By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
March 14, 2014
NEW YORK – Who would have thought a band of siblings from the typhoon-ravaged city of Tacloban would be performing in front of hundreds at the prestigious Madison Square Garden in New York?
For the REO Brothers, it was an improbable journey to begin with.
“We never thought we would have the chance to perform there,” RJ Otic said. “All the bands, the celebrities, the musicians dream to be there on stage. So it still feels surreal for us.”
They almost didn’t make it to the “Pinoy Relief” benefit concert, after initially being denied a US Visa. If they had not decided to take a bus to seek refuge in Manila after the typhoon devastation, all this would not have been possible.
Inspired by their story and their music, talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz – who became famous after his appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show – invited the REO Brothers to guest at his popular show.
Dr. Oz said, “Just to be able to create some information that’s available to the web and to a US audience, part of it to make aware to everybody that it’s not done, that the Philippines is still struggling. There were thousands of people who lost their loves, hundreds of thousands who lost their livelihood and we want to be there to support you again.”
Guesting on the Dr. Oz show is another first on the REO Brothers’ improbable journey.
“We told him our story, what we experienced during the typhoon,” Raymart Otic said. “We also told him about rising up from this tragedy.”
“We feel like our dreams are coming true, so we’re very excited,” Ralph Otic said.
Meantime, Dr. Oz, who says he was trained by Filipino nurses, is hoping to visit the Philippines soon.
He says he is also thankful for the strong tradition of training nurses in the Philippines to become healers.
“The Filipino nurses taught me how to heal, they taught me how to care, they taught me how to look past the numbers at the person themselves. There’s a culture of the Philippines taking care of the person and not just the numbers they represent,” Oz said.
The REO Brothers’ guesting on the Dr. Oz show will be announced soon.
You may contact Don Tagala at email@example.com for more information.