Pinoy entertainers now 'ambulance marketers' in US

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Aug 13 2010 07:53 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2010 03:53 AM

GLENDALE, California – Many Filipino entertainers have found a stable job in the ambulance industry in the US.

Brothers Leandro and Carlo Muñoz are both award-winning actors. The brothers chose to try their luck in the US as entertainers.

However, they, too, had to look for other jobs when the entertainment industry slowed down.

“I came here for a vacation just to check out the opportunities. I found out that there are a lot of opportunities here for us. Most of our relatives are here. All I hear are success stories,” Leandro said of Alpha Ambulances.

The Muñoz brothers, along with other Filipino celebrities, are finding their success stories as ambulance marketers.

Actor Michael De Mesa, musicians Simon Soler of Jeremiah and Jonathan Buencamino of Introvoys have also become what the locals call “Star Marketers”.

Their job is to convince hospitals and care facilities to use their company to transport patients.

Leandro started the trend after working for a car dealership. He stumbled across the ambulance industry when a company was looking for Filipino celebrities to be marketers.

His brother, Carlo, joined him a year later.

“I did ‘Amerikana’ with Fe de los Reyes for a year and I thought after that we're doing more and more. But, unfortunately, it didn't happen the way we expected it to happen. So, we had to look for other stuff to work with,” said Carlo.
These celebrities once competed against each other for acting roles. They now compete with each other to provide ambulance services to some 700 Los Angeles area hospitals and care homes.

There are about 40 ambulance companies that operate in the Los Angeles area.

According to Good Shepherd's ambulance owner Paul Policarpio, the number of Filipino marketers increased over the past decades.

They now account for about 90% of the marketing teams. With an estimated 80% of nurses being Filipino, their familiar faces attract more business.

"Most of the time, Filipino nurses would rather call Filipino marketers,” said Policarpio.

Ambulance marketers can earn from $35,000 to $100,000 a year based on performance. Balitang America