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Ping Medina Opens Up About His Financial Challenges Amid The Pandemic

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Thousands of people in the country struggle to make ends meet, and Ping Medina is no stranger to this plight. When the pandemic broke out, the entertainment industry was among the worst-hit, resulting in the loss of gigs and TV projects for many actors and behind-the-scenes staff.

Photo from Instagram (@pingmedina)

In order to survive during the pandemic, many people in the entertainment industry, such as Ping, explored other ventures. “I opened a physical store for my smoked sausage business in February, but the second ECQ hit in April, which made business sparse for the next three months because people were afraid to go out. I was running out of money, so I decided to find another source of income, which was to be a sabong (cockfighting) agent.”

Photo from Instagram (@bulilithsausages)

Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned. On July 25, Ping shared a birthday post on Instagram, seeking help from the public. In his post, Ping shared that his master agent asked him for money to keep their account going while a player asked for an advance.

“They both haven’t paid me. The exact amount is Php36,000. That’s my business’ rent money and two months amortized rent for my condo this coming Aug 1. I don’t know when they will pay,” reads part of his post.

Photo from Instagram (@pingmedina)

In an exclusive interview with Showbiz Beat, Ping was asked why he decided to ask for help from others. “When the peeing incident happened in 2016, I lost work for two years. I had to borrow money from family and close friends. I feel I’ve maxed out all the help I can get from them, especially in this pandemic where everyone is struggling, so I couldn’t bring myself to borrow money,” he says.

While supporters were quick to wish him well, his post didn’t sit well with other netizens.

Despite the mixed reactions, Ping remained grateful as many people extended their hand to him. “​​I’ve gotten a lot of help. My heart is grateful. I’ve been given a chance to continue my lifestyle here in Manila. So I will keep on doing this as long as it feels right to me.”

Powering Through the Challenges

With his sabong venture taking an unfortunate turn, Ping decided to move forward and focus on his smoked sausage business. He admitted, though, that the subsequent lockdowns continue to challenge their brick-and-mortar sales. “Online sales are consistent but physical store sales keep taking hits with one ECQ after the other,” he quips.

Photo from Instagram (@pingmedina)

Ping reiterates, “Physical presence is important. We can’t keep ourselves locked in our dungeons forever. That will pose more mental and physical health problems in the long run. We must keep on surviving. After we get past survival, only then can we start thriving.”

Ping Medina clearly didn’t have it easy. When asked how he was able to cope up with an incredibly challenging time, he says, “Meditation. A lot of my psychological issues I am fixing through meditation. I also try to keep my physical body healthy through exercise and real food. It’s a balanced, holistic approach because physical, mental, and spiritual health cannot exist without the other.”

Exploring New Opportunities

The pandemic highlighted the importance of building multiple streams of income. It’s no longer surprising why Ping continues to explore new opportunities to keep afloat.

“I’m looking into crypto farming now. I recently became an Axie scholar and have opened multiple accounts on Cryptoblades. Crypto is a volatile market, but hopefully, it can make up for the losses of my physical store,” he says.

Photo from Instagram (@pingmedina)

Ping shares that he was able to pay for his rent, thanks to the people who helped him. For this reason, his plans to live in a remote town in the mountains are postponed for now. 

He shares, “I have a friend who is a crypto trader living in Sagada. The internet signal there is pretty good. The air is clean. People are nice. There is no crime. Sagada is a sacred, holy place. So, I know it’s possible to be based there then come down if work requires me. That would be the dream.”

Extending Help to Others

Ping Medina has been through a lot and tries his best to extend a helping hand whenever possible. He said that many of his peers in the entertainment industry are in dire straits as well.

“I would say 90% of us are. Unless you’re a big boss or a star, you don’t have much savings. That’s why a lot of us got into business ventures and especially in this pandemic: vlogging. No one predicted that [President Rodrigo] Duterte would be able to close down the biggest TV network in the country, but he did. So we have to adapt to this current reality,” Ping shares.

Photo from Instagram (@pingmedina)

The actor adds that it would be helpful if there is a group or an organization that gives startup capital for people who have lost their jobs to build small businesses.

“Also, crypto gaming is the trend now, where one can earn Php20,000 to Php30,000 a month just playing a game. From the donations, I gave accounts to my friends who are also in need of financial aid,” the actor said.

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Instagram (@pingmedina)

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