10 | community My ONE Journey
Vol. 2 No. 7
No. 7 | April 2012 | www.kal
Blessed in Faith Bless Salonga
The ALFA Team. From le Millie Marcial-Phillips, Bless Salonga, Michelle Baltazar, Cita Hoersch, Violi Calvert, Nilda Carpo, Oliver Gadisda, Mitchell Badelles and Menchie Maneze. Back row from le , Mon Carpo and Jules Carpo. Not in photo are Tom Baena, Romy Cayabyab, Emma De Vera and Jimmy Pimentel. Photo by John Calvert.
f asked to verbalize how I felt last 17th of March, 2012, the result would be an explosion of words from overwhelmed, blessed, successful, elated, extremely thankful and more. But that night, what I will never forget is that we were ONE in spirit.
I’ve been talking about unselfishness, kindness and unity for a long time which has been absent in our society in awhile but for 2 nights/2 weeks/2months – we entered our new era; we have volunteers (amidst all the pessimism and a few arrogant claims) whose hearts were really in the right places, we have talents who have set aside their status and ones who stepped up of their comfort zone in the name of love and we have people donating their time, money and effort without thinking of recognition or getting anything in return. That night was a
testimony that with God’s blessings, everything is possible. It started with a small idea and we have been granted an awesome result and memories to warm my soul for a lifetime.
Here’s my ONE journey to share. Thank you ;)
Part 1: ONE SMALL DREAM
ONE Sunday morning, 18th December 2011 to be exact, my partner and I woke up to see a depressing news from a friend’s Facebook status. We really didn’t know what to say as our dear friend, Mitchell Badelles, have not only lost 5 cousins to the Washi Typhoon, he had
also recently lost family members and friends in the recent 12 months or so. We prayed for him and his family and also expressed our deepest sympathy; although we didn’t think that it would be good enough to heal his spirit. Our radio broadcast coincidentally fell on a Sunday. We thought it would be a perfect time to bring the whole family (Marc, Kristofer and Olivia Faith) using our airtime to greet our relatives and friends overseas and dedicate some Christmas songs. Around lunchtime, our friend Mitch rang to ask us if he can come with to the studio. We gladly welcomed his intention thinking it would be great for him to be with people right now after what happened. During the 2-hour program, we paid tribute to those who fell victim to the furious flood. That ONE Christmas day, I thought about our friend and the people of the Southern Philippines. I searched for articles about the event and a headline “Thousands spend Christmas in Evacuation Centres” caught my attention. By that time, according to Inquirer News, “death toll was at ONE thousand, 330,000 people were displaced and 69,000 huddled in evacuation centres”.
Here we were, I thought, going to Westin Hotel located at ONE Martin place to spend our Christmas weekend in the CBD spending a fair amount of money to spoil ourselves and thousands of people were in centres possibly
feeling lost, horrified and perplexed. I was in the perfect location, it was the perfect timing to shop but I felt guilty spending because at the back of my mind I have a picture of this parent who died during his sleep cuddling his child unaware of their fate. The thought gave me chills and I felt we had to do something. Meanwhile, I wasn’t aware that my partner was already thinking of doing something with his band to raise funds as they did in the past. Unfortunately, one of the main members was extremely busy due to the nature of his work. So when I approached him, we thought we’d involve our Mitchell (as this is something close to his heart) and asked him how we can help. The idea of doing a concert came about. We had one small vision – to help.
Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Part 2: ONE TEAM It was ONE New Year’s eve when a Filipino Press group in Sydney were holding one of our monthly get-togethers “Kapihan” when Oliver Gadista, my partner, heard Emma De Vera planning a concert for the Washi victims as well. We thought, we had the same idea why not unite as ONE Team and make it ONE successful fund-raising event.
On the 3rd of January, we had a meeting attended by Tom Baena (Radio Bandilla Producer) and
his wife, Romy Cayabyab (publisher of e-manila and Filipino Australian), Menchie Maneze (Ang Kalatas columnist), Nilda and Mon Carpo (co-hosts of Radio Dalisay), Mitchell Badelles (co-founder of The MOB radio) and Millie Marcial-Phillips (publisher of Ang Kalatas) to talk about possibilities and strategies. The initial target date was 31 of March but Raquel Pellero mentioned that they have something on that weekend so we decided to move it earlier. The initial plan of holding a concert was changed to launching an EP (elongated play CD) or an album after Raquel also brought to our attention that there are 3 other concerts being planned in the first quarter of the year. The initial target was to raise $10,000 but because we now have only 2 months to do complete the project forcing us to get small to medium-sized venues, we reduced it to $5,000. The race against time started with a zero-budget. The first week was the planning stage and it was quite difficult as people have day jobs and we only correspond via e-mails. By the latter part of the second week, we have secured the first venue, started contacting our network of friends and possible sponsors to fund the CD production and poster printing. Oliver meanwhile has started drafting the group song and Violi came on board after coming back from her holidays.
By the third week, the Sponsorship Team, Mitchell Badelles, Menchie Maneze
and led by Emma De Vera started looking at costs and choosing the organization we will be donating the proceeds. The Marketing Team; Romy Cayabyab, Millie Marcial-Phillips, Nilda Carpo and led by Violi Calvert started distributing posters, doing press releases and contacting endorsers. The Production Team; Oliver Gadista, Eugene Wong and led by Mon Carpo started planning. Tom Baena, Jimmy Pimentel, Josie Pines were on stand- by for support. Yours truly just became the Over-all Support and Coordinator by default—designing posters, tickets, CD covers & our logo, creating the websites, drafting the programs and writing the scripts. We now have also secured a second venue.
And so our ALFA team was born! ALFA stands for Artists & Linked Friends in Action.
Psalm 133:1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
Part 3: ONE THEME & ONE TALENTED BUNCH
Towards the last week of January, Oliver started contacting, screening and scheduling artists while composing and re-writing old songs at the same time. He wanted to make sure that the song matches the artists and artists give justice to the songs. I gave him a mammoth task of restricting the songs within the theme of love, hope and faith and he further challenged himself by varying the genre of all the songs. By the first week of week of February, the artists were summoned to record.
It was a crazy schedule, I hardly saw him in six weeks. He was like a “mad scientist” trapped in his studio. He woke up very early to do what he needed done in his studio, went to work, came home, went straight to the studio and slept late. Although Oliver is one talented musician, admittedly I was a bit nervous as I knew it wasn’t an easy task. But Oliver and the talents were to set to make history.
roughly recorded (the voice and the instruments) and e-mailed the songs prior to the recording. The artists have to learn their songs in a few days, in some cases a
day before recording or even change the melody the same day. At one point, he had 4 artists scheduled to record in one day giving a few of them as little as 2 hours to do so. Apparently, a proper vocal recording could take a minimum of a day. Every time he made me listen to their songs, it gives me the shivers as the artist nailed his/her parts and connected the message of the song to me. Because of the limited time, Oliver only managed to get Erwin Querubin and Paul Noriel to do some guitars and bass for some songs and he was left with no choice but to do the rest of the instrumentals. The next big task was to mix and master the songs for the launch on March 3, 2012. Two weeks after all recoding (instruments and back-up vocals) were completed. It was just enough time for the launch. Matter of fact, Oliver was mastering the night before the CBD launch.
I have to highlight that Rachel Wong and Jason Gustaff never sang or performed in front of the public before, but because of their willingness to help, they conjured the courage to record for the sake of love and generosity. And the final products were simply amazing!
The talents were so great that the group song came out so well even though they have never been together, at any time, in the same room. Each individual parts/lines were recorded separately. For the second launch, the band practiced once in less than 2 hours and had no time to rehearse with the artists until the actual launch.
1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Part 4: ONE JOURNEY While Oliver and the artists were busy with the music part, the rest of the ALFA team started selling tickets and promoting the cause via their individual radio stations and mediums. Violi, Mitchell and Nilda, in particular started coming more often to the ONE HQ (2-3 times a week) to distribute posters, contact people we needed for the program and shopping for raw materials for the CD. The second week was tiring but fun—we had people See ONE, page 18
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