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Concert for Leyte mudslide victims set for April 28

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Concert for Leyte mudslide victims set for April 28
TORONTO–A fundraising concert for the affected families of the Feb. 17 Leyte mudslide will be held on April 28 (Friday) at the Stephen Leacock Collegiate Auditorium (Birchmount Rd. north of Sheppard East) in Scarborough, Ontario.

The mudslide in Leyte buried Guinsaugon, a village in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte, Philippines. More than 400 families in Guinsaugon lost everything, their loved ones, their homes and source of economic livelihood. More than 1,000 families from the same and three other villages were moved to evacuation centers to avoid potential mudslides in their villages. They are all suffering under conditions of physical and economic dislocation.

Performing artists for the concert include Lilac Caña, Mikey Bustos, Emil Zarris and Philippine Heritage Band. Other musical artists and groups are also being considered and invited. Karen Pascual Binaday heads the group that coordinates the participation of the performers.

Tickets are $20 or $30 per person. Sponsors may pay more (minimum of $100) and will have wide exposure in the promotions and in the show itself.

Cash donations for the fundraising project are welcome and donors of $15 or more will be issued tax receipts for income tax purposes . (Please see contact persons at end of this story.)

Main organizers of the benefit concert are Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ), Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC) and Kababayan Community Centre. Participating organizations in Toronto are Leyteño Association of Ontario, Lucena City Association, Justice for Jeffrey Coalition, Philippine Heritage Band, The Philippine Reporter, BALITA, Philippine Women Center of Ontario, Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada, Asociacion Negrense, Ang Negrosanon, Philippine Barangay Association of Toronto, First Filipino Association of Vaughan, Anakbayan, Philippine Network for Justice and Peace, SIKLAB, Filipino Canadian Association of Simcoe and Surrounding Areas and online magazine.

The funds to be raised in the concert will be sent to the Philippine-based Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) which will undertake a livelihood assistance project that will directly benefit the 470 most affected families in the four barangays (villages) in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte who are now in evacuation centers.

The project is called “Recovering from Disaster: A Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Program in Guinsaugon, Cabac-an, Ayahag and Sagangon”. It is supported by the Office of the Mayor of the City of Toronto. Mayor David Miller, in a meeting with leaders of the Filipino community in Toronto last March 8, committed to help the fundraising concert in Toronto and the CDRC livelihood assistance project for the Leyte disaster victims. He mentioned possible assistance in the form of human resources and farm implements for the CDRC project.

CDRC is a 22-year old disaster response and management non-government agency with a nationwide network of regional centers and people’s organizations in the Philippines. It is licensed and accredited by the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) to implement relief, rehabilitation, preparedness and mitigation programs. It has served three million Filipinos in disaster areas since 1984 and receives support and works with humanitarian organizations and foreign governmental agencies.

Among the partners and supporters of CDRC are Diakonie Emergency Aid-Germany, AA, German Foreign Ministry, Dutch InterChurch Aid, Christian Aid, Caritas Switzerland, Dutch Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, European Commission Humanitarian Office, European Commission Delegation to the Philippines, UNICEF, and Oxfam Great Britain.

According to the CDRC Project Proposal, the following are the specific aims of the program:

1. “Provide economic livelihood assistance in the form of agricultural support to 470 most vulnerable and most affected families in barangays Guinsaugon, Cabac-an, Ayahag and Sagangon and consequently contribute to food production and sustainability for the affected families.

2. “Build up the community members’ capacities in the four barangays in disaster preparedness and mitigation through education and training using the community-based disaster management approach.”

The project will help ensure that there is food on the table of the 470 families for a period of at least one year and it will significantly help them rebuild their lives from the devastation brought by the disaster.

For further inquiries, please contact Edwin Mercurio (416) 709-7884, Hermie Garcia (416) 461-8694 or (416) 500-8694 of Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ) or Jun Enverga, president of Philippine Indepedence Day Council (PIDC) or Karen Pascual Binaday.

Email inquiries may be sent to or to

For tickets, call the contact persons above or the above-mentioned organizations. Interested sponsors are welcome.

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