Lockdown realizations from The Clash judges

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Lockdown realizations from The Clash judges
AiAi Dela Alas, Christian Bautista and Lani Misalucha
STAR / File

Like most people, Ai-Ai delas Alas, Lani Misalucha and Christian Bautista also experienced being stressed out when almost everything came to a halt due to the pandemic. But they said those months spent in total lockdown had opened their eyes to the good things they were not paying attention to before.

Ai-Ai shared it led to her accidental discovery of her talent for baking. Her initial attempt at making soft and fluffy ube cheese pan de sal to satisfy her husband Gerald Sibayan’s craving was a success that it, later on, turned into a lucrative business as orders kept coming in.

“I was really clueless on what to do when this pandemic happened, except to firmly put my trust in God,” the Concert Comedy Queen added. “Trust God with all your heart and that’s what I did when I was beginning to freak out na parang ano ba ang gagawin ngayong wala kaming work because, even if you have savings, it’s still different when you have money in your pocket every day, especially to a breadwinner like me. And that time, Gerald just graduated from aviation school sa pagiging piloto n’ya. So, I prayed hard to God to take care of everything. At ayan na nga na-discover ko ‘yung pag-be-bake ng pandesal while Gerald became an online franchisee.”

At the height of the pandemic, anxiety spiked and got the best of Lani because she and her husband Noli were miles away from their children and grandchildren who are in Las Vegas. “It’s an awakening and at the same time a humbling experience. Perhaps, everyone felt that kind of emotion yet in spite of it all, you were able to gain strength from that anxiety. It’s true that you can still see the good in this trying time,” said Lani.

Christian, on the other hand, said he felt doubly pressured when work was disrupted “because the husband suddenly had no work. So, I’m blessed and thankful my wife (Kat Ramnani) still has work for she’s in corporate. There were thoughts running in my head na dapat ba nag-farming na lang ako o nag-corporate. Or I should’ve done some other businesses a long time ago,” he ruminated.

The singer-actor is now considering taking new endeavors after having realized the many side hustles that he can do. “Ano ba ‘yung pwede ko i-broker? I am thinking about what else I can do on livestream — write a song or become a producer. So, it’s really more of creating something out of nothing, that’s what I always say. I’m thankful na kahit paano meron din pumapasok (earning) and I’m even more thankful now that we are back to the studio for AOS and The Clash.”

Ai-Ai, Lani and Christian once again sit as members of the jury panel for The Clash Season 3 that had its pilot airing last Oct. 3. Christian admitted their task is a lot tougher than the previous seasons knowing how most of the contestants became jobless due to the health crisis.

“I was thinking if I should be extra nice because we’re in a pandemic at lahat tayo may hirap. So, I told myself, maybe in the beginning, I’ll be a little less serious but I owe it to the show, to the past seasons to be stricter in the next challenge because we still want the best Clasher.

“Those thoughts really went into my head in the beginning and it’s hard to see those eliminated kahit kakadating pa lang. But with or without pandemic, it will happen. The Clash is really a hard contest.”

Saying no to a contestant also breaks Lani’s heart. “That’s why, I always say it like, you know, I have this motherly (approach) that I tell them whatever criticism in a nicer way,” she shared.

To ease the tension a bit, Ai-Ai makes subtle and amusing comments on contestants, oftentimes at the beginning of the competition “pero pagdating sa gitna, kailangan na naming maghigpit talaga.”

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