when a possible “relaxed” quarantine happens, aside from resuming his deep passion for diving. 

ECQ might be constraining and limiting, but this necessary action certainly does not prevent us from taking advantage of the technology to strengthen ties with family and loved ones, learn new things reflect and ponder on life decisions. 


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