Former PBB housemate finds joy and fulfilment in helping others during this pandemic
Gino Roque is known for two things. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Forza, an online selling company, and a former housemate in the hit reality show Pinoy Big Brother.
But what people might not know is that Gino has his own foundation, called Gino’s Wish, which he set up in 2019 in his desire to share and help the community.
Gino’s career was in full swing before the pandemic. He was busy managing his direct selling business, his showbiz career, and staging events. Then the pandemic hit. Show productions had to stop for a while, and events were put on hold.
“I was not used to not doing things, not being productive, not marketing a product or staging an event. I could not stop working,” he says.
Gino says he had to find a way to somehow reinvent his business because thousands of distributors depended on it for their livelihood.
“We have over 500,000 people who are part of our direct selling business not just in the Philippines but worldwide. And so I immediately thought of how to adjust to the situation,” he adds.
Gino’s company started teaching their people to shift online. His other business projects also went the way of digital streaming.
“Instead of face to face meeting, we taught them to move to zoom conferences and have an overall bigger presence online. Instead of producing events, we ended up producing a series instead which fortunately ended up being number one on Iflix,” he says.
Part of the reason why his company decided to continue producing was to give jobs to people in the entertainment industry “who needed it most.”
Before the pandemic, Gino organized some of the largest events in the country through Forza Underground and the Forza Obstacle Run which drew thousands of participants.
“I loved doing these events because what made me fulfilled and happy was seeing the people happy and entertained,” Gino says.
He adds, “When I see them in our MMA events or obstacle runs, when they post about it on social media, when they come up to me and tell me that they enjoyed the event so much, that’s what gets me going.”
Gino would do regular meets with his fans and distributors “para lang magkamustahan.”
“Even during the pandemic and especially during the three months of ECQ, I continued doing this. This is where I saw how a lot of people have become sad, depressed, and desperate because they lost their job or their business. They are very anxious about how they will feed their families,” he says.
“I told myself that even if what I was doing was difficult because of the many protocols I needed to follow, I will continue the work of Gino’s Wish,” he adds.
Today, Gino finds fulfilment in getting thank you messages from people he has helped through his foundation. Because of his help, they see a better future for themselves and their loved ones.
“This is my fuel, This is what makes me survive,” he adds.
Helping families through Gino’s Wish has also helped him get through the pandemic.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have a business that continues to grow during this season. I have been blessed to have a family that lives comfortably. However, I know most of our kapitbahay do not have that luxury so I feel the need to go out and help as many people as I can in my neighborhood,” he says.
Gino’ says his passion in life is to make other people happy, whether it’s through his foundation, through his TV series and movies, or selling products to consumers.
“Seeing their faces light up because we give them assistance, or entertain them through a show or just by having conversations with my fans and supporters, these remind me that there is still hope for a better and brighter tomorrow even in the midst of this pandemic,” he says.
Gino’s foundation is currently helping over 1,000 families a week in Quezon City.
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