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Joem Bascon and Bruce Roeland on social media impact on acting, well-being

February 19 ------ Joem Bascon and Bruce Roeland expressed different outlooks, different perspectives, and different values regarding social media use and its effects on one’s mental health and well-being. 


Joem puts a premium on mental health that he intentionally stays off social media. Perhaps, he is one of the very few celebrities who doesn’t have an official account on any digital platform right now. “Having social media is like going to a battlefield,” he remarked. “It’s like driving on EDSA where you always have to be prepared for whatever is going to happen.” How we engage in social media has a substantial impact on how good or bad it makes us feel. Everyone knows the digital space is teeming with people who share their thoughts and opinions through their posts, videos, and worse, their comments on others. “Of course, there are so many comments (from netizens) and they really affect me as a person. So, I decided to turn it off, delete it, and then I just focused on Meryll (Soriano), and our baby (three-year-old Gideon or Gido). It’s a choice and I’m happy right now,” he said. To recall, Joem and Meryll, who briefly dated in 2010, rekindled their romance after working together in the historical drama film “Culion” in 2019. 


Bruce, on the other hand, has no plans of cutting down his social media usage. He admitted that he could not bear to be away from it, especially on his IG or Instagram account, TikTok and Facebook. “Ngayon, sa totoo lang hindi,” said the Fil-Belgian actor on his inability to live without soc-med. “Pero naiintindihan ko naman ‘yung sinabi ni Joem na it’s a battlefield talaga because we can agree or disagree (on what you see online). I mean, you have to be (ready when) you have to be on social media, and it’s always a competition whether you like it or not.” Social media also played an important role at the time when Bruce was trying to reconnect with his Belgian dad Michel Roeland. Father and son had lost contact when Bruce and his Filipina mom, Yolanda Nablo, came home to the Philippines. “My dad was my best friend out of everyone in the world when I was little. I remember we would go out every single day after school to football or karate and then one day, he was gone. I didn’t know any reason,” he shared. “So, for eight years, I was alone with my mom and I had to work for me and my mom.” “I messaged him on Facebook and he reached out to me back and then one thing led to another. Nakabili kami ng ticket and I went to Belgium (last January). All is good,” added Bruce. While Joem and Bruce see social media from two different angles, both share the same sentiments when it comes to acting. They believe acting isn’t just about memorizing lines and taking in conversational reality with intermittent emotion. It is also doing things truthfully under imaginary circumstances. And for an actor to do things truthfully, he must first acquire many challenging skills. 


To further hone his craft, Bruce has been attending acting workshops for five years now under acting coach Ina Feleo. His latest acting vehicle is in the GMA primetime series “Asawa Ng Asawa Ko.” Bruce felt nervous and intimidated upon learning that the show is under the stewardship of seasoned actress and director Laurice Guillen. “Noong sumalang na kami sa mismong scenes, sabi ni direk Laurice sa akin, ‘Ano ba ‘yan, mag-relax ka nga. You look tense.’ I was like, ‘Grabe wala pa nga akong ginagawa. I was just standing. I was waiting for the scene to start and suddenly, direk told me that. I said sorry to her and I tried to relax,” he recalled. “When (shooting for) the scene started, my face was like red and then we repeated that one scene three times. That was my first ever scene with direk Laurice and I was super nervous.” “After that, I learned that I have to be comfortable in every scene. And I also learned from Joem,” narrated Bruce who keeps in mind that he must portray martial arts expert Bakulaw on “Asawa Ng Asawa Ko” (GMA Primetime) as natural as possible. “I attended Miss Ana’s workshop for me to understand my character and also, I tried getting the background of his story like, where he was born, how old he is, and what kind of friends he has. Then, I added what Miss Ana taught me like the external (factors) to show strength (of character),” offered Bruce in his preparations for the role. Joem, on the other hand, breathes life into Leon, the leader of a rebel group. Playing kontrabida is not new to him but he deemed it best to hear from direk Laurice how he is going to make Leon different from the other antagonist roles he has done before. “Direk Laurice and I talked before we did the show because we don’t want a kontrabida who will simply be hated by people. So, we came to a point na nilagyan namin siya ng puso to show his vulnerable side,” said Joem. Joem believes acting is a repetitive process. “You do it all the time for it to be natural for you as an actor. I guess, ‘yun ang ginagawa every time you do workshops, you repeat every exercise for you to be relaxed in front of the camera.” “For me, you don’t have to think of the cameras. You just have to think that you have to be in the moment. You just have to do what your character is supposed to do.” 




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