The (Bright) Future of Podcasts in the Philippines
We examine the allure of audio storytelling with PumaPodcast, the first network for podcasts in the country
In the first episode of Conversations with Randy David, the sociologist, journalist and writer discusses the alarming state of mental health among young adolescent Filipinos with Dr. Cornelio Banaag, the father of child psychiatry in the Philippines. Believe it or not, as early as the age of seven, children suffer from depression.
Dr. Banaag shares, “WHO (World Health Organization) said [that] anywhere from 10-20% of the population of young people in the world—by that 18 and below—suffer from some kind of mental health problems, at any given time. That’s a big number; our population is a very young population. Very common among this is anxiety and depression.
We always make a distinction between sadness, loneliness and depression. Depression is an illness. We’re all err to sadness, it’s a very human emotion. I guess that makes us all human and makes us connected because we all know how it feels. It adds up to our capacity for empathy because we have felt it, we have known it. But sadness is a normal phenomenon. Depression lingers on. Depression is a kind of sadness that just won’t go away, and it gets deeper and deeper. Then it becomes associated with certain symptoms that make even the young person dysfunctional—unable to go to school, unable to enjoy himself, cannot [have] friends anymore.”
The global phenomena—which cuts across all social classes—has worsened in this social media ridden and highly competitive atmosphere.
This is just one of the gems out of the pool of diverse roster of podcasts from PumaPodcast, the first network for podcasts in the Philippines. The production company is in the business of creating a world that listens. From a beauty-centric podcast (Project Vanity) discussing the pros and cons of whitening and the perils of product counterfeits, et al. to the first podcast, which highlights the stories of Filipino athletes (Go Hard Girls), they discuss anything and everything. They also offer a weekly newscast with highlights—curated for your sanity.
Since its launch in January, they have already launched six podcasts on news and current events, women’s empowerment, history and others. At the helm of PumaPodcast is Roby Alampay, a multi-awarded journalist who is the editor-in-chief of BusinessWorld, the founding editor-in-chief of InterAksyon and an anchor on Cignal TV’s ONE News channel. In 1995, he first heard an NPR radio feature in Columbia. After years, he has built a platform “to show people the value of produced audio and the power and joy there is in listening.” It’s podcasting for and from the Philippines.
PumaPodcast delivers entertaining, engaging and compelling content anchored in the idea of empowering people with information. In a world where everyone is talking, and talking past each other, their mission is to share the joy, power and value there is in listening. It is available on Spotify, Apple and Stitcher.
Art Alexandra Lara