Planning for a concert is suppose to be fun to do, but when we planned for the “ONE VOICE” concert, it’s entirely for a different purpose – not to have fun but to raise funds for the victims of typhoon Haiyan a.k.a. Yolanda.
Right after the typhoon, pictures and videos about what happened during and after the storm flooded the Facebook walls, showing the extent of the devastation brought about by the strongest storm ever recorded in the world’s history. Most Filipinos were glued in front of their screens trying to understand what just happened to the Central part of the Philippines. Few
weeks before that, Visayas was reeled by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake which caused a lot of damage in the region, then came the typhoon. There seems to be no end to the disasters the country is going through.
Bernie just got back from Nongkhai (border of Laos and Thailand) to deliver some Art materials for a charity organization that gives free art classes for the kids in the far flung areas of Laos. He didn’t get to see what happened in Visayas until Sunday morning. When he did, he didn’t stop crying for the lost lives and livelihood of the millions of Filipinos for a day. After that he decided that it’s time to do something, instead of wasting his time crying about it. He started a small fund raising drive among our friends. Most of our friends responded right away.
The idea of having a concert for the Haiyan victims and survivors just came up 11 days before the event on the 23rd of November. Bernie called up Khun Aninda who was a former manager of Central World and asked if www.adventchores.org could host a fund raising concert there. She made it possible for us to get in contact with Khun Supichaya who is in-charge of the Marketing Department. After a series of phone calls, we were given two dates for adventchores to have a fund raising event – November 16 and 23.
November 13 – Bernie formed the core group of the “One Voice” concert; composed of Mr. Elcid Quinto, Mr. Clandestine Claro, Ms. Arpha Vida Buga-ay, Mr. Edgar Eleguen and Mr. Ali Bernie Buga-ay. After the meeting it has been decided that different singing groups who will be willing to sing and to buy t-shirts at the same time will be involved. The same shirt will serve as the official uniform for the whole event. We only had 9 days before the 23rd event. Committees were formed and contact persons were established.
We were talking about having a t-shirt printed and yet we haven’t contacted a company that could print it yet. Then, out of nowhere I got to know Ms. Joan Tinamisan on Facebook that night, she’s a Filipina working with Logonet and their company prints just about any kinds of fabric and garments. She happened to be working with a former co-worker Ms. Yui. Together, they made it possible for the shirts to be printed at cost. After Bernie finished the design, the printing started and even the Logonet Owner and Manager was overseeing the printing of the shirts.
That same night, I was chatting with Mr. Chulayuth ‘Tan’ Lochotinan and he just offered to let the Bangkok Charity Orchestra play for the fund raising campaign. Who would say no to a conductor offering his orchestra to play for the event? It just keeps getting more exciting.
November 14 – We met Khun Nichapa to discuss about the November 16 fund raising event, sponsored by our Thai Musician Friends. We also met Khun Tan, the conductor of Bangkok Charity Orchestra at Central World, to discuss how things are going to be. We had to be honest with them and tell them that we had nothing. No sound system, no keyboard, no nothing…
November 15 – We still didn’t have a keyboard and a sound system. Out of desperation, I made a post on Facebook, asking for anyone who could let us borrow a keyboard. Khun Lapisara, the owner of Marcato Music Company who is also a very good friend answered in just a matter of 5 minutes. Her husband, Khun Chanakorn also helped us get a sound system. That afternoon we had our first meeting with the Central World Marketing Staff, everything went smoothly. We were allowed to use the venue for free.
The day was not over yet, we had to get the keyboard from Khun Chanakorn house and that was 12midnight already. We drove for about an hour outside of Bangkok. The mother of Khun Chanakorn was waiting for us and despite being so ashamed that we woke up an old woman in the middle of the night, we had to swallow our shame just to secure a keyboard for the first event the following day.
Our midnight trip did not end there. We proceeded to get the speaker and microphone from Khun Jim, a friend of Khun Chanakorn’s. At 1:30 am he was waiting for us in front of his house. He gave us the things we needed and before we left he handed his donation for the Haiyan victims. That really blew us off. That was totally amazing… the man we woke up early in the morning gave us more than we could ever be grateful for.
Getting help from different companies for an event is vital and crucial with the little time we had, pressured by the survival mode of the survivors of Haiyan. We must be able to bring help right away. Khun Aninda, who was working with Central World then was the key to all of our success. Bernie had a brief encounter with her when he did an exhibition right there five years back . He must have done something good then, that made Khun Aninda help him this time. Khun Aninda found a way for Bernie to contact Central world right away.
Through the help of the management and staff of Central World, we were able to make things happen. Central World is a huge shopping and event mall and we could have not been successful without the help of Ms. Supichaya Suracupt : Director of Social Affairs & Publicity at Central Pattana ; she askedMs. Tarikarntee Meyteesutivong: Marketing Executive at CentralWorld, Mr. Wittawat Techaanusorn: Marketing Supervisor at CentralWorld and Ms. Menaka Thitasaro: PR & Social Affairs Executive at Central Pattana to assist us with all our needs. The Central World management and staff are the best in the world. They sorted all our problems according to what they can do, they understood the urgency of our campaign and they did not make it hard on us. Having everything for free was super a blessing from above.
To Make the Journey
As we were planning the event, we were also planning the journey of our three men team to Tacloban where the airport and the ports are badly affected by the super storm Haiyan. Tank Store answered our plea, they sponsored our men with lighting, power source, and washing needs. Deuter also answered and provided them with backpacks for fast movement, hydro packs, and small toiletry bags. Karana & Equinox replied on a Friday afternoon of November 22, 2013 making the team more equipped for their trip to Leyte. They provided them with tents, clothing, first aid bags, oceans packs, hats, spoons & forks, cooking set. The team is ready to go.
November 16 – The first wave of the fund raising campaign began. Khun Rapee Napawan invited many of her friends to play their musical instruments for free. From 11 am to 7pm, the musicians were playing non-stop. In the afternoon, the Yanhee Voices singing group led by their conductor Dr. Jeremy Valleramos sang for more than an hour. People were happy listening to the music and gave willingly. While the first wave of fund raising was going on at Central World, the rest of the members of the team were rounding up all the singing groups and they had their first Mass Choir rehearsal at Ekamai International School.
When we counted the donations that night we got more than 98,000 Baht excluding the 20 Bahts. When we finally got to counting the 20’s we were able to have a total of 109, 220.00 Baht. All made possible because of the wonderful Thai Musicians who played their instruments wholeheartedly and selflessly along with the Yanhee Voices.
November 18 – finalizing the repertoire with the different conductors of the singing groups. Ms. Gretchen Arnaldo was assigned as the program coordinator and the one in-charge of the proper sequencing of the program, Mr. Clandestine Claro took the responsibility of being the Technical Coordinator and Dr. Edgar Eleguen was designated as the conductor of the Mass Choir.
November 19 – Some t-shirts were ready to go. We had lots of orders already and we were getting a lot of positive feedback about the event. We were hoping against hope that people, especially Filipinos would come and attend the event.
November 20 – for the first time we met the lady who made the printing of the t-shirts possible… Ms. Joan Tinamisan. We had a brief meeting about how things are going to be done during the whole event. Ms. Joan was assigned to take care of the finances. Ms. Gretchen’s program is ready to go, Mr. Elcid is getting lots of orders with the shirts and more and more people pledged to attend the event.
November 22 – after work, the core group met together with some volunteers to set up at Central World. We were so blessed that Central World allowed us to use the mall’s carpet for the event. The whole week we were having a problem where we could get a 150 sq. meters carpet which could have cost us a lot, then we got it again for – free. We finished setting up at Central World at about 3am. Had a only about an hour sleep and had to go back to Central World to finish the other things that needs to be done before the opening of the event.
November 23 – ‘ONE VOICE’ fund raising event – there were food booths – Filipino friends from Nonthaburi cooked delicious Filipino food and Foreign friends from Little Dragons International School did a bake sale with cookies and cupcakes. There was an art booth and they had postcards on display and the biggest hit was the umbrella painting. There was an art exhibit participated in by artists from different countries. More than 20 singing groups volunteered to sing for free (we were not even able to give them water, because we were saving all that we can for the typhoon victims). The orchestra ballooned from just 50 musicians to 70 musicians and all of them dedicated their time and effort together with their conductor for – free too.
The ‘ONE VOICE’ fund raising was a whooping success. People from different cultures backgrounds, nationalities, religions – came together to reach one goal and that was to raise funds for the Haiyan victims and survivors. Our efforts paid off – that day we were able to raise 407.735.62 Baht (Four Hundred Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred Thirty Five and Sixty Two Baht).
Even the conductor of the Bangkok Charity Orchestra couldn’t believe that we pulled it off in just 10 days. He has not done a concert at such a short notice. Having the rehearsal and the concert all in one day, but everything just fell in its place. From having the venue at Central World, the Bangkok Charity Orchestra playing, the singing groups rendering songs, getting the keyboard and sound system, having the food and art booths, plus the art exhibit – all for FREE! It’s an overwhelming show of love and compassion for the people in Central Philippines.
Just like the theme of the event, that day we were able to raise ‘One Voice’ for the Haiyan victims and survivors, for the Filipino Community in Thailand and for our Thai and Foreign friends who dropped everything else just to be a part in raising awareness about what happened to the people in Visayas and to raise funds to help relieve whatever pain the typhoon victims are going through.
To all of you – MARAMING SALAMAT PO AND MABUHAY PO KAYO!!!