Journalists covering the government's regular virtual press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic were in for a surprise on Saturday, May 9.
Amid interviews of government officials, who should pop up in the press conference but American singer-songwriter David Pomeranz?
The singer, known for '80s hits like "Born For You" and "King and Queen of Hearts," appeared on one side of the virtual briefing screen to be interviewed like Philippine government officials who usually appear on the Laging Handa PH show.
Wearing a collared dark shirt over a white T-shirt, Pomeranz appeared to be in his house. A piano could be seen behind him.
Presidential Communications Undersecretary Raquel Ignacio, on the other half of the screen, introduced him as the first lines of "Got to Believe in Magic," another Pomeranz hit, played in the background.
"What have you been doing since the pandemic started?" Ignacio began.
Pomeranz then began to tell the show's viewers that the pandemic has given him "quiet time" – allowing him to bond with his family, organize files, and even write a play.
"I took a walk outside and it was a beautiful night here in Florida and there was a tree in my front yard, a beautiful palm tree. I never saw it before. It was extraordinary. And it bent toward me and it said, 'Hello.' It's actually quite a magical time," Pomeranz shared.
Ignacio also eventually asked him about a song he performed with other artists intended to spread good vibes amid the global crisis.
The video about the song, entitled "Spread a Smile," was then shown on the screen.
"It's what we need to do at this time, you know. Instead of spreading bad news, spreading viruses, we spread smiles," said the singer.
Asked for his message to Filipinos, Pomeranz said, "Stay together, take care of one another which you do so well."
The Laging Handa briefing, aired daily, usually features government officials or experts tapped to discuss updates and concerns on efforts to curb COVID-19.
It is hosted by Ignacio and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar. Before Pomeranz came on, Andanar had excused himself from the show.
Before Pomeranz, Andanar and Ignacio interviewed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Socioeconomic Planning Acting Secretary Karl Chua, and Finance Undersecretary Tony Lambino. – Rappler.com