ABS-CBN stars jam for a cause to help victims of Typhoon Odette

KAPAMILYA DAY - Kane Errol Choa - The Philippine Star
ABS-CBN stars jam for a cause to help victims of Typhoon Odette
PBB Kumunity celebrity housemates
STAR / File

The year 2021 really put the Filipino people’s resilience to the ultimate test. After battling and surviving the pandemic-related lockdowns throughout the year, millions of Filipinos were hit hard by Super Typhoon Odette just a few days before Christmas.

Overnight, over 600,000 Filipino families in various regions around the country lost their homes, hopes and loved ones.

ABS-CBN spearheaded an online fund-raising campaign to assist the people in rebuilding their lives, which was jumpstarted by the Tulong-tulong sa Pag-ahon: Andito Tayo Para sa Bawat Pamilya benefit concert.

Not only was it a night of songs with Kapamilya singers bringing inspiration and joy, but it also featured stories and appeals for assistance from affected residents, emphasizing the critical need for food, water and construction materials.

Three of the current Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Kumunity Season 10 housemates hail from provinces that were devastated by the powerful storm. The reality-TV show’s Kuya had to break the news to the celebrity housemates who have been living in the famous PBB house since mid-October.

Samantha Bernardo, Brenda Mage and Anji Salvacion got emotional and concerned after seeing the reports on how the storm damaged their home provinces, toppling power poles, closing roads with fallen trees and cutting off water supply.

“Lumaki po ako sa Palawan. Naalala ko noong bata pa ako, ang dami kong good memories about it. Pero sa isang lugar na ito na naapektado ng bagyo, sobrang nalungkot ako,” remarked Samantha, the 2020 Miss Grand International first runner-up.

Brenda, a native of Cagayan de Oro city, encouraged her kababayan. “Sa buong ka-Bisayaan, kaya natin ito. Huwag tayong susuko,” the former grand finalist of It’s Showtime’s Miss Q and A: InterTALAKtik 2019 remarked.

“Dinadayo ang lugar namin dahil sa resorts, water falls at mga karagatan. Dahil sa bagyong Odette, yung likas na yaman namin ay siya rin naging dahilan ng pagbawi ng kasiyahan ng mga kapamilya namin sa darating na Pasko.”

Anji, a young actress and recording artist, described her childhood in Siargao, which was the eye of the super typhoon when it made landfall last Dec. 16.

“Naalala ko noon tuloy na panahon ng family bonding sa dalampasigan where I grew up. And now it is devastated by a catastrophe, sobra akong nasaktan,” she explained. “To my family and my kababayan in Siargao, please stay strong.”

Together with their fellow celebrity housemates Alexa Ilacad, Alyssa Valdez, KD Estrada and Madam Inutz, the three sang and dedicated three original compositions, namely Kapit Bisig, Para Lang Sa ‘Yo and Dalampasigan.

Bianca Gonzalez, Robi Domingo and Bernadette Sembrano hosted the three-hour benefit concert, which featured performances by Angeline Quinto, Angela Ken, Jed Madela, Jona, Kyle Echarri, Nyoy Volante, Sheena Belarmino, Jeremy Glinoga, Gigi de Lana and the Gigi Vibes Band, and Gary Valenciano.

Coco Martin, Gerald Anderson, Belle Mariano, Alvin Elchico, Doris Bigornia, Seth Fedelin, Andrea Brillantes, Julia Montes and Piolo Pascual participated in the bayanihan event, which was streamed live on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts of ABS-CBN Entertainment and ABS-CBN News. It was also shown on iWantTFC, cable TV channel TeleRadyo, and TFC IPTV in other countries.

Alvin Elchico and Doris Bigornia, co-anchors of TeleRadyo’s primetime show S.R.O., recounted the night they had to preempt their Halalan interview series Sino SENyo? in order to give way to the special news coverage of the typhoon.

“Nasanay kami na mas importante sa ating mga kababayan na malaman ano ang nangyayari, ano ang pwede nilang maitulong, saan pwede humingi ng tulong. Nasanay kami na ‘pag may disaster, una ang serbisyo sa tao,” Alvin explained. “We felt na mas importante na bigyan ng focus ang ating mga kababayan. Hindi pa natin nakikita ang aftermath noon.”

“Iyon ang orientation natin dito sa ABS-CBN. Kinakailangan ilabas kung ano ang balita, ano ang nangyayari sa kanila,” Doris continued. “Pautay-utay pa lang ang pasok ng balita. Hindi pa natin alam na ganon pala katindi, pero pasok ng pasok kami ng balita. Kumuha kami ng mga opisyal mula sa mga probinsyano na apektado.”

And despite the constraints brought about by the shutdown of its broadcast operations, ABS-CBN continued to provide news coverage of the super typhoon, while ABS-CBN Foundation conducted relief efforts through its Tulong-tulong sa Pag-ahon Operation Odette.

The online fund drive, run by ABS-CBN Foundation, aims to provide people with food packs worth P400 to assist them feed their families for at least three days.

Donors can download Tulong-Tulong badges that they can use as their Facebook cover photos, Twibbons and YouTube badges to encourage more people to give and show their love and support for the typhoon-affected families.

ABS-CBN Foundation is now accepting donations through their BDO (0039302-14711), BPI (4221-0000-27), PNB (1263-7000-4128), GCash, PayMaya and PayPal accounts for its Tulong-tulong sa Pag-ahon fund drive. Donations from outside the Philippines can be made through abscbnfoundation.org. Additional information is available on the ABS-CBN Foundation’s Facebook and Instagram pages.


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