The word evokes different responses from all sorts of people. However, on February the thirteenth, 9:00pm at the Music Hall in Metrowalk, love was given the special treatment by the local band Climax and friends with their first concert. Entitled Pag-iBIG, this was a benefit concert for children with cancer.
THE FACES OF LOVE
The show did not just feature Climax’s cover songs and guest numbers, it had a story to tell about the different aspects and experiences of love. There were medleys featuring OPM hits, pop, Broadway, and original compositions that gave heartfelt insights on romantic love that were both tragic and uplifting.
Each scene, from unconditional love to heartbreak and past loves, was highlighted by a brief introduction from an ever-present narrator perched high above the stage. Theater and voice actor Lexter Victorio dished poetry and hugot lines after several video clips from famous romantic movies projected on the wall. The audience did not shy away, enjoying catharsis from someone speaking on their behalf and were quite receptive to all the emotions evoked by the narration.
Guests Gio Levy, Snare Mata, Diana D, and Q expanded on the theme with sincerity and passionate performances. Snare’s performance brought back a little bit of the oldies, making Forever in My Heart and Get Here feel so good with a warm, confident voice. Gio Levy, while introduced by Max Guerrero, the vocalist of Climax, as “his personal Jericho Rosales,” sounded more like a local John Mayer who could actually be understood, putting a lyrical spin on a medley of songs both foreign and local. Diana D came in with an original song and showed the crowd she was both passionate with her music as well as sweet to the crowd. Q York duo Flava Matikz and Knowa Lazarus made a good show of quick wit and a mastery of their craft by getting phrases from the audience (“I love you” and “ikaw na nga”) and incorporating it into their freestyle rap, with Stanley of Climax on drums. Their portion was capped off with a performance of their new single, The Philippine Dream, with Diana D.
The Pag-iBIG concert’s proceeds will go to Musikaramay’s support of the Cancer Ward kids of the National Children’s Hospital. According to Stanley, their drummer and spokesperson, they have been directly supporting these children for the past two years under the organization Musikaramay. They would serenade the children, their families, and staff in tandem with donations of food, clothing and small gifts.
Musikaramay was founded by the three original members of the Climax band, Max Guerrero, Stanley Seludo and Oman Peradilla, along with DJ Laila Chikadora of TV5 fame, born Jessica R. Asis. It started when the band Climax decided on October 2013 to convince the blind singers/performers begging at the Boni MRT station to take their place. The band sang for roughly two hours then gave all the proceeds to the blind musicians. And Musikaramay: Street Music with A Cause, was born.
Other artists such as Paulo Santos, Luke Mijares, Top Suzara, Freestyle, Mike Chan, Rouge, Thyro and Yumi, Q-York, Diana D, Gio Levy, Thor, Crib Band, Gail Blanco Viduya, Njel De Mesa and Zion Aquino have also been part of Musikaramay’s street performances and benefit concerts and they continue to join Climax in busking whenever they are available. The donations they’ve gathered were used to aid Bohol earthquake survivors, Tacloban victims of typhoon Haiyan and other sufferers of local natural disasters.
Eventually, the members of Musikaramay realized that they need not wait for calamities to serve and help others. Presently, they are putting 10 special children to school in Blessed Ville Special School, Carmona, Cavite. They also intend to have more scholars in the future and help out more groups such as the Aeta Community in Olongapo, the SAF 44 families and the kids with cancer of the National Children’s Hospital, who is also their first concert’s beneficiary.
Capping off the concert was the actual visit to the National Children’s Hospital, which was held on Valentine’s day, Feb.14, 2016.
The band Climax, the founders of Climaxians (Climax’s official fan club), members of PhilOzAm, and some Musikaramay friends spent their Sunday morning handing out food, toys, companionship, caricatures, and (of course) good music to the whole cancer ward of the National Children’s Hospital. The parents watched with both amazement and gratitude as their sick children received coloring books, crayons, food and drink, and a personal serenade by Max and his band.
It was a particularly emotional experience for many. Fans and friends of Climax realized that these children needed so much help, love, effort and time. Some of these kids had obvious physical deformities, some were bleeding and others were seemingly unmoving and permanently attached to their beds.
However, these small tokens of love and compassion left the patients and their guardians with smiles on their faces and a little more hope in their hearts. All in all, it was a wonderful hearts day for everyone, including the givers: the band of real-life superheroes who are willing to make a difference in their own special ways.