Finding New Hobbies During the Pandemic

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By Dianne Sofia Velasco, Guest Contributor

The opinions shared in this article do not represent the opinions of Hyperlokal.

The new year of the new decade kicked off not with a bang, but with everyone roasting in the remains of what seems to be a never-ending nightmare. And while all this seems like a sequel to a badly directed movie, there will always be an infinite amount of new things to try and old habits to improve. Here are some of the hobbies we loved in 2020 and can’t part with this 2021.

1. Riding the Hallyu wave

Samgyupsal and the 10-step Korean skincare craze are few of the things Filipinos started loving long before the onset of the pandemic. But with the crazy amount of mismanaged time everyone gained at the start of 2020, people turned to social media to experience an illusion of normality. And with people gradually consuming more and more content everyday, this resulted in a chain reaction from seeing what’s trending on multiple platforms to wanting to find out the reason behind all the buzz. Among these trends is South Korean pop culture, better known as Hallyu.

Whether you hopped into the Hallyu trend through K-pop, K-dramas or even fashion and beauty, there’s no denying that this is something very different from Western culture. K-pop or Korean music has widely appealed to the general audience for its vibrant concepts and unique sound, topped off with the same level of unique vocal range and choreography. On the other hand, Korean television shows, or k-dramas, have no problem keeping everyone on their toes thanks to video streaming platforms such as Viu and Netflix. According to Netflix Philippines, the watchtime in 2020 has increased by 350% compared to the year before with shows such as King: The Eternal Monarch and Start-Up dominating the charts. Thanks to the accessibility of South Korean culture, Filipinos have no problem adapting to this fresh new lifestyle with similar traits embedded in our own culture.

2. Becoming a plantito or plantita

What used to be a hobby that mostly older generations took interest in is now being explored by all ages thanks to the pandemic. Gardening has boomed in the past year for its meditative and relaxing benefits which most might consider as a much needed break from the fast-paced world we live in. With being a plantito (plant uncle) or plantita (plant aunt) comes with the sense of fulfillment as they grow and nourish something beautiful from the comfort of their own homes. Fans of farming games such as Farmville and Stardew Valley may also see this as an opportunity to try their hand at the real thing and start growing their own produce. In the long run, backyard gardening is a healthy and environmentally sustainable means of both income and food production without the need for a large capital.

3. Biking 

The enhanced community quarantine in most parts of the Philippines has further degraded the state of public transportation. The ingenuity of Filipinos has rewarded them with the opportunity to invest into other modes of transportation such as bicycles, scooters, and even rollerskates to get around all while still following social distancing protocols. Similarly to gardening, this provides a modified lifestyle to suit new health protocols without having to invest large sums of money. 

4. Turning your passion into your profession

With the unemployment rates drastically rising with the death toll everyday, Filipinos, equipped with their well known resiliency, have started spending more and more time focusing on cultivating their small businesses, usually rooted from small projects and hobbies such as the ones mentioned above, just to make ends meet. And while it takes a lot of time and resources to start a new hustle, it takes just a fraction of that to support someone else’s. With Hyperlokal, an up and coming e-commerce platform, you can support any home-grown business without having to cross oceans or pay a hefty delivery fee. This website connects you to merchants nearest your home and within a few minutes of walking you would have helped someone’s business grow, and made a new friend in your neighbourhood!

5. Netflix parties

Watching the aforementioned k-dramas alone can be quite dull, but thanks to third party web extensions such as Scener and Teleparty, movie marathons with friends could be possible again, albeit virtually. With these, two or more people can simultaneously watch and react to various videos and media across the internet, not just limited to Netflix and k-dramas. Think: a more seamless Zoom meeting with the share screen option turned on forever. This is perfect because it substitutes for the face to face interactions we’ve all been missing in our lives for the past year. Most of these extensions are free of charge, free of any steep learning curves, and can be easily found with a simple Google search.

6. Educating yourself outside of online classes

You can only learn so much inside the four walls of your classroom, maybe even less now since we’ve all been outside of them for more than a year now. Why not take some courses online? Websites such as Coursera and edX offer an array of lessons to choose from, usually free of charge, to be taken at your own pace. On another perspective, this can be considered as extracurricular activity which may count as additional experience someday. And while on the subject of learning, it’s never too late to educate yourself on social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the various hate crimes against Asians happening globally. If this sounds too overwhelming, brushing up on your fact checking skills and learning to discern fake news from the truth is a great start!

7. Self-care

It’s never too late to invest in yourself, whether it be physical or mental. This pandemic has driven most people to work towards their glow up. When all of the local gyms started closing down for sanitary purposes, multiple workout routines on Youtube have been tried and tested by millions, with the Chloe Ting challenges promising abs in a short amount of time, being one of the most popular. To boost morale and productivity, scented candles have also been popular towards the public as certain scents claim to have various mental health benefits. Hobbies that were popular even before the pandemic such as reading, journaling, and skincare have also started resurfacing as a way to both entertain and keep the mind away from negative thoughts. While some still stigmatize self-care as an act of selfishness, people often fail to realize that it is difficult to combat a global pandemic in your worst possible condition. Staying at the optimal health can not only prevent the spread of coronavirus but may also extend helping hands to those in need.

Sources:
2020 on Netflix: The Year of Many Moods. (December 9, 2020). Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://about.netflix.com/en/news/what-philippines-watched-2020

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