Fil-Ams use passion to help needy Philippine children

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – It was a night of giving through music and good deeds at the ABS-CBN International Headquarters recently.
Twenty-one children of all ages took part in a concert called “Through the Eyes of a Child” — all to benefit ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Bata Program, which helps poor and abused children in the Philippines.
Choir director Noel Adricula said, as young as they are, these kids know they’re singing for a good cause.  “To provide opportunity if you can because a lot of people made it successfully because people gave them opportunities,” he pointed out.
These young singers, non-Filipinos included, said it makes them sad knowing there are children thousands of miles away who desperately need help.
Eight-year old Danica Navales said, “I feel sad because they don’t have any food and if they don’t survive, they will die.”
“I feel bad for them because they have nothing to do and nothing to have,” expressed 7-year old Kara Luayon.
In their own way, these kids said they’re glad they’re making a difference.  “I feel good that I’m helping out people who need help,” stated 9-year old Jose Nunez.
Thirteen-year old Rebecca Cabagbag added, “It’s always heartwarming to know that we can use our talent for good and for other kids who are less fortunate than we are.”
Meantime, about 250 golfers took part in the 5th Bayanihan Golf Tournament held in two golf courses in Brentwood, California recently to give back $25,000 to the needy children in the Philippines through Bantay Bata.
Gabby Lopez, Chairman of ABS-CBN Corporation said, “We’re very grateful. It’s the first time I’ve ever attended the Bantay Bata golf tournament and I was quite surprised to see the number of people that attend this event and it’s grown larger and larger apparently every year.”
Besides the entry fees, the organizers also raised funds through a raffle and auction.
Christopher Bautista, host of the Bayanihan Golf Tournament said, “It’s a little costly for each player to pay $125 per entry fee but we got a lot of friends and supporters who joined this year and it’s just going to grow bigger the next time around.”
“Deep inside, these people joined not only to compete and get the trophies but to be able to share what they have through Bantay Bata,” remarked Johnny Francisco, host of Bayanihan Golf Tournament.
For these Filipino Americans, what makes their passion even more meaningful is knowing that they can use it to help others in need.
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