Have you ever felt stuck, depressed, or hopeless during the pandemic? Umikot ka mundo, nandito pa ako. Well, you’re not alone. Leading video streaming service Viu Philippines understands the struggles that many Filipinos have been going through and has created its new Viu Original musical series, Still to tell the story of this quarantine generation.
The 8-part musical narrative is designed to move us to move forward, perfectly capturing our pandemic stories and sentiments. It tells the story about a group of aspiring artists who get stuck in a music camp during the first few months of the pandemic. Just like us, each character experiences bouts of feeling stressed, lost, and sad; but through new relationships and moments of self-discovery formed over time, they still find reasons to stay strong and hopeful for the future.
“We hope that we can help a lot of people who are experiencing anxiety and doubt. The series is particularly made for today’s generation so they can still believe in hope,” said Pat Valera, renowned director-playwright and creator of Still.
Still is also Viu’s first Filipino production and is a testament to the company’s mission to deliver the freshest Asian content, as well as champion premium Asian entertainment. During the press conference, Arianne Kader-Cu, Country Manager of Viu Philippines, said: “Viu aims to produce premium Asian content for everyone. We specifically looked into our data to understand what our consumers are interested in. Over the past 18 months, we noticed that Filipinos are getting more interested in music and we used that as our pillar to create premium Filipino content with Still.”
Link to Viu Original, Still – Episode 1: https://bit.ly/3s8lyiS
From the relatable storylines to lyrically-powerful songs, every episode features a powerhouse cast of characters who we can all identify with and be inspired by.
Link to Viu Original, Still Original Soundtrack: https://spoti.fi/3yrmeAR
Get to know the characters and why our quarantine story still matters today.
Christian Bautista as Nikolas
Asia’s Romantic Balladeer Christian Bautista stars as Nikolas, the camp head and mentor of Daloy Himig. Nikolas doesn’t believe his talent is worth sharing and when the lockdown was announced, he was unsure of how he could distract the campers from being depressed and stressed. “My real experience is almost the same as my character. I really thought, ‘Nag research ba sila about our personal experiences during the pandemic?’ because the stories portrayed in the series are all real. Every camper has different thoughts about the pandemic and it is on how we manage it.”, said Bautista
Julie Anne San Jose as Laura
Julie Anne San Jose, Asia’s Limitless Star, plays relentless Laura who fights for herself and her dreams, and for the people she loves,—even as the pandemic seemed to put all her plans on limbo. Through her songs, like Bagong Mundo, Laura poignantly expresses her feelings, teaching us to stay true to our emotions and fight against our inner struggles. As Laura would say, “To sing is to tell your truth twice. Kumbaga, hindi mo lang siya binibigkas, isinasabuhay mo rin siya.”
“Dito sa Bagong Mundo, ang dami nating kinatatakutan, mga katanungan na minsan hindi natin alam ang sagot. All we need right now is faith. Sa kabila ng lahat ng pagsubok, matatapos rin ang lahat ng ito. When I first heard Bagong Mundo, tumagos talaga sa puso ko yung lyrics. It is just so beautiful.”, said San Jose.
Link to Viu Original, Still OST – Bagong Mundo Lyric Video: https://bit.ly/3m6xDRs
Bituin Escalante as Annette
Veteran singer Bituin Escalante portrays the owner of Balay – home of Daloy Himig, Annette. While she has always lived vicariously through the young campers, the lockdown forces her to confront the losses she had previously pushed to the side. “So many people have gone through depression without knowing it. Sometimes we need that validation that what we are feeling is real. When you see your experiences being fleshed out and played on the screen, it’s therapy. Reminds you that everything’s okay, you’re not alone.”, said Escalante.
Link to Viu Original, Still OST – Aawit Kang Muli Lyric Video: https://bit.ly/3IQQIRB
Gab Pangilinan as Sab
Gab Pangilinan, the Philippines’ Theater Princess, plays Sab the voiceless writer who is like any other girl wanting to follow her dreams but can’t or won’t. As Sab expresses during one episode, “(p)ara sa ating mga naliligaw, noong tumigil ang mundo, tumigil din ang mga pangarap natin. Madaya. Ang dami nating alinlangan at galit.”
“Many of us are in limbo during the pandemic. Still confronts that. The characters in ‘Still’ just reflect who we all are today.”, said Pangilinan.
Mike Shimamoto as Iggy
Singer and songwriter Mike Shimamoto is veteran camper, Iggy, who goes through a very significant life experience that turns his whole world around. Shinamoto’s portrayal of Iggy shows how we can still have a voice and how our stories can be heard. “I experienced things inwardly and it was hard for me to articulate the things that I went through, just like Iggy. The song ‘Mundo Umikot Ka’ reflects what we truly felt during the pandemic. I am sure all of us can relate to this line in the song ‘Kung dito na nagtatapos, paano na ako, paano na tayo. Kaya mundo, umikot ka’,” said Shimamoto.
Abe Autea as Tugs
A theater actor known for his roles in Dekada ‘70 and Nina Rosa, Abe Autea now takes on the role of “happy pill” Tugs. While he appears to be a happy-go-lucky person, his camp experience shows that there is more depth to his character. “Sometimes people cannot express their stories or experiences. Still gives that opportunity to tell everyone’s story.”, said Autea. Still also allowed Autea to compose one song to watch out for. “Sa pagsulat nito, nanalo kami.”, he shared.
Lance Reblando as Leigh
Lance Reblando, from Ang Huling El Bimbo and Disney’s Lion King fame, plays Leigh. A tired fighter, she has been dealing with anxiety and difficult life transitions even before the pandemic. As she shared her hugot in one episode “Pa-loob ang anxiety ko. Gets naman, I am not welcome anywhere.”
“Ang dami kong kilala na nag-struggle sa mental health. Even me,” said Reblando, “but, with Still, we can learn how to go through our mental struggles by letting our voices be heard.”
Gabby Padilla as Debbie
Building off her FAMAS Best Actress Nomination for Bille & Emma, Gabby Padilla embraces the role of drama queen Debbie who is always ready to add a little excitement whenever she’s around. As she proudly describes herself, “I am Miss Debbie with an E coming to you with a slow verse. Pretty, medyo witty, Catriona pang Miss Universe. Bow down to the Queen.”
Learn more about each character, the music, and be moved to move forward by streaming Viu Original Still.
Download the Viu app now on App Store, Google Play and select Smart TVs.