Ben&Ben to hold online benefit concert for ‘Balik Eskwela’ project

Ben&Ben continues to support vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19 through Balik Eskwela: PuhonPart 2. The nine-piece collective is slated to perform their massive hits for a one-hour live show on October 4, 2020, Sunday at 5pm onwards via simultaneous streams on their official Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

Following the unprecedented success of Puhon: A Ben&Ben FB Live Event for the COVID-19 Efforts and YouTube Live “Doors” Single Launch + Fundraiser, BalikEskwela: Puhon Part 2 aims to support students and teachers who are “left with limited to no ability to adapt to the changes” implemented in the Philippine education system during the pandemic.

“Ever since the end of the first Puhon, we’ve been aching to help out even more in our own little way,” Ben&Ben lead vocalist and guitarist Miguel Benjamin said. ”And so, when we were figuring out where to help with the myriad of problems in today’s landscape, we eventually zeroed in on helping out a sector that is very close to our hearts: education.”

While the first Puhon gig focuses on COVID-19 response relief efforts, Puhon part 2 prioritizes assistance to the education sector. As Ben&Ben lead vocalist and guitarist Paolo Benjamin puts it, “We have concluded upon analysis that this is one of the areas wherein most help is needed in these times. School in the time of the pandemic is something that none of us expected, and so we will do our best to help out in this major challenge.”

As part of the growing community of artists with a platform of hope and love, Ben&Ben is committed to holding a free online concert to rally support for their fellow countrymen and come up with response efforts specifically for those who are in need.

According to Miguel, this is the first time that Ben&Ben will self-produce a full-length online show during the pandemic, live from the BBTV house. “Expect a very intimate, premium live concert experience straight from our home to yours,” the singer-songwriter said.

The Balik Eskwela: Puhon Part 2 project is the second fundraising initiative of Ben&Ben through their community-driven website, www.puhon.ph, which aims to inspire, uplift and boost the collective morale of all the key stakeholders of the COVID-19 response through uplifting stories, music, art, and more.

The goal of the Balik Eswela Project is to gather funds for:• E-learning and physical supplies that will be distributed to public schools.• Care packages (PPEs and vitamins) for teachers and personnel assigned for distribution of said supplies.• Distribution efforts with localized transport systems that will be coordinated with LGUs.

To know more on how you can be part of Ben&Ben’sfundraising campaign, visit www.puhon.ph or check out the band’s official social media pages.

This event is brought to you by Ben&Ben, Sony Music Philippines, Y4WU Philippines, Planet Drugstore, Limitless Lab, The Spark Project and Brand On Demand.

Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release.

Love Plus Foundation gives back by helping Filipinos in need during the pandemic

Our lives have been disrupted and impacted by the pandemic in unprecedented ways. The corona virus has affected our day to day lives and is slowing down the economy for almost six months – and people still cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. During these hard times, an organization who works under the radar are helping Filipinos to cope up on the effects of the pandemic.

Love Plus Charity Foundation, an organization founded by Chinese national, Hu Sun, started to provide aid in their own little ways by means of food delivery for front liners on different checkpoints, across several cities back in March when the government imposed city lockdowns in the country. The organization wanted to reach remote areas that were not focused on by mainstream media – which draw attention from several individuals and organizations, that lead to the growth of donation to the foundation.

“We are not brothers by blood, but we think of Filipinos as a part of our family because they welcomed us with open arms. I think it’s time for us to return the favor and provide assistance in any way we can because that’s what a family does. They help each other get through the rough times.”, said Hu Sun.

When the Chinese Medical Team first arrived in the country to provide their expertise in combatting the deadly virus, Love Plus Charity Foundation spearheaded the translation between them and local health care officials to make sure no message is lost during translation. With over 50 individuals going hand in hand to donate food, medical equipment, and other necessary items to combat the corona virus, Love Plus Charity Foundation doubled their efforts especially on the months of April and May when they visited major hospitals in NCR, including Lung Center of the Philippines, RITM, Jose Abad Santos General Hospital, Bulacan Medical Center and so much more. Love Plus Charity Foundation was also one of the first organizations to provide aid in terms of basic necessities such as food and water when the Pandacan Church caught fire back in July.

As of August 1, 2020, a combination of 487 Chinese organizations and individuals have donated to Love Plus Charity Foundation, garnering a total of Php 6,000,000 in cash, 3,144 boxes of surgical masks, 1,340 sets of PPE, 2,000 sets of rapid test kits, baby essentials like formula milk and diaper, in addition to food donations such as rice, bread, instant noodles, canned goods, fruits and vegetables, enough to feed an entire community.

When the government implemented another lockdown on August 4, Love Plus Charity Foundation did not waste any time to lend another helping hand to Filipinos, despite of challenges such as distance and heavy rains.

“We believe that in times like these, there is no nationality, but only unity. The Philippines has been our home and we felt like it was our responsibility to help anyone in need – no matter the distance and race, as we need to rise up in the middle of this pandemic.”, said Hu Sun.

Love Plus Foundation will continue to lend a helping hand to those in need, with their next mission to provide aid schools and students, as we take on the new normal when it comes to education. Contact Love Plus Foundation on Facebook or contact InfinitUs Marketing Solutions via email at info@infinitusph.com for more information.

 

Lido Cocina Tsina salutes COVID-19 front liners by giving back

Lido Cocina Tsina, a family Chinese restaurant chain, shows support to the heroes in the front lines who help fight the spread of COVID-19 by distributing food packs while the enhanced community quarantine is in effect.

Lido team members or Lido family as they call it, prepared and packed healthy and delicious meals and distributed within selected communities in Metro Manila.

“As front liners ourselves, we feel for those who take part in their commitment to serve our countrymen. This is the least we can do to help our healthcare workers, police and military officers, and government workers to show appreciation to what they are doing,” says Lido’s owner, Ms. Annie Wong.

For the past two weeks, the Lido family tirelessly reached out to personally thank our front liners in different hospitals. Health workers at Holy Infant Jesus, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, De Los Santos Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Makati Medical Center, and Pasay General Hospital were among the recipients. The team also did not forget hundreds of personnel from the police and military forces that secure the borders.

There were also countless heartbreaking encounters with homeless fellows who are most in need of assistance from the government. They were also among the priorities of Lido during the distribution of food packs. Families from Brgy. Bagong Pag-asa, Brgy. Vasra, Brgy. Mariana and Brgy. Project 6 are among the beneficiaries during the first two weeks of distribution.

To date, the Lido team continuously extends its hands and finds better ways to send help to the front liners and the general public. Some Lido stores remain open to cater to take-out and deliveries.

To support the enforcement of social distancing and community quarantine, orders may be placed via www.lidodelivery.com, 8888-5436, Grab Food, Food Panda and Lalafood.

Aia, Barbie and Kitchie to hold online concert for the benefit of music venue workers

Aia de Leon, Barbie Almalbis, and Kitchie Nadal are teaming up with GNN (formerly known as Gabi Na Naman Productions) and Smirnoff Mule for a special digital concert to raise funds for the employees and workers of live music venues in Metro Manila.

Happening on May 1, Friday at 8:00 pm, the Facebook show will serve as the third installment of their critically acclaimed, sold-out concert, Secrets and will be streamed live on the trio’s official Facebook page.

The initiative is part of the alternative rock icons’ ongoing efforts to help the music community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a primer to GNN’s 5th anniversary celebration.

“Deprived of operating to serve people with live entertainment, music venues have temporarily shut down, and are struggling to manage their overhead expenses,” says Gabi Na Naman Productions’ Milley Habito, one of the executive producers of Secrets III: An Online Concert featuring Aia, Barbie and Kitchie. “Thanks to the girls, we’ll be given a chance to cover some of the funds needed to support employees and workers of independent music venues and bars. We cannot imagine a vibrant, bustling music scene without these people who have dedicated their lives in helping run the gigs. The waiters, cooks, kitchen helpers, cashiers, parking attendants, food servers, tech guys, security personnel and other employees deserve our help too.”

Some of the confirmed beneficiaries include independent music venues such as Route 196, Mow’s, Saguijo Café & Bar, Jess and Pat’s, ‘70s Bistro, 123 Block, Social House and more to be announced.

The star-studded fundraiser and concert will also feature never-before-heard collaborations among the three award-winning singer-songwriters, as well as individual performances featuring their Greatest Hits and rarities.

Image and details provided in a recent press release.

Bayanihan Musikahan raises additional 1.5M in 1 hour

Small donations amounting to PhP 1.5 million poured into the Bayanihan Musikahan fund-raiser in 1 hour during the live concert-from-house of music superstar Lea Salonga last night.

She began and ended her hour with composition by the principal organizer of the project, Ryan Cayabyab, National Artist for Music. Emphasizing citizen action in the face of a pandemic, Salonga encapsulated an emerging dynamic of citizens helping citizens through small contributions and exercise of talent.

The unusual spike adds this amount to the total of PhP 22,373,178.00 already raised by April 2, 2020. Ms. Salonga announced this figure during her concert, while triggering a outpouring of support from Filipinos on lock-down, watching from their homes in the Philippines and overseas.

The increased fund-raising momentum enables increased speed in delivery of food packs to the marginalized communities in Metro Manila facing the pandemic with extreme vulnerabilities.

The Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid (SNPP), a 70,000-strong urban poor organization, began distribution of the Bayanihan Musikahan food packs from a few days after the launch of the marathon concert series, and is increasing pace and reach daily. Nearly 15,000 food packs have been provided families in dense, inner city pockets.

Filipino musical artists giving one hour concerts kick-started and sustain the Bayanihan Musikahan fund drive that enables this quick-response citizen action to stave off the possibility of worst case scenarios among communities compromised by poverty in Metro Manila.

Among those who already performed are Martin Nievera, Ebe Dancel, Acapellago, Karylle Tatlonghari and Spongecola, Bullet Dumas, Rachelle Gerodias and Byeong-in Park, and Morisette Amon.

Donations came in at an increasingly fast clip as the Lea Salonga concert proceeded, and it was immediately clear to an audience of tens of thousands that the surge was driven by the experience of virtual, communal bonding around an admired singer, and heightened awareness of the gravity of threat to impoverished communities.

The citizen-led marathon concert series, livestreamed on Facebook, is an unusal partnership between and among the significant talents of the Philippine music industry and the most trusted of civil society organizations. Philippine Business for Social Progress receives, accounts for, and disburses the funds. The SNPP hit the ground running because it has a complete database on its membership.

Details and image provided in a recent press release.

Three reasons to get yourself a #HummusBowl at The Cafe Mediterranean

Hummus is made from cooked and mashed garbanzo beans (chickpeas) blended with tahini (a condiment made from ground hulled sesame), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is rooted in the traditional cuisine of Levant, the area that covers the large stretch of land in the eastern Mediterranean which includes modern-day Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria and surrounding states.

In line with its promise of bringing “flavors of the sun” to its diners’ tables, The Cafe Mediterranean features a seasonal menu of hummus bowls that do bring to mind pictures of rich harvests, the bright blue sea and the hot Mediterrenean sun.

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

If you find yourself at a #CafeMed branch, do get a #HummusBowl for yourself or your gang. Here are three reasons why.

One: These are very nutritious.

Owing to hummus’ main ingredient, chickpeas, it provides a good amount of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamin, manganese and other nutrients. This makes it a wonderful addition to any modern diet geared towards health and proper nutrition.

Two: Their toppings not just ups hummus’ nutrition game, they also significantly add to the flavor.

Hummus actually is very versatile. Aside from its use as a dip for breads or raw onion wedges, it also serves as an ingredient for soups, hot stews and sauces.

Taking advantage of this versatility, The Cafe Mediterranean offers eight varieties of hummus bowls, made with the freshest ingredients daily, to suit your craving or to add to your already flavorful meal. There are meat and no-meat options, so whatever your diet is, there is a hummus bowl for you.

Take your pick from among these tasty variants.

With cherry tomatoes cooked with garlic and extra virgin olive oil (Php275)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With roasted red bell peppers, black olives and feta cheese (Php325)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With roasted broccoli and cauliflower (Php395)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With grilled eggplant and tomato sauce (Php300)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With mushroom and caramelized onions (Php350)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With grilled chicken (Php375)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With grilled beef (Php395)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With grilled lamb (Php435)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

Each of these bowls come with two pieces of warm pita bread that you can tear apart with your hands and dip into the hummus.

Three: Getting a hummus bowl (or more) contributes to the welfare of victims of armed conflict.

The Cafe Mediterranean has collaborated with UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, to generate support and donations to the Syrians displaced by the Syrian War. Customers can rest assured that all proceeds from the sales of these bowls are coursed directly through the UNHCR to help the Syrian refugees.

So head on out to the nearest branch of The Cafe Mediterranean and get a big bowl of hummus for yourself and your friends!

The Cafe Mediterranean branches in the metro are located at:

  • Lower Ground Floor, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
  • Basement 1, Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Oranbo, Pasig City
  • Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Third Floor, One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Level 1, Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
  • Ground Floor, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
  • Second Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to attend a food-tasting held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees including myself.

Celeb pre-loved items available in Caritas Manila’s Celebrity Bazaar on October 18

Caritas Manila will hold its second Celebrity Bazaar on October 18, Thursday from 1-10pm on the 2nd level of the Mega Atrium of SM Megamall.  Entrance fee is P500 per person.

The bazaar will feature pre-loved luxury items up for sale from generous celebrity donors Heart Evangelista, Alden Richards, Ruffa Gutierrez, Dr. Vicki Bello, Scarlet Snow Belo, Cristalle Bello, Bang Pineda, Teacher Georcelle, Toni Gonzaga, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Vice Ganda, Iza Calzado, Divine Lee, Jinkee Pacquiao, Manny Pacquiao and premier designers Michael Cinco and Cary Santiago. Heart Evangelista is this year’s Event Ambassador.

Proceeds from this year’s bazaar will benefit the Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP) of Caritas Manila. The program sends and supports less fortunate but deserving students nationwide to their college or university of choice.

The first Caritas Manila Celebrity Bazaar was held 2 years ago with former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach as Event Ambassador. The bazaar earned enough funds to support 5,000 YSLEP Scholars.  At any given time, there are between 3,000 to 5,000 YSLEP scholars nationwide. Figures show that providing a youth a college or vocational degree gives him a 98 per cent chance of helping his family overcome poverty.

“We at Caritas Manila are so grateful for the generosity and enthusiasm of these celebrities to help YSLEP scholars,” comments Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Caritas Manila Executive Director.  Their assistance will go a long way in proving education and support can help realize the potentials of our future leaders coming from the ranks of the poor.”

“To date, more than 10,000 YSLEP scholars have graduated from college and vocational schools nationwide especially from the poorest provinces.”

Caritas Manila is one of the biggest non-profit organizations in the country led by its chairman, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.

For more information, visit Caritas Manila at 2002 Jesus Street, Pandacan, Manila or call 562-0020 to 25, email caritas_manila@yahoo.com, or log on to www.caritasmanila.org.ph.