Bitoy: The Filipino Comedy Genius Who Survived COVID-19

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A joyful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22

The pestilence of COVID-19 made everyone share in the suffering. No one is safe from its effects, whether directly or indirectly. It infected both the rich and the poor, and the famous and the unknown. Our story today is how the Filipino Comedy Genius Michael V a.k.a. Bitoy survived the virus.

Bitoy and The Virus

It was in July when Bitoy started to show flu-like symptoms in his YouTube blog last July. In his July 20, 2020 vlog, he stated that he took prescribed medicine even though his temperature did not rise too much to be too concerning.

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Then he said that he began to experience a weird sensation in his nasal cavity and was afraid that he was losing his sense of smell. “I was afraid that it could be something like that”, the comedian said.

He tried smelling things with strong scents like perfumes, alcohol, eucalyptus, and food but remarked that it was weird because he can’t smell anything. Then he told his audience that his Livestream will be postponed because he will take the swab test.

Then he stated that he was praying for the best and asked his audience to pray for him too. Bitoy isolated himself for days at this point and was in tears when he expressed his grief that he can’t even hug or kiss his family despite being in the rooms next to his.

“I feel bad but hopefully we’ll get through this and hopefully everything will be ok.” He expressed with tears in his eyes.

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Fast forward to the next day in the same vlog, Bitoy told his viewers that he was feeling paranoid because of the symptoms. Then Michael V stated that the process was 5 hours long and cost P12,000 ($240), and for Filipinos, that’s a lot!

The next days showed the actions he took while in isolation. He set up his room in a way that minimizes contact with everyone. Bitoy even avoids touching the doorknob. His food and other necessities were brought to his room in sealed containers. At this point, he has lost his taste.

Michael V looked like he was enjoying his meal but then stated that “MMM It’s tasteless.” It shows that even when facing a life-threatening disease he remains a comedian, like most Filipinos.

He once again lamented that he can’t be with his family. Bitoy admitted that it’s hard but he always thinks that there would be another day.

In the day 8 section of his vlog, he confirmed that he is COVID positive.

“I claim, in His name, I am a COVID-19 survivor.”

By the 30th episode of his YouTube vlog, his smile has fully returned as he confirmed that he is now in day 9 of not feeling any COVID-19 Symptoms. He is now in the mood to joke about Samurais and Mongols while describing Ghosts of Tsushima.

Bitoy: The Filipino Comedy Genius Who Survived COVID-19

At the end of his vlog, he urged his viewers to pray for everyone who is suffering because of COVID-19. And in the end, he proclaimed, “I claim, in His name, I am a COVID-19 survivor.”

On August 24, 2020, GMA News uploaded an episode of “Quarantined with Howie Severino.” Howie Severino, a Filipino Journalist, and a fellow COVID-19 survivor interviewed Michael V and talked about Bitoy’s experience.

The two COVID-19 survivors stressed the stigma that all COVID-19 survivors experienced. Even Bitoy and his family experienced such but continued his life.

The Present

Bitoy is now back in shooting and taping for his shows. There was one episode of his hit show “Pepito Manaloto” where his character, Pepito, paralleled his own experiences. Pepito was also infected with COVID-19 and experienced hardships.

In the 31st episode of his vlog, he drew fan art for the valiant Filipino front liners. The illustration was an exhausted front liner who is drenched in sweat that is praying beside the Filipino Flag.

He also urged his fellow men to continue praying for the infected and to those who are on the frontlines. Let us follow him and pray for the infected, the front liners, and those who passed away.

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