A Record of Life during Pandemic: From Cancelled Shows to Live Online Concerts

“No more snooze button” is my new normal mantra since the start of community quarantine—sparking a heightened sense of uncertainty in the country, particularly in the Luzon area due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With resilience strategies becoming implemented globally to help combat the spread of Covid-19 as it causes a devastating impact on our daily lives and the economy as a whole, people are directed to commit and adjust to social distancing, stay-at-home policy, limited grocery hours, hoarding, temporary closures of schools, malls, and some establishments, among many others.

The goal is to keep people safe and well-informed about the disease. This pandemic is teaching us valuable lessons we can take from the global response that we are seeing so far.

As reading or watching the news can be concerning for everyone right now, “Stay at home to save lives” has become a global aphorism.  And given the current conditions, it makes me wonder what it’s like to live today knowing that live performances, concerts, gigs, and music gatherings are temporarily prohibited.

Since March, we’ve seen a series of concert cancellations and postponements due to the pandemic—from festivals to headlining concerts like Green Day, Khalid, Avril Lavigne, Jimmy Eat World, 98 Degrees, Wanderland Music & Arts Festival, Slipknot, Alanis Morissette, Tori Kelly, The Pussycat Dolls, Swing Out Sister, The Dream Theater, Billie Ellish, and many more.

Keeping People Connected

Nevertheless, life must go on albeit with a different kind of ‘normal.’ Listening to streaming sites like Spotify and watching YouTube is still a hit at home with artists even more determined to still connect with their audiences through music.

As people have to stay-at-home and some others work-from-home, people spend even more time on their devices than they used to, but moderation should be the key.  Start new hobbies to manage our health and well-being while keeping informed of the situation to just once a day is a good routine. Besides music and videos, we can also expand competencies and skills through online classes.

It’s a tough time for all of us and all kinds of industries as we look forward to the systemic change that needs to be addressed—to create new frameworks that can withstand challenges and to provide a more sustainable future.

Bayanihan, Musikahan

The National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab recently initiated a free concert series via Facebook Live becoming a channel of solidarity and entertainment among Filipinos amid the Luzon-wide quarantine. The “Bayanihan, Musikahan” series features different artists performing songs through live video on their respective Facebook pages, as well as the program’s main page.

Artists who performed are Lea Salonga, ZsaZsa Padilla, Jaya, Martin Nievera, Jed Madela, EbeDancel, Chito Miranda, Raymund Marasigan, Cherie Gil, Agot Isidro, Jim Paredes, Noel Cabangon, Aicelle Santos, Morissette, Christian Bautista, Mark Bautista, Nyoy Volante, Ice Seguerra, Dingdong Avanzado, Juris Fernandez, Karylle, Yael Yuzon, Sitti, Jett Pangan, Tanya Manalang, Robert Sena, Isay Alvarez, Raymond Lauchengco, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Bayang Barrios, Top Suzara, Acapellago, Jaz Nicolas, Six Part Invention, Davey Langit, Keiko Necessario, Reuben Laurente, Zsaris, The Company, Gian Magdangal, Gab Pangilinan, Reb Atadero, Michael Williams, Martin Nievera, Johnoy Danao, Tim Pavino, Nicole Asensio, Ira Cruz, Quest, Room for Cielo, Jensen Gomez, Jamie Rivera, Jed Madela, Gary Valenciano, Louie Ocampo, Shiela Valderrama, and Red Concepcion among others.

This star-studded fundraising project will provide food and health protection to the members of Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pantawid Pilipino and to help the less fortunate and most vulnerable sectors. For donations, visit pymy.co/pbsp.

Music Heals

One of the few things I read online says “write down a record of life during a pandemic” and it comforts me to share something inspiring about our thriving music industry, being able to keep our spirits and hopes alive. We are grateful to all the people behind #BAYANIHANMUSIKAHAN as it showcases Filipino artists from different genres.

But why do we turn to music during these trying times? It’s because even being confined to our homes, music helps maintain a sense of community—uniting our spirits and reminding us of the need to take care of each other. As they say, “like love, music heals.”

Sharing you three of the beautiful inspiring collaboration songs by local artists, an anthem put together with love dedicated to the country’s heroic health workers and frontliners in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

  • With A Smile
https://youtu.be/RczklyAeiG0?t=3

This Eraserheads’ classic anthem “With a Smile” is a tribute to our modern-day heroes, the Filipino frontliners and health workers. Video by Tourism Philippines. #WeSmileAsOne

  • Just Believe: All-Star Cast – CoVid19
https://youtu.be/iRmy5wNFSC4?t=59

“Just Believe” is originally created for Typhoon Yolanda survivors, with music by National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab and lyrics by Jose Javier Reyes.  This timeless song continues to resonate during this time of Covid-19 pandemic. Video by THEMEWORKSEVENTS. #JustBelieveAllStarCast

  • We Heal As One
https://youtu.be/L0jwHzGUGCg?t=45

Inspired by the theme song of the recent Southeast Asian Games, “We Win As One” has been rewritten and rearranged to reflect the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Interpreted by more than 20 Filipino artists, written by National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab and award-winning writer Floy Quintos. Video by UniversalRecPh.

“Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika.” We are gratified for the music in helping people to cope in times of crisis as it conveys awareness, identity, and belongingness.