Since the Enhanced Community Quarantine took effect last March, not a few people feared that entertainment options will decline as a result of the restrictions that accompanied the lockdown.
That’s not exactly what happened. While theaters and live venues were closed to the public, it did not necessarily stop artists from doing what they do best—be it singing, acting or whatever form of entertainment each of them specializes in. CONNECT, a new podcast network even managed to thrive under the circumstances.
Aiming to bring together entertaining stories designed to spark the imagination, CONNECT was established with a mission is to set the standard for multi-genre entertainment content in the podcasting space. The startup company hopes to achieve this by creating quality podcast entertainment that will delight listeners and audiences.
So far, CONNECT seems to have, well, connected with the niche audiences their shows are designed for. There’s Loop Me In, a podcast hosted by Juls Rodriguez for those looking for career opportunities.
The new podcast series tackles career essentials in the modern employment landscape: job search tips, success stories, interview tricks, work-from-home hacks, and everything in between. Job hunters or those seeking career growth and personal development, in particular, should find Loop Me In as an invaluable resource.
There’s also Digestibles, a book podcast created to help complement the current school set-up which has shifted online. Hosted by voice actress Gaby Pascua, the show breaks down classic literature and serves all the good bits. It covers everything from Shakespeare to mythology or pretty much all the books you were told to read in school, but probably didn’t.
Whether used as a study guide, a refresher, or even a trick to make one look smarter, everything in Digestibles is very much digestible.
And just last July 25, CONNECT launched Quaranthing, a narrative vodcast series featuring fictional stories that have emerged during the lockdown. No less than award-winning independent filmmaker Siege Ledesma (“Shift”) wrote and directed “Love Me Hater,” the first series under Quaranthing.
In creating “Love Me Hater,” Siege, and producer William Montesines, wanted to present a story of two
people coming across each other’s paths through the digital world.
Headlined by celebrated theater actors Bibo Reyes and Gab Pangilinan, “Love Me Hater” follows James Jimenez, a cocky vlogger and film school graduate who gets a taste of his own medicine when an enraged teleserye head writer, Marga Meneses, heckles and challenges him to a spontaneous debate, during one of his live episodes.
In explaining the rationale behind the series, writer and director Ledesma says, “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.”
“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 further concluded.
Since it started its vodcast, “Love Me Hater” has developed a solid following. Its much-awaited final episode is scheduled to stream live this Saturday, August 15 at 6PM at CONNECT’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/CONNECTpodcasts.
The end of the series, however, is only the beginning for CONNECT. Encouraged by its increasing number of listeners from all over the globe, the company is already firming up its next batch of shows. In choosing the podcast platform to showcase its creativity, CONNECT founder Glad Jacinto loves the intimate way podcasts tell stories.
“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,” Jacinto pointed out.
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