‘Ambag namin’: Local films, shows and reading materials are made available online as public undergoes COVID-19 quarantine

March 18, 2020 - 6:07 PM
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The Netflix logo is pictured on a television in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas California
The Netflix logo is pictured on a television in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 18, 2017. (Reuters/Mike Blake)

Several local films and a library of reading materials have been released online in light of the monthlong enhanced community quarantine period.

A number of high-rating TV shows from ABS-CBN and GMA also made comebacks while the taping of their ongoing series had been put on hold.

TBA Studios, an independent production company, released several of its movies on its YouTube channel. These include the critically acclaimed “Bliss” and “Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo.”

Cinema One, a local television channel, also released some of its movies and documentaries on YouTube. These include classics such as “Himala,” “UPCAT” and “Rome and Juliet.”

Filmmaker Kip Oebanda also shared on March 16 that his comedy-drama film “Bar Boys” was also released for free on his account on the same platform.

“We thought it was the right thing to do during this time of intense boredom because of the community quarantine. Hopefully it helps. Ambag namin,” Oebanda quipped on Twitter.

Film critic Phil Dy, meanwhile, pitched in his recommended films and documentaries found on online streaming platform iWant TV’s expansive catalog.

iWant TV, a streaming service owned by ABS-CBN, allows its subscribers to watch majority of its movies and series for free. Some of its content, however, are paid.

A number of social media users also contributed their uploaded content to keep Filipinos occupied at their own residences.

Facebook user Jyrus Cimatu released an online library via Google Drive. This contains digital reading materials from references, journals, to short stories and novels.

“Making public and available to all my online library which comprises of Harvard Classics, Palanca-winning works, philosophy books, poetry, and non-fiction books and journal articles on politics, history, international relations and diplomacy, culture, and humanities,” Cimatu said.

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While these are free to use, Cimatu noted that they should not be used for commercial purposes.

“Purposes for which the material/s may be used is solely for education and not for monetary gain. As such, this is subject to FAIR USE under intellectual property law,” he said.

Another Facebook user uploaded full episodes of Filipino dubbed versions of popular Japanese anime shows.

So far, the user’s catalog has “Yakitate Japan,” “Death Note,” “Flame of Recca,” “Hunter x Hunter,” and “Slam Dunk.”

For Filipinos who prefer watching in groups, Google released a Netflix Party Google Chrome extension this month.

As its namesake, this feature allows users to watch Netflix movies, shows and other videos with other subscribers while observing social distancing.

Based on the extension’s description, the Netflix Party “is a Chrome extension for watching Netflix remotely with friends, e.g., for movie nights with that long-distance special someone. It synchronizes video playback and adds group chat.”

President Rodrigo Duterte declared a nationwide state of calamity in the Philippines on Tuesday following the surge of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Duterte also previously placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine which halted the operations of all mass transportation systems, including domestic sea and air travel.