MANILA – Five months since a lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country, many local artists have been forced to be resourceful and creative with whatever is available to them to continue entertaining people during this trying time.
One of the platforms that emerged for them is the new podcast network Connect, which aims to bring together entertaining stories designed to spark the imagination.
Its mission is to set the standard for multi-genre entertainment content in the podcasting space by creating quality shows that will delight listeners and audiences.
“Podcasts are also very easy to consume. Studies have shown podcast listeners stream podcasts while multi-tasking, like doing chores, working and driving. More importantly, podcasts are free. They’re easy to access, download and stream, anytime and anywhere,” said Connect founder Glad Jacinto.
To date, Connect houses three shows that have already connected with the niche audiences they are designed for.
One of them is “Loop Me In,” a podcast hosted by Juls Rodriguez for those looking for career opportunities. Job hunters or those seeking career growth and personal development, in particular, should find this show more than interesting.
Another podcast is “Digestibles,” which help complement the current school set-up which has shifted online. Hosted by voice actress Gaby Pascua, the show breaks down classic literature from Shakespeare to mythology and many more.
There is also “Quaranthing,” a narrative video podcast series featuring fictional stories that have emerged during the lockdown.
Its first episode, “Love Me Hater,” tells a story of two people coming across each other’s paths through the digital world. Headlined by theater actors Bibo Reyes and Gab Pangilinan, the show was written and directed by Siege Ledesma (“Shift”) and produced by William Montesines.
“The pandemic, especially in the Philippines, has been sort of a Pandora’s box. It has revealed the worst in people, and has been taken advantage of by opportunists. Yet, what got released from that box is also hope: bayanihan, empathy, solitude. Now that the pandemic has paused the wheels that drive humanity, a portion of us also just realized that the world has long been sick, and has been heading towards the wrong direction,” said Ledesma.
“The knee-jerk reaction to that would be to escape to toxic positivity, blind faith, and escapist entertainment—which I feel, already saturates our platforms right now—and so I hope that ‘Love Me Hater’ fills that gap for grounded escapism—a series that entertains, informs, and invites a safe space for dialogue,” Ledesma added.
The final episode of “Love Me Hater” is scheduled to stream live on August 15 at 6 p.m. on at Connect’s YouTube channel.