Turning to the arts

By: - Columnist
/ 12:20 AM March 26, 2020

Enrique Gil (left) and Liza Soberano

They say that a crisis brings out the best and the worst in people. Over the last few days, this current coronavirus crisis has prompted a few of our foremost musical artists to come together (while still observing social distancing) for a cause. A few causes, to be exact, are happening at different times in different ways.

First, ABS-CBN’s “Pantawid ng Pag-Ibig,” a marathon event broadcast live on television, as well as via the network’s streaming sites. Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Sharon Cuneta, Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Vice Ganda, Sarah Geronimo, Matteo Guidicelli, Bamboo, Apl.de.ap, Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo, Liza Soberano, Enrique Gil, Jericho Rosales, Sam Milby, Erik Santos, Iñigo Pascual, Xian Lim, Darren Espanto, Lani Misalucha, Nyoy Volante and Jed Madela are only a few of the folks who participated by providing musical numbers, while others such as Kim Chiu, Edu Manzano, John Arcilla, Eula Valdes, Agot Isidro, Pokwang, Bea Alonzo, Piolo Pascual, Judy Ann Santos and Ruffa Gutierrez are among many others who gave messages of hope, support and urged viewers to donate.


Over P236 million was raised over the course of the evening, giving many of us hope that even the less fortunate members of society will get help weathering this current storm.

Ryan Cayabyab

Second, Bayanihan Musikahan, spearheaded by National Artist Ryan Cayabyab and songwriter Trina Belamide, a series of live performances streamed on Facebook Live by many different artists from many different genres of music. Thus far, Ryan, Bayang Barrios, Nyoy, Nino Alejandro, Reuben Laurente, Jazz Nicolas, Bullet Dumas, The Neocolours’ Ito Rapadas and Jimmy Antiporda, among others, have already performed, with Celeste Legaspi, Ice Seguerra, Jim Paredes, Lara Maigue and many more set to perform in the coming weeks.


Bayanihan Musikahan has raised over P9 million for the urban poor reached by the organizations, Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilyang Pangtawid, Likhaan and Caritas Manila.

Please sign on to the Bayanihan Musikahan Facebook page to get the artists’ schedules. It has been so much fun watching many of these incredible performers stream music from their homes. Sure, there have been a few tech glitches, but they’ve only served to add to the charm rather than take away from it.

And lastly, on Sunday evening in the US (Monday morning in Manila), for a few hours only, Rosie O’Donnell came out of talk show retirement to host a special episode of “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” Produced by Madam Secretary’s Erich Bergen (who also served as tech support for the evening), and directed by Broadway.com’s Paul Wonterek, Rosie called one Broadway star after another to either deliver a message or sing a song.

Rosie O’Donnell and the author (right) during the fundraiser for The Actors’ Fund

Among the luminaries who appeared are Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, Adrienne Warren, Jeremy Pope, Darren Criss, Billy Porter, Jordan Fisher, Katharine McPhee and David Foster, Shoshanna Bean, Kristen Chenoweth, Gavin Creel (who revealed that he might have COVID-19, which had many of us watching let out a gasp), Randy Rainbow, Sutton Foster, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Matthew Morrison, Barry Manilow and many more, all streaming from their basements, living rooms or, in the case of Adrienne, her bathtub.

This was a fundraising effort for the benefit of The Actors’ Fund, with around $600,000 raised. To everyone who donated, thank you!

A meme has been going around online saying something to the effect of the arts being what we’ll all turn to in this time of crisis, whether it’s watching the latest animated feature or an episode of the latest Koreanovela, listening to classical music, jazz or pop, or learning step by step how to do that current dance craze.

The arts and artists are coming through for us, bringing us comfort, solace and joy in this very uncertain, frightening time. Let’s be thankful that current technological advances have made all of this possible.


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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