Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Side Up: Benefit Concert for the Streetchildren in the Philippines

Jersey city, New Jersey- The Filipino youth of Jersey city, in collaboration with Anakbayan NY/NJ held a benefit concert, entitled This Side Up, for the street children in the Philippines at the Our Lady of Mercy church last Saturday, November 8, 2008.

Bea Sabino and Mikhail Eliasi, two Filipino teenagers, initiated the fundraising activities. Both youngsters celebrated their birthday last month but instead of spending money during this period of recession, they decided to raise money for He Cares foundation, a Christian non-profit foundation that helps streetchildren in the Philippines. With the help of Anakbayan NY/NJ, Bea and Mike organized their friends for bakesales. They traversed the sidewalks of West Side Avenue and Newark Avenue in Jersey City last August selling homemade brownies, cupcakes, cheesecakes and polvorons to passersby. They also distributed fliers that include pressing issues affecting our compatriots back home. Inspite of the unexpected success of their bakesales, they thought that it would be best to step up and gather more youths for their final fundraising activity, a benefit concert.

After an ardous month-long preparation, the combined power of the youth made the ambitious endeavor into a reality. There were performances by the Macalintal siblings, Gessica Pecana, Jay Legaspi and the bands Kapsula, Unified, Extra Rice and Pugadlawin. It was a very meaningful and entertaining night as Filipino youths not only rocked the house but also tackled the issue of poverty and the unjust system back home.

“A lot of people nowadays say that the youth is passive and apathetic. This event proves those people wrong as it clearly shows that more youth are becoming aware and involved in any way possible in the struggle to fix our damaged nation, whether it be fundraising events or street protests,” states John Paul Miranda of Anakbayan NY/NJ. United by the desire for change, US-born and immigrant Filipino youths prevailed over selfishness and individualism. Needless to say, Bea and Mike had their most memorable birthday celebration to date.###

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