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When was the last time you really listened? These artists came together to remind us #MabutingMakinig

Sep 30, 2022
4 min
Ela Robles

If you avoid the news to protect your emotions, or simply because the news is too difficult to understand, you’re not alone. The Reuters Institute’s 2022 Digital News Report confirms that there’s been a sharp increase in “selective avoidance” towards the news. Sometimes it’s easier to tune out. That means the challenge now is getting people to start listening again, especially to the things that matter.

A year after their fact-checking initiative “Kailangan Totoo,” audio production company PumaPodcast brings in more partners to help them build a world that listens: Linya-Linya and Pushpin Visual Solutions. Their 2022 campaign “#MabutingMakinig” recognizes that people are opting out of listening. At its core, the campaign is a friendly reminder to audiences that while it’s difficult to give attention to certain stories or people, it’s in active listening that we find common ground, that we learn, that we remain informed.

The campaign points to active listening as the forgotten step in how we’re engaging with the information and interactions around us. Elbert Or, co-founder of PushPin Visuals says, “I feel like listening is similar to our sense of sight, in that as long as it's working, people assume you know what to do with it and how to use it.” 

Or is also behind the artwork series being shared throughout the campaign. Recognizing that people are tuning out or simply hearing but not listening, these bite-size visual reminders package the practice of active listening in a simple, fun, and engaging way. Listening can be hard to do, so there’s an effort to make it easier and more relatable.

The campaign recognizes existing divides and how these play into who we listen to and how deeply - if at all. No matter which side of the fence you fall on, there is also a desire to be listened to. What makes listening hard is hearing things you don’t want to hear or disagree with. That’s also where the power of active listening lies, the openness to thoughts and feelings that may clash with your own. 

“What we really want people to do is to listen, to learn, and to share their experiences with each other,” says PumaPodcast CEO, Carl Javier. And in the spirit of creating shared listening experiences, the organizers also put together an important, and very much missed offline component to the campaign: a gig. 

Linya-Linya co-founder Ali Sangalang who co-hosted the event had this to say:”These past years, babad tayong lahat sa social media. Kaya mahalaga itong event kung saan– sa pamamagitan ng musika, ng mga tula, ng mga kwento at usap– nagkaroon ng space kung saan pwedeng harap-harapang makakinig sa isa’t isa.”

“Mabuting Maki-GIG,” brought together podcasters, musicians, poets, and listeners to celebrate listening in all forms. The hope is that these active listening habits being advocated online also translate to the real world. Spoken word artist Ralph Fonte, and musical acts Johnoy Danao and Dicta License showed their support for the #mabutingmakinig campaign with lively performances.

Hindi mabuting makinig sa kasinungalingan, subalit, mabuti pa ring makinig sa isa’t isa dahil magkakapanalig tayo sa laban para sa demokrasya, [at] sa kalayaan ng pamamahayag,” said Fonte, an award-winning poet and physician. 

Throughout September, along with the artwork series by Or and Pushpin Visuals, the campaign team released playlists that revolve around listening to the environment, history, creatives, research, and listening to your fellow Filipinos. Especially after having been divided by the recent national elections, the playlist contents provides audiences, wherever they stand in this conversation, an opportunity to use these active listening skills.

As “Salita,” by Dicta License echoes “Pakinggan mo ang salita, 'Di mapigil na salita, 'Wag matakot magsalita, 'Wag patitigil magsalita, Ang boses mo'y mahalaga, Boses ng malaya,” #mabutingmakinig encourages audiences to listen to those who wish to speak.

To support and learn more about the #mabutingmakinig campaign, look for the hashtag on your social media platforms of choice.

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