‘Rise Again’ benefit show for Haiyan survivors
IN the days immediately after typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, several Filipino-Canadian organizations sprung into action calling upon its members to assemble and arrange fundraising events.
The response from the community was swift given the urgency of the situation.
One group, headed by Ruby (Jeng) and Eugene Guiyab of JMG Infinity Entertainment, gathered to come up with a plan to do their part in providing assistance to those most affected. With the assistance of their presenting sponsor, Miller Thomson, and the support of local Councillor Alex Chui from the Town of Markham, they came up with a showthat was a labour of love, an offering from people willing to share their talents.
With nothing more than idea and a desire to help, Jeng and Eugene were able to get additional support from P & O Production, Agnes Miranda of World Financial Group, LBC, Pahayagan, Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians, Pyxels.com, Just in Time Video and Photography and Mississauga Restaurant Quiapo Quiapo.
The show itself promised to take its audience on a journey through the unimaginable chaos of experiencing the horror of being in the middle of the typhoon to its morbid aftermath then to the faith survivors must have to know that help is on its way. A poignant video compilation created by Rodney Ronquillo set the tone for the rest of the night and reminded everyone why we were all there.
The show continued with a moving rendition of “The Prayer” by Alvin Alba and Chyrell Samson calling upon the audience to remember the power of collective thought.
Under the direction of Lilet Raffinan, script writer Chi de Jesus and the capable hands of Musical Director Harold Gutierez, the cast for the entire show worked seamlessly to inspire hope.
From the moment you walked in to Markham Theatre, there was a feeling that you were about to become a part of something special.
Among the performers were Alyssa Datu, Anna Estrada Rejante, RIZE group of the Markham Federation of Filipino-Canadians, Edmund Arevalo, Ivy Joy Aguila, Joseph Fabie, Josie de Leon, Lia Luz, MNP, Nicole Ruth Villanueva Ramos, Allan Ramos, Robert de Mesa and Friends of Jesus Christ Dancers all came together to rehearse and went on stage to put on an outstanding show.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that they were there to perform an original composition from Vehnee Saturno, one of the greatest song writers the Philippines has ever had. His song “Make A Start” was written specifically for the show. The performance , arranged by Musical Director Harold Gutierez, was the first time the piece was sang in public. It was a heart warming and empowering call to the many victims of Haiyan and the people who made a commitment to help them “Rise Again.”
The beneficiary of this project is ANCOP International Canada (Answering the Cry of the Poor), a Canadian registered non-profit charitable organization that helps build homes for the poor and provides educational assistance deserving indigent children.