From left: Entrepreneur Dr. Carl Balita, Isay Alvarez and songwriter Vehnee Saturno have teamed up to launch a project called Tulong Taal.
Tulong Taal extends helping hand to eruption victims
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2020 - 12:00am

More and more celebrities are helping the families displaced by Taal Volcano eruption. Entrepreneur Dr. Carl Balita, multi-awarded songwriter Vehnee Saturno and couple Isay Alvarez and Robert Seña have teamed up to launch a project called Tulong Taal, A Musical Collaboration

Tulong Taal aims to raise funds for the rehabilitation of selected communities,” said Carl. “Relief is overflowing as of now from generous donors, but the real challenge is the restoration of their livelihood and rebuilding of their homes. We want to help them, in that aspect.”

Known for his entrepreneurial advocacy, Carl and Isay (who traces her roots to Taal, Batangas) are scheduled to visit Taal in due time to determine the needs which they wish to provide for. 

Isay was “sad and shocked” watching the beautiful tourist destination devastated by the eruption. 

“I used to swim in Taal,” recalled Isay. “I remember spending my summers as a kid in that beautiful place.”  

“I cried seeing the pictures and footages of the evacuation, and that inspired me to write a song to empathize with the displaced families and call everyone into action to help,” said Vehnee. “Taal is not only the name of a place. In the vernacular, it is synonymous to the words genuine and authentic.”

Here’s the chorus (and the English translation of the song):

Tulong Taal ang siyang kailangan

Nang mga taong pagsubok ay nararanasan

Tulong-Taal ang siyang kasagutan

Nang maib’san dalamhati na

Ngayon ay Pasan.

(Genuine help is what is needed

by the people experiencing this adversity;

Genuine help is the answer

to allay the grief they are

experiencing now.)

“The song is like We Are The World on which several international artists collaborated years ago also for a worthy cause,” according to Carl and Vehnee.

On Feb. 1 (Saturday), a Tulong Taal Musical Collaboration will be held at the Cuneta Astrodome featuring some artists who are volunteering their talents for the cause.

“A lot of artists are volunteering to perform and we wish to give most of them that chance to showcase their craft and join us in this worthwhile undertaking,” assured Vehnee.

Recording of the Tulong Taal song started last Monday. Carl said that the artists include The CompanY, Robert and wife Isay, Jaya, Ice Seguerra, Aicelle Santos, Christian Bautista, Mark Bautista, Kakai, Angeline Quinto, Frenchie Dy, Bayang Barrios and others.

And those performing in the Tulong Taal, A Musical Collaboration are Jamie Rivera, The CompanY, Robert and Isay, Jenine Desiderio, Richard Reynoso, Frenchie, Bayang Barrios and the Mandaluyong Children’s Choir. 

“Those who would like to help and watch may come and bring their donation, in cash or in kind, and just to enjoy,” reminded Carl. “I hope that the business and other sectors will find this project worthwhile and give their support.” 

2019 Mutya Pilipinas Tyra Rae Florito Goldman is Phl’s bet to 2020 Top Model of the World

Mutya queen finally gets chance to compete abroad

Remember 2019 Mutya Pilipinas Tyra Rae Florito Goldman who was barred by the organizers from competing in the 2019 Miss Tourism International pageant due to a citizenship issue? She has finally gotten a chance to compete abroad ­— in the 2020 Top Model of the World in Egypt (finals set for Friday, Jan. 24). Goldman left last Jan. 12.

“I was in California when they called me about the Top Model of the World contest. My mom was screaming for joy! A week after, I started training which is basically focused on the runway,” said Goldman during the send-off press conference held at CWC Interiors in Bonifacio Global City, The Fort, Taguig City, last Jan. 10.

Goldman was disqualified from competing in Malaysia because of a technicality. Only natural-born citizens were allowed as delegates and no dual citizenship. Cyrille Payumo, who replaced Goldman, competed instead and eventually was crowned the winner.  

Goldman, 18 and 5’9” tall, was born in Boston, Massachussetts, USA, and grew up in Cebu and Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a freshman medical student (majoring in Medicine and Biology). She competed at the 2018 Miss Teen Philippines Cebu.

The Jan. 10 event was also the homecoming presscon for April May Short who finished Top 12 in another modeling competition held in Monte Carlo, Monaco, last Dec. 14. She leaves in May for Milan, Italy, to pursue her two-month scholarship at a modeling academy.

Founded in 1993, the Top Model of the World search is the world’s largest and prestigious international modeling competition. — Reported by Celso de Guzman Caparas

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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