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Monday, July 22, 2024

Campus call

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Campus call

It’s a given that a musical act should entertain. It’s a step further when you perform to voice out a cause. 

That moving-up feeling was certainly in the air during the first leg of Listen Campus Tour last Aug. 30 at Far Eastern University grounds in Morayta, Manila. Freshmen being welcomed in this year’s Tatak Tamaraw experienced a more meaningful acquaintance party than what an advocacy-less gathering could have offered. 

Campus call
Kean Cipriano leads his band Callalily during the first leg of Listen Campus Tour held in Far Eastern University (FEU) in Manila last Aug. 30. 

Besides, it’s the essence of a concert tour series aiming “to drive positive social change and foster greater awareness on the growing social concerns through music and dialogue.” It’s playing for a purpose, clapping for a change. 

“Mental wellness is something to address especially in these times where one can easily feel alone or unfortunate, ironically, even in the hold of social media. As artists, we want to tell fans and everyone na hindi ka nag-iisa,” shared Kean Cipriano, lead singer of Callalily, which served as the night’s main act. 

At one point during his band’s rocking set, he asked the crowd to get rid of their mobile phones and immerse themselves in the moment. It was an act met with cheers, especially for youthful spectators hoping to belong. 

Callalily and other well-received acts, namely, Syd Hartha, Nathan & Mercury, Hulyo, Arthur Nery, Dionela, and Fern, were all in for the night’s topic as Listen Campus Tour identified mental wellness as “very much relevant to the times.” 

Organizational partners Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) were both ready to impart messages on the said issue. DOH likewise felt necessary to discuss the recently approved Mental Health Law and how it would provide affordable and accessible mental health services for the youth, while PMHA prepared a short video presentation tackling programs to those in need of support. 

Musicians themselves have long been victims of unaddressed mental health condition. The band Hulyo expressed that songwriting is an exercise on healing the mind. Kean himself half-joked that he himself is still figuring out how to handle life in spite of fame and success.

And then the youth at large is more susceptible to depression and suicide more than ever. With music being a young person’s ever-dependable tool to keep up with the cruel world, it makes sense gathering for this event some professional, talented acts with the charm and ability to inspire people, in particular, fans they can empower to channeling negativity to positivity. 

With Listen Campus Tour now launched, a plan to conduct special workshops is revealed to be in the pipeline, with select artists mentoring students in universities on how to use music to express themselves. There’s also the Listen Campus Online, a five-to-ten-minute crash course on music reaching out to the public.

Key verb is listening. In the world of music and life in general, doing this properly is making the best effort to make reality sound right. 

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