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Leyte: The Benefit CD |

Arts and Culture

Leyte: The Benefit CD

- Ted Reyes -
On the 17th February, a thunderous rumbling noise startled the residents of the small towns of St. Bernard and Guinsaugon, in the province of Leyte, Philippines - it was the last sound that most of them would ever hear. For on that fateful day, the two towns were buried and completely erased from the surface of the earth, as tons of rock and mud engulfed homes, even a small public elementary school, killing more than 2,000 people in one of the most deadly mudslides in recent history. A tragedy that buried everything except the pain and grief of the ones who survived
The Vision
A few weeks after the Leyte tragedy, a Filipino music genius living in California, heard a different sound: The Sound of a Helping Hand. Perf De Castro (, one of the most respected guitarists and producers in Philippine music history decided to call upon fellow Filipino musicians, composers and singers living in the US to donate songs for a compilation album that will directly benefit the victims.

"Upon hearing the news, I threw out the idea of a benefit CD to my fellow musicians and artists here in the US and they responded enthusiastically. Transplanted Pinoys [slang for Filipinos] and Filipino-Americans from across the US sent in their donations in form of their songs and eventually I received enough to put together this album. Some are written with the benefit in mind and some are works that have been pulled out of their treasure chests so they could at last be heard for a noble cause. These songs represent our hands reaching across the world to help our fellow Filipinos in need," says De Castro.

This feat of coming up with a benefit CD is not an easy thing to pull off - rallying up artists from all over the US and constantly communicating with them is no picnic. But in this age of e-mail, Perf could not hope for a better response. Perf posted the invite open for all Fil-Am (Filipino-American) artists at a FilAmMusic and PinoyRockUSA e-mail group some months ago, and the enthusiasm he got from the willing artists was overwhelming. In fact, what was amazing was that Perf maintained all his communications with the artists in the project mostly via e-mail and the Internet. Perhaps, a cause of this magnitude will indeed break any walls that come in between.
The Album
Released on June 5 last year, "LEYTE: The Benefit CD" is a compilation of songs from Filipino and Filipino-American artists aimed at helping the victims of the tragic disaster. Net proceeds will go to relief organizations in the Philippines, such as the Philippine National Red Cross and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, to fund their relief efforts to the people affected by the Leyte mudslide disaster.

The album contains 14 tracks from some of the best Fil-Am and Filipino artists in the United States:

• "Field Trip" by Bleud
• "Manila" by Raincrowd
• "Better Days" by Piece of Mine
• "Devil's Eyes" by Beatrice Gomez
• "Karma" by Zigbin
• "I Think I'll Try" by Ritchie Lapaz
• "Goodbye Rye" by Basti Artadi and Perf De Castro
• "Beautiful World" by Ben Paltik
• "Armageddon Man" by Rubberband
• "Nothing Left To Say" by A.D.D.
• "Beautiful Pain" by The Happy Analogues
• "Di Ako Lalayo" by The Kuwagos
• "Save Me" by The Third Element
• "New Day" by Perf De Castro

For more information and for purchasing your own copy pf the CD, visit the official website at:

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