Filipino actress Ivana Alawi disguises as a beggar.
PHOTO BY YOUTUBE
MANILA – Actress Ivana Alawi disguised as a beggar for a day to find and reward helpful Filipinos she met randomly on the streets.
The star’s latest YouTube video posted on Monday (March 15) has gotten more than 8.5 million views in 24 hours, with many of her 11.9 million subscribers saying it left them in tears.
“Whoever helps me, I will give it back to them 1,000 times more,” said Ivana, who exchanged her usual sexy outfit for a tattered white t-shirt and a disheveled wig as her disguise.
In a black Chanel dust bag, she carried two wads of 1,000- and 500-peso bills as well as a cheque book, in case she needed to reward a helpful stranger 1 million pesos (Dh75,757).
As part of her disguise, Alawi also smeared her face with grease and carried a cardboard sign to say she needed money to return to Baguio City.
“This is the first time I am going to do this in my life,” she said, referring to her prank. “We will find people with a good heart. I will find you and I will reward you,” she added.
The actress rewarded cash that was 1,000 times the value of the amount anyone handed to her, and P1,000 (Dh75) to anyone who gave her food.
The actress said she thought of doing her latest social experiment after encountering beggars and people who fell on hard times during the pandemic.
Ivana said she wanted to put herself in their shoes while “also rewarding the people who help out” those who are in need.
“I believe that what goes around comes around,” she said, adding that those who help will be rewarded by God “ten times, one thousand times, one million times”.
“Please let’s help out our kababayans and let’s help out Philippines.. I believe we will be a better country. I hope this video inspires you to help in your own small way,” she said before getting inside a heavily tinted black van where her crew has set up two hidden cameras.
Ivana’s first stop was at a passenger waiting shed where a woman told her she should approach the government for help to return to Baguio City.
However, a man sitting a few metres from her handed her two pesos (0.15 fils). She repaid him with P2,000 (Dh151).
The surprised man said he didn’t recognize Ivana as she looked completely different, but that he was glad to have helped a stranger in his small way.
Ivana’s next stop was at a gasoline station where she was ignored by staff, until a passing motorist gave her 10 pesos (75 fils). After dropping her disguise, Ivana gave him a P10,000 (Dh757) reward.
At a checkpoint, the star approached a group of female volunteers. One of them gave her P20 (Dh1.50) “for food” and another offered her a free bath in their home.
When the star revealed she is Ivana Alawi in disguise, the women screamed in delight and even asked to have a photo taken with her.
She gave P20,000 (Dh1,515) to the kind volunteer who said she was ready to help a beggar because she also went through a similar experience.
At a park, Ivana received 5 pesos from an old lady who pitied her, while an art vendor gave her 20 pesos. “Just 20 pesos because I haven’t sold anything yet,” he told her as he handed her the money from his belt bag. Another vendor also gave her a pack of nuts, while a passing fruit vendor gave her two oranges.
She gave the helpful strangers a total of P28,000 (Dh2,121).
At another area, a street vendor handed her 5 pesos (0.38 fils) and packed lunch, saying he also used to beg for food. Ivana gave him a reward of P5,000 (Dh378) plus P1,000 for the food.
However, it was a 58-year-old street vendor from Ormoc who moved Ivana to tears after he gave her P20, as well as a big serving of the kutsinta (a Filipino steamed rice cake) that he was selling. He even offered to buy her softdrinks to go with her free snack.
The vendor also talked to the disguised Ivana to lift her spirits, telling her about his hard life in Manila and how he is working hard to feed his family. He also told her to take care of herself.
As if to lighten the mood further, the man told Ivana that Ormoc is run by actor Richard Gomez as its mayor, and his wife and actress Lucy Torres as congress woman.
Ivana replied that the “handsome” Gomez is her “idol”. She also praised Torres for her beauty, saying she hoped she could be as beautiful as her.
Moved by his kindness and empathy, Ivana revealed her identity to the vendor and handed him P20,000. The surprised vendor became very emotional, saying he never expected he would be repaid for his small help.
Ivana broke down in tears and urged him to take the money. The vendor said he will use some of it to buy a bicycle that he will use when selling food on the streets.
Later in the video, Ivana said she has asked her team to track down the vendor so she can help him more.
The actress praised Filipinos for their generosity and helpful nature.
“Ibang klase ang Pinoy tumulong sa isa’t isa. Kahit walang wala sila, tutulong talaga (Filipinos are a league of their own when it comes to helping each other. Even if they are in dire need themselves, they will help),” she said, adding, “I’m so proud to be a Filipino.” FAY/Expat Media
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