Over a hundred days have already passed since the Philippines experienced the raging fury of Yolanda, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall that left the country devastated, struck with unfathomable grief from the overwhelming loss of lives and property as the rest of the world watched in despair.
Just recently, the Philippines has sent out a viral thank you message for the huge support that the country received upon the historic storm that touched down in several islands in the Visayas that left thousands dead, orphaned, injured and financially and emotionally crippled.
In the wake of Yolanda, we were inundated with images from the media of a displaced people - lost and searching for answers, some of which they may never find. A few days later, we witnessed the generosity of many good Samaritans as aid and support from the Philippines and those of the outside world came pouring in.
Yet the battle is far from over.
To those who survived the uncompromising and merciless wrath of Yolanda, the process of rebuilding is not an easy task. Much help is still needed in every aspect of their journey towards getting their lives back, of attaining a sense of normalcy – even just an ounce of comfort and security - and of overcoming the enormous pain that came with the memory of what was taken from them and the reality that came with what was left behind.
Surviving a tragedy is supposed to be a gift, not a burden and there are many ways to take some of the load off the back of Yolanda survivors by giving them a hand in rebuilding their lives.
The UP Pi Sigma Delta Sorority, one of the pioneer organizations in the University of the Philippines, the country’s prime state university, has chosen to help in rebuilding the lives of Yolanda survivors by staging a benefit concert that would primarily raise funds to repair one of the damaged campuses of the UP community, the UP Palo campus located in Leyte, one of the hardest hit areas during the hurricane.
The concert also is aimed at bringing together Yolanda survivors who are set to occupy half of the concert venue and those willing to spend a night of music and entertainment with them to foster love, hope and support as incredible and inspirational tales of survival are creatively and poignantly unraveled during the musical event.
According to the president of the UP Pi Sigma Delta Alumnae Association, Gladys Hernando, all proceeds of the concert will be donated for the rebuilding of the UP Palo campus.
Filipino stars that are set to perform in the concert include Asia’s songbird Regine Velasquez, iconic singing diva Imelda Papin, young artists Christian Bautista, Kris Lawrence, Frenchie Dy and UP student and Pinoy Idol winner Gretchen Espina.
Dance group Maneouvres will also share the stage with other local artists such as Gloc-9, Venus Raj, Rocco Nacino, moymoypalaboy, Terry Gian, Maricris Garcia, JayR, Salbakuta, Joy Viado, Denise Barbacena, El Gamma Penumbra, Twitch, J Crisis, the Legatto String Quartet and many more surprise guests.
A group of Yolanda survivors have also teamed up as a dance group and will be performing in the benefit concert along with Jerome, a survivor-student from the UP Palo campus.
The benefit concert will be held on February 25 at 8pm at the UP Film Institute (Cine Adarna) located inside the University of the Philippines Diliman campus in Quezon City.
For tickets and sponsorship of the event, please contact Gladys Hernando and Nina Grace Cabahug at firstname.lastname@example.org.