Any kind of news is still important in the ‘new normal’

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Any kind of news is still important in the ânew normalâ
New Normal: Bright Side host Kara David

Life as we know it, pre-pandemic, has drastically changed. With stay-at-home directives and movement restrictions now easing up, everyone (and everything) is now being called to adapt to the “new normal”.

Even how news and public affairs programs are produced these days. GMA News TV, for its part, rose to the challenge by conceptualizing an entirely new magazine show as a how-to for the so-called new way of living. Under the banner title of New Normal: The Survival Guide, the week-long series of shows features different hosts discussing, among others, what’s in the headlines, work and family time in quarantine, money woes and the good news.

Recently, The STAR and other press had a Zoom chat with two of them, seasoned Kapuso journalists Kara David and Susan Enriquez who also shared their own survival strategies this time of pandemic.

New Normal: Pera Paraan host Susan Enriquez

For Kara, she has learned to be more mindful not just of herself but also of other people during the quarantine period. While she considers herself relatively healthy and active, she currently lives with her senior father. “You just can’t think of yourself only. You have to think of the people around you because you might be able to survive but what about them?” she said.

If anything, the pandemic has taught her that everyone is connected to each other. Going the extra mile for your health isn’t just about self-care, but a way of showing concern for other people, especially in your household. “(Even if) isa lang ang magkaroon sa inyo ng infection, all of you will be affected. So, don’t be complacent. You’re doing it not just for yourself. You’re doing it for everyone around you as well,” she added.

For Susan, it’s imperative that her schedule is properly planned ahead of time, especially when going out of the house for essentials. “For example, I need to go to the grocery or the market, everything I need is listed,” she said.

Susan also buys household supplies that last for a week or two to minimize time outside the house.

Both journos have also (re)discovered hobbies and interests like cooking and gardening — and for Susan, a bit of online selling.

Kara explained, “Nakakatakot yung food security natin, so ayun nagsimula na rin kaming magtanim-tanim. We have kangkong na pinapatubo ko lang sa mineral water bottle. We have basil, eggplants, all these (vegetables) that are easy to grow.”

To cope with the “new normal,” it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to arm oneself with verified news and information.

Both Kara and Susan readily acknowledged that news nowadays can be distressing. Susan, herself, admitted she’s been hearing a lot of people scared to listen or read the news, but she believes they need it now more than ever to better deal with the pandemic.

“Nawawala ba yung problema kapag hindi mo siya alam? It’s still there ‘di ba?” Kara also said.

According to her, viewers can have the assurance that the information legit news outlets put out there underwent news gathering and fact-checking protocols. “Kasi ngayon ang daming impormasyon na hindi mo alam kung anong totoo at ano ang hindi totoo,” she said. “At least when you watch the news on TV, makaka-sigurado ka na merong mga strict gate-keeping principles yung mga news producers na yung lalabas na news on television.”

Susan, for her part, just advised viewers to consume a “balanced diet” of news and entertainment. She said, “You can actually combine them. With news naman usually mga one or one and a half hours in the evening, while the rest of the day, you can watch shows that will entertain you.”

She added, “Dapat babalansehin mo rin sa panahon ngayon. You have to be informed kung ano yung dapat mong gawin na pag-iingat sa sarili mo, sa pamilya mo, sa paligid mo dahil nga dito sa COVID-19 pandemic.”

Meanwhile, more of these survival tips from them and other helpful sources will be featured on their respective shows. New Normal: The Survival Guide airs Mondays to Fridays, 8:30 p.m. after the 24 Oras simulcast.

Kara does Tuesdays, with Bright Side, which centers on good vibes stories, while Susan does Pera Paraan for practical pointers to hurdle financial struggles brought about by work stoppage and other situations.

Susan said that, due to the quarantine, “maraming namomroblema kung paano kikita ng pera, saan kukuha ng gastusin, ano ‘yung pwedeng alternate livelihood. So, this show will, somehow, give ideas on what can be possibly done in the situation we’re in. It’s all about pagiging wais. Kung paano ka gagawa ng paraan para matugunan at magkaroon ng pagkakakitaan sa panahon ng ‘new normal’.”

Kara promises the #happinews in her segment. “We know there’s a lot of problems but that doesn’t mean there’s no silver lining in all of these. So, all the inspiring stories, we will tackle them… It’s important to show the resilience of the Filipino and their capacity for compassion,” she said.

For her, these kinds of stories need to be seen and heard, more than ever, to show how the pandemic “somehow, in some ways, brings out the best in us.”


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