How the local entertainment industry is reaching out to their audiences in this time of crisis 

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    By Kynesha Robles

    AS uncertainty grips many industries in the world, members of Philippine media and entertainment have stepped up to aid frontliners and COVID patients, urban poor communities, and daily wage earners.

    Film, music, and stage workers have been mounting multiple fundraisers since the start of the community quarantine. Aside from showing concerts and productions online, those from the film industry have decided to air for free their films, documentaries and other productions on social media and YouTube to help uplift flagging spirits in lockdown.

    Celebrities big and small, workers in front and behind the cameras, stage and screen performers, musical artists, freelancers – victims themselves of the pandemic – have remained true to their original calling by bringing joy and comfort to quarantined Filipinos in this time of crisis.

     We have seen this with “Ang Huling El Bimbo the Musical,” The Lockdown Cinema Club, “Taumbayan to the Rescue: A Bayanihan Musikahan Special,” Ben&Ben’s “Puhon,” “Songs of Hope,” and many more. These virtual events garnered views and raised funds in the process.

    Multiple celebrities and social media personalities have also individually used their popularity to power their own fundraising campaigns. These include Angel Locsin, Bela Padilla, Maris Racal, Maine Mendoza, YouTube celebrity Mimiyuuuh, Sarah Lahbati, and Janina Vela.

    Angel, who have been recognized here and abroad for her numerous philanthropic deeds, has raised P10 million in cash donations. Her crowdfunding effort funded hospital tents to remedy overcrowding situations in hospitals.

    Bela, for her part, raised more than P3 million to feed Metro Manila vendors who lost their means of livelihood since the start of the community quarantine eight weeks ago.

    With all businesses and establishments involving entertainment and leisure closed, productions halted, and shows postponed, the media and entertainment industry may take a long time to recover after the pandemic. Despite the uncertainty of the industry, the media and entertainment workers have chosen to help – to reach out to their audiences, by touching hearts through their craft and actually helping provide sustenance that they need.

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