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  • yolanda-benefitWhile discussing the second edition of his Aka­pela Open project with PLDT­Smart Foundation president Esther O. Santos and One Meralco Foundation president Jeffrey O. Tarayao, maestro Ryan Cayabyab hit upon a novel idea. “I told them that I have accumulated a good number of sacred songs that I wrote over the years and I’m willing to share them for free for a worthy fund-raising concert. And that’s how this ‘Rise! Rebuilding from the Ruins’ project for Yolanda survivors began,” Cayabyab recalled in a recent interview with Inter­Aksyon and News5.

    As part of Caritas Ma­nila’s “Damayan sa Haiyan” rehabilitation program with the artist also known as Mr. C and the Philippine Philhar­monic Orchestra under music director Olivier Ochanine, the benefit concert for the rebuild­ing of typhoon-ravaged cha­pels and churches in Samar  and Leyte is presented by the PLDT-Smart Foundation and One Meralco Foundation to­gether with the Cultural Cen­ter of the Philippines.

    “Rise! Rebuilding from the Ruins” features Cayaby­ab’s inspirational music as performed by seven Philip­pine-based choirs, the Voices of Aloha from the University of Hawaii, the Ryan Cayabyab Singers and pop and classical singers Basil Valdez, Dulce, Jed Madela, Clarissa Ocampo and Ervin Lumauag.

    The concert will also feature Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle in a very special participation. Cayabyab said he personally invited the performers includ­ing Cardinal Tagle, whose presence he said will make the concert even more special.

    “Cardinal Tagle’s in­volvement added more pres­tige to this concert. Add to that the choirs and the art­ists who are performing for honorariums that is probably  the equivalent of their taxi fare. And then you have about the 30 members of the Voices of Aloha from Hawaii who are really com­ing here for another concert but decided to fly early just to be a part of this show. All these talents coming together for a good cause,” he enthused.

    A Papal award recipient for his contribution to sacred music and religious themes, Cayabyab saw this project as an opportunity to offer his talents as his way of thanksgiving and helping out the less fortunate.

    “Music heals. It heals the hurt, the sadness and loss of loved ones. Music also not only rebuilds confidence but also rebuilds places of worship destroyed by nature’s wrath. We enjoin fellow Filipinos to sing as one as we see our churches in the Visayas rise again in glory,” he said.

    TV5 chairman Manuel V. Pan­gilinan, a member of Caritas Manila’s Board of Trustees who also chairs the PLDT-Smart Foundation and One Meralco Foundation, is also appealing for the support of the general public for this special show.

    “Our companies support this advocacy because we believe in the power of great talent—all the more when it is shared self­lessly for the benefit of Filipi­nos who are still recovering from the devastation caused by supertyphoon Yolanda. As they begin a new life, it is im­portant that they also regain the strength of their faith. We hope that our friends in the private sector will also take part in this meaningful con­cert, and help typhoon survi­vors to truly begin a new and better life,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

    For his part, Caritas Manila Board of Trustees chairman Cardinal Tagle sees the concert as a clear mani­festation that Yolanda victims  are far from forgotten several months after disaster struck. As for his special participation in the concert, he just smiled and had this to say.

    “Ako naman ay pansin­git lang. Sana maawa naman sa akin si Maestro Ryan Cay­abyab. Ilang araw na akong nawawalan ng boses. So tingnan natin kung ano ang magagawa sa rehearsal,” the archbishop quipped.

    The “Rise! Rebuild­ing from the Ruins” concert is happening on June 11 at the Manila Cathedral-Basilica in Intramuros, Manila. For ticket inquiries, contact Caritas Ma­nila at (632)5620020 to 25 or visit www.caritasmanila.org. ph.(E. Sallan, Interaksyon)

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