Smart Bro concert in Davao gathers support for 'Yolanda' survivors

November 29, 2013 12:17 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 29 — Friends Rachel, Mharyiah, Jonah, Demz and April knew they had to see their ultimate idol Rico Blanco when he went to Davao for a concert last November 23.

But realizing that it was a benefit concert for the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda in Central Visayas, the five—who collectively call themselves “Ricolokoys” along with other Rico Blanco fans—banded together and determined which among their personal belongings they can donate to the relief operations.

The “Ricolokoys” then dropped off their donations during the Smart Bro Live and Loud benefit concert at Matina Town Square in Davao City, a musical event cum relief operations where Davaoeños showed their support for their kababayans affected by the recent disaster.

“We really wanted to see Rico, but we knew we also wanted to help,” said Jonah, 16, one of the youngest members of the Davao chapter of the “Ricolokoys.” “It was for a good cause, so we didn’t think twice about donating.”

Staged by Smart Broadband, Inc. (Smart Bro), a subsidiary of mobile leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), in partnership with TV5’s Alagang Kapatid Foundation, the benefit concert drew thousands of locals who rocked for a cause with rock icons Rico Blanco and Barbie Almalbis during the Davao leg of the concert series.

The charity auction organized during the concert fetched close to P50,000 from bids of concert-goers, with Barbie’s customized D&D guitar going out at the highest bid price of P30,000. Other items that went up for bids include Rico’s limited-edition Fiesto Bandido shirts and Koboi cap; Barbie’s Cool Cat distortion pedal and dress; and Raimund Marasigan’s H&M jacket.

Guests were also able to bid on exclusive Smart Bro items including an LTE Pocket WiFi device, a Samsung Galaxy Tab and a Google Nexus Tab. Barbie’s old and new albums were also sold at heavily discounted rates, the proceeds of which were also donated to the fund drive.

Acting as a drop-off point for donations, the benefit concert also gathered almost a hundred bags of donated food and clothing with the help of Davao Doctors Hospital, a medical facility partially owned by the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC). MedExpress, a large chain of drug stores in Davao, also donated medicines for the Yolanda survivors.

At some point during the lively concert, Barbie asked the concert-goers for a brief moment of silence for the families affected by the super typhoon.

Rico, meanwhile, offered a heartfelt song for the survivors to the tune of his 2009 anthem “Bangon,” a song he then wrote for those who bore the brunt of super typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

All the proceeds from the Smart Bro Live and Loud Benefit Concert will be turned over to Alagang Kapatid Foundation for its continuing relief and rehabilitation efforts in the Visayas and other areas ravaged by typhoon Yolanda. Volunteer employees form the PLDT and Smart offices in Davao helped in repacking and organizing the items for convenient transportation to affected areas.

The benefit concert is just part of the ongoing relief, rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts being undertaken by Smart and other companies in the First Pacific Group. Through the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan, the group has already raised more than P10 million in donations online and continues to receive more pledges from around the world through the recently launched global fund drive called HelpPH (www.help.ph). (PNA)

LAM/RTA-PR

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