Filipinos cope with hobbies, virtual company in extended lockdown — sociologist

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) — As the country remains under one of the longest lockdowns in the world, Filipinos found a number of ways to deal with the so-called pandemic fatigue.

“We have different ways of coping that will always come from our own interests and doing the things that we used to love,” sociologist Athena Charanne Presto told CNN Philippines’ The Exchange.

For one, Filipinos love hanging out and they have turned to social media as an option, she said.

“Being social media-oriented gave us more strategies and gave us more opportunities to connect with people,” said Presto.

Physical distancing is among measures to help stem the spread of the virus but it doesn't mean that people will also be socially disconnected, she said.

Another coping mechanism is pursuing hobbies, Presto said, which help fill the void and bring a sense of normalcy.

“It’s very important not to underestimate the power of hobbies... when it comes to making memories and even being markers of time. In a lockdown, you’re forced to stay at home, which makes time seems so warped,” said Presto.

Collectibles and the pandemic

Among pastimes that grew popular during the pandemic is collecting items such as toys, said Filbar Online managing partner Eric Cabochan.

Cabochan noted how the lockdown gave people time to check on their collections and even add more.

Big Boys Toy Store co-owner Sean Madrazo, meanwhile, explained that the quarantine allowed collectors more opportunities and time to bring out collections in past years.

The hobby became a source of income as well by reselling collectibles, he added.

Cabochan said collecting things has a therapeutic effect.

Dahil sa [Because of the] stress of the pandemic and the problems today, people look for what brings them joy. Collectibles do that,” said Cabochan.