US and PH music stars unite in NY for 'Yolanda' benefit concert

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 7, 2014

NEW YORK – On March 11, Tuesday, a prominent Filipino-American family in New York will bring together some of the biggest American celebrities and Filipino stars who made it in America on one prestigious stage—the Madison Square Garden.

Headlining the show is multi-award winning singer/actress Jennifer Hudson.

The all-star Filipino lineup includes American Idol finalist Jessica Sanchez, Apl de Ap of Black Eyed Peas, and international singing sensation Charice.

Also joining the stage are Pentatonix, Plain White T’s and A Great Big World.

Special guests include the famous Dr. Oz, Filipino-American actor Dante Basco and EGOT winning songwriters Robert Lopez and wife Kristen Anderson Lopez.

The star-studded “Pinoy Relief” concert is a fundraiser to benefit the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines.

“I think it’s really going to be a cool mix of very relevant contemporary US talent with Filipino-Americans, with a dash of Filipino called the Reo Brothers” Filipino-American Tony Alvarez, co-chair of the event, said. “And we’re gonna be performing at the Madison Square Garden’s Theater, over 5,000 folks.”

Behind this fundraiser is the Alvarez family, led by Manila natives Gail and husband Tony—a co-founder of Alvarez and Marsal—a successful New York based management consulting firm that focuses on crisis management and corporate advisory.

They are hoping to raise about $5 million to build semi-permanent structures such as homes and schools for the town of Guiuan in Samar. Administrative costs and overhead will be paid for by its board members.

“To be in a position to be of help, to be in a position to be a catalyst to bringing money, it is a special blessing,” Alvarez said. “We reserve a significant portion of our charitable work to the Philippines because Gail and I, that is our home country.”

Alvarez says the “Pinoy Relief” funds will also be used to provide livelihood for the fishermen of Guiuan by building them boats.

“I went to the fishing villages nearby Tacloban and I would stop in the car and ask people, ‘What do you guys need’?” Alvarez said. “I would hear ‘I just want my boat, I don’t want to rely on others for my food’. So that stuck in my mind and that’s why we wanted to do the boats.”

Tickets for “Pinoy Relief” benefit concert at the Madison Square Garden on March 11 are available online at

You may contact Don Tagala at for more information.

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