By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – Call it cheesy but love and friendship are all it takes to make life better in the midst of a crisis, or crises such as the one inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic. Greetings of glee and excitement are the best gifts from friends for the digital show Issues & Inspiration, conceptualized and born in the harrowing seasons of summer and fall 2020.
Finally going live on Facebook and Youtube on November 26, 2020, producers Grace Labaguis and this writer began co-hosting with jitters in the stomach and hope in our hearts.
https://youtu.be/s6HWc43A5Gw with Trinity Hope Bosley, Licelle Cobrador, Michelle Narvaez, Felix Manuel, and Joebert Opulencia
https://youtu.be/TZDOYRgiYSI with Consul Arman Talbo, Wee Ramirez, Sylvia Hubilla, Vanette Colmenares, and Marilen Clemente.
https://youtu.be/zzZ90LjdOcU with Josh Vasquez, Ramil Buenaventura, and RC Caylan.
https://youtu.be/X4yDPu7Vdyg with Mayor Arvin Amatorio of Bergenfield, Elizabeth Cueva, and Ronie Mataquel.
The well-wishes of friends sealed Issues & Inspiration into the new year with challenges on good health, business recovery, and overall well-being being given a voice in this new platform. It is a media project of OSM! Online Magazine, Synergy Production & Marketing, and the nonprofit Women’s Immigration and Communications Cafe.
Issues & Inspiration had quite labor pains, a few segments were shot in summer at Gantry Park in Astoria, Queens with guest immigration lawyer Licelle Cobrador who talked of immigration issues on our maiden episode.
There was Trinity Hope Bosley, the little performer born to a Filipino mom and American dad in Maryland, who definitely wowed our few audiences and made the show gain traction. Trinity is a witty child who loves to sing in Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano, Waray, and English. She can speak Tagalog fluently as well.
Thanks to her mom, Imelda, once a singer in the Philippines, who sings Tagalog lullaby to her and speaks to her in Tagalog. At six, Trinity can speak more than two languages. She is a good help at home too.
We sailed towards the second episode with the theme ‘responsible travel and worship’ with guests from the tourism and travel industry: Joebert Opulencia, president of Orientours and Josh Vasquez, New York manager for Philippine Airlines.
Joebert had been a staunch advocate of the return of the Balikbayan Program of the Philippines’ tourism department. During the show, his cause had been well-timed rewarded – the Philippines finally allowed entry to balikbayan who were formerly Filipino nationals starting December 7, 2020 in time for the Christmas holidays.
Joebert said he has no great expectations for the tourism industry to come alive in the pandemic, but opening up the country little by little with caution is a good start.
Josh assured the audience of PAL’s strict measures to adhere to safety travel with cabin air efficiency as well as the crew’s usual warmth and covid19 preparedness. Traveling with PAL also meant no longer going through the mandatory 14-day quarantine with its 24-hour Covid19 test results. One could only stay and wait for at most 24 hours for the test in a designated hotel.
Wee Ramirez of the Trinity Methodist Church in Jersey City did a video segment on how to worship safely inside a church, following guidelines of the CDC. Wee is the secretary of the nonprofit organization Women’s Immigration and Communications Cafe (WICCAFE).
The third episode for the year was themed on teacher’s strategies in the time of pandemic with FilAm Math teachers Ramil Buenaventura and Ronie Mataquel in New York.
Guest Felix Manuel took us to the beautiful and intriguing world of Miss Universe. Felix, a colleague at the FilAm Press Club of New York and writer for Philippine Star, is a Miss Universe pageant expert, professionally and passionately.
Each episode has prizes up for grabs for viewers who are able to call and answer our easy questions. This segment adds more kick to the show. From digital camera and iPod mini to signature masks, our sponsors are growing, wanting to be as generous as Oprah. Who knows! Wink. #