There's no better time to love and support all things local
Has there ever been an Independence Day quite this strange?
In true 2020 fashion, the occasion seems all but ironic this year. For one, most of us remain indoors, wary of the still vaccine-less virus. There’s a protest (or should we say mañanita?) happening outside and virtual rallies taking place online. And don’t even get us started on how the concept of freedom appears to be inching further and further out of our reach.
It would be a lie to say these times aren’t troubling. The internet, a space many of us once associated with art and escapism and self-expression, has now become the everyday bringer of bad news. We’re gearing up to fight for the independence that this country that supposedly won 122 years ago. We cling to hashtags like they’re our only ticket to reclaiming our rights—and maybe they are—and it’s unsettling, to say the least. It’s been a long time since loving a nation felt this difficult.
If there’s anything that we’ve learned, though, it’s this: we love this country more than anything. More than the authorities and the online trolls and the government know. And we won’t take this sitting down. The past few months have been a display of the affection we harbor for our countrymen, an incessant loop of “sign this petition” and “donate to this cause” and “buy from this business, they’re local.” We hope you don’t mind that we add a few with this list.
In case the occasion makes you want to love local a little harder than usual, we’ve rounded up a few brands, artists and initiatives for you to support. For those who love the chase, we know that when it comes to stumbling upon Instagram pages, new songs, or pieces of furniture, the joy is in the hunt—but it wouldn’t hurt to follow a few breadcrumbs in the right direction, right?
Music: Bea Lorenzo
The second talent signed to Funky Records after our favorite tito tunes source, Flu, Bea Lorenzo is no newbie to the local music scene. If you were a regular gig-goer (when gigs were still normal, that is!), chances are you’ve seen Bea performing a set, atmospheric vocals and trust kalimba in tow. In time for Independence Day, Bea released With a Smile, a reworked cover of Ely Buendia-composed track. Stripped back and solemn, the track was first used for the Department of Tourism’s tribute to our modern-day heroes, which has garnered over four million views. If your soul needs a little lifting today, you’ll want to add this to your playlist.
Film: Patay na si Hesus
When we caught up with the filmmakers behind online film fundraiser Lockdown Cinema Club, they let us in on one of the challenges of making films available online: piracy. One of their viewers had pirated Patay na si Hesus, a 2017 film starring Jaclyn Jose, and posted the full film on YouTube. The film, a dark comedy that depicts a less-than-conventional family road trip is available for your viewing pleasure on Vimeo on Demand.
Artists: Shelter Fund
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Shelter Fund Art is an extension of the original initiative, this time to benefit artists and illustrators.??? ???? Through your purchase, you help keep us safe in our homes, able to continue and contribute; and more importantly, all of us have committed to contributing part of our individual sales to a communal fund, making sure everyone is benefitted by your generosity.???? ? Cover Art for OBB by @feanne
Speaking of Lockdown Cinema Club, here’s another way to love local and give back. Enter: Shelter Fund, an online platform that supports local artists. Shelter Fund started selling prints from Filipino photographers in May, and has since graduated to selling artwork prints. Browse through their catalog here. Artist prints are available for purchase until the end of June.
Beauty: Product X
A beauty brand rooted in effective, environment-friendly skincare, The X Product ticks all our boxes. Founded by makeup artist Xeng Zulueta, The X Product’s roster of products includes body wash, setting spray, a variety of cleansing agents and their signature Magic Enzyme Serum, which is formulated out of the enzymes found in our local bananas.
Accessories: FAKE x 02-24 by JEYPEH*, ANTONINA, b.jpeg, and VILQUIN
FAKE Zine, together with Filipino artists JP Velasco, Antonina Amoncio, Bea Guerrero, and JJ Aquino, released four capsule collections earlier this month. A tangible render of what they imagine the new normal to be like, each capsule collection is made up of six upcycled tote bag designs from each artist. Discover all the designs (and support FAKE’s first issue!) on Instagram or Facebook.
Home: Yanna’s Home
The Yanna’s Home Instagram bio describes the digital furniture store best: Pinterest-worthy furniture, made in the Philippines. With everything from minimalist side tables and racks to rustic rattan pieces, Yanna’s Home brings together quality, convenience and investment pieces that make us want to redecorate while we’re home. Check out Yanna’s Home’s catalog here. In case you can’t find the perfect piece, the store also accepts custom orders.
Shopping from small, local businesses is a privilege. Supporting creators is a privilege. Speaking up for the Filipino is a privilege. Now is the time to put the true, untainted definition of bayanihan into action. Discover more ways to help here. Happy Independence Day!
Art Alexandra Lara