June 26, 2020
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Get to know how these women keep themselves informed and entertained over quarantine.

Quarantine allowed many of us to finally tick off items from our perpetually never-ending and unfinished to-do list. We had the time to work on our hobbies, bond with our family, and try something new. When not working from home or being creative in our activities, we settled in the comfort of our couches or beds to binge-watch our favorite series or devour long-reads.

These modern and empowered women are no different. From watching delightful films to reading in gripping books, get to know which titles keep these women inspired and entertained.

(Photo from Sam’s Instagram)

Sam Sadhwani

Growing up, Sam has always been immersed in the world of literature. She devoured books that led her to dream of becoming a writer. So, it is no surprise that over quarantine, she managed to occupy her time with reading and watching a variety of conscious content. Michelle Obama’s Becoming is among those that recently made an impact on her. “It was not only inspiring but refreshing to see Obama so candid and genuine,” she explains. Apart from the documentary, she admits falling for Normal People, openly sharing how the series “was definitely kilig.

As things move to the new normal, Sam remains updated with world news. “I listen to The Daily podcast and tune in to CNN Philippines day to day,” she says. “But right now, I just started reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens for fun.” Truly, those who love reading can never run out of content to consume, taking in a mix of genres like what Sam does. 

(Photo by Yukie Sarto)

Kiana Valenciano

The young R&B singer and songwriter may be known to work hard on improving her craft, but during the quarantine period, she also took time to relax and immerse herself in entertainment that moved her. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath helped her process her own feelings and confront bad habits. “It’s trigger heavy, so I had to take my time reading it and had to put it away every once in a while, but Sylvia Plath was able to explain and express depression in a way that many haven’t,” she shares. As for a show, she thinks Hollywood brings hope amid the discouraging situation at present. “[It] brought me to tears seeing this almost alternate universe type setting where the right people in power cared about equality sooner,” she says.

Where educating herself on current issues has become a priority, she is now reading Why I No Longer Talk To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, a title befitting the social climate at present. Beyond the serious conversation, she indulges in light-hearted content too like watching The Good Place and listening to Motown, jazz, Tom Misch, UMI, Summer Walker, and several Filipino artists.

Sara Siguion-Reyna

As Associate Editor, Sara certainly harnesses the passion for reading. She doesn’t shy away from any genre and spending the quarantine period to binge long-reads. She is enthused the most about sharing similarities with Severance by Ling Ma that explores people’s reactions to a pandemic. “It’s about a girl who works for a publishing company (like me), and who is living through a pandemic (like me!) in New York (unfortunately, not me),” she says.

Other books she read include Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser, which explores the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and explains the dynamics of a government and its citizens, and Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas, which investigates the present state of the fashion industry and the sustainable efforts to change it.

While Sara loves to read, she also enjoys shows like Normal People which “made me remember that time of my life when I was growing up—trying to find myself and make meaningful relationships,” and foreign ballet broadcasts like Allegro Brillante, Apollo and Divertimento No. 15 featuring Tiler Peck, Sara’s favorite dancer she describes as “sumptuous.”

(Photo from Sabina’s Instagram)

Sabina Gonzales

One of the interesting facts about the young model and architect student is her love for The Godfather trilogy. Over quarantine, she binged-watched it once more, claiming “I just obsess over [it] which led me to read the book as well… It was all I was thinking about for like a month!” Beyond her passion for the crime film, she dabbles into watching stand-up comedy. She likes the specials of John Mulaney, Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, and Chris Rock. Their shows keep her from getting overwhelmed with present issues. Of course, she recognizes their importance and so, she turns to her favorite, Last Week Tonight, “that discuss such things in an incredibly informative but comedic manner.”

Currently, Sab finds herself tuning in to Rewatchables from The Ringer, a podcast haven for film enthusiasts. The hosts review a variety of movies from past decades and Sab comments, “I end up seeing the movies they discuss.” As for books, she started Sapiens: A Brief History on Humankind, “a favorite of so many people that I’m finally getting around to.”

(Photo from ABS-CBN)

Nicole Asensio

In-between writing songs, Nicole focuses on keeping a positive attitude during these difficult times. Over quarantine, “I’ve been watching videos on songwriting, musicians I like, content from friends, or content that brought me back to my faith.” However, she notes how important it is for her to be selective of what she watches or reads as it can get overwhelming too. “There’s a lot of dark news and subject matter out there and though compelling, if I get sucked into it for too long, I know it can’t possibly be good for me,” she explains. So, she turns to friends and online groups in rediscovering her faith which “made the most impact [on me] through talks and videos,” she shares.

Right now, Nicole is intent on acquiring new skills and so she usually watches instructional videos. “Whether it be for home improvement, food, how to do something music-related, [or] how to do my own makeup,” she adds. When she’s not learning something new, she channels her inner science fan and delights in watching “content about our earth, documentaries on the universe or wildlife.”

(Photo from Winnie’s Instagram)

Winnie Wong

Known for her extensive travels, Winnie loves sharing her insights from these experiences. Even while quarantined, she kept herself curious and immersed in stories of people. She watched makeover videos and shows like Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race. These are “real-life compelling stories of people from various backgrounds,” she says, adding, “I like seeing lives and change.”

As audio content is growing more prominent, Winnie reveals she became a fan too, “I prefer audiobooks over reading [and] right now, I’m listening to Never Split The Difference by Chriss Voss.” The author formerly worked in the FBI as an international hostage negotiator. Sharing his experiences and strategies coach people especially entrepreneurs like Winnie on becoming persuasive in aspects of their lives—whether personal or professional.

(Photo from Nomadic Julien)

Hobbies To Uplift Spirits

Apart from reading and watching, we asked these empowered women how else they unwind and keep themselves energized and motivated amid these challenging times. Here are their answers, which you can very well do yourself, too.

Samantha: “I think baking is a great way to de-stress… I also think taking online classes in whatever field you’re interested in is a good way to keep productive.”

Kianna: “I really want to go for a hike or have a beach day. Those are activities you could do while still social distancing.”

Sara: “I have also been exercising… Right now, I am doing Chloe Ting’s 28 Day Flat Tummy Challenge.” She also encourages people to get involved with communities, “The world and your place in it [are] what you make of it. Use your privilege for good… It can be as small as sharing information or as big as donating to bail funds and helping out small businesses.”

Nicole: “Explore being creative, whether that be in the kitchen, painting, making music, writing, arts and crafts, a new business, getting involved in charity, working out… and enjoy the quiet, enjoy the friendships around you, make new connections, [and] learn about yourself in the process.”

Sabina: “What’s kept me sane is working out (even just a bit) each or every other day for the purposes of both trying to stay fit and increasing endorphins! Yoga was a big help [to] me… Other than working out, cleaning up old messes and trying new things have been so satisfying.”

Winnie: “I started cooking and trying out new recipes, it’s a lot of fun! I’ve baked all the basic things that most people have tried during quarantine, minus the sourdough.”

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