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Artists join hands with Miguel and Manny Miñana and Nanette Medved-Po to raise P18M for Visayas |

Sunday Lifestyle

Artists join hands with Miguel and Manny Miñana and Nanette Medved-Po to raise P18M for Visayas

PERSONAL CHOICE - Frannie Jacinto - The Philippine Star

It was a touching concert of hope, love, courage, faith, resiliency and laughter that embodied the Filipino spirit.

The two-hour event opened with a video showing actual scenes of typhoon Yolanda as it hit Tacloban.

The idea for this fundraising concert, “Voices for Visayas,” started last November when Miguel Miñana got a message from top soprano Rachelle Gerodias asking if he was organizing a benefit. Manny Miñana came in as chairman, and together with Nanette Medved Po and civic-minded friends Ollie Campos, Tina Colayco, Irene Martel-Francisco, David Guerrero, Doris Magsaysay-Ho, Joy Lagdameo and  Ricco Ocampo the project took off.

A total of 150 talented individuals agreed to perform pro bono from top TV and recording artists, thespians, dancers, musicians, backstage crew to even the venue, Resorts World’s Newport Performing Arts Theater, which was offered for the concert.

When superstar Sharon Cuneta was onstrage with six of the survivors who were able to flee to Manila, it was truly an emotional moment not only for them, but for us in the audience. We could feel their pain and anguish as they bravely stood with tears streaming down their faces because even if they were able to survive the terrible catastrophe, they lost everything that was near and dear to them.

The show’s repertoire included the best of OPM, opera, old standards and new compositions, as well as ballet and theater performances from our country’s very best — Sharon Cuneta, Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Kuh Ledesma, Karylle, the still stunningly sexy Pilita Corrales, Mitch Valdez with Bituin Escalante singing a rock-and-rolling Visayan medley, Leo Valdez with the Madrigal Singers, Isay Alvarez and Robert Sena,  Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcacid, Rachelle Gerodias and Andrew Fernando,  Audie Gemora, Menchu Lauchengco, Jay Cayuca, The Company, Jed Mandela, Erik Santos,  Primo, Douglas Nierras Powerdance, Bayanihan, the Ballet Philippines corps, with hosts Iza Calzado and Jim Paredes.

The rousing finale was a stunner with 150 performers onstage singing Ryan Cayabyab’s original composition, Just Believe with lyrics by Jose Javier Reyes.  A fitting end was when core organizers Manny Minana and Nanette Po thanked their numerous sponsors and announced that they had raised a spectacular amount of P18 million that will contribute to the survivors’ new lease on life.

Corporate sponsors generously signed on and shared their resources for this worthy cause: Smart and Coca-Cola were presentors, Ayala Corporation and BDO were sponsors, and TWG/Stores Specialists, Inc., Nutri Asia and Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estates were patrons.

This one-night benefit concert, “Voices for Visayas,” can be viewed in its entirety online via rapler at

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