Covid Memoirs

Pagpupugay – to all the artists and groups which launched programs and initiatives to be of help in this time of crisis. We compile here some of the powerful works and stories of this pandemic which inspire, give hope, pay tribute, even capture the pain and reality on the ground to help us all find a way. We hope that through this, you too can find your medium to express yourself and tell your story – your first step to healing. And who knows, it just might end up saving others.

Contact us to share a story / experience only you can tell, here in Pelikulove.

A twin project is our Lakambini Series. Visit fb.com/Pelikulove on May 9, 3 pm.

Music

The Prayer (Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli) – UP Singing Ambassadors Tribute to Frontliners

By: UP Singing Ambassadors

March 26, 2020

Watch it on YouTube: Original post

UPSA’s Tribute to COVID-19 Frontliners
University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors
Founded and Conducted by Dr. Ed Manguiat

This song is our little offering to our frontliners who keep us afloat while we traverse these troubled waters.

It is the hope of the 96 members and alumni of the UP Singing Ambassadors who shared their voices that this melody bring comfort to your weary hearts.

Video editing: Vic Cano, Pia Marcelino, Kylle Columna
Audio mixing: Vic Cano
Music preps: Seph Lazaro
Project coordination: Vic Cano, Avie Ogad
Research: Luigi Teola, Kyle Basan, Eduard Borrega, Elora Atos

Erratum on tha Cast List:
Soprano 1: Angelene Quimpo-Sale
Alto 2: Maricel de Guzman-Fernandez
Bass 2: Melvin Chavez

Check out their channel: UP Singing Ambassadors

Umagang Kay Ganda

By: Artists Welfare Project, Inc.

March 28, 2020

In light of this pandemic Corona Virus 19, we wish to inform you that the creative industry workers who live from one gig to another, one show to the next ( if they are casted ), one production, one concert, one screenplay, one film to the next – along with the production crew et. al. have been terribly affected due to the cancellation of many events that started as early as the Taal Volcano eruption and now, the Corona Virus Outbreak and worse the Lock Down.

The current government and business sector’s’ support for their employees are laudable. In stark contrast, most of the cultural workers and artists in the creative industry are not under an employer-employee relationship. They do not have 13th month pays, leaves, nor monthly pay slips. Freelance artists have no employer to run to.

In behalf of freelance workers in the creative industry, please support our fund raising for freelance artists in the audio visual, entertainment and performing arts so they remain healthy and safe while this virus is still at large. Your donations go to at least 7,000 creative workers in different disciplines who seek help to get food on the table for their families.

The artists and creative workers have always lifted spirits and have given joy and inspiration to the Filipino people, if not pride for the country time and again. The coming months will be trying and uncertain. We need support for the coming long haul until the virus has been contained and economy can start recovering again – and in that time, kami po ay handang tumulong sa pagbangon na iyan.

Muli Salamat sa inyong Pagmamahal! Mabuhay Tayo!

Original post
Check out their channel to Donate: Artists Welfare Project, Inc.

Kaya Mong Maging Dakila

By: Dakila

April 9, 2020

Sa #ArawNgKagitingan, inihahandog namin ang awiting ito bilang pagpupugay sa mga front liners. Lagi nating tandaan na lahat tayo ay may angking kagitingan, katapangan, at kadakilaan.

#KayaMongMagingDAKILA


Sa mga nais magbigay tulong sa ating mga magigiting na frontliners, i-click ang dakila.org.ph/bayanihan

Original post
Check out their channel: Dakila

Vince De Jesus

April 25

Vincent de Jesus, recently referred to by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab as the Stephen Sondheim of the Philippines would post on FB:
🎵🎶Composers let us please use this lockdown to CREATE NEW SONGS. NEW LYRICS. NEW MUSIC. NEW MUSICALS. Whatever the genre, whatever the theme, whatever language AS LONG AS IT’S ORIGINAL MUSIC. We have so much time in our hands. Now is the time to get creative. 🎶🎵

May 3

Music and Lyrics by Vincent A. DeJesus
Vocals by Jep Go

Copyright 2020
House of Tunes
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Original post

April 28

“It’s scarier to go out of the house now to go to the supermarket to buy food and essential supplies because sometimes the behavior of other police are more aggressive and dangerous than COVID-19. Beware of going out.”

Photo by: Jojit Lorenzo

Earlier, March 27

Vince actually started a zoom class on Songwriting with friends

Senedy Que: Sharing one of the song lyrics I wrote for the LSS (Lockdown Songwriting Sessions) under Vincent de Jesus…

As a writer, I have been experiencing another level of fulfillment these past few weeks when the emotions I felt at certain moments of my (quarantined) life are given a “hauntingly beautiful” melody by the brilliant Elliot Eustacio…

These songs were created by his students in his online songwriting workshop, THE LOCKDOWN SONGWRITING SESSIONS.

April 29

“After the lockdown I want to take all my friends to the beach, then we will all hug each other under the sea. Maybe that paksyet virus will die in the sea, what? In the soap that dies, is it still in salty water???”

Check out their channel: MunkeyMusic

Darating Yan

By: Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA)

May 5, 2020

Shared by Liza Magtoto:

From an online class of PETA! Darating din ang araw!!!

Some 50 people submitted as a response to a challenge for this virtual jam. Nakakaaliw! Some were former workshoppers, Peta friends, partners from the regions, and some were virtual “walk-ins.” May umawit, may tumugtog ng instrumento. Ang saya!

Nakaka-miss ang LIVE performances and workshops, nakakamiss ang makasama ang mga kaibigan at kamag-anak, ang magyakapan at magsama-sama. pero habang wala pa, let’s remain hopeful that that day will come.

Get your tissue paper ready!

MUSIC IS HOPE. Share this virtual music jam to your friends and family ❤️

“Darating din ang araw na tayo’y magsasamang muli. Darating din ang araw, darating ‘yan.”

The Virtual Music Jam challenge is an output of our “Connecting Thru Music” session with composer, arranger Jeff Hernandez and singer-actress Yeyin De La Cruz under PETA’s Let’s Get Creative Series. 50 video entries were submitted and were used in making this video. If you missed the episode, watch it here: https://bit.ly/3dfrgEB

“Darating Yan” music by Jeff Hernandez
Lyrics by Let’s Get Creative participants
#LetsGetCreative #VirtualMusicJam #DaratingYan

Ano Ang Aming Kasalanan?

By: The Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine

May 14, 2020

Watch it on Vimeo: Original post

Filipino protest band The Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine is releasing new music for the first time since 2017. “Ano Ang Aming Kasalanan?” is a response to the current health crisis which has exposed the harsh realities of repression, widespread social inequality, and the government’s incompetence – realities that have always existed and are now much more apparent.

The new video is a collaboration with filmmaker JL Burgos, brother of missing activist Jonas Burgos, and includes triggering images of the government’s highly militarized handling of the COVID-19 pandemic juxtaposed with footage highlighting the brutality and violence that has swept the country under the current administration.

The Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine would like to thank the artists, musicians, writers, workers, farmers, activists, and urban poor communities who collaborated with the band in the production of this video.

“Ano Ang Aming Kasalanan”
written, arranged and performed by The Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine

Directed, shot and edited by JL Burgos

Produced by
Pulang Langgam Productions and The Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine

———–
You can also view and share this video via vimeo: https://vimeo.com/418432871

The music is free to download for a limited period only:
https://we.tl/t-Zk0C8FaxCZ

#24barsmarkbeatschallenge

By: Joanna Reyes

May 18, 2020

#24barsmarkbeatschallenge ⬇️🔊 by Joanna Reyes

Some pieces of me I’m finally sharing with everyone. This feels like all the years hiding away and holing up writing thoughts and imagining them on beats finally laid out on something. This goes to anyone who might relate too. To be honest, this is in the darker side and even when I made this I had many thoughts; but here’s another person who believes you are not alone. 🖤 We are not and we will listen.

One is a downer
Two is for free
Three is a religion
And Four is a spree
If you count to five
You gotta stick with me
I’ve got a lot of thoughts
You better listen carefully

Overthinker on the dime
Energy between my rhymes
Late bloomer she back in time
Palpable beneath my mind
Language is a virtue
Honesty is so true
I’m thinking ‘bout reality
Not faking when they tell me to

it’s a trouble, it’s an anti-fact, arte-fact,
past is past, you fail in class
I’m either this I’m either that
Whatchu want, I’m none of that
I’ll say a word so you scratch that
I’m tired of playing games with me
I thought I was all over that

Turo rito, turo diyan
Mapagsabihan lang
Na okay ka diyan
Na sinabi ko na sa’yo ‘to
‘tas boom, sabog, nag-iyakan
Breakdown ba muna, pasantabi
Kasalanan ko palang maubusan
Ng lakas loob walang hanggang
Rindi ‘tas mag-isa ka na

Maling akala, haka-haka
Nadadali- napapadali
Ako lang bang naubusan nung nawalan kami
Ng kaibigan
Katototohan? ba’t paikot-ikot,
Sirkulong kinaroroonan
Gising-gising ba, luto na laban
Konsensiya ko’y tinadtaran
Saan man ako tumayo
Masasagasaan
Gusto ko lang maging mabuti
Para pagdating ng panahon
May taong makikinig
(Anuman ‘yon)

Lyrics and Vocals by Joanna Reyes
Music/Beats by Mark Beats (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAmUkPmFaCs)

Attachments area
Preview YouTube video 24 Bars Mark Beats Challenge (Official Audio)

Original post
Check out their channel: @milkandcaffeine

Hope Diaries

That sunset was a wake-up call. I had to do better.

By: Charisse Bayona

April 19, 2020

“This is a photo of the sunset during the early days of lockdown, taken from our building’s rooftop. I was particularly stressed about the new work-from-home set up and I needed to clear my head. Luckily, I caught the changing of colors as the sun retired from the sky. I didn’t feel relieved or calmed by it because I couldn’t make myself derive some sense of optimism from this pandemic with this government. What I felt, instead, was the realization that I held a responsibility to my fellow human beings. I had been immensely lucky and probably undeserving to be seeing that sunset that afternoon and stress about my petty concerns, while hundreds of health workers and less privileged Filipinos were staring death in the eye at that very same moment. Beyond staying home and helping to flatten the curve, I felt compelled to do better as a human being after all of this is over. I was given much to be indulging in that sunset while a pandemic is taking over the planet. Perhaps, I ought to be kinder to strangers, to be more affectionate to my friends and family and to be more thoughtful of the kind of work I do in this lifetime.

That sunset was a wake-up call. I had to do better.”

– Charisse is a writer who’s been living away from her family for a decade now, Day 36 of ECQ

Original post
Check out their channel: Lakbay2Love

I had to go home to my PWD brother and mother, a senior citizen with lung condition, but there was no public transportation.

By: April Catindig

April 23, 2020

“I’m April Catindig currently working as Radiology Clerk at The Medical City. When the number of covid19 cases was increasing in the country, I was in my home town in Angono Rizal preparing my stuff that I will be needing for work. While on the bus watching television, there was a flash report that said it’s possible for the government to declare a lockdown in the entire Luzon. Before going to The Medical City, I dropped by my dorm in Pasig to get some personal things that I might be using in case of lockdown. Then the declaration of lockdown came. At first it was community quarantine and then the government decided to declare an Enhanced Community Quarantine. I was worried about how I will be able to go home since I am the bread winner of our family. My eldest brother is PWD and my mother is already a senior citizen with lung condition. I need to check their condition personally. There was no public transportation that time although The Medical City was doing their best to provide transportation. One time, I saw the FB page of Life Cycles PH. I mentioned my friend’s name in the comment box. Her name is Jamie Blanco a clerk also in TMC assigned in ICU and she’s from Binangonan. We chatted in the comment box and Life Cycles PH noticed us and got in touch with us.

The very accommodating Ms. Rowhe asked some questions and never did I think that we, at the TMC, will be one of the recipients of their bike. They donated 19 bikes, helmets, and locks. Other recipients are from the Emergency Room, Stroke Unit, Laboratory, ICU, and Radiology Department. And after a week of ECQ, I went back home using the bike. Before ECQ, I used to ride the UV and bus where I only focused on my cellphone or I slept until I reached my destination. When I biked, I appreciated our nature and noticed that even though there are a lot of buildings and infrastructure in my way home, I realized that many old trees are still on the roadside that give shade for people walking on the pathway and to us, bikers. Plus there’s lesser air pollution. After this ECQ, I will still use bike in going to work and in going home because I believe I will not only help lessen the pollution, but I will also help myself get fit.”

Original post
Check out their channel: Lakbay2Love

I am still human.

By: Ann Angala

April 21, 2020

“I have been too strong since the lockdown, or seem to be.
I have been separated from my girls; been lied to by a trusted friend; been sucking up first hand stories of frontliners we have been delivering bikes to; taking all the lies and cover ups from some incompetent leaders who have led us deep into this pandemic when this level of intensity could have been prevented; the death of our beloved landlord; stories of close friends who have only a day’s worth of food remaining with no income and no help from their LGU; thousands of frontliners walking daily to work; hospitals with bodies in the hallways; health workers as sacrificial lambs; the rise of domestic violence; uncertainty and many many many more.

I have been pushing aside thoughts of sadness at first hint, for fear of it overwhelming me and it has a couple of times.

This morning, I made a call for lockdown nature pics and a good friend sent 3 images with a message saying: “Taking a picture of the sunset almost everyday has helped ease my anxiety. I also pray during this time and soak up the energies of the warm amber beams of the sun.”

With these beautiful images and her honest thoughts, I finally gave in to my vulnerability, this made me cry. We are all broken by this pandemic and no one is spared.

I am thankful for this gift of still being able to feel, think, and express. I thank my friend for being an instrument in shaking me down and reminding me that I am still human.”

– Ann at Day 33 of ECQ. She is a mother of 5 and currently lives alone, away from her children due to the lockdown.

Photos by: Honey Machuca
Original post
Check out their channel: Lakbay2Love

When we see each other under the sun again.

By: Allan Habon

April 18, 2020

“Nowadays I can only see nature from the confines of my phone gallery. This is one of them. As the quote goes, I believe life is not counted by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breaths away. My moments with nature always count as such, and I am looking forward to more of them, when we see each other under the sun again.”

– Allan sharing a view of Taal before January’s ashfall, Day 35 of ECQ

Original post
Check out their channel: Lakbay2Love

Howie Severino

By: Howie Severino

April 30, 2020

My frontliner, Gab

Most of us take human companionship for granted until it’s taken away. That’s what happens when you’re a covid patient. Unlike any other illness, this one imposes a ban on visits by your loved ones. No one you know can even peek inside your door to say hello and ask how you’re doing.

You spend all day and all night lying in bed in a room by yourself worrying about whether you will live or die. Sleep is a struggle.

That takes a toll on the patient’s emotional and mental health.

After I survived covid and 11 days in isolation in a hospital, one of my main takeaways is that while heroic health professionals exhaust themselves trying to cure you of this terrifying disease, no one is looking after the patient’s mental health.

We know that morale and state of mind are large factors in our physical well-being, and could affect our chances of survival.

I found this out the hard way, after several days of solitude and feeling very weak. With my fate uncertain, my morale plummeted and I felt like giving up. My calls to my wife became desperate cries for help.

Rather than feel helpless, my resourceful spouse came up with a master stroke. She called up a nursing agency and hired a private nurse to just be with me, PPE-garbed and all.

At first, I resisted, testily insisting I wanted to be like any other patient, suffering alone. My wife wouldn’t listen.

The nurse who showed up, Gab Lazaro, seemed handpicked, although he had volunteered for covid duty not knowing whom his patient would be.

I thought at first that he would just be an extra pair of hands to assist the other nurses as they did the daily electrocardiogram that monitored the risk of cardiac arrest from my medication.

I quickly discovered we had a mutual interest in college and professional basketball, including hoops history going back to the 1980s.

Then he confided that he was an avid viewer of documentaries, and wished someone would do a documentary on the work of frontliners inside their dangerous workplace.

I told Gab, why not you, I’ll teach you! After his initial excitement, he tempered it with a realization, there are too many privacy issues. Covid after all is the most stigmatized disease.

I told him you only need two subjects, yourself as the frontliner and your patient, me. And we’re both allowing ourselves to appear on camera.

I’ve been training young people in journalism much of my adult life, but this was surreal. From my hospital bed, while attached to an IV line on a pole, I was showing Gab how to use his phone to capture the details of our forbidden place, the isolation quarters of a covid patient. I sent him links to online tutorials.

He shot the other nurses, none of whom minded since they were all unrecognizable in their PPEs, as they performed tests on me, and inserted and removed needles. I taught him that if he shoots any action he must have a reaction, which in my case was often a grimace of pain.

I taught him shot length and zooming with your feet, the reverse shot and the tracking shot in the hospital corridor, pans and tilts, the POV.

This unexpected apprenticeship was a godsend for someone who had just plumbed the depths of despair. It gave me purpose and something to look forward to, a unique collaboration between frontliner and his patient. There were times when I even stopped thinking about my illness, my mind filled with sequences that Gab could shoot.

I told him to record his long walk home in the dark, his life in his lonely apartment, and his transformation in the hospital from civilian threads to the layered armor of a frontline warrior. A fast and enthusiastic learner, he executed these with the polish of a veteran.

He interviewed me and I interviewed him. He was remarkably articulate, gifting me with lines that would later be quoted by viewers on Twitter, like “minsan lang ako lalakad sa mundo, magkaroon ako ng silbi.”

I told him to record himself FaceTiming with his two-year-old daughter Gabrielle, who was at her grandparents’ home, separated from her father since the quarantine began.

“I have fears,” he told me in Filipino. “But I want my child to be proud of me some day, to say that her father served during this time.”

I wanted him truthfully portrayed as an ordinary person with a job that required extraordinary courage every day, like every other frontliner .

We were together just the two of us when he quietly celebrated his 40th birthday, which was just another day in our battle against the virus.

He was with me recording my discharge from the hospital when other frontliners surprised me with cheers as I exited.

In the end, his constant companionship and our collaboration cured the overlooked affliction of loneliness that accompanies every case of covid-19.

Frontliners are often and rightfully credited with saving lives. But my case shows they can also save your mind and morale just by being there keeping you company; and in one rare instance, collaborating on a creative endeavor that became an I-Witness documentary.

I’m safe at home now on my way to full recovery. Gab texted me yesterday to say he’s back on the front lines, taking care of another lonely, gravely ill patient.

— Howie Severino

Link to the documentary Gab and I produced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdqgzZJbiCw
CAN THE LINK BE DIRECTED TO THEIR DOCU WITHIN OUR PAGE? OR MAPUPUNTA TALAGA SILA SA YOUTUBE POST? (if not possible to link to the youtube video within our page, kahit mag-open in another tab na lang siya basta hindi sila mawala sa page natin?)

Original post
Check out their channel: Howie Severino

Ditsi Carolino

By: Ditsi Carolino

May 1, 2020

I have a story to tell.

It begins with Dorina, in the time of covid. A lockdown was declared and no one could go anywhere. She stayed home for a few days, anxious about checkpoints and no jeepneys or trains running. But Dorina had six children to feed. So she walked. And walked some more for three hours til she reached the riverbanks. Still tired from walking, she would wade into the river to pick kangkong for four hours, then hawk them in nearby villages. Then she takes the long trek back home.

Home is on the slopes of Cogeo where she lives with her husband, long-injured from construction work, and her six children, the youngest just a year old with asthma. Dorina tells us, “Hindi po talaga pwedeng hindi ako lumabas sa lockdown. Papano kakain ang mga anak ko? Ang mga bata, pag nagutom yan, iiyak talaga.”

So everyday, she would cross the checkpoints, plead with soldiers to let her thru, and walk six hours to pick and sell kangkong. Except for that one fateful day, when she was able to ride VP Leni’s shuttle for frontliners because there were still some seats left.

There, Aison met her. He saw her looking very tired, firewood and kangkong in tow, so he talked to her. So moved was he by her story, that weekend, we visited her house bringing rice and canned goods. We met Dorina’s sick husband and young children. But also her mother and sisters and their families, who are all in the same dire straits. Our relief pack was not enough. For every Dorina we meet, there are hundreds more like her, who live far in the interiors and fringes, who are not in any DSWD list.

Meantime, a mountaineer friend told Aison about a tribe community of Dumagats from Daraitan who couldn’t sell their camote, cassava, gabi, and ginger because the market in Antipolo was closed due to the lockdown. Could he help?

Aison says yes. With some financial help from a classmate who wanted to do his share in relief efforts, Aison buys all the Dumagats’ harvest. “All talaga babe? As in ALL?!!” Sagot niya, “Eh pano naman namin sabihan ang mga Dumagat na ibalik yung kinarga nila mula pa sa bundok?”

Okay. Now what to do with 528 kilos of gabi, 232 kilos of cassava, 423 kilos of luya, 293 kilos of camote, 253 kilos of niyog, and 96 kilos of guyabano?!

Enter facebook and Dorina. An fb shout-out brings in orders from supportive friends. Dorina and her sister pack the veggies, her son and brother-in-law load and unload the cargo, a friend lends a van from a farmers network, and Aison drives all over Manila.

In one week, all the camote, langka, guyabano are sold-out. Yay! But we are left with hundreds of kilos of luya, niyog and gabi.

Still, Dorina and her family are happy to go home with one week’s wages. And since she has sold vegetables all her life, she pleads, “Sana ituloy-tuloy na natin ‘to.” And so, on a wing and a prayer, we take a leap of faith with Dorina.

And hook up with one of the strongest online veggie seller, The Murang Gulay Shop to launch our social entrep VEGGIES for GOOD.

We need your orders in advance so we don’t end up wondering what to do with hundreds of kilos of luya ever again🙄

Help us to spread good by buying your weekly supply of fresh fruits and veggies with us. Go to our fb page Veggies for Good and order online. We deliver.

It’s the only way we know to support the Dumagat farmers of Daraitan and hard-working nanays like Dorina. Sustainably. Mabuhay sila! 😊🌿

Original post
Check out their channel: Veggies for Good

life lately: covid + mental health

By: Sarah Bulahan

May 1, 2020

It’s been a really long time, fam. Hope you are all healthy in all aspects!
Here’s how it’s been, three weeks in three minutes.

For those who’ve been wondering how to send support for the family,
just send me a message on Instagram or Facebook or email me at sabu.official@gmail.com
Thanks so much for the love!

Original post
Check out their channel: Sabu

My Dear Human Beans on Lockdown

By: Monster Jimenez

April 5, 2020

31 days since the first local transmission.

I offer no good advice or remedy for what’s happening with the world. I just want to remember that there is this space in our time. Cities in lockdown, kids missing school, people losing jobs, people dying. I just want to capture and remember what I can. It’s a disquiet that I don’t want to dismiss. It may seem like life is still, but nothing for me now is uneventful.

Although you will receive this on a Monday, I am writing this on Palm Sunday, where everything is impossibly extra quiet. No humming of the mobile disinfecting team on the road, no unannounced press cons or wild new numbers to point out. No big twitter fights, no unusual facebook rants, no bad news too bad to break our beaten hearts.

And the highlight of the day is our boy surprising us with a shadow play which he calls: The Ogre The Dragon and The Stone. He prepared it all on his own, and had Ate Sibel play a part.

No action is required after reading this, but compassion is appreciated! Call a friend who’s living alone, donate to your favorite charity, give a big tip to the next delivery person who drops off goods at your doorstep.

Be well and safe wherever in the world you are,
Monster Jimenez

Original post sent via email
Subscribe to her tiny letters: Extra Ordinary Days by Monster Jimenez

Escape from Lockdown

By: Monster Jimenez

May 14, 2020

On most nights, Andres and I would have our own little thing he called the Kento Klub. It started when he was about 4 years old, when he decided that it was Mario who’d be reading books to him (Dada reads aloud better!) and I was the one who was the teller of stories, kwento. Kento. Yes we’re encouraged to make up words during Kento Klub.

We’ve gone through many phases. There was a time, all we could talk about were scientists, but after going through Archimedes, Tesla and Galileo, we both lost interest as many inventors felt too commodified, and felt too much what Andres would like to call Facts Smack, not enough story in them.

Then his obsession turned to space and we ended up talking about astronauts who went to the moon. As we have both soon discovered, only 12 astronauts have actually set foot on the moon but then they’re always coming from the same mold: super smart, tall navy guy who knew how to fly jets so we started looking up other cosmonauts, but no one excited him more than Scott Kelly who has a twin brother named Mark. When we found out he was the central character in Time’s riveting documentary series called A Year In Space, I knew that he was going to move on again because it’s hard to top that.

Between scientists, space, historical events like Death March and People Power, we talk about life events: the day he was born, my open heart surgery, my father the jock, my mother the beauty of Calaba. But during this lockdown, he seemed to have locked in on how I spent my childhood with my brothers. And of course, after 60 plus days of quarantine, all the “big stories” have been told. I am Sharahzad(?) in The Thousand and One Nights who has to spin tales to save our sanity from this lockdown.

Initially, I felt that a story of my brothers concocting our Milo-Tang-Nido tower sandwich was trifle compared to war and space. But as it turned out, the more ordinary the stories were, the more he enjoyed them. He put lines of masking tape on the floor so I could play hopscotch again. He created an entire fair in our living room with booths and games when I told him about our school fairs. He asked my brother Jami to buy him Hershey Brown Cow at S&R because he heard it was our childhood staple. As it turns out, they just call it Hershey Chocolate Syrup and it’s not the same squeeze bottle anymore, making it a lame water pistol. Boo.

Night after lockdown night, I remembered bike rides, family dinners, playing with our neighbors and setting up a tree house. I talked about my pen pals, life without computers, dismantling broken toys, sneaking into my parents’ room to watch television and getting caught. There was a wealth of stories on the vegetable patch my dad started right beside our house–of bugs we caught, our tomato harvest and the time we turned a dead eggplant tree (is it a shrub?) into a Christmas tree. We danced in the rain and played marathon Monopoly. I shared the secret to creating watusi bombs and how Lolo Maciong taught us how to kill a chicken.

I knew I had a happy childhood, but I didn’t know it was marvelous. I can’t help but feel that this world I am sharing with him is about to undergo a profound shift. A life with less hugs and more screen time; less travels but more time at home. I’m seeing him grow up and confused with what’s going on. Today in class, they made this house origami and I saw some kids in tears, struggling with this very simple exercise. Their frustrations unraveling. Andres had no problem with it but it was also everything: “Mama look, it’s a boy who wants to escape from the window!”

Original post sent via email
Subscribe to her tiny letters: Extra Ordinary Days by Monster Jimenez

Lockdown Labor

By: Paolo Mangahas

May 18, 2020

An essay I wrote to commemorate Labor Day and what it means in these unusual times.
– Paolo Mangahas

Today, like all the other days that seem to mindlessly bleed into the next, I wake up and groggily turn on my computer. I am grateful to have reason to turn on my computer, to have work to do. Not everyone has the type of job that allows them to work from home, I am painfully aware of that especially today. It is, after all, Labor Day—an occasion that up until now carried no real meaning for me. But today is different. I now think about those who have had to make major sacrifices just to get work done from home, those whose jobs require them to bravely leave their houses and risk their health and lives for others, and those who do not get to do any of these at all. Today has got me thinking about work, jobs, professions, vocations, occupations, careers, and I guiltily do so just a few steps away from my bed.

What does it mean to labor? To toil, particularly in these times? Does it involve the pounding of a hammer? The whirring of a machine? The ringing of a cash register? What happens when all that comes to a screeching halt in a world where “what do you do?” is synonymous to “who are you?”? And where the answer to that question sets the social parameters of your identity?

How much of our work have we allowed to define who we are? And what is left when that is pulled out from under our feet? Who are we, then, without it?

Work has always been a large part of human existence. We are naturally inclined to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty—with earth, ink, grease, paint, anything. Our work clothes may have evolved throughout the years, but the essence of putting in the effort and reaping something in return has always been there. There will always be honor and dignity in pulling our own weight and contributing to a team, a society, a country, the world. We were born to give of ourselves.

That is why to labor is also to give birth—to literally bring life, a part of ourselves, to this world, and to labor even further to ensure that that life lives one that is marked by the same honor and dignity with which we have nurtured it; for it to someday contribute to a team, a society, a country, the world. To labor is to create; to make something that was not there or to perpetuate what was always there. Fundamentally, to labor is put food on the table, to get an education, to realize aspirations. It is what fuels our passion and drives our purpose.

For many, to labor is to also pray. Ora et labora—prayer and work—a Catholic monastic practice most associated with Saint Benedict who believed in combining contemplation with action; tapping the divine in drudgery. Meditation in motion.

Labor, for many, has become a form self-expression, a declaration for the world to know that “I exist,” “I matter,” “I am here to pull my own weight.” So what happens now when one is suddenly denied this?

It comes as no surprise then that many find themselves lost and grieving during these uncertain times—grieving the inability to contribute, to create, to connect with themselves and a higher calling. It has forced people to take a hard look at their place under the sun and grieve for the death of who they thought they were all along, when all the pieces they have used to define themselves have started falling off one by one, leaving them standing naked, vulnerable.

And as with any kind of grief, comes acceptance—acceptance of what is and what could be. It is an invitation to explore and experiment, to see what happens when “who are you?” comes before “what do you do?”, and to be surprised with the answer.

But let us leave that for another day. Days may seem to mindlessly bleed into the next, but today is different. For today, we celebrate. We celebrate all the hands that are never too busy to prepare food for others to eat, the hands that are never too full to deliver essential goods and services for the rest of us to survive, the hands that are never too weary to care for the sick. We celebrate all the beautiful calloused hands that are still able to do or find meaningful work during this time, showing us what it means to truly do good and honest labor. In return, the least we can do is put our hands together in thankful prayer or heartfelt applause.

Yes, there may be jobs that will not survive this period. But there will still be many that will thrive and help soften the ground so that new ways will emerge for humans to once again roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty—either holding a pen, a hammer, a brush, a piece of chalk, anything.

Pelikulove Community contributor sent via email
Original post
Check out his channel: Paolo Mangahas

Usok

By: Brixz Federis

May 18, 2020

I just want to share this photo I captured last April 24, 2020 around 6pm. On the photo is the NavoHimlayan, the public cemetery and crematorium of Navotas City, which behind it is the breathtaking view of the Manila bay. This photo was captured from the rooftop of our house.

I captured this dramatic photo of the crematorium emitting black smoke.

In times like this, it is saddening to witness this scenario becoming more frequent. You know that in every smoke, there is grief among the people who lost someone they love.

There is with this photo a deeper meaning about life. That God is always with us reminding that this will soon end. There is light in every darkness.

I wrote a Tanaga for this photo as a reminder of this pandemic and as a symbol of the hopes of all the faithful fighting for every darkness happening in their lives.

Thank you!

Pelikulove Community contributor sent via email

Documenting Despair : A Pandemic Lockdown Journal

By: Neil Daza

May 31, 2020

March 17, 2020
It is a 50mm lens so I’m constantly checking my manual focus since I am always moving and shifting composition. My watch says it’s 8:30 am and I’m beginning to feel the sun’s heat on my nape. The morning sun is also blinding the lens while I am framing this frail man in front of me who seems to be dazed with what’s happening around him. On my far left is an old man who walked for two hours from his home to see his doctor and is convincing the police to let him pass. To my right is a service driver tasked to deliver gallons of blood to a blood bank arguing with another policeman. Another on the frontline is an office messenger who is in a rush for work, showing his identification card. I overhear a mother with her daughter pleading so she can visit her sick father and everywhere, there are around 60 motor riders who have been waiting for three hours to cross the checkpoint.

I shifted my frame again trying to capture this man staring at the empty road right in front of him. I took three frames and walked away.

…Hunger is something a lot of Filipinos are so familiar with even before, but has been heightened by the pandemic and lockdown. While some would think about their lost work and lost income, there are people who worry where to get their next meal. I met some of the homeless, the daily wage earners, the stranded OFWs during the course of my shoot and there is uncertainty and misgiving in their words. Their stories are stories of survival.

…These pictures will definitely not change the world. They are not even showing you the whole story as emotions are lost amidst the covered faces, but I hope these images would awaken the empathy and compassion in all of us.

More of the story here: Original post
Check out his channel: Neil Daza

Literature

JV Ibesate’s Bukas/Ngayon

By: Tanghalang Pilipino

April 26, 2020

We aim to inspire hope amidst these uncertain times here at PangsamanTANGHALAN.

BUKAS / NGAYON talks about restoring hope and maintaining courage, in the midst of adversities. The poem, recited by members of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company, together with TP Artistic Director Nanding Josef and Company Manager Carmela Manuel, urges every Filipino to provide assistance and be a pillar of strength in these trying times, overcoming the challenges and helping fellow Filipinos to believe that we’ll all rise to a brighter and safer tomorrow.

Original post
Check out their channel: Tanghalang Pilipino

Ang Posas

By: Bambi Beltran

April 26, 2020

Cebu artist Bambi Beltran was arrested without warrant by the police last April 19, Sunday, 12:30 am, for her satirical FB post, a reaction to the stoppage of mass testing in their sitio, which a local gov’t official classified as “fake news” and was allegedly in violation of the cybercrime law under the Bayanihan Act We Heal As One Law. She wrote this poem after her 2-day imprisonment

Read more about it here: https://www.rappler.com/nation/258495-labella-response-cebu-artist-bambi-beltran-arrest-nothing-personal

ANG POSAS

Hait kini og tango
Ang paak niini
Mas sakit pa
Sa paak
Sa usa ka hugpa
Sa lamok
Nga nigakos
Sa akong kalag-
Ug bisan katol na
Kaayo, ning
Kasingkasing
Kay way undang
Ang paak
Sa mga lamok.
Dili nako makatol
O mabutangan
man lang og Off lotion.
Unsaon man?
Ang akong
Kamot giposasan
Ang akong hunahuna
Gihiktan
Ang akong kalag
Gipriso.
Igo na lang ko
Sa pagsud-ong
Sa kangitngit
Sa panganod
Maghulat-
Sa kahayag
Kay dili ko kasulat
Og balak
Nga nakaposas

PASUMBINGAY.
—————————-

THE HANDCUFFS
(English Version)

Have sharp fangs
Its bite
Is more painful
Than a swarm
Of mosquitoes
Embracing
My soul-
Though the itch
In my heart
Is too much
Because there
Is no stopping
The bite
Of the mosquitoes.
I can not scratch
Nor use off lotion
How Can I?
My hands
Are handcuffed
My mind
Is manacled
My soul
Is caged.
All I can do
Is watch
The darkening
Of the clouds
Is wait-
For the light
Because I
Can’t write a poem
On handcuffs

METAPHOR.
—————————-

Photo by: DAKILA
Original post
Check out their channel: OSM!

Sabi Nila

By: Nicolas B. Pichay

March 21, 2020

Parang di naman
nagbago
ang kanilang buhay
mula sa dating
pang-araw-araw
na kalakaran.
Gigising, kakain,
maglilibang.
Marahil, hindi na
lang madalas
ang paghalik
sa mga minamahal.
Kung tumama man
ang veerus
sa aming paglalakad
sa dating nakagawiang
paghahanap-buhay,
di ba’t parang
wala naman ‘tong
Covid-19 sa amin
kundi dagdag
na pasakit
tulad ng kapag
may pagtaas
ng presyo
ng langis?
Sabi nila,
wala ng trapik
nandito pa rin
kaming naglalakad.
Sabi nila payapa
na ang daigdig.
Nandito pa rin
kaming nakapila.
Sabi nila
maraming namatay.
Lumang balita
na ‘yan sa amin
kung saan
nagkalat ang mga
di mapangalanang
bangkay.
Sabi nila, kalma lang.
Pero, nandito
pa rin kaming,
pinag-mamartsa
ng tambol ng kaba,
nagtatagong bulwak
ng galit,
tulad ng dati
na parang wala
naman itong epidemya
kundi isa lang
sa mga maraming abala.

Photo by Neil Daza
Original post
Check out their channel: Nicolas Pichay

Pagbabagong Bihis Ng Bayang Hihilom

By: Lance Abellon

May 18, 2020

Hindi man maibalik sa dati ang lahat,

ay natitiyak kong may mga bagay na mananatili.
Marahil magbagong anyo ang lahat.

Magbabagong anyo ang takbo ng mga siyudad,

magiging marahil mas maingat na ang tao upang pahalagahan ang oras na dahan-dahang dati ay nasasayang.

Matututo na ang tao na huwag isawalang bahala

ang halaga ng mga karagatan, mga kabundukan, at mga kapatagan,
Matututo na nilang langhapin ng maigi ang samyo ng sariwang hangin sa dapithapon.

Matututunan na ng taong maniwala na ang pamilya ang siyang una at huling aakap sa kanilang kabuuan.

Marahil matututunan na nilang hindi magmadali,

matututunan nang gugulin ang oras upang gawin itong kapaki-pakinabang.

Ang mga dating nakakuyom at nakasara ang mga palad ay magiging magkadikit sa pag-usal ng panalangin at ganito sila makikipaglaban.

Ang dating mga yakap na marahil walang kahulugan ay magkakaroon ng saysay. Ang mga tapik sa balikat ay magkakaroon ng damdaming matagal itinago.

Paghilom ay dahan-dahang tutupok sa mga sugatan.
Pag-ibig ang papagitna sa mga pagkakaiba ng bawat nilalang at hindi na titignan pa ang bawat pagkukulang.

Pagbabagong bihis ng bayang hihilom ang magiging susi upang maging buong muli ang kanilang loob na lumaban, na tumindig sa tama at iwaksi ang mga baluktot na nakasanayan.

O bayan ko, sabik na ako sa iyong paghilom.
Kapag dumating ang oras na iyon,
sisibol nang muli ang pag-asa.
Magliliyab akong mas ibigin at ipaglaban ka.

Lance Duldulao Abellon, poet from LAYA Manila
4 Mayo 2020

Pelikulove Community contributor sent via email

Audio Visual

Kultura ng Bayan, Kaagapay sa Laban!

By: UP Filipiniana Dance Group

April 18, 2020

Kultura ng Bayan, kagapay sa Laban!

Sa panahong tulad ngayon, sining ay nagsisilbing sandigan at patuloy na tumutugon sa hamon ng buhay.

Ito ang aming munting pasasalamat sa lahat ng tumulong at patuloy na tumutulong sa mga nangangailangan. Mabuhay kayo!

Sama-sama tayong patuloy na magbayanihan!

Ako si Patient 2828

By: Howie Severino and Gab Lazaro I-Witness

April 18, 2020

Aired (April 18, 2020): Dahil mayroon siyang aktibong pamumuhay at magandang pangangatawan, hindi inakala ni Howie Severino na tatamaan siya ng COVID-19. Sa kanyang pakikipaglaban sa sakit na kinatatakutan ng mundo, minsan din niyang inisip na baka hindi siya magwagi sa labang ito. Panoorin ang karanasan ni Patient 2828 at kung paano siya nakabangon mula sa panganib ng novel coronavirus. #IWitness #HowieSeverino #AkoSiPatient2828

Original post
Check out their channel: GMA Public Affairs

One Room

By: King Abalos

April 30, 2020

“We will never be the same.”

ONE ROOM is a montage of footages from all over the world, chronicling the collective trauma humanity is experiencing during a time of pandemic. It is a reflection of the current times, and the psyche of mankind.

Original post
Check out their channel: King Abalos Films

Lockdown 5: Bayanihan sa Marikina

By: Malu Maniquis

May 6, 2020

This pandemic brought out the best and the worst in humanity. One feeds the hungry, the other terrorizes.

This episode was made possible with the cooperation of Bayanihang Marikenyo at Marikenya

Marylou del Rosario
Zena Bernardo
Wilfredo Wong

And all community kitchen volunteers.

Heartfelt gratitude for the support:
Gino Lopez
Angelica Salomon-Dealino

Original post
Check out their channel: Malu Maniquis

Lolo Doc

By: Tanghalang Pilipino

May 6, 2020

Lolo Doc is a monovlog written by Layeta Bucoy about a Pandemic frontliner, a senior doctor whose dedication and commitment to saving people’s lives take precedence over anything or anyone else, including his love for his own beloved family, and sacrificing even his own safety and life.

Performed by Tanghalang Pilipino Artistic Director, Fernando “Nanding” Josef

Music Scoring by TJ Ramos

Original post
Check out their channel: Tanghalang Pilipino

Neil Daza

By: Neil Daza

May 20, 2020

Mula Bahay Hanggang Lansangan. Ipaglaban Ang Kalayaan.

Photo/Video Essay by Neil Daza.
Original post
Check out their channel: Kamera Gerilya

Visual Arts

Robert Alejandro

By: Robert Alejandro

April 27, 2020

Papemelroti co-founder Robert Alejandro holds Facebook Live “art parties” (free online art workshops) to encourage people to learn and try art while staying at home amidst the enhanced community quarantine.

Original post
Check out their channel: Robert Alejandro

#PRAYFORWUHAN (COVID-19 ARTWORK SERIES)

By: Josef Lee

March 20, 2020

Inspired by Alex Ross’s 9/11 Tribute artwork

In late Jan 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) started to spread and developed very rapidly and Singapore was faced with new social issues almost every other day (from the panic buying of masks to food hoarding to littering of used masks, etc.) I started creating this series of artworks and comics as a fast way to express my thoughts on these issues.

AG Saño and Art Attack

By: AG Saño and Art Attack

March 20, 2020

Filipino artists from the group “Art Attack” paint a mural depicting Darna, a fictional Filipino comics superhero, wearing a scrub suit and protective mask on the side of a building to honour health workers fighting against COVID-19. – Ezra Acayan

Photo: Ezra Acayan; Drone shot for Getty Images
Original post
Check out their channel: ABS-CBN News

COVID Chronicles Episode 4 – Not Warriors

By: Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA)

March 24, 2020

“Not Warriors (‘Di Mandirigma)” is a poem dedicated to all Filipina Women Frontliners, written by Juan Miguel Severo and performed by Ria Atayde.

Please join us as we continue to recognize their sacrifices and service. Their utmost plea is for us to #StayAtHome — let us support them.

Covid Chronicles is a series of public service announcement videos on Domestic Violence, Maternal Health and Family Planning created by PETA in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Philippines, and Center for Health Solutions & Innovations Philippines, who are both mainstreaming and addressing reproductive health, population and gender-based violence issues in the country.

Original post
Check out his channel: PETA Covid Chronicles