On Saturday, February 11th, Stephanie and I of forWord made our way to The Park’s Finest in Historic Filipinotown to join Kabataang maka-Bayan (KmB, or Pro-People Youth) and help continue the effort to raise funds for those who were and are still affected by Typhoon Sendong in the southern region of Mindanao, Philippines.
It started off slow, but eventually, it was a PACKED house that night. It is always empowering to see so many people who care together in one room. There was music provided by Mark of KmB and LA Sessions who brought a fresh mix of slow jams to emphasize that LOVE for the people and it was surely felt that night. The Black Noise performed with a full band for the first time and it was a different experience (in a good way) from the two-man set they used to do. Let’s just say it was a hard act to follow. And who had to follow them?
Well, KmB’s Spoken Word Collective composed of Janice Sapigao, Jay Eusantos, Michele Gutierrez, Stephanie Sajor, and I went in on the mic with some poetry. Jay opened it up with a poem, “Let’s Build,” about the typhoon’s destruction and the people’s resilience to start anew, fitting perfectly with the theme for the night. Stephanie and I debuted a new duo piece entitled, “From a Place We’ve Never Been,” about understanding struggle and giving support to those in need. Janice had a poem entitled, “Impossible” about how anything is possible and the importance of being responsible. Lastly, Michele closed off our set with a poem she read from a poet’s book that spoke about the experience of being in the homeland. So what if you missed this? Will you see this collective again? Most likely!
The night continued with a presentation facilitated by Kristine of KmB about Moro People’s CORE and how action taken in the community helped raise over $4,000 to support those in Mindanao! It was eye-opening to see images of the typhoon’s destruction and also inspiring to see how far the reach of the people can go with enough determination and vigor. Thank you to everyone who supported and continues to support our kasamas back home!
After the presentation, The Fighting Cocks ended the night with a medley of originals about love and the end of the world. This was my first time listening to them live and with their full band. No negatives. Loved their music!
By the way, didn’t I mention that this event was held at The Park’s Finest? You have not tasted BBQ if you have not tasted The Park’s Finest! If you are in the LA area, this is a must-see… must-taste family restaurant. More information here: http://www.theparksfinest.com/
Love for the people was in full effect! More events to come! I just wish I had more pictures… Nevermind, that’s what memories are for!
- Eddy M. Gana Jr.