Kabataan Night 2: Ito Ang Kultura Mo! Celebrating Youth Culture and Volunteerism Towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
Written by: Mr. Emsie Reyes, KN2 program manager
Philippines, December 6th 2005 - It would take more or less a month of preparation, brigades of emails, a rollercoaster of highs and lows and unfaltering faith for the youth to organize open-mic night type of a mini-concert. At least this was the case for Voice of the Youth Network's Kabataan Night 2 (KN2): Ito Ang Kultura Mo! (Youth Night 2: This is Your Culture!), which aims to celebrate Filipino youth culture and volunteerism towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. And what a celebration it really was.
Through KN2, which was held December 6 at the artsy Conspiracy Café in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City, VOTY has once again proven that the innate spirit of volunteerism of the Filipino Youth would not fail. The event we call KN2, is not probably everything we've planned but it turned out even better than we expected. Of course, it is risky to hold such an event, with the last minute cancellations of scheduled performers, technical (not wardrobe) malfunctions and other unavoidable circumstances. But seeing all those who came and who took part of the event leaving with smiles on their faces just made all our efforts worth it.
"Expect the unexpected." That's how VOTY founder Choy Gonzales described what's in store for rest of the night. And he was right.
VOTY's very own student volunteers Ryan Rivera and Resty Flores, (R&R) unwillingly became the first act. As if the pressure of being the first on the spotlight is not enough, their CD didn't play (it's not pirated, ok). What followed was the most brazen act of doing a live acapella duet of a classic patriotic Filipino song with an RNB twist. They did well.
Up next was Mr. Hussein Macarambon of the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu City Japan; doing his rendition of the song, "Amen Omen". He certainly looked like a pro, singing and strumming the guitar. It was an honor for our Moslem friends to have participated in the event.
Adding more vibrant beats, sounds, rhythms and grooves to night are the six guys of Sruvaleh Drum Circle. They best describe their creative type of music as "an abstract language of love to the monochromatic funk and mixed - cultural world of music in the Philippines." You just thought that the night couldn't get any better than their "good vibrations" and the audience just couldn't get enough of them. It's just amazing how these young guys, who are not full time musicians, show so much passion about their talents and music that truly revive our indigenous culture.
Of course, girl power won't be left behind. Move over Alicia Keys because here comes 14 year - old, Jerianne Mae Templo who already had a share of the spotlight when she made it through the Grand Finals of a popular singing contest on TV, "Search for the Star". We're just confident that her star would shine in its rightful place before we know it.
Then came to the delight of the audience is our favorite celebrity volunteer, Ms. Maybelyn dela Cruz, whose beauty is only surpassed by the beauty of her heart. Not everybody knows that this young actress who has grown right before our very eyes is a full-time volunteer for the Philippine Red Cross and she founded Youth and Elderly for Service. She's talented, friendly and a proud volunteer… what more can you ask for? (She sings very well too, by the way).
But behind a good actor is a good voice talent and we got Choy to personify that. To those who don't know yet, our founder actually is a voice talent who gives life to popular TV and anime characters, even politicians and other prominent personalities. It's a rare treat to watch a man with dozens of voices in action onstage. He now manages a voice talent agency, Creativoices, where all the action, rather, the talk is.
There can never be songs without poems. And no one could have done a better poetry recital than Jovanie Nalzaro of the Thespian Society of Philippine Normal University. He's an apparent heir to Balagtas after delivering "Sa Gitna ng Ulos ay May Pagsibol."
16 year-old Richard Mallari deserved a standing ovation as well for his heart-wrenching ballads. He's just a proof that Filipinos are really good singers.
Local bands rule the airwaves and music scene these days and it is just amazing that more and more talents are yet to be discovered. And one of the bands that would soon rock our world is Kala, which is set to launch an album dedicated to the Filipino Youth. They are certainly cool - advocates of the MDGs. Like what Ion, VOTY Executive Director and the main - man host said, it's great to see a band campaigning for the MDGs. They are U2 in the making, perhaps.
But boys don't rule the "band" bandwagon. It's definitely an arena for the girls too. Liquid Candy gave a female touch for the soothing style of Orange and Lemons, while Mediartrix would give MYMP a run for their money. Girls leading bands are definitely double treats!
Sruvaleh Drum Circle returned with a couple of rounds more. Did I say that the audience just couldn't get enough of them? Awesome!
The best way to cap the exciting night is to have everyone singing the anthemic "Pinoy Ako" and the Tayo-tayo Song of the Philippine MDG Album by the United Nations Development Program. These tracks are certainly candidates for the "last song syndrome".
KN2 won't be possible without the trust and support of Conspiracy Café; United Nations Volunteer Philippines, our main partner and other organizations which include the Masonic District Lodge No. 5 of the most worshipful grand lodge of free and accepted Masons of the Philippines, particularly District Deputy Grandmaster VW Nash Cordova; Philippine Resources for Sustainable Development (PRSD) through its founding chairman, Robert Sagun; Centralized Decentralized Business Network President Christopher Bernardo and Lion's Club International through Ms. Evangeline "Nenet" Ang. KN2 is also supported by YMDG and Youth Power Against Drugs (YPAD).
Oops, KN2 didn't end there - portions of the funds would be used for a Christmas outreach program. It's much fulfilling to have fun for a cause. Thank you to all the volunteer performers who responded to our emails and invitations. To all those who celebrated with us, thank you very much for making the night successful… Until next year!!!
For more details about the Voice of the Youth Network's Kabataan Night 2 (KN2): Ito Ang Kultura Mo! (Youth Night 2: This is Your Culture!) and to find out how you can get involved, visit their web site.
Date Created: 1/9/2006 6:05:47 AM