Fundraiser for ailing musiciansBy Allan Policarpio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Heart of Music (HoM) is an NGO dedicated to promoting the welfare, and especially protecting the health, of local musicians.
Today, together with Unilab Jammers Club, HoM is conducting a medical mission cum benefit concert, “Yakap Musikero,” at the Bayanihan Hall in Pasig City.
HoM president and jazz singer Myra “Skarlet” Ruaro said concert proceeds would help the group’s goal of providing PhilHealth insurance for some 100 artists in urgent need of medical assistance.
Since its launch in January, HoM has enrolled 45 beneficiaries in PhilHealth for one year. Ruaro told Inquirer, “Aside from doling out health premiums to musicians who don’t have regular work, we extend financial assistance to those in need of medicine and treatments.”
She added: “Also, with the help of Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), we were able to come to the aid of two lounge singers—one who has breast cancer, and another who was in a vehicular accident. OPM gave each one P30,000.”
The “Yakap Musikero” concert, featuring guest artists Aia de Leon, Ebe Dancel and the Unilab Jammers Club, will be held 7 p.m. at the Bayanihan Center’s JY Hall B. Admission is P250.
Prior to the concert, medical services—blood typing, blood pressure check, urinalysis, X-ray and ECG—will be offered for free at the Unilab grounds in front of the center. “The services are for musicians and their family,” Ruaro said. “We plan to conduct at least two medical missions each year— preferably another one in January, right after the holidays.”
She continued: “We hope to offer dental and EENT (eyes, ears, nose and throat) checkups in the future, too.”
Ruaro is encouraging artists to be more vigilant about their health—especially the seniors, she said, who can be quite stubborn. “They insist they’re still young and strong!” said the former vocalist of Pu3ska and Brownbeat All-Stars.
She elaborated: “Some older musicians have this die-if-you-must attitude. We hope to enforce preventive measures and start thinking long term, so we don’t have to put up impromptu benefit shows for ailing colleagues.”
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