Screen veteran John Arcilla turned emotional on the topic of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” reaching new milestones in online viewership, saying it has motivated him and his colleagues to push on despite the anxiety of filming during a pandemic.
“Lalo kang gaganahan na ibigay ‘yung commitment mo, despite the fact that we are all very afraid… We’re really like in a battlefield because of the coronavirus,” Arcilla told ABS-CBN News.
The series had a record-breaking streak, in terms of all-time high concurrent viewers on Kapamilya Online Live, that lasted eight consecutive episodes, as Arcilla’s character Renato hunted down Cardo (Coco Martin).
While the program has had a “taping bubble” that strictly adheres to safety protocols, Arcilla explained that getting news of people dear to him being infected, or succumbing to the virus, has been disheartening.
He mentioned in particular the late filmmaker Toto Natividad, a former director of “Ang Probinsyano” in its first few years, who died in April. “Natatakot ka, kasi nakikita mo ‘yung nangyayari sa labas,” he said.
That “Ang Probinsyano” has received overwhelming support despite its digital migration, has been rewarding not only for Arcilla, but his fellow frontliners in the film and TV industry.
“‘Yung commitment mo sa trabaho, hindi nababayaran ng simpleng talent fee, kasi you know you’re not just doing it for yourself, because you want the Filipino people to somehow be given some kind of relief,” he said.