In the midst of the Luzon-wide quarantine due to the coronavirus, the Philippine arts community is mobilizing to share their talents for worthy causes.
As part of his “Bayanihan, Musikahan” movement, National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab, together with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) has started posting free concerts on Facebook Live as a fundraising campaign for the vulnerable sectors in the COVID-19 crisis.
Cayabyab first mentioned the initiative when interacting with fans on March 18 and treated them to renditions of his hit songs “Tuwing Umuulan,” “Mamang Kutsero,” and “Araw Gabi.” He has invited many local artists to perform mini-concerts on Facebook Live and these will be uploaded to the “Bayanihan, Musikahan” Facebook page.
The acclaimed composer emphasized the need to provide support for all those who are struggling to survive in this critical time. He said, “Alam natin na tayo, kayong nanonood ng FB Live, we’re all relaxed in our houses, pero mas maraming tao na nangangailangan ng tulong… Sila ‘yung nagatrabaho araw-araw para may kitain, para may maihain sa kanilang hapag-kainan.”
During each concert, artists will encourage fans to donate to the three organizations “Bayanihan” has partnered with: Likhaan, Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid, and Caritas Manila. These organizations support around 250,000 families around Metro Manila and the proceeds from the concert series will be used to provide these families with food and medical supplies during the quarantine.
The artists involved will be coming from different genres of the music industry, including the stage. Cayabyab himself has composed the music for several stage productions such as Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo, Katy! The Musical, Ang Larawan the Musical, Rama Hari, and Magnificat. Karylle (The Little Mermaid, Cinderella) and Ebe Dancel (whose music was used for Sa Wakas) already performed last March 20 while Nyoy Volante (Kinky Boots, Hairspray) and Nino Alejandro (Jersey Boys, Waitress) performed last March 23.
According to ABS-CBN News, the theater stars slated to perform in these concerts are: Lea Salonga (Sweeney Todd, Once on this Island), Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Next to Normal, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), Robert Seña (Miss Saigon, Rak of Aegis), Isay Alvarez Seña (Miss Saigon, Rak of Aegis), Michael Williams (Miss Saigon, The King and I), Raymond Lauchengco (Romeo and Juliet, Once on this Island), Jett Pangan (Jekyll and Hyde, Sweeney Todd), Agot Isidro (Changing Partners, Tabing Ilog the Musical), Cherie Gil (Arbol de Fuego, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Ice Seguerra (The Rocky Horror Show, Avenue Q), Sitti (Spring Awakening, Nine), Aicelle Santos (Himala: Isang Musikal, Rak of Aegis), Morissette (Camp Rock, Chuva Choo Choo), Christian Bautista (Jersey Boys, Ghost the Musical), Mark Bautista (Bituing Walang Ningning, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!), Tanya Manalang (Ang Huling El Bimbo, All Out of Love), Gab Pangilinan (Mula sa Buwan, Side Show), Reb Atadero (Ang Huling El Bimbo, Monty Python’s Spamalot), and Gian Magdangal (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Newsies). Bayang Barrios (Rak of Aegis, Balag at Angud) and Noel Cabangon (Rak of Aegis) have already performed.
Other musicians who have already performed include Sponge Cola, Top Suzara, Mike Villegas, Acapellago, Gab Cabangon, Jazz Nicolas, Zsaris, Reuben Laurente, Davey Langit, Keiko Necessario, Ballet Dumas, Ito Rapadas, and Jimmy Antiporda. OPM artists who are set to join them are Zsa Zsa Padilla, Jaya, Martin Nievera, Jed Madelal, Chito Miranda, Raymund Marsigan, Jim Paredes, Dingdong Avanzado, GLOC-9, Lara Maigue, and Juris Fernandez.
Cayabyab and his team aim to raise a target of P15 million from this concert series. As of 9PM on March 23, “Bayanihan, Musikahan” has already raised P9,686,950.
Check out the FB page for more details on the schedule of performances.