Rediscover the joys of having lots of free time

RATHER than contributing to the already very noisy state of social media these days, and after quietly reaching out and making a difference in the lives of their neighbors, work colleagues, frontliners and the public in general, some of our celebrity friends have decided to make the most of their time by indulging in their own private activities, creating quality projects with their families and friends, and rediscovering the pleasures of being able to learn and create.

Arnel Ignacio has learned how to make his own bread. The former deputy executive director of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, who recently launched his new radio show Labor of Love on DZMM, shared that he was so happy to learn how to make bread at home and that his finished product tasted “quite good.”

We also found out that GMA Entertainment head Lilybeth Rasonable also discovered the joy by making their own family bread, too.

International model-turned-award-winning actor Rocky Salumbides wears the chef’s hat at home these days and also doubles as a handyman from time to time. “I am discovering a lot of things about food. I try to experiment sometimes, adding or subtracting ingredients and, most of the time, the results come out good.”

Salumbides added that boredom only happens when we become idle. “There are so many things to do at home, so many things to clean, and fix and rearrange, and even throw away. We just have to be creative and keep ourselves busy.”

Box-office director Nuel Naval have always brought his pet dogs to the groomer. This time, he finds joy in bathing his furry babies.

“I have all the time now to bathe them.  It takes a lot of both love and patience to be able to go through the process—shampoo them, give them a blow-dry, comb their fur, and make them smell good again. I am finding joy in these things that I never got to do when I was busy.”

Director Neal Tan also juggles his time between cooking, painting and playing the piano. “I find it therapeutic, with all the negative news going around, and the helplessness that many of us feel, to be able to channel and focus my energies into creating. I make time to paint, and play with colors and subjects. I also like to cook for myself and my partner. And I make it a point to regularly play soothing pieces on my piano, aside from my favorite songs, and it somehow calms me. I believe music can be a good form of meditation specially during stressful times.”

Richard Somes, director of the ABS-CBN show A Soldier’s Heart, also took to painting, and working out at home, probably inspired by his actor-friend Paolo Paraiso, who is consistent in his home workout sessions. Actors Adrian Alandy and Max Eigenmann also make time every day to workout and keep fit. Alandy frequently tries out new dishes for his wife Joselle. Eigenmann is also into yoga, and as a single mom, she also finds her happy place in the kitchen when she prepares meals for her two sons, Alessandro and Massimo.

Award-winning composer Jesse Lucas also made a special appearance to accompany singer-actor and longtime companion Roeder on piano in a music session, called Quaran-sing!  Lovely couple Ira Cruz and Nicole Asensio continue to make beautiful music together, sharing their musical gifts in a live show billed as Quarantunes.  They also collaborated on a song, titled “Atin Lamang,” a timely tune that speaks of hope during these extraordinary times.

Now that we have a lot of time, we can do a lot of things—for ourselves, our loved ones, old friends and new ones, colleagues and schoolmates from the past, even strangers.  Let us continue to be productive, relevant, kind, and a source of strength, inspiration and happiness to others.

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