Rebo Press founder Maria Kristelle C. Jimenez and Rebo Press author Marius D. Carlos, Jr. decided to launch their independent podcasts while widening the digital net and reaching as many people as possible of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). With the threat of COVID-19 still looming on the horizon, the two writers decided that it would be best to diversify their production and try as many forms of media as possible to continue and perhaps enhance the dialogue with both readers and potential readers.
The two podcasts; Polity Bites, and SADYA are available for free on multiple platforms; including Spreaker, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, Deezer, and Podcast Addict.
Polity Bites is Marius Carlos, Jr.’s podcast, where he tackles a variety of topics spanning multiple fields: politics, culture, literature, and critical theories. According to Carlos, people need to get back into the habit of listening more closely to today’s issues so they can become better informed and less likely to be victimized by organized misinformation attacks by the powers that be.
“I think it’s high time that people started educating themselves more, and this is my contribution to the process. Through bite-sized episodes, I aim to give people a way to enter the political arena in a friendlier and more approachable way.
While I can’t promise that I can tackle everything, I promise that I will work hard to sustain the podcast for as long as I can,” he added. Carlos also talks about the inherent difficulties in balancing his regular job and the work at Rebo Press. “I won’t lie; it’s a hard life. I’m a freelance writer so I can’t get sick, there are no leaves of absence, no leave credits, when I stop working, the income stops.
“I have been like this all my life because I feel that corporate life is not for me, nor even an office setting. I think I would be overwhelmed and might end up blowing a gasket in that kind of environment. So here I am, writing every day for work, and with whatever energy I have left, I plan my episodes for the podcast, and hopefully, I get to write a good one and record it with my phone or PC,” Carlos said.
“I think, for the most part, we do all the things we do because at the end of the day, we love our fellow Filipinos, and we want to bring as much guidance and knowledge to them. Writing, broadcasting, recording podcasts, all of these contribute to disentangling people from misinformation.When you realize that you’ve been had and that faceless people and groups have consciously manipulated you so you will believe in the government, for instance, I think that is one kind of liberation that is worth fighting for.”
According to Carlos, it’s a hard life being in the indie world, but it’s always worth it.
Kristelle D. Castillo, author, editor, and also the primary moving force of Rebo Press Book Publishing, decided to launch her podcast SADYA during the ECQ to help spread awareness of issues she feels are necessary if we were to navigate the current regime and survive it.
“My podcast’s title might be unorthodox, given my themes, but I initially did not intend to create the podcast. SADYA was the result of a challenge given to me by Marius to be more vocal about my beliefs. It was helpful for me because I felt that my brain was muddled, and my podcast helped me sort out my thoughts.”
Did she find podcasting easy? She replied that it wasn’t because she was naturally talkative, but recording a podcast in an organized manner made her struggle.
“Recording a podcast is no joke. I am a naturally talkative person, but it is no joke for me to recite portions of my podcast without stopping or taking a break. It takes me hours to convert my written script and thoughts to appreciable ten to twenty-minute audio clips. It is that complicated for someone like me.
“I haven’t been recording that much, to be honest. My last episode was a month ago. I can’t focus that much on broadcasting because I do so many things for Rebo Press Book Publishing. My last episode was about my critical analysis of the hit musical Ang Huling El Bimbo, and I haven’t finished recording it just yet.”
When we delved into the details of her upcoming episode, she shared her thoughts about the sheer possibilities of broadcasting in the time of the pandemic and political repression. “I wanted to tackle so much in that podcast. There are endless possibilities when you are free to express yourself, especially now that the government is trying to limit what people say about what they are doing. Imagine our struggle in independent publishing when we are trying to get across to the mainstream not because we are red-tagged or we’re being labeled as terrorists, but because we produce outputs that are worth reading and worth listening to.”
She had this to say as her parting words: “As a creator, I must be given my freedom of expression. I don’t care if it’s cliché at this point anymore, as it applies everywhere, from my situation to the world of trolls, and regardless of how the DDS spin the concept wrongly left and right. My freedom to write and create is a manifestation of the society I am immersed in. And if someone like me is being repressed by the powers that be, shouldn’t you fear for your freedom, too?” Castillo shared.