Piolo Pascual's films are so iconic that some of the scenes he's been in are pretty much permanently etched into the collective memory of most Filipinos.
Now, the actor has recreated some of those scenes in a series of videos for BDO, of which he is an endorser. The series includes 3 videos that recreate scenes of romantic dramas he starred in that featured Filipinos abroad: Milan, where he co-starred with Claudine Barretto, and Starting Over Again, where he was paired with Toni Gonzaga.
Piolo said he enjoyed returning to those films, and that recreating scenes from them helped him see them in a new light.
“When we first worked on these videos, iniisip ko na (I thought) it was a very light, witty way of looking at ourselves as an audience. Mahilig talaga tayo sa mga madrama na films. (We really love dramatic films),” he said.
He mused on why overseas Filipinos feature so heavily in Filipino films, saying that telling their stories helps them feel connected to their motherland, and helps their loved ones feel connected to them.
“Itong storytelling, yung pag-share natin ng mga kwento ng buhay nila, parang tulay yan eh, na nagko-connect sa atin (This storytelling, this sharing of overseas Filipinos' lives, it's like a bridge that connects us)," he said.
“Ang nagiging resulta niyan, yung mga nasa abroad, yung mga mahal natin sa buhay na malalayo, they feel less lonely. Nagkakaroon tayo ng link sa kanila, through these movies. Mas ramdam natin na kahit magkalayo tayo, our stories connect us. Ramdam natin na nandito pa rin tayo para sa isa’t-isa,” he added.
(As a result, those who are abroad, our loved ones who are far away, they feel less lonely. We are able to find a link to them, through these movies. We feel that even if we're apart, our stories connect us. We feel that we are still here for each other.)
He also said that he has heard about the plight of many overseas Filipino workers who have been laid off or who have had to take pay cuts, and expressed his hope that the video series can start a conversation about their situation.
He now hopes that the videos can help spark a conversation about the situation of OFs and encourage others to band together and help them.
“Ilang dekada na suportado tayo ng mga bilyon-bilyong remittances nila. Ngayon na sila naman ang nangangailangan, dapat lang na tayo naman ang tumulong sa kanila,” he said.
(We've been supported for decades by the billions of remittances overseas Filipinos send. Now that they're the ones in need, it's only right that we help them.)
The video recreations offer a lighter take on the heavily dramatic originals.
Piolo explained this saying "When we go through ‘drama’ in the movies, nagiging emotional tayo; malungkot, nakakaiyak, pero nagkakaroon tayo ng release. May catharsis. Gumagaang ang pakiramdam. Nagkakaroon ng pag-asa. May katapusan ang drama sa sine. Two hours lang."
(When we go through 'drama' in the movies, we become emotional; we become sad, we cry, but we get a release. There is catharsis. We feel better. We find hope. The drama ends in two hours.)
"Pero ngayon, ang drama natin, tunay na buhay. Hindi pa natatapos. Naka-lockdown na tayo mga 100 days. Nakaka-miss na yung mga dati nating ginagawa,” he said.
(But now our drama happens in real life. It hasn't ended. We've been on lockdown for over 100 days. We miss all the things we used to be able to do.)
He hopes that the video series helps people realize that they can overcome challenges, and that even in the midst of difficult times, people can still find reasons to laugh.