• Concert for rebuilding Leyte, Samar churches

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    The voices of 150 choirs will resound at the Manila Cathedral on June 11, 2014 when Caritas Manila and renowned composer Ryan Cayabyab stage a benefit concert for rebuilding ruined churches and chapels in Yolanda-ravaged areas in Leyte and Samar.

    Fr. Anton Pascual, Caritas executive director, said the concert, dubbed “Rise! Rebuilding from the Ruins,” aimed to rebuild 20 churches and chapels ruined by the Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013 in Leyte and Samar.

    “The church, which is a symbol of refuge, gives hope and strength for the victims of Yolanda,” Pascual told a press conference on Friday at the Arzobispado de Manila.

    “We must remain in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are slowly recovering from the blows of Yolanda. The chapel has been a place of refuge for the survivors, symbolizing hope and giving them the reassurance that God is with us,” he added.

    Caritas said they hope to raise P20 million. Tickets are sold at P5,000.

    Among the music artists who will participate the concert are the Philippine Harmonic Orchestra, seven Philippine-based choirs and Voices of Aloha from the University of Hawai’i.

    The concert will include numbers by Basil Valdez, Dulce, Jed Madela, mezzo-soprano Clarissa Ocampo and tenor Ervin Lumaug, with the very special participation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

    Cayabyab, who was present at the press conference, said the concert will be his best way of giving back to the church as he has given a lot in the field of art and music.

    “I am able to contribute to give back the talent given to me,” Cayabyab said.

    Tagle pointed out that “sublime things, noble things and spiritual things” are best expressed in arts.

    “I believe that the reconstruction of the world and the salvation even of the world on a human level at least depend so much on artists. Artists can lead all of us to deep truths—which serves as foundations of civilization and of a community that knows what justice, truth and love and communication mean,” he said.

    “Those things cannot be taught by ideology, those can only be expressed by artists so who could be the best collaborator in the reconstruction of churches, lives and dreams and faith expressions—artists,” the cardinal added.

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