Local artists raise funds for Batanes earthquake victims
MANILA, Philippines – To help earthquake victims, a group of local musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs held a fundraising concert at the Rizal Park in Basco, Batanes, on Sunday, July 28.
Organized by Ivatans who were born in Itbayat and currently lived in Basco, the “Musikahilyan” concert was able to raise at least P22,256 in cash donations.
Kahilyan is the Ivatan word for "kababayan (town mates)."
The concert was initiated by Xavier Mirabueno, a guitarist and owner of Casa Napoli, in collaboration with Awee Abelador and Mytz Abelador of Creative Hub, and Joana Jose of Lamon Center.
“It's only fitting that we are doing this for our kahilyan,” Jose said.
Jose said the idea for the fundraiser came the night after twin earthquakes – magnitude 5.4 and magnitude 5.9 – struck Batanes on Saturday morning, July 27. (READ: Death toll from Batanes earthquakes rises to 9)
The musicians played various OPM songs and hits. Around 150 students, locals, and tourists who were at the Rizal Park grounds that time watched the show and extended their help.
“Walang ticket.... We just have a carton box for donations para kahit sino at kahit magkano puwede. And yes, all proceeds will go to the victims. Biglaan din naman 'to from our friends na musikero and we opened it for everyone who wants to jam. At this kind of time, kailangan ng konting saya to lift our spirit,” Jose said in an interview with Rappler.
(There were no tickets. We just used a carton box so that anyone can give and any amount is fine. And yes, all proceeds will go to the victims. This happened all of a sudden, through our musician friends. We opened it to everyone who wants to jam, especially at this time when we need a a little bit of happiness to lift our spirit.)
Students from Batanes National Science High School and Batanes State College also participated in the benefit show.
“We shared that we need to be strong. In times like this, music can heal, and anyone even with their smallest help – it can go a long way,” Jose said.
Food items were sold on the sidelines of the concert, also to raise funds for the quake victims.
Jose sold lemonade and wakay (kamote) fries for P30 each. She shared how some kids who patronized her goods also donated in their own way.
“May mga batang bumili sa akin.... Hindi na kinukuha 'yung sukli, donation na daw niya 'yun (Some kids who bought from me and didn't ask for the change anymore because would just be their donation, they said),” Jose said.
Local arts group Creative Hub also showed its support by promoting and documenting the event for fellow Ivatans who were not in Batanes at that time. (READ: #ReliefPH: How you can help those affected by the Batanes earthquakes)
“Para sa amin, lahat ay may maitutulong sa panahon ng sakuna, maliit man o malaki. Kapag nagtutulungan, malaki at malayo ang maabot ng bawat tulong na binigay ng bawat isa,” said Awee Abelador, one of the founders of Creative Hub.
(All of us are capable of helping in times of disasters, big or small. When we help each other out, a lot will be achieved and it will surely go a long way.)
The group staged another fundraising concert on Monday night, July 29, to continue the Sunday concert that had to end early because of rainy weather. – Rappler.com