With all the unprecedented changes and struggle it brought, the pandemic has indeed led us to lessons and discoveries. For Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin star Jef Gaitan, it includes learning new skills like cooking, gardening, and knowing how to trust herself during uncertainties.
Jef believed she was fine and not stressed out at home, until she developed food intolerance which the doctor identified as a stress-related condition. She then realized how the situation affects her feelings, thus it manifests in the health and body. The unpleasant experience caused Jef to be cautious of her food consumption and stick to a special vegan diet she had seven years ago.
On the bright side, this inspired her to learn how to cook instead of relying on food delivery. The challenge, though, is to create a meal that’s healthy and delicious minus the ingredients she’s allergic to.
The kitchen expertise also comes in handy since she’s living solo. She’s a strong, independent woman. But at times, eating alone and having no one to taste her home-cooked meals make her sentimental.
Cooking has also become her ultimate stress-reliever. She even makes the tastiest food when she’s depressed. Jef makes sure that her cooking is done with love and is well thought of. She counts the calories and picks the right ingredients based on her nutritional needs.
With this, if she musters enough confidence, she would like to put up a food business that caters to a customer’s specific diet. Her friends and even Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin director Avel Sunpongco, are persuading her to. But Jef still needs a little more encouragement.
Apart from cooking, Jef has also tried her hands at gardening when she went home to her family in Tagaytay City. She tried to grow her favorite papaya fruit, and it was a test of patience. She became impatient waiting for the plant to grow, thus she really doesn’t call herself a legit ‘plantita.’
The quarantine also forced her to DIY a lot such as in grooming her pets and in her self-care spa habits. We have our different ways of facing the pandemic and Jef acknowledges that fact. But in her case, she’d rather be cooped up inside the house than risk her safety, and mental peace, by going out. “Itong time na ‘to, you could only trust yourself kasi ikaw lang nakakakita at nakakakilala kung paano mo alagaan ang sarili mo,” she added.
The pandemic only proved that everybody is equal. Each is facing their own kinds of fears and uncertainties and adjustment. On the bright side, this also means that you are not alone in your struggles. Somewhere, there’s someone who can relate with your personal battles.
As Jef added, survival all boils down to keeping ourselves and our families safe. She stressed the importance of research and abiding with the health protocols. Above all, nothing is more powerful than prayers.
Jef pleaded the viewers to take the virus seriously. “Okay lang naman to live your life kung gusto mo nang maging normal at hindi mo na talaga kaya to stay in. Pero ‘yun na kasi yung pinakamatutulong natin, to as much as possible, stay in. Only you can protect yourself. The government and the people around you can only do as much” she said.
And if you need someone to bring you comfort, don’t be scared to reach out to your family and friends. There’s also the Kapamilya Channel that will bring you entertainment and company.
Blessings are pouring down on Jef. Apart from Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin which airs weeknights on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z Channel 11, the actress will also be seen in the replay of her Ipaglaban Mo episode titled “Nars.”
It follows the story of May (Jane Oineza), a nursing graduate who experiences sexual harassment while working part-time to support her expenses for the board exam review. Jef portrayed as May’s sister, the one who would discover the victim’s sufferings.
This has to be one of Jef’s most favorite Ipaglaban Mo episodes as it talks about the long existing crime of sexual violence. She believes that anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment regardless of age and social status, thus, it’s every woman’s fight.
On her takeaways from the episode, Jef stressed, “No one is allowed to touch you without your consent. And as simple as touch, you felt violated, I think kailangan mong i-call out ‘yung attention ng tao. Huwag kang papayag na magpahawak kung talagang labag sa loob mo.”
Most importantly, don’t be scared to use your voice. “Kaya maraming nagiging bastos, eh kasi walang lumalaban,” she added.
Jef also lauded Jane’s acting chops and hard work on the set. “Napakagaling ni Jane, napakasipag na bata. Nagagalingan ako sa kanya,” she said.
Ipaglaban Mo “Nars” will have a replay on Sunday, October 18 on Kapamilya Channel and Kapamilya Online Live.