MANILA -- The uncertainty of the pandemic has left many people stressed and drained, including Richard Yap.
The actor and entrepreneur made the statement in a recent webinar organized by Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corp., saying that there came a point when he "did not know what to do."
"Actually, this pandemic has been really draining for all of us. I think a lot of people have been stressed out, and I wasn't spared from that also," he said.
"I was really stressed at one point that I really didn't know what to do. Because, of course, businesses were shut down but we still had to pay our suppliers and all that," he added.
Known for running a chain of Chinese restaurants in the country, Yap said they have taken steps to adapt to the "new normal" by focusing on delivery and shifting to digital, contactless methods.
After using and collaborating with food delivery apps, he and his team were able to create their own delivery system.
"The major challenges were the unreliability of internet services and the applications. But, of course, due to the other systems that were being offered, we got through all this," he said.
As to how he deals with burnout, Yap said he turns to exercise and prayer.
"What I did was I just let go and prayed. To lessen my stress, I just worked out. I have a home gym, so I work out so I can forget all about these things for a while. But I guess prayer has played a major part, and having the support of your family," he said.
While it has been a challenging period, Yap said he also sees the pandemic as a "time for rediscovery" as it made him appreciate the people and things around him more.
"When you're away working, sometimes you're not even there when your kids are growing up," he said. "So this time has been good for everyone who has had the time to be with their family."
"But it has also shown us that what could be there today could not also be there tomorrow. So we have to treasure everything that we have now. Everything has changed so much. A lot of businesses have closed down, so we are very thankful that we are still surviving," he added.
"And that basically is what this year is all about... This year is about survival."
As for his showbiz career, Yap said he acknowledges the need to be more "flexible" when it comes to roles and projects given the pandemic.
"If I was known for doing rom-coms, maybe in the next few months or projects, we might be doing some other things, like action or being a contravida," he said.
"We have to be open to doing all these things... We cannot be stagnant. We have to change ourselves all the time," he ended.