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by Davinci S. Maru and Rebelander S. Basilan

Monday, October 21, 2013

MORE than 500 local musicians performed for free last night to raise funds for relief operations in earthquake-ravaged areas in Cebu and Bohol.

As of 11 p.m., the “We Will Rise Again” benefit concert at the Ayala Terraces raised at least P1 million cash, co-organizer Melanie Ng said in a Facebook post.

The concert was organized by the #Bangon SugBohol Movement, whose lead convenor is the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI). A booth was also set up to receive food, water and other donations.

Island Souvenirs also sold T-shirts with #BangonSugBohol printed on them during the benefit concert. Part of the proceeds will go to relief operations.

The CCCI convened the #Bangon SugBohol movement last Friday.

More than 20 other civic organizations and business groups have since joined the cause.

Among them are the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), the Rotary Club, Cebu Business Club and the Movement for Livable Cebu.

“We want to show that Cebuanos can be united for a cause,” said CCCI president Lito Maderazo.

Among those who performed were the Mandaue Children and Youth Chorus, the Cebu PhilHarmonic Orchestra and Sistemang Pilipino.

Popular local musician Rommel Tuico, fresh from a gig in Ormoc City, was among the earliest singers to perform.

“It feels good to share your talent and help a cause at the same time,” said the former vocalist of Stage Crew.

The concert, held from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., was the first activity organized under the #Bangon SugBohol.

“This is a collective effort from Cebuanos, an instantaneous response by civic groups, business organizations and the local governments,” Maderazo said.

Businessman

The MCCI, through businessman Wilson Ng and his wife, Melanie, suggested to hold the benefit concert.

Ng said they organized a benefit concert to help flood victims in Cagayan de Oro in 2011. Through the concert, which brought together more than 100 musicians, they raised more than P400,000.

“It was actually the artists who clamored they would like to perform again for a benefit concert, this time to help the earthquake victims,” he said.

The venue, the sound system and other logistics were provided for free by the Ayala mall.

Members

Ng said among the musicians who performed last night were from Bohol. “Some of them lost family members and their houses,” he said.

Ng said they may hold another benefit concert in another mall depending on the outcome of last night’s activity.

Maderazo said they will coordinate with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, civic organizations and other agencies to distribute the relief goods.

For transparency, Maderazo said they hired an independent auditor and requested the three local dailies to grant them free space where donations can be published. He said several companies have expressed intention to help in the relief efforts.

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