ARTESIA, Calif. – Each note, cord, and step is a story and a chance for hope as these Filipinos with Waraynon ties continue to recover from the tragedy of Typhoon Yolanda, one of the worst natural disasters in recent history.
“All the kids that are involved in the orchestra are the children of waraynon parents, so all our parents came from the same region in the Philippines. It’s pretty unique because you never heard of an original orchestra especially for Filipino Americans,” said Maxinne Vergara of WIN Orchestra.
Most of of these musical families have eastern visayan and tacloban roots and…they are part of the Wayaraynon Initiative Network or WIN.
Germaine Kempis, also a member of WIN Orchestra remarked, “We’re doing this for our families back home because I know my grandma is still there and even though I physically can’t be there for her I will still do my best to raise funds and help out as much as I can.”
After forming the WIN Orchestra in the wake of typhoon Yolanda, the group will be hosting its second fundraising effort this weekend in Cerritos, California.
“We felt the need to really come up with something like this so we can help the people in the Philippines in Tacloban,” pointed out WIN Orchestra’s music director, Melvin Corpin.
Corpin, along with other members of the group went to the Philippines earlier this year to participate in Pope Francis’ visit to Tacloban.
Corpin himself conducted during the papal mass.
Many of the musicians of WIN Orchestra perform for other orchestras, chorale groups, and dance troupes. But when they come together for their hometowns, it certainly becomes a more special performance.
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Melvin Corp in was my former classmate at Leyte Normal University.