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A celebration of life, solidarity, camaraderie

Stars jamming (from left): Ogie Alcasid, Noel Cabangon, Frenchie Dy, Gloc-9, Richard Poon, Sitti, Princess Velasco, Nyoy Volante, Liza Diño, Aiza Seguerra, Bayang Barrios and Ebe Dancel

Stars jamming (from left): Ogie Alcasid, Noel Cabangon, Frenchie Dy, Gloc-9, Richard Poon, Sitti, Princess Velasco, Nyoy Volante, Liza Diño, Aiza Seguerra, Bayang Barrios and Ebe Dancel

Moy Ortiz and Lea Salonga

Moy Ortiz and Lea Salonga

For close to three hours, on a stage with nary a single prop, some of the country’s best music artists performed to pay tribute to the 44 police commandos who perished in the Mamasapano clash last January, and to lend a hand to the families left behind.

Held recently at The Theatre at Solaire in Parañaque City, the fundraiser, “Jammin’ for Help!” wasn’t less a commemoration of death than a celebration of life.

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“In our own little way, we hope to make a difference in the lives of the families of the ‘Fallen 44’ or, more aptly, the ‘Brave 44,’” said Martin Nievera, who headlined the show with Lea Salonga and Aiza Seguerra—two of the main driving forces of the event.

“Everything will go straight to the families,” Nievera announced. “There will be no middlemen.”

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For the show mounted by Fullhouse, more than 40 singers and musicians waived their talent fees; Solaire Resort and Casino allowed the use of its performance venue for free; and TicketWorld did not charge for its services.

A kind of hush

The concert began with an incredibly powerful moment: A hush fell over the audience, as the artists—in simple T-shirts with symbols of the Philippine flag—marched to the microphone to recite the names of the 44 policemen.

What followed was a night of awe-inspiring talent and infectious joy brought about by this formidable lineup: Ryan Cayabyab, Gerard Salonga, apl.de.ap, Gloc-9, Erik Santos, Ogie Alcasid, Frenchie Dy, Richard Poon, Angeline Quinto, Basti Artadi, Ryan Gallagher, Dulce, Rachel Alejandro and Nino Alejandro.

Also doing their share were Cara Manglapus, Carla Guevara, Noel Cabangon, Jett Pangan, Jon Santos, Sitti, Ebe Dancel, Bo Cerrudo, Christian Bautista, Nyoy Volante, Arnee Hidalgo, Fitri Cerado, Liza Diño, Princess, Bayang Barrios, The CompanY, The FORTEnors, Marvin Querido and Jimmy Antiporda.

Frenchie Dy, Angeline Quinto, Carla Guevara

Frenchie Dy, Angeline Quinto, Carla Guevara

Everyone remained onstage throughout, feeding off each other’s energy—cheering, dancing, clapping, singing along with whoever was on center stage. They laughed a lot, too, mostly thanks to Salonga and Nievera’s incessant banter. They sang of solidarity, camaraderie, love for country and even longing. And when performances so stirring were delivered, they stood up in appreciation.

Noel Cabangon, Richard Poon, Frenchie Dy, Sitti, Nyoy Volante, Liza Diño, Princess Velasco and Aiza Seguerra enjoy a number together.

Noel Cabangon, Richard Poon, Frenchie Dy, Sitti, Nyoy Volante, Liza Diño, Princess Velasco and Aiza Seguerra enjoy a number together.

Some of the most memorable numbers were Salonga’s impassioned, pitch-perfect rendition of “Back to Before”; Pangan’s rockin’ performance of “Salamat” which brought the fans to their feet; and Seguerra, Cabangon and Barrios’ exquisite take on “Walang Hanggang Paalam.”

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The Company shares stage with Bo Cerrudo (third from left) and Jon Santos (fourth from left).

The Company shares stage with Bo Cerrudo (third from left) and Jon Santos (fourth from left).

Dulce, Gallagher and The FORTEnors’ “The Prayer” was uplifting, and the good feeling during the sing-along of “Kaleidoscope World” was heightened by cell phone lights that looked like fireflies in the dark. “Real love accepts, believes, forgives and hopes,” Seguerra said.

Janice Javier and apl.de.ap

Janice Javier and apl.de.ap

But lest everyone forget who the real stars of the show were, Seguerra asked some of the “Brave 44’s” family members who were there to stand up and be recognized.

Martin Nievera (left) with Rachel and Nino Alejandro

Martin Nievera (left) with Rachel and Nino Alejandro

“We know that you’re going through a lot. But we hope that what we’re doing now gives you a bit of joy. Thank you,” the singer told the bereaved, as the crowd rose and feted them with a round of roaring applause.

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TAGS: Aiza Seguerra, Angeline Quinto, Apl.de.ap, Bayang Barrios, Bo Cerrudo, Carla Guevara, Ebe Dancel, Frenchie Dy, Gloc-9, Janice Javier, Jon Santos, Lea Salonga, Liza Diño, Mamasapano Clash, Martin Nievera, Moy Ortiz, Nino Alejandro, Noel Cabangon, Nyoy Volante, Ogie Alcasid, Princess Velasco, Rachel Alejandro, Richard Poon, SAF 44, sitti, The CompanY, tribute concert
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