Project Lift: Artists support typhoon victims with fundraiser

Community News & Features Dec 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm
Barong and Filipina style dresses were among the works donated by local artists for silent auction.   (2 PHOTO: JOSEPH SMOOKE)

Barong and Filipina style dresses were among the works donated by local artists for silent auction. (2 PHOTO: JOSEPH SMOOKE)

By Dyan Ruiz

Toronto’s budding community of Filipino-Canadian artists answered the call for desperately needed assistance in the wake of the devastation brought on by Typhoon Yolanda.
On the evening of Dec. 4 at the Great Hall on Queen St. W., Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture and Carlos Bulosan Theatre co-presented Project Lift, a fundraising event for typhoon relief efforts. The event featured delectable bites by young Filipino chefs, musical performances, and works by several artists’ which were up for raffle and auction. Everything including the venue was donated ensuring all proceeds went to the NGO, Global Medic.

“People wanted to get together and contribute something,” said Caroline Mangosing, Executive Director of Kapisanan. “We needed to answer the call.”

Kapisanan has been facilitating donations for typhoon victims since days after it struck on Nov. 8. With these weeks of donations and the event, Mangosing estimates they raised approximately $13,000, exceeding their goal.

A big hit for the nearly 200 in attendance were the offerings by newly opened resto Tocino Boys. This favorite Filipino breakfast meat was remixed with the tocino (sweet marinated and fried pork belly) served on pandesal (dinner rolls) with cole slaw and an added crunch of crumbled chicharron (fried pork rinds). Lamesa served up steaming cups of Arroz Caldo (rice porridge) served with chicken or vegetarian style topped with a mélange of traditional and innovative toppings such as fried garlic and wasabi peas.

Abdominal and the Obliques entertain the crowd while Scratch preps beats for his upcoming set.

Abdominal and the Obliques entertain the crowd while Scratch preps beats for his upcoming set.

Capping off the evening were musical acts kicked off by the ethereal keyboard, percussion and violin loops by singing sisters Casey and Jenny Mecija (of Ohbijou). They hit the emotional highlight of the night with their tearful call for a moment of silence for victims of Typhoon Yolanda, as it’s known in the Philippines.

They were followed by Abdominal and the Obliques, a band with a creative blend of hip-hop, pulsing acoustic bass and edgy country-style guitar (think Johnny Cash). Band leader Abdominal also entertained the crowd as the evening’s host.

Headliners Datu rallied the late night crowd with their original sound, mixing Kulintang drums (traditional Filipino brass gongs), hip hop beats, vocal chants and Tagalog rap of Haniely Pableo.

Special guest performer of the evening was Scratch from classic hip-hop band The Roots.