Not long after the entire Philippines was put on Enhanced Community Quarantine in April 2020, news broke about Rodel Canas, a young father who walked for three hours in the scorching heat, carrying a small box. Inside was his 32-day old dead child. He received the body of the infant placed in a box, wrapped with packaging tape from the staff of the hospital along with a bill for P245,000 ($5,100) for his son’s stay, an amount that would take Mr. Canas years to earn with his current job as a construction worker.
The ECQ is disproportionately cruel to poor communities that have no means of transportation and must rely on weekly government handouts of a two-pound sack of uncooked rice and two cans of sardines. For a family, this is woefully inadequate. Worse still, the handouts do not always come as scheduled.
Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is the Philippine Government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is a draconian measure that disproportionately affects the poor while giving the military more power to suppress all forms of dissent. “Songs for the Pandemic” features five original songs in Filipino (with English subtitles) with lyrics by Joi Barrios, and music by Fabian Obispo. We tapped five remarkable singers to essay songs about Love, Poverty, Anger, Cleanliness, and The Future.
Inspired by the role of the traditional kundiman, in the 1896 revolution, we tell our stories through poetry and music.
NOTE: All performers and creative teams worked remotely and observed strict safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Please support our artists. Donate directly to their Venmo Accounts by clicking the yellow highlighted text next to their names. Thank you.
Joshua Cabiladas | Performer
Joi Barrios | Lyricist
Fabian Obispo | Composer
Ejay Yatco | Music Direction and Accompaniment
Jan Levi Sanchez | Sound Mixing and Mastering
Saltwater Cinema | Editing
Adjani Arumpac | Editing
Max Canlas | Editing
Max Canlas | Animation
Karen Llagas | Translations