National Capital Region, Philippines is once again under Enhanced Community Quarantine for the third time on Friday, August 6, 2021 amid a surge of new cases, which the government said were driven by the Delta variant.
Which means most establishments aren’t allowed to operate fully or if not, closed. Those who are below 18 and above 65 years old, those with comorbidities, and pregnant women are not allowed to go out. They can only go outdoors to either obtain essential goods and services. In short, we are stuck at home. Again.
Staying at home may be limiting but it doesn’t need to be boring – from learning a new language to doing random D.I.Y. projects, there are plenty of fun and productive things you can take up to pass the time – why not start right now?
#1. Learn a New Language
Last July, I
pressured politely asked my French boyfriend who is also fluent in Italian to teach me the language. Being a university instructor, he created a lesson plan and found online courses so it will be easier for me to learn. He also suggested a few Italian films to watch (be sure to turn the subtitles on).
Here are my favorites:
- La Vita è Bella (English: Life Is Beautiful) directed by Roberto Benigni
- Benvenuto Presidente (English: Welcome Mr. President) directed by Riccardo Milani
- La Grande Bellezza (English: The Great Beauty) directed by Paolo Sorrentino
- La Dolce Vita directed by Federico Fellini
- Il conformista (English: The Conformist) directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
And for the kids:
When I am not studying I’m teaching my niece and nephews. My not-so-realistic goal is for them to return home (to their parents) speaking like the Queen.
What’s Received Pronunciation? It is the standard form of British English pronunciation mostly common in Southern England. Having studied Received Pronunciation (RP for short) a few years ago, I can fake the English accent. I’ve scoured the internet for kid shows or cartoons that speak the accent (aside from Peppa Pig, of course) and found these:
- Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom on Youtube
- Hey Duggee on Youtube
- Beat Bugs on Netflix – Not British per se but they feature songs from The Beatles (they’re Brits!)
#2. Play Online Games
I’m pretty big when it comes to online gaming. I used to lurk in sites like NewGrounds and Kongregate in high school. Been playing DOTA since 2004 and had exhausted my Battle Passes for DOTA 2 and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege during the first lock-down last year. To take a break from multiplayer games, I found a hidden gem called Plays.Org. It offer players HUNDREDS OF FREE GAMES across every genre. I even found games that reminds me of my childhood like the Wacky Races, Looney Tunes, The Power Puff Girls and many more.
Plays.Org also has browser versions of our favorite arcade games and board games as well as simulations. They actually have a Hospital Simulation and the idea is to keep the virus from spreading & help the patients recover from the deadly disease.
Though right now, I’m absolutely hooked on a game called Rogue One: Boots on the Ground. It is a real-time strategy action game based on the film and franchise Star Wars Rogue One. The objective of the game is to get through all the challenges set before you while defending yourself and killing all the storm troopers on the ground. In a team, you have three characters and each has a set of skills that will help you finish missions.
I mentioned hundreds of games from every genre, right? Upon browsing, I’ve also seen educational games that’ll challenge children particularly in solving mathematical problems. I got kicked out of my PC a few times ever since my nephew discovered Guardians Defenders of Mathematica.
Do you want to test your ‘touch typing’ ( typing without using the sense of sight to find the keys) skills? The website also has several typing tests but I like Typo Test the most due to it’s simple and user-friendly interface.
What’s great about it? NO ANNOYING ADS AND POP-UPS. YOU DON’T NEED TO SIGN UP OR TO PURCHASE ANYTHING TO ENJOY THE GAMES. ABSOLUTELY NO DOWNLOADS OF ANY SORT. I despise those. I mean, can I just play in peace without being interrupted? My experience at Plays.Org feels like gaming back in the early 2000’s.
#3. Watch Animals Sleep, Eat, and Play.
I am not a fan of reality shows except this one! Ever wonder how animals interact with each other in the wild (or in animal sanctuaries)? What do they eat? What sort of activities do they do? How do they sleep? I stumbled upon a website called Explore.Org and they live stream in over 100 locations where you can watch elephants in South Africa, the Kelp Forest in Chanel Islands, Sharks in the Atlantic and many more.
Explore.Org helped me entertain & educate my niece and nephews during the lock-down.
There’s also a website called OpenPuppies and… Well, you get to watch dogs do whatever dogs do.
#4. Listen to Audiobooks
There are hundreds of books that I wanted to read or re-read but I don’t have a lot of time to do so. Solution? Audiobooks! I love listening to them on my commutes, when I’m cleaning the house, when I’m working out and even while I’m cooking. Thankfully, there are websites that offer thousands and thousands of free audiobooks online, with many that we can access any time and anywhere.
- Loyal Books
- Open Culture
#5. Learn Random Facts
General information, random interesting topics & trivia that you thought you didn’t need. All of these can be browsed in a website called Sporcle. The first time I landed on this website, I’ve read topic after topic and I didn’t realize that it was already 2:00 AM.
Another website, Instructables is a user-created and uploaded do-it-yourself projects. Anyone can contribute projects from repairing shovels to building your own pirate ship. I also found instructions on how to do the perfect golf swing and how to properly execute the Twist Cradle (cheer stunt).
Staying at home isn’t so bad when you have a gazillion ways to entertain you. Let’s do our part in helping curve the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Stay safe, everyone!
Have you tried any of these? What other activities (online) can you suggest? I’d love to know just leave your comments below!