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When life gives you lemons

When the pandemic hit, a new normal emerged: no mass gatherings, venues shall accommodate only half of its capacity, live events requiring face-to-face interactions have to be suspended.

In the months that followed, hosts, singers, artists, producer, musicians, and all the others involved the live entertainment scene reported a slump in their incomes because really who would even think of being skin-to-skin with strangers who for all we know, could be infected by the virus?

Bea Rodriguez is one of those affected. Incredibly pretty, oozing with confidence, anybody who knew her are acutely aware of her inability to sit still.

Bea Rodriguez has been looking for opportunities to host since the pandemic struck. Through sheer grit and talent, she was able to get what she wanted -- a professional hosting stint from a premier marketing company. | Photo from Bea Rodriguez's Facebook account
Bea Rodriguez has been looking for opportunities to host since the pandemic struck. Through sheer grit and talent, she was able to get what she wanted — a professional hosting stint from a premier marketing company. | Photo from Bea Rodriguez’s Facebook account

She was an up-and-coming host and model in the nation’s capital, carving a name for herself as freelance artist.

And then President Duterte announced the lockdown.

The first step was getting out of what was then the epicenter of the virus strike.

She managed that.

14 DAYS LATER – An interview with a Bacoleña model and TV host who went under quarantine as PUM

WATCH: Bea Rodriguez was making it good in the big city when President Duterte ordered a lockdown over the National Capital Region. A model and television host, Bea was in Cubao, Quezon City when the lockdown came."People became frantic, I felt scared, I felt alone, I had no family there," she said about living in her condominium unit she used to share with one person. She eventually went to her brother in Pampanga. "I wanted to go home," she said. She did go home mid March with her brother. But it was not home yet. Touchdown at the Bacolod-Silay Airport was not yet the end of her extraordinary experience. The scare was not yet over.She did saw her mother. From across a barrier. "I could not go to where she was, could not kiss or hug her." Then she saw the buses, the soldiers, the police. She and more than 20 others were to be interned at the Mambukal Summer Resort that was converted into a quarantine facility for Negrenses who went home from Metro Manila. They were considered Persons Under Monitoring or PUMs. In this one-on-one with DNX, Bea shares what she went through, her thoughts, fears, and her hopes as she went under quarantine. Interview by Julius D. Mariveles, video and editing by Banjo C. Hinolan, with Hannah A. Papasin.

Posted by DNX News on Tuesday, April 14, 2020

And now surviving the economic slump it wrought is another thing.

Bea knew she could not live off her savings alone. So she knew she had to do something.

The opportunity came with Blogapalooza. The influencer marketing company hosted a massive first-ever nationwide search, the BlogaLIVE Host Search to “scout for hosts who embody their brand, and to give life to their future online events” as they see this to be a long-run trend in this “new normal.”

She joined the contest through O Shopping TV host Cholo Dela Cruz, her competitor-turned-friend from the MYX VJ Search 2019 who tapped her to join the BlogaLIVE Host Search.

She accepted, she says, explaining, “Since all my commitments in Manila were postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am on the lookout for opportunities which are in line with my background as a media and communications professional, while at home.”

And why not?

Bea is no stranger to audition, having been through “countless” of ’em.

She decided to give it a shot, and thought that maybe this time, she would clinch it.

It was a rush, a crazy one.

She knew about the search three days before the deadline of submission of entries so she dedicated her time and effort on creating an audition video that answers how she best represent the brand’s image.

“The content narrated my experiences in the industry, and then I also gave some pieces of advice as if I was talking to a friend. I summarized my story in a four-minute video which I wrote, shot, and edited myself,” she shares.

From the 123 auditionees, the number was trimmed to 15 semi-finalists, and then down to the Top 5 before the Top 3 were chosen.

Bea made the third spot effectively chosen as one of the BlogaLIVE Hosts.

She was ecstatic.

“I’m happy I made it!” she says, “I’m happy that I was able to show my true personality all throughout the competition, and that I shared some parts of me that I was so hesitant to reveal before.”

The clincher was when she shared the live stage with award-winning host RJ Ledesma who told her, “You’re going to go a long way.”

Bea is pretty upbeat about the future which is turning rosier for her.

“I’m just really thankful for the opportunity, and I’m excited to start my journey with my BlogaFam,” she says, adding, “I share this victory to my ever-supportive family and friends as well as to people who continue to believe in me. I thank you from the bottom of my bottomless heart.”

Hannah A. Papasin
Hannah A. Papasin
Writer. Critic. Professor. She started writing since primary school and now has two published textbooks on communication. A film buff, she's a Communication, Media Literacy and Journalism Professor of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, and has a Master's Degree in English.


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