Many Filipinos have canceled or postponed their travel plans because of the recent surge in new COVID-19 cases. While this move is for everyone’s safety, many Filipinos are understandably disappointed that they can’t travel just yet.
To help Pinoys cope with cabin fever and showcase the wonders the Philippines has to offer, the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched a program that would virtually take people to popular Philippine tourist destinations. How? Through the use of the places’ natural sounds.
The project called the “ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) Experience the Philippines” will take the public to selected destinations through videos that explore the natural sounds of a place. These videos will allow them to “tune into nature and be fully present in the moment.”
According to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, as reported by Manila Bulletin, this endeavor is anchored on the concept that people don’t just go sightseeing with their eyes. They also use their ears to hear and sense everything around them. “Through these videos, people get to share with the travel experience,” she added.
DOT has already released the first video from the ASMR Experience the Philippines series. This video focuses on the Mountain Province in the Cordillera region. The video will take you on a virtual trek of the mountain beginning from Barangay Macalana.
What makes this particular project unique is its 360-degree immersive sound video. You will feel like you’re the one in the center of all the action, hearing the vivid sounds of the river, the water as it trickles down, and even every soft footstep.
So what does Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) mean anyway? The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology defines ASMR as a “special perceptual phenomenon in which some people can experience a tingling, static-like sensation in response to some certain auditory or visual stimulations.”
Basically, ASMR videos bring viewers a pleasant feeling responding to certain sounds, visuals, feelings, or descriptions. In turn, you’ll feel a sense of contentment and relaxation. If you’re feeling stressed out and in need of some nature adventure, watching these videos might just help you chill out.
What can people expect from this video project? For now, DOT announced that they’d be releasing videos on Ilocos Norte, then destinations in the Visayas and Mindanao. While you may not be allowed to explore the great outdoors just yet, watching DOT’s relaxing videos might just be the next best thing.
Art Macky Arquilla