‘The protocols are strictly observed,’ says Paolo Ballesteros, ‘and lunch is KKB (kanya-kanyang baon)
Paolo on Bulaga resuming live
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 24, 2020 - 12:00am

Leave it to the guys behind and in Eat, Bulaga! to create a “new normal” style of presenting a show “live” straight from its new studio in Marikina City. Installed around the studio are what they called “body shields” for the usually seven guests in the popular Bawal Judgmental segment. So far, only Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros are in the studio, with Vic Sotto co-hosting via Zoom from home.

“We have to wear not only face masks but also face shields,” said Paolo, “and, of course, we observe social distancing. Same protocols for our guests who remove their face masks only when being interviewed.”

Two weeks before they resumed airing live, the management saw to it that Paolo and company were fit. “Management assigned groups for us — hosts, writers, staff, crew, in a group — and monitored our temperature twice a day with breathing exercises,” added Paolo. “Group assignments are shuffled every two weeks and continue up to now.”

On the first day, they had an orientation facilitated by a doctor and a nurse who are present in the studio every day.

“In the dressing room, we practice physical distancing. Around the dining table, the seats are arranged with corresponding floor stickers. The elevator also has floor stickers and can only carry four persons at a time. Lunch is KKB (kanya-kanyang baon) but most of the time Alden brings food for the rest of us, hehehe!!! Sometimes, online restaurants deliver food for us.”

It’s always solo flight for Paolo who drives to the studio and back home.

With Wally Bayola and Jose Manalo interviewing a guest inside a body shield during the Bawal Judgmental segment of Eat, Bulaga!

“When I get home, I go straight up to my room and just be there and rest and sleep. I just make sure that I don’t go anywhere. During the three-month lockdown, I just stayed home, so kayang-kaya na walang mga lakad. At oo nga pala, I always wash my hands.”

Rita Avila: More children’s books coming up

Rita busy writing while locked down

Already with 10 children’s books that have won her awards, Rita Avila is deadset on writing more.

“I just wrote a 12-part story titled The Animals at Fredirick’s House,” Rita updated Funfare. “You can find it in my Facebook page.”

However, according to Rita, she was not productive during the first few months of the lockdown as far as writing was concerned.

“Later on, I thought of writing in parts to make children learn to wait for the next part. Children these days want to get things done fast. I also got invited to read by Mano Amiga Academy through Streamyard.”

The Animals at Fredirick’s House is about a lonely and shy boy who discovers love in his family and earns friends when he starts taking care of a dog and a cat. It also teaches some tips in taking care of pets.

Where does she get her ideas?

From my childhood days as well as my husband’s (director FM Reyes). I also get ideas from my friends and their kids. Sometimes, an idea just pops up. Lockdown or not, I write when my mind gets stirred up by an idea.”

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

PAOLO BALLESTEROS
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