While the quickest thinker’s reply to the above question will surely be the fact that actress Anne Curtis was able to fill the Big Dome up to the bleachers when she staged her dream-come-true concerts like ‘Total Performer’ Gary Valenciano has done since the ‘80s, The Manila Times shines the spotlight today on these famous personalities’ less glamorous side. That is, their commitment in reaching out to the less privileged.
Curtis and Valenciano are both active volunteers for Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund), who have since been appointed by the global organization as Celebrity Advocate for Children and National Ambassador respectively.
Usually working quietly in these capacities, the two big stars came out together for the first time to endorse and support a program that will bring much-needed health and nutrition to infants and young children in the country who have little to eat. Called Cebu Pacific and Unicef’s “Change for Good” program, the fundraising activity pledges to provide optimal health and nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a Filipino child, to begin from a mother’s pregnancy to the child’s second year of life.
Change for Good will initially be implemented aboard Cebu Pacific’s Manila hub starting July 1, before it is rolled out across the leading budget airline’s growing network. During mid-flight, after Cebu Pacific’s trademark games, the cabin crew will inform passengers of the program and invite them to make donations in envelopes provided by Unicef.
According to Curtis, she got to experience first-hand the first 1,000 days of life program in action during her first field visit to Yolanda-affected areas. She spent two days in different parts of Leyte where she took time to engage and interact with the province’s children and their families.
“I actually got to meet families who need the help the most. I got to meet pregnant mothers, new-born babies; I learned the importance of prenatal visits; the proper nutrition both mother and baby should have; down to the specific vitamins and minerals that will be good for them. “
The 31-year-old actress, who focuses on promoting Early Childhood Care and Development, shared that being Unicef’s celebrity advocate for children is a big opportunity for her to reach out and help change lives.
Just in February, Curtis released a book she authored entitled Anita the Duckling Diva. The short story is about a duckling who turned all shy after she was bullied while singing in front of an audience, but eventually proved she could be who she wants to be with the encouragement of her mother and friend.
The beautiful celebrity said she was happy because people had been tagging her photos of the book they bought on Instagram, whose entire sales will go to Unicef.
In 2015, Curtis, also with Unicef, created the “Heroes for Children Run” where she also donated all proceeds to the ‘1,000 Days’ campaign.
Meanwhile, OPM star Gary Valenciano, is overwhelmed by everything he has seen and experienced in travelling across the country to unprivileged areas and spend time with communities of less fortunate families.
Also known as Gary V., the singer is the first Unicef National Ambassador in the Philippines, and has been working with the organization since 1998.
“Whenever I go out for Unicef and get to talk to communities, parents and especially the children, it really does something to my heart every time,” Valenciano expressed.
“Children, when you see them face to face, that’s the only time you get to really understand how priceless and how precious it is to be able give them a chance, a change for good.” he added.
Valenciano revealed he is working on an album with songs that are inspired by his work with Unicef. And as a bonus, he announced that he has invited Anne Curtis to be part of this new recording.