WATCH: Taal Volcano eruption can't stop evacuees from singing
BATANGAS, Philippines – On Thursday, January 16, the Gymnasium 2 of Tanauan City buzzed with chaos.
The regulation size basketball court has been converted into a temporary compound of individual detached roofless shelters for evacuees from communities affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
Tanauan is one of the localities surrounding Taal. Some 21 of its barangays were identified as within the volcano's lockdown zone, just a few hundred meters away from the covered court.
On the frontstage of the gym, social workers handed out bags of relief goods to evacuees.
A female social worker held a black microphone and read out announcements. "The next batch can claim their assistance!" she said, before ordering, through her tool, a medical team to proceed to the north Tanauan quadrant.
Then, she turned off the microphone to give way to a surprise on stage: a live band.
Within minutes, the 4-member boy group all in their early 20s, began playing. The court was transformed into a mini-concert venue. Evacuees stood from their shelters to watch.
The lead singer was a powerful tenor who moved the crowd to applause. He then invited the evacuees to sing with them. They didn't pass up on the offer, and even danced too. For at least an hour, Taal Volcano seemed far away.
According to the band's lead singer, 22-year-old Jherome Alias, singing in itself is a form of relief.
"Napakamakapangyarihan nang pagkanta.... Isa na rin ito sa magandang way para malibang ang mga taong may problema (Singing is very powerful. This is also a good way to entertain people with problems)," Alias said.
Watch this video on how music helped provide some relief to evacuees. – Rappler.com