Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ)

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Fundraising for Leyte disaster survivors and evacuees

Posted by casjcanada on April 1, 2006

“Rebuilding People’s Lives” concert all set for April 28

A community meeting  will be held by all concerned groups and individuals involved in this project, as well as interested members of the Toronto community.  The meeting  is on Saturday, April 22, 10:00 a.m. at  the Parkdale Library (main intersection Queen St. West and Dufferin  St. For info, call 416-461-3445).

The concert “Rebuilding People’s Lives,” is all set for Friday, April 28, 2006, 7 p.m. at Stephen Leacock Collegiate Auditorium, 2450 Birchmount Rd., Scarborough.  The concert is being held to raise funds for a food security livelihood project for the 470 vulnerable surviving families in the four villages most impacted by the mudslide in Ginsaugon, St. Bernard, Southern Leyte, Philippines.

The Philippine-based Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) will manage the project. CDRC is a community-based disaster management organization that has provided assistance to over three million Filipinos victimized by various disasters in the Philippines over the past 22 years.

CDRC will work with the survivors and evacuees in an agricultural livelihood project that will ensure food on the table for their families for at least one year.  CDRC will also work with them in building a long-term food security program through self-reliant environmentally appropriate agricultural production.  It will also train them in disaster awareness, mitigation and prevention strategies so as to prepare and equip themselves for future disasters. With the supervision of CDRC, assistance will directly go to the families in the form of rice, corn and vegetable seeds and farm equipment and technological know-how for environmentally sustainable agricultural production.

Organized by the Toronto-based Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ), Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC),  and the Kababayan Community Centre, with the participation of 21 other community groups, the concert will feature a performance by some of the Filipino community’s most talented musical artists.

Among the artists are Lilac Caña, Karen Tan, Kristine Tan, Josie de Leon, Chyrell Samson, Jenifer Camacho, Vonnie Beltran, Rodney Ronquillo, Jamir de la Paz, Zena Zagala, Melodious Vibes, Philippine Heritage Band, and the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians (MFFC) Performing Arts Group.  Kristine Tan is the show’s director while Karen Pascual Binaday is the production manager.

“We look forward  to presenting a riveting show that will keep the audience entertained throughout the performance,” says one of the artists during a rehearsal at the St John Polish Cathedral on Cowan Avenue, Toronto  which has generously donated rehearsal space for the performers.

The artistic and production groups, members of whom have graciously volunteered their time, resources and ideas for this cause, have been part of the weekly meetings held in the past few weeks to plan and coordinate various aspects of the concert.  Representatives of most of the 21 participating organizations who have been attending the regular meetings have volunteered to work on the committees formed for the concert.

The participating organizations working with CASJ, PIDC and Kababayan are: Lucena City Association, Justice for Jeffrey Coalition, Philippine Heritage Band, The Philippine Reporter, BALITA, Philippine Women Centre of Ontario, Concerned Filipinos of St. Anthony’s Parish, Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada, Asociation Negrense, Circulo Ilongo, Philippine Barangay Association of Toronto, First Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan, Anakbayan, Philippine Network for Justice and Peace, SIKLAB, Filipino Canadian Association of Simcoe, ADHIKA for Philippine Development Concerns, online magazine, Ontario Silliman University Alumni Association, Bulacan Community Association of Ontario, and Ang Negrosanon.

Meanwhile, the concert and its cause have generated the support of sponsors and donors in the community.

Among the Platinum sponsors are: PNB Remittance Company (Canada); Bloor East Village Health Centre and Dr. Francisco Portugal; APO Products Ltd. Importer & Distributor, Dr. Teodoro Tsang of Dentistry on Main street.  The Gold sponsors are: MBC Immigration Specialists; Belle Optical; RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Realtor Melanie Tacanay & Aziz Hafizy, Dr. Teodoro Tsang of Dentistry on Main St., and Mamann & Associates Immigration Lawyers.

Among the donors are: First Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan, Philippine Heritage Band, Melinda Rustia,, Kaakbay Financial Services, Elvira Arevalo, Danny Lee of Wah Sing Restaurant, Ariel Santos of RBC Residential Mortgages, Teresa Mendoza Torralba, Gloria Dumlao of Health Therapy Clinic, and Henry Araoag.

The concert has the in-kind assistance from Toronto Mayor David Miller, who has issued a call for everyone to support “Rebuilding People’s Lives.”

“On behalf of all Torontonians, I want to thank the organizers for their efforts and urge everyone to support the event. The Leyte Philippines mudslide disaster was a terrible tragedy and this concert will raise much needed funds for relief and rehabilitation for the victims,” Mayor Miller said in a recent media statement. (The Philippine Reporter, April 1-5, 2006).

The livelihood project itself was identified as a priority need by the survivors, based on the consultation conducted by the CDRC.

The CDRC project is also the beneficiary of the 4th CD launch concert by Lilac Caña, titled “I’ll be With You,” on Saturday, Earth Day, April 22, at The Assembly Hall (1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive, Toronto), where the CDRC mudslide project will be one of two beneficiaries, the other being Gawad Kalinga.

Tickets for “Rebuilding People’s Lives” are available at a cost of $20; and $30 per person.

Contacts for inquiries and tickets are: Edwin Mercurio (416) 709-7884; Hermie Garcia (416) 461-8694; Flor Dandal or Aguido de la Cruz at Kababayan Community Centre (416) 532-3888;the or


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