Busking for a cause: Baguio group performs to raise funds for Ompong survivors

Jacq Parairo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2018 09:58 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2018 04:47 PM

 

MANILA - Musicians performed along Session Road in Baguio City this week to raise funds for hospital expenses of survivors of Typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut), which ravaged northern Luzon over the weekend.

The event, aptly called "Binnadang," the Ibaloi word for "bayanihan," encouraged artists to join relief efforts by showcasing their talents through busking. 

"It's an organic movement. Just had the idea since we are a UNESCO creative city. Busking is widely accepted overseas, especially in Europe. Since we have the talent, might as well use it for good," Binnadang organizer Richard Dean Basa told ABS-CBN News in an online interview.

Performers had to proceed with caution as the event was anticipated to cause pedestrian traffic. 

"There's no busking law in Baguio but city personnel and [the] PNP (Philippine National Police) seem to have tolerated the group due probably to their empathy of who the beneficiaries are," local bookstore proprietor and relief operations volunteer Maricar Docyogen said. 

"Someone approached us and cautioned us, it may cause pedestrian traffic so we asked other volunteers to make sure people don't linger in front of the area."

In the spirit of "carrying each other's burden," Basa called on other creatives to join their performance. 

"Anyone can join. No one is paid to perform anyway. It's our bit of help as artists for our beloved brethren in the most need," he explained.

 

The 3-day event, held from September 19 to September 21, has collected P25,283 as of this writing, mostly donated by concerned individuals who passed by.

"Most buskers are amazed how they are able to have a good collection, maybe the spirit of sharing is so fired up," Docyogen said. 

"Many people stopped [by] to say nice words of encouragement and praise to the buskers. Most people gave P20 bills. Students are the most number who stopped [by] to drop money in the case."

 

"Our hope is that many others will follow suit so we can help more affected people. We can organize independent busking events in our localities," Basa said. 

"Kung tayong lahat gagawa ng kaya natin, kakayanin nating lahat 'yan. Look at all the volunteers in various areas. Kung lahat tayo ganun, magiging maunlad ang ating bayan. Bayan bago sarili. Diyos bago bayan. Ang pagsisilbi sa bayan at sa kapwa ay pagsisilbi sa Diyos."

(If all of us do what we can, we'll be able to handle this. Look at all the volunteers in various areas. If we will all be like that, our nation will progress. Nation before self. God before nation. Serving the country and our brethren is serving God.)

Ompong wrought havoc across northern Luzon over the weekend, causing devastation in the summer capital after dumping more than a month’s worth of rainfall.