Pinoy quaranthings during COVID-19


As we have more time on our hands these days, we are turning to hobbies we wouldn’t normally indulge in. Some are starting new side hustles, while others are going back to their art or planting more seeds in their backyards. Others, though, have taken their quarantine boredom to the next level – such as celebrity Kim Chiu, who turned her viral statement on ABS-CBN’s shutdown into a song. 

We’ve been seeing more of these creative Pinoy quaranthings abound on our social media feeds these days, so below, we list down 10 of these inventions that prove that creativity in Filipino inventions doesn’t stop amidst COVID-19.


1. Kim Chiu’s Bawal Lumabas (The Classroom) song and merch


A scene from the music video of Kim Chiu's Bawal Lumabas songImage credit: ABS-CBN Star Music 

As the Kapamilya TV network went off air last May 5th, celebrities took their frustrations on social media including the Chinita Princess Kim Chiu. The actress’s classroom analogy that she shared on video had left many in confusion, causing it to go viral through various memes and TikTok dance moves and later on prompted her to create a full-blown song and music video called Bawal Lumabas (literally meaning “No one’s allowed to go out”). 

Kim Chiu’s original quote went as follows: 

“Sa classroom may batas, bawal lumabas, oh bawal lumabas. Pero ‘pag sinabi, ‘pag nag-comply ka na bawal na lumabas pero may ginawa ka sa pinagbabawal nila, inayos mo ‘yong law ng classroom niyo at sinumbit mo ulit ay pwede na pala ikaw lumabas.”

(In a classroom, there are laws, like… you can’t go out, oh you can’t go out. But when they say, but when you comply that you didn’t go out but you did something you’re not allowed to do, you fixed the law of your classroom and you submitted again, well now you can go out.)

Bawal Lumabas dance movesImage credit: ABS-CBN Star Music

Bawal Lumabas's 10 million views
Image credit: @chinitaprincess

The Bawal Lumabas song is indeed a song to be remembered from our quarantine days – its music video got more than 10 million views in one day across all social media platforms.

Bawal Lumabas merch
Image credit: @chinitaprincess 

Aside from the song, Chiu also created a line of merchandise – colorful T-shirts printed with the most popular lines of her oddball statement. Proceeds of the T-shirts, according to her, will be allocated for charity causes and Angel Locsin’s project to raise funds for mass COVID-19 testing. All T-shirts are P295 (~USD5.93) each and you can order yours here.


2. Hanap Jowa (Partner-Finding) Pass


Hanap Jowa PassImage credit: Jhec Victoria 

Pet owners are also getting creative in guarding their pets. Jhec Victoria from Pulilan, Bulacan, for instance, made sure that his doggo, named Angelo Tigas Ulo Jr., also abided by quarantine rules by creating a “Hanap Jowa” (“Partner-Finding”) pass for him. The pass even features a ligaw (courting) schedule and designated ligaw hours.

Hanap Jowa pass
Image adapted from: Jhec Victoria 

According to Victoria, he devised a pass for his dog because he often goes outdoors to their neighbor’s compounds in search of true love. 


3. Akyat Bubong (Roof-Climbing) Pass


Akyat Bubong pass
Image adapted from: Vienne Vi 

All of us have had our share of experiences of cats meowing on our roofs at night. Cat owner Vienne Vi referenced this when she created an Akyat Bubong (Roof-Climbing) pass for her cat Luna for pure fun – Luna actually doesn’t wander around, according to Vi.

This cat owner just likes to dress her pet up with different accessories and dresses. Meaww. 


4. Abaca fiber mask


Abaca fiber masks
Image credit: Fiber Mask 7Xb – Rizal 

Native to the Philippines, the abaca plant has been used for handicraft products such as handbags, hats, shoes, and furniture. During COVID-19, the plant has found a new use as part of the new 7XB abaca fiber masks, made from fibers extracted from the stalk of the plant. The masks are said to be 7 times more efficient than regular face masks when it comes to filtration and protection. 

The production of these masks was initiated by Oriental-based social enterprise Salay Handmade Paper Industries Inc. in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – so you’re not only being environmentally friendly when you opt for these fiber masks, but you’re also supporting the local industry. 


5. Improvised stage pulled by a carabao


Improvised stage pulled by a carabao
Image credit: The CSU Communicator 

It’s sad that most students graduating or who are supposed to attend a moving-up day this year weren’t able to attend a proper ceremonial rite due to COVID-19. But for the school officials of Camalaniugan National High School, giving their students a chance to experience being a stage without the health risks of gathering hundreds of students in a pandemic can be achieved with a little help from a carabao. 

Improvised stage pulled by a carabao
Image credit: The CSU Communicator 

With this improvised stage pulled by a carabao, the teachers conducted a house-to-house graduation ceremony instead, fetching their students from their homes. 


6. Putahe ng Ina Mo: Sinigang Edition


Putahe ng Ina Mo: Sinigang EditionImage credit: Chikon Club

Most of us are upping our cooking skills as we have more time in our hands, but perhaps we’re still trying to figure out how to find the perfect balance in cooking our mom’s best dish – sinigang. Thanks to the game developers of Chikon Club, though, we can now practice cooking the quintessential Filipino dish in a game.

The Putahe ng Ina Mo: Sinigang Edition gives you the virtual experience of cooking sinigang. It features high-definition 3D models of sinigang ingredients and funky music in the background. You have to be quick in putting the ingredients together – one game session lasts less than one minute.

It’s free to play while it’s in beta stage for now, while downloading the game only costs P50 (~1 USD). 


7. Sinigang na Hotdog 


Sinigang na Hotdog
Image credit: Mark Sy

As if things couldn’t get weirder, Sinigang na Hotdog became a thing this quarantine, probably because many Filipinos couldn’t easily find pork. For those who are bent on recreating this at home, be our guest and simply replace the usual pork with any supermarket hotdogs.

Fried face masks
Image credit: LI GA YA

Side note: “fried face masks” can happen in local kitchens when you put Filipinos under months of quarantine. They seem like cooked eggs patterned to look like face masks.


8. Mañanita decor set


Quarantine birthday party set
Image credit: Daniela Party Needs 

While we can’t hold birthday parties anymore, we can still celebrate our birthdays at home in style. As if to allude to that mañanita incident involving a public official, Daniela Party Needs from Makati created a full-blown quarantine birthday decor set featuring police-themed posters, banners, and balloons. 

Quarantine birthday party set
Image credit: Daniela Party Needs

The decor set is gaining popularity among birthday celebrants in quarantine. For instance, this one-year old baby celebrated in character, wearing a gray t-shirt and military pants. 


9. Star wars collectibles courtesy of empty Yakult bottles


Star Wars empty Yakult bottles
Image adapted from: @artbyjeiven 

Filipinos are indeed resourceful, and this is especially felt these days. Jeiven Perez, an architect, car builder, and painter, out of quarantine boredom, turned empty Yakult bottles into his favorite Star Wars characters. The resulting Filipino inventions are a cute set of Stormtrooper, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett artworks, looking like Yakult versions of the popular Funko Pop! toys. 


10. Ube Cheese Pandesal


Ube Pandesal
Image credit: @panaderongecq

Quarantine food trends are at an all-time high these days, and if there’s one thing truly Filipino among them, it’s the ube cheese pandesal. Baking junkies are turning into panaderos, creating their own renditions of pandesal with the sweet purple yam they have always loved as a food accompaniment. 

To turn plain pandesal into something sweeter and saltier, they’re flavoring the dough with ube, filling the middle with ube halaya or jam, and adding cheese. 


Filipino inventions also known as quaranthings


COVID-19 is the crisis of our generation, but if we’re going to look back on these times in the future, we will smile at these creative Filipino inventions aka quaranthings that we’ve invented. 

Also check out:


Cover image adapted from (clockwise from top left): @gretsfullido, Fiber Mask 7Xb – Rizal, Daniela Party Needs, Jhec Victoria 

Follow The Smart Local Philippines on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram for more stories like this. If you have a story to share, email us at pressph@thesmartlocal.com.