How Michael V. tells his story
In a vlog titled POSITIVE, Bitoy revealed that he was positive for COVID-19

How Michael V. tells his story

KAPUSO DAY - Angel Javier-Cruz (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2020 - 12:00am

Michael V.’s name bears many meanings to many different people. To most, he is a brilliant comedian — one whose masterful delivery of jokes and punchlines always hits hard knockouts to anyone who hears them. And even years later, his timeless parody videos and humorous stints still keep the laughter going.

“I love making people smile,” he said. “I believe you lift a person’s soul when you make them smile and that’s what I’d like to do for as long as I live.”

Indeed, making people smile is one of his many talents, and admirably, it’s also what he does best. Off-cam, Bitoy is the creative director and lead actor for the country’s longest-running gag show, Bubble Gang, and the award-winning family sitcom, Pepito Manaloto — both of which have marked significant milestones in the Philippine entertainment industry.

Michael V.’s #FrontlinerFanart

More importantly, both shows have become well-loved household names that families eagerly await to laugh at and learn from every week.

Asked where he gets most of his ideas and inspiration from, Bitoy shared that the Internet is a great place to start, “Big ideas come from small things; they’re called ‘smartphones.’ I give a sprinkle of Bubble Gang and a dash of Pepito Manaloto on some random funny (and unfunny) stuff I find online and refurbish it for the screen.”

Bitoy’s more dedicated fans, though, would know that while comedy is definitely his strength, it’s just one facet of his creative, imaginable mind.

“Growing up, I’ve been inspired by a lot of people and things. Enough to make me work hard to be like those people and achieve those things,” he added.

Bitoy is the creative director and lead actor for the country’s longest-running gag show, Bubble Gang, and the award-winning family sitcom, Pepito Manaloto

In July of last year, he dipped his toes into the filmmaking industry when Mic Test Entertainment, Inc. and GMA Pictures teamed up to co-produce Family History, a heartwarming movie that gave a glimpse into the ups and downs of life, family and marriage. While most people would probably have focused on doing one role, Michael V. brazenly charged into being the director, the producer, the lead actor, the writer and even the composer of the movie’s original theme song, Ba’T Gano’N?.

“Matagal na akong fan ng movies at matagal ko na gustong gumawa ng pelikula. Gusto ko i-expand ‘yung horizon ko bilang entertainer, bilang performer, and I think itong pelikula ay perfect way para ma-i-showcase ko ‘yung kakayanan ko sa pagsusulat, sa pagdi-direk, at higit sa lahat ay sa pag-arte.”

Pepito Manaloto aired a very special comeback episode last Sept. 5

Suffice to say, the result of his hard work and dedication was a stellar film that received glowing reviews from moviegoers and film critics.

Fast forward to July of this year, Bitoy shocked everyone when he announced on his YouTube channel, #BitoyStory, that he tested positive for COVID-19. In a well-documented 15-minute vlog, he showed the process from getting a swab test to his self-quarantine period, down to the confirmation of his test results. To millions of his fans, it was surprising to see someone as energetic and humorous as Michael V. with trepidation and vulnerability.

“Masama rin pala ‘yung palagi kang positive,” he wittingly quipped.

But it was just in Bitoy’s nature to turn things around.

While recovering, he continued to create content on his social media platforms to inspire other people in these trying times. Through the hashtag #FrontlinerFanart, he encouraged fellow artists to honor our brave modern-day heroes through various illustrations and uplifting messages.

“Sila ang mga totoong nagliligtas ng mga buhay ngayong pandemic. Nung nag-positive ako, firsthand kong nakita ‘yung hirap nila, ‘yung sakripisyo nila, at ‘yung dedication nila,” he shared in a vlog entry.

Nowadays, a fully-recovered Michael V. is busy creating more vlogs and appearing in fresh episodes of Pepito Manaloto and soon in Bubble Gang.

Does he ever tire of brainstorming and coming up with new ideas? Probably. When you wear as many hats as he does, it’s easy to burnout and hit a block. But if we were to come up with one definitive term as to what he is, Bitoy has always been and will always be a storyteller – and it’s exactly the reason why he is inspired to keep going. Moreover, the colorful characters and ingenious scenarios he constantly thinks of are always laced with his simple purpose – to make people happy and to inspire a better community.

“I’m just thankful and happy to make them happy. I hope I am good enough to inspire people to be better. Better than me and, hopefully, better than themselves. I hope to inspire them to take even the tiniest necessary step towards reaching their dreams.”

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