MANILA -- It took only 30 minutes for writer and actor Juan Miguel Severo to write the much-talked about heart-rending online salute of several celebrities for health workers.
Blazing through social media since it was posted Wednesday by members of the artists community AKTOR, the tribute has hit over 1 million views and likes on Instagram and other accounts of Anne Curtis, Angel Locsin, Angelica Panganiban, Marian Rivera, Piolo Pascual and the other artists who collaborated on the project.
The moving letter-monologue is actually inspired by an actual health worker, revealed Severo, who is best known for his work as writer of “Hintayan ng Langit” and his acting work on “The Hows of Us" and “On the Wings of Love,” among others.
“Kaibigan ko 'yung medical worker na naka-leave at dito sa akin nakatira. Kaya madali sa akin ang pagsulat, totoo ang nakikita ko. Umiiyak siya sa pagod at hirap kaya alam ko kung ano ang gusto kong sabihin sa kanya at 'yon din ang nilagay ko sa monologue," Severo told ABS-CBN News.
Severo was apparently the natural choice of around 90 members and friends of AKTOR who hemmed and hawed in their group chat last Sunday on what project they can do as a tribute to frontliners.
It was Angel Locsin who first brought up the idea, Severo recalled. “Since I had the 'reputation' of being a writer, ako na ang sumulat. Thirty minutes after the group chat, natapos ko. It’s a deeply personal piece and yet universal ang emotion. Alam ko na kasi kung ano ang pinagdadaanan nila,” he said.
The three-minute tribute was quickly produced with Locsin and other members of the creative team assigning the lines to individual artists who did their parts at home last Monday.
Severo added it was photographer Jojit Lorenzo who suggested the black-and-white finish of the tribute with a standard framing angle. Andoy Ranay guided the filming process and Kean Cipriano provided the music.
After editing, sound, subtitling and other finishing touches done by Ria Atayde, DMs Boongaling, Kahlil Ramos and Mikoy Morales on Tuesday, the video collective was posted Wednesday early evening.
“Sobrang grateful ako na maging part ako ng proyekto at sobrang proud din ako sa mga miyembro ng AKTOR na mabilis tumugon sa panawagan. Ramdam mo talaga kung gaano sila makatao sa group chat na 'yon. Hindi sila nalulunod sa kasikatan," said the 31-year-old Severo, who was first known for his spoken word performances. “Marami sa kanila first time kong nakatrabaho. This is pure compassion at pagmamalasakit at walang kinalaman sa isyung pulitika!”
But the best fulfillment for Severo is feeling the emotion of his health worker friend upon seeing his post last night. “Nakita ko na humahagulgol siya sa sofa. Naramdaman ko na effective ang ginawa namin!” he said.
But amid the sensational feedback of netizens, Severo also made a reality check.
“Ilang beses man kaming sumulat o gumanap bilang doktor, nars at iba pang health worker, hindi namin mapapantayan ang aktuwal na ginagawa nila. Kung may iba pang tulong na maibibigay beyond words, dapat nating ibigay yon!” he said.