Frontrow head RS Francisco (right photo) supervises the preparaton of relief goods and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) as part of his company's Frontrow Cares (FC) projects: We can overcome the crisis if we stand together.
RS’ Frontrow on the frontline
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2020 - 12:00am

The “minus” factor in the extended lockdown is, you must agree, coping with cabin fever. The “plus” factor? It gives you time for family bonding and to attend to things that you missed pre-lockdown because you were too busy with work.

For Frontrow boss RS Francisco, the lockdown has become a perfect time to recollect, re-assess and (virtually) reconnect.

“I frequently check on my friends and family, making sure that they’re doing fine,” RS told Funfare in a virtual interview. “Siempre sinasamantala ko na din ang time at home by catching up on series, movies and beauty regimen. Ang hindi ko nagagawa pre-ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) that I regularly do now is home workout. But most importantly, I use my home as my headquarters for Frontrow Cares (FC) projects. Dito na conceptualize ang Kontra Gutom feeding program that we launched recently. I do my repacking of groceries here and spend most of my time planning logistics and making arrangements for our CSR pursuits in response to the pandemic.”

Since Frontrow has an online system, it’s business as usual for RS.

“But I can’t deny that the pace is not as quick as it was before ECQ. Syempre we have to follow quarantine safety rules, hindi ‘yung tipong go lang nang go. Our normal business procedures are running on a work-from-home (WFH) basis and our business partners actively sell online. Since our key products in Frontrow are antioxidants like Enhanced Glutathione and 8-Berry Extract, and Pure Grapeseed immune booster, there really is a demand from consumers right now. Our products are needed at this time so di kami puede mag-stop.

“Apart from online selling, I also have to give credit to our Frontrow business partners who are keenly and fearlessly working with us in reaching out to frontliners and less privileged communities through our Frontrow Cares (FC) projects.”

RS is also involved in the 2020 Miss Universe-Philippines pageant being handled for the first time by a new team headed by former Bb. Pilipinas/2011 Miss Universe third runner-up Shamcey Supsup.

“This pandemic has indeed changed all plans for the Miss Universe Philippines pageant,” confirmed RS. “From June, it is now postponed to October and we are considering pay-per-view access from home for increased fund-raising for people and families displaced by the pandemic.”

Other matters have been put on hold: a movie offer that RS was quite contemplating on, a campaign being shot before the ECQ and the renovation of his new condo he was supposed to move into.

“It is now, more than ever, that I realized how precious life is and how God is truly the center of it all,” mused RS. “As human beings, we are not in control. Who would have imagined na mangyayari ang ganitong pandemic at ang lahat ng plano ay ma-put on hold? Kaya if you fully entrust your plans and desires to God, hindi ka mabibigo. And one more thing that this ECQ has put emphasis on is napaka-importante mag-kaisa. When united at tulung-tulong mas matibay tayo sa laban, mas posible ang lahat.

According to RS, the way businesses are run post-ECQ will definitely change.

“There will be less personal and more online interaction,” RS preducted. “It is something we have to accept and adapt to. Businesses have to see to it na maging safe pareho ang kanilang employees and clients so there will be a lot of precautionary measures. I also believe that there will be a shift in items and habits that consumers prioritize, health is now the main concern, air travel will lessen for quite awhile. Sabi nga, the new normal.”

Lock 'n Roll host Segundo Matias, Jr.: A sense of companionship in the time of quarantine

Lock ‘n roll, anyone?

Staying connected amidst the pandemic has become more comforting and fun — thanks to social media. As the whole world is experiencing distress, people are frantically looking for safe havens without leaving the comforts of their homes. And somehow, online platforms have become the world’s refuge.

With the pandemic, Precious Pages Corporation — one of the biggest names in the publishing industry — finds a way to connect with the writers and the readers thru Lock ‘n Roll Live hosted by the award-winning author Segundo Matias Jr.

Lock ‘n Roll Live is one of the most engaging, creative, and fun livestreamed sessions in the Philippines today. The guests and the lively, fruitful conversations make it worth watching.

Jun invites an array of people with different passions and distinct personalities — celebrated directors, celebrities, writers and educators.

Among the recent resource persons were the stars of the trending series Mga Batang Poz, namely Mark Neuman (Kenneth), Paolo Gumabao (Enzo), Raven Molina (Gab) and Mark Rivera (RJ/Sandino) who talked about how they prepared for their roles.

Adarna House, Adarna Publishing, Lampara Books and OMF-Hiyas known publishers of children’s literature along with Room To Read were also invited for a one-hour interview.

Lock ‘n Roll gives people an access to an array of fun-filled conversations. It has become the medium for people to connect during this month of social distancing. And one of the best things about this livestreamed show is that it makes us stay hopeful in the midst of this pandemic.

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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