Understand Slum Life with Happyland360 Project: A Virtual-Reality Documentary

by - February 08, 2016

Have you always wondered how people in the slum really lived? Many of us think it can’t be such an easy thing for them.  How do they live in such condition? How can they live in such condition? Do we need to live with them to understand their condition?

With this mindset documentary creator Vitaly Nechaev has set up a virtual-reality documentary that explore the world of the Happyland slum in Tondo, a former fishing village that has become a landfill. It is located about 20 minutes away from the capital city of Manila.

Happyland started as a toxic landfill called Hapilan, a Visayan word loosely translated as “smelly grabage” or dump site for want of a better word. People who live there renamed it Happyland as they look forward to a better time when this smelly and sticky place will become haven of hope for them.

The documentary “Happyland360” focuses on five people who care about the Happyland slum. Nechaev, who runs his own virtual reality company called VostokVR, was inspired by a video of Syrian refugees as well as another video of a Russian girl singing a Tagalog (the Filipino language) song popularized by Freddie Aguila entitled “Anak.”

Nechev said, "When I watched the video of Anak, I saw more than just the slums, more than a dump site, I saw a lot of beautiful smiling faces. I was surprised, and something changed inside of me. I wanted to bring this experience from flat 2D to 360 VR.”

Nechaev is a Russian living in Singapore and with the Happyland360 project, it made possible for two of his passion to be realized: one is VR technology and the second one is educating people about life in the slum.

With the help of another Singapore-based VR company V3RA, he persuaded Carl Zeiss, optical systems manufacturer, to come join as a sponsor. Making the doucmentary wasn’t a hardship for him as he already had most of the equipment and he only spent a little for it.

Using a six GoPro Black action cameras linked together, he was able to film the slum area and with Anna Rabtsun, the singer in the original Anak video, he was able to arrange a concert for the people living in Happyland. He isn’t stopping with this short virtual-reality documentary and he promises to make more of this and showcase the life of people in Asia.

Happyland360 VR Documentary
Just use your phone to look around! "Happyland360" is first even in South-East Asia 360 documentary created by VOSTOKVR and V3RA. Happyland is the place that should not exist (but it exists for almost 2 decades). Place located just 5 kilometers away from beautiful shopping malls and business centres of Manila. Happyland is the place where 40,000 people live and survive on everyday basis (and 2/3 of them children). And do like and share this video. The more people will see, the less chances that those people would be ignored for another 19 years.
Posted by Virtual Reality Headset on Monday, December 28, 2015

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