The go-to Filipino expression of goodbye and concern has since been synonymous with John Lloyd Cruz when he became the brand ambassador of Unilab's Biogesic in 2007.
In the coming years, Cruz would become the face of the paracetamol brand—inasmuch as he would navigate his showbiz career and deal with the trappings of fame along the way. Things would then reset, priorities would change. Cruz would take a hiatus from the limelight for years.
But one fateful day, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the entire world to a standstill, upended daily routines, and caused millions of deaths. And "Ingat," whether it's from Cruz or not, became more resounding than ever, especially that anybody can get sick anytime.
In light of this hard-hitting reality exacerbated by COVID-19, the pharmaceutical company has renewed its partnership with Cruz—who's taking baby steps in his showbiz comeback—under the "Alagang Walang Pinipili" campaign.
During the campaign's media launch attended by PhilSTAR L!fe, the actor shared tips on how he himself practices self-care beyond the endorsement.
For Cruz, it’s important to become active, especially during the first two hours of waking up. He also stressed the importance of taking a bath every day, as many people can be guilty of not doing so (whatever their perfectly understandable reasons are).
Cruz also advised the public to identify their respective “centers,” especially that there are days that prove to be challenging, whether it revolves around school, work, or personal stuff.
“It's important to go back and find that center. Ang laki ng nagagawa noon,” he said. “You start internally. Kung makuha mo siya, wala ka nang aalalahanin for the rest of the day.”
View this post on Instagram
“Malaki rin ang papel ng mga tao around you,” Cruz added.
He also looked back into his showbiz hiatus, noting how valuable “silence” can be in life not just as an actor but also as a person.
Cruz said he had to learn things “the hard way” in the industry, noting that he’s dealing with his emotions “almost every day” at work to the point that he has attempted to “manipulate” them.
“Tingin ko, masyado kong na-exploit ang emotions ko, to the point na naging challenging talaga. Naging sobrang reactive ko,” he said. “Always take a beat. Manahimik ka muna. Reassess ano man ang nasa harap mo.”
One must not push theirself to the limits, Cruz advised, as the body is like a machine that can break down.
“These things, for the longest time, I've been taking for granted,” he said.
View this post on Instagram
Cruz also remembered “weird” moments when people would approach him for photos, but won’t call him by his name. (In fact, netizens were memeifying him at the height of the public health crisis by asking him for Biogesic.)
“'Uy, si 'Ingat,' oh. Picture tayo!'” he recalled, laughing. “Pero it says a lot about the success of the campaign. Maganda iyon, tumatak talaga sa kanila. It's something na nakakataba ng puso kasi iyong efforts niyo ng buong team, may iniwan.”
“Definitely, ‘Ingat’ has a new meaning,” Cruz said.