Unity Concert: Rebuilding People’s Lives 2009

Community News & Features Dec 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Not-to-miss event of the year

Performers at the rehearsal at North York Civic Centre.

Performers at the rehearsal at North York Civic Centre.

TORONTO — Only about two weeks to go to Dec. 13 and the community will be treated to a musical extravaganza to raise funds for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. With Canada’s Miss Saigon lead star Ma-Anne Dionisio as guest performer and some of the finest Filipino performers in Toronto, the show promises to be a not-to-miss event of the year.

Various Filipino groups have come together to organize the upcoming “Unity Concert: Rebuilding People’s Lives 2009” to be held on Dec. 13, 2009 at the University of Toronto MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen`s Park, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The venue is beside Royal Ontario Museum and can be accessible by public transit through the TTC at Museum Subway Station. Public parking is also available.

(Please check Unity Concert website for details: http://www.rebuildpeopleslives.info)

This concert will raise funds for the rehabilitation projects for the victims of typhoons Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma) which hit the Philippines on September 26 and October 3, respectively.

These typhoons affected seven million Filipino people, many of them lost their homes, belongings and livelihoods. The death toll reached more than 1,000. The tropical storms also caused millions of damage to crops and properties, infrastructure including school buildings in different villages and parts of towns and cities in the country.

Co-director Karen Tan leads the rehearsal of MFFC Youth Performinig Arts Group

Co-director Karen Tan leads the rehearsal of MFFC Youth Performinig Arts Group

Until now, thousands of families are still in miserable conditions, many of whom have lost their homes and still live in rehabilitation centres. They still need help in rebuilding their homes and livelihoods. They still need help in rebuilding their lives.

And, helping them is never too late.

This concert project is also an effort to enhance the unity of the Filipino community by enjoining all groups and organizations to participate and help the typhoon victims. Hence, the name Unity Concert.
This three-hour musical extravaganza is comprised of three segments – broadway classics, alternative music, and rock tunes.

A varied line-up of Filipino-Canadian talents will grace the event. Guest performer is Ma-Anne Dionisio, best known for her role of Kim in the Toronto production of Miss Saigon.

From left: Josie de Leon, Lilac Cana, Emilio Zarris and Michael Ombao get busy.

From left: Josie de Leon, Lilac Cana, Emilio Zarris and Michael Ombao get busy.

Other performing artists are Lilac Cana, Emilio Zarris, Karen Tan, Josie de Leon, Vonnie Beltran, Chyrell Samson, Rodney Ronquillo, Jiva Andola, MFFC Youth Performing Arts Group, Levy Abad Jr, Belinda Corpuz, John Flores, Cast of Angels, Melodious Vibes, Philippine Heritage Band, Panyolito, Myk Miranda, Santa Guerilla, Jeanette Ricasio, Cast of Angels, Out of Luck, DaBarkadaz and Ajay Recana.

Directors are Randy Muere and Karen Tan with Joyce Corpuz and Teresa Torralba as co-directors. Michael Ombao is the official pianist.

All proceeds from this concert will be donated for relief, rehabilitation and disaster preparedness and mitigation projects, to be administered by the Citizens’ Disaster Response Centre (CDRC), a 25-year old non-government organization that has been widely recognized in the Philippines and internationally for its outstanding services to disaster victims. It has helped about three million people in various disaster areas in the Philippines. Please visit the CDRC website at www.cdrc-phil.org. CDRC will make a detailed report on the project that will be assisted by the proceeds from the concert fundraising.

John Flores and co-director Randy Muere. PHOTOS: P CORPUZ

John Flores and co-director Randy Muere. PHOTOS: P CORPUZ

Among the concert sponsors are Dr. Teodoro Tsang, Toronto Alpha through Dr. Joseph Wong and Flora Chong, Councillor Alex Chiu, Councillor Sandra Yeung and former MPP Mario Racco.

Donations are still being accepted for the concert. Interested individuals can write cheques to:
Community Alliance for Social Justice, and send it to 103 Robinson Ave., Scarborough, Ontario, M1L 3P2.
Interested organizations are invited to join this concert project. All interested parties and individuals may help in the form of financial contribution or volunteer time towards the success of the concert and to a more significant assistance to the typhoon victims.

The Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ) is the lead organization in the Organizing Committee which also includes the Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture (PATAC), Kababayan Community Centre, Santaginians Ontario, Filipino Migrant Workers’ Movement (FMWM), Philippine Heritage Band, MercuryNews Online and the Labour Education Centre.

For more information, please visit the concert website at www.rebuildpeopleslives.info
Contacts persons:

Ben Corpuz

Mila Garcia

Flor Dandal