MANILA — A consummate artist who's performed on the big stage worldwide, Lea Salonga treated a room inside her home no different on Thursday, as she streamed an hour-long concert for the benefit of vulnerable sectors amid the coronavirus crisis.
Salonga is the latest in a dozens-long list of artists lending their voices to "Bayanihan, Musikahan," an online concert series that aims to raise funds for frontline workers, as well as the urban poor whose livelihood have been affected by the community quarantine.
The stage veteran channeled her theater background as she performed tunes from her Broadway outings, including "Gaman" from "Allegiance," and "The Human Heart" from "Once on this Island." The latter — along with "Bring Him Home" from "Les Miserables" (which she did not perform as part of its cast) — Salonga dedicated to healthcare workers and other frontliners.
Salonga also sang OPM classics including "Nais Ko," "Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal," "Sana Maulit Muli". She ended her stream fittingly with "Paraiso," about yearning for Earth's recovery.
In between her performances, Salonga shared updates on "Bayanihan, Musikahan's" fundraising progress. Since the program was launched on March 18, it has raised P22.3 million — and that's excluding the concerts that were streamed on Thursday.
Salonga's online concert alone raised over P100,000 in its first 10 minutes, then over half a million after half an hour, until it crossed P1 million before the show's end.
"That's amazing!" Salonga exclaimed.
"There's no such thing as too small of a contribution or a donation," Salonga said, "because when you pool all of these resources together, it becomes one whole big thing and so many people will be able to get the help that they need, the protection that they need."