Fil-Am YouTube stars unite vs. bullying

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 2, 2014

TORRANCE, Calif – Music can be a reflection for the soul the good and the bad.

In this case, Fil-Am musician Brenna Bates and his band above seclusion like to express some life experiences, including being bullied.

“All of us were bullied it was called above seclusion because we were basically above secluding people into groups because that’s how people got bullied,” said Bates.

Before he became a renowned YouTube anime pianist followed by hundreds of thousands, Philippine born Ishmael Ramos was also a bullying victim as he perfected his craft.

“The anime culture in general is very unique it’s very extreme so when I was a kid I watched anime. I was bullied in high school middle school and as a musician we’re very emotional,” recalled Ramos.

They will join other acts popular in the anime community at this Thursday’s AniPiano at the Downtown Los Angeles Club Nokia.

Proceeds from the upcoming AniPiano concert event will help fund Jade Against Bullying, a campaign that educates on and prevents bullying, founded by a Filipino American Jade Archer, a once suicidal bullying victim turned advocate.

“I really want to expand against bullying. I really want to open up a term center one day where kids can be who they are and express themselves and I want to see bullying go away, and I know that money can’t buy that. I know it’s the kindness in people’s hearts that can have that happen,” said Archer.

This benefit concert comes as several cities are trying to find ways to combat bullying within their own communities.

Last week Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. introduced an anti bullying ordinance, but passing laws to punish bullies can be difficult. The heavily Pinoy populated city of Carson was unsuccessful in criminalizing bullying last May.

An appeals court this week struck down an ordinance in Albany County, NY because language in the law aimed to criminalize bullying violates the constitution.

“Nothing is being done and it’s just so heartbreaking to see because if one city can pass it, it would make such an impact because you’re going to think people are listening to you and lot of kids don’t think that. But I just want one city to adopt it and pass it and have people understand that bullying is not ok,” said Archer, who will be helping the City of Carson rewrite it’s failed bullying ordinance hoping the revised bill can be passed within the next few months.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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