Looking at the silverlining in this time of pandemic, Dominic Ochoa would like to believe that the world just took a breather, a slow-down to give us time to take a pause and appreciate the little things. Thoughts like he is still alive and that he is still with his family always keeps him grounded and looking forward to the coming days. If there’s one powerful weapon that pushes him to keep on fighting, it would be none other than prayers. “In order for us to rise again, we just need to kneel down.” Dominic added that there are limitless ways to be productive, like how he managed to try his hands at a small business, tutor his son, and be the most effective ‘man of the house.’
His Ipaglaban Mo co-star Karl Gabriel shares the same sentiment, making use of the quarantine to explore and unlock new skills. Karl highlighted the importance of working together instead of practicing divisiveness in these trying times.
Dominic and Karl headline the next Ipaglaban Mo episode titled “Umento sa Sahod.” It follows the story of a devoted teacher, Professor Andres played by Dominic, who will have the grit to fight for the employees’ rights in terms of salary and benefits. Dominic believes this story will be relatable to many, especially in this crisis where workers are faced with economic calamity and financial starvation. In some ways, Dominic felt that his character was knitted to his own flesh, given that they’re both patriarchs who would do everything to provide for the family’s daily sustenance. His role reminded him of the principles instilled by his parents, saying, “Marami na ngayon, sorry to say, na kinakain ng sistema dahil lang sa salapi. Sa akin, very importanant ang prinsipyo sa buhay. Isa ‘yan sa in-instill sa akin ng aking magulang, once na masira ang prinsipyo at kredibilidad, mahirap na baguhin.”
Karl mounts realism to a diligent student whose knowledge isn’t just boxed inside the classroom, but is also aware of his social environment. As a newcomer, Karl feels extremely grateful for the trust he continually receives from the management, and that he never runs out of projects despite the pandemic. At that point of the interview, Dominic butted in to commend the newbie for his humility. The seasoned actor zoomed in to their first meeting where Karl went around the set to introduce himself to his seniors. Karl, in return, thanked his new found ‘kuya’ for giving him important tips and acting techniques all throughout their shoot.
The episode was filmed before the lockdown. Thankfully, the taping days went on smoothly and quickly because of everyone’s professionalism. Dominic mentioned their co-star Katya Santos, who he described as still the no-fuss, competent actress he used to work with in the comedy show Whattamen.
Dominic emphasized that professionalism indeed makes the work easier to accomplish. “If you want to go home early, memorize the script, be prepared. Mabilis ka magtrabaho, mabilis ka magbihis, you’ll go home early.” The Kapamilya actor believes this kind of attitude must be put into practice, especially now that even productions are expected to adapt to the new normal.
Besides these musings on preparedness and professionalism, Dominic and Karl also shared their takeaways from their Ipaglaban Mo episode. For Dominic, the value of having the courage to fight for one’s rights cannot be overly emphasized. He also kept on talking about faith, saying others nowadays might be led to worshipping earthly things like money but nothing would come close to the power of the Man above. Karl underscored the value of cooperation.
Watch Ipaglaban Mo ““Umento sa Sahod” this Sunday, 2:30PM on Kapamilya Channel.