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Amid COVID-19 restrictions, DOT launches project featuring 'ASMR' sounds in tourist destination videos

By NICK GARCIA Published Jan 22, 2022 1:28 pm

With many Filipinos choosing to stay in their houses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has launched a project that aims to ease feelings of restlessness by "teleporting" them to certain destinations through "ASMR" videos.

The DOT's “ASMR Experience the Philippines” project explores the natural sounds of a place, "allowing listeners to tune into nature and be fully present in the moment."

The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (QJEP) defines ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, 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." The sensation, the QJEP noted, brings a pleasant feeling of contentment and relaxation.

The initial four ASMR videos, the DOT said, will feature the Mountain Province in the Cordilleras, particularly the remote town of Barlig located at the foothills of Mt. Amuyao and the journey to the summit of the mountain.

The trail to the peak of Mt. Amuyao, the highest point of Mountain Province. Photo by @celluloidmanila, courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

“This project...is anchored on the concept that, when people travel, they go ‘sightseeing,' but it is with their ears that they hear and sense things all around them," DOT Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat said in a statement. "Through these videos, people get to share with the travel experience."

The first video for the Mountain Province series, which has already been uploaded on DOT’s YouTube channel, features a walk in the serene town of Barlig and its terraces.

The DOT said its videos will allow viewers to experience the grandeur of Mountain Province no matter where they are, especially that it's been placed under Alert Level 4 alongside Kalinga, Ifugao, and Northern Samar until Jan. 31.

Under Alert Level 4, only up to 10% indoor capacity indoors for fully vaccinated individuals and 30% outdoors will be allowed. Intrazonal and interzonal travel are also subject to “reasonable restrictions” of local government units.

The succeeding ASMR video series will explore Ilocos Norte, as well as destinations in Visayas and Mindanao, the DOT said.

Saud Beach in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte was hailed as one of the Travel + Leisure’s list of 25 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

The DOT recommends using open back headphones "for best experience," though noted that any headphones, earphones, or earbuds will also work.