By: AC Recio
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and imposed lockdowns and quarantines, people have been staying indoors to keep the number of disease cases at a minimum. However, all this staying in has led to a widespread case of cabin fever, with people longing for the great outdoors, to stretch out their legs again and to experience the different things that give life its spice.
To combat this universal claustrophobia and restlessness, different artists and companies have made their art and resources available online for the general public. Here are High Five things you can access for free right now from the comforts of your home.
What the community quarantine has made clear is that music makes the world go round. With live performances getting cancelled everywhere, people have been looking for ways to connect with their favorite musicians online. Responding to this, artists from all over the world have made their music available for free streaming and even do livestreams of themselves performing.
One of these livestreams is Bayanihan Musikahan, a concert series organized by Philippine National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab and the Philippine Business for Social Progress, where different musicians perform on Facebook Live and encourage viewers to donate to COVID-19 relief efforts. The concert series has so far featured musicians such as Sponge Cola, Karylle, Ebe Dancel, Ice Seguerra and Gloc 9. Check out their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/pg/bayanihanmusikahan.
Comics and Zines
Comics and zines have long been gaining traction as a popular form of art, especially in DIY spaces and counterculture movements. With the “enhanced community quarantine” enforced in Luzon in the Philippines, several local artists have made their comics and zines available in a digital format. Here is a Twitter thread on these amazing artists and their works which you can check online right now: https://twitter.com/rainandcheese/status/1240193417809997825.
What the quarantine has unintentionally given most of us is free time, and what better way to spend that time than to pick up a book again, or in this case a mobile device. The e-book subscription service Scribd is making their digital library accessible to the public for one whole month.
“Our goal is simply to ensure everyone has access to their favorite books, authors, and quality content as we settle into our new normal for the next few weeks,” said Trip Adler, the founder and CEO of Scribd. We’ve all wished we could read books as much as we did back in high school or college, and now might be the chance to do so. Read more about Scribd’s open access digital library in the following link: https://blog.scribd.com/home/2020/3/17/a-letter-from-the-scribd-ceo-to-our-community.
Audio entertainment provider Audible has also made a selection of audiobooks available online, but this time for a younger audience. The company has curated a large collection of stories geared towards children to help keep them entertained, engaged and alert as long as schools around the world remain closed.
“(K)ids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids,” said the audio giant on their website. Check out the free Audible Stories collection here: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen.
Independent filmmakers from the Philippines and across Southeast Asia have joined forces to make their short films available online through the Lockdown Cinema Club. With the tagline “watch what you want, give what you can,” the initiative invites viewers to help raise funds for low income film workers such as utility personnel, production assistants and setmen, among others, who operate on a “no work, no pay” basis and are greatly affected by the quarantine and suspension of film projects.
Among the short films available are works by Filipino filmmakers Alvin Yapan, Petersen Vargas, Ian Arondaing and Arden Rod Condez, and Southeast Asian filmmakers like Patipiol Teekayuwat and See Wee Aw. For a complete list of the films, click here and here.
Whether by giving everyone free access to information and entertainment, or by assisting in different efforts for communities in need, humanity always finds a way to unite and help one another. Keep your head up, stay informed and do what you can in this time of crisis.
Do you know of any free entertainment or content we might have missed? Share it with us in the comments section below!