March 13, 2010. Saturday mornings are usually spent preparing for endless weekend chores. But somehow that Saturday was different – I woke up thinking about home, about the 2010 May Presidential elections, and a longing to feel connected to my heritage. I wanted to show support for the electoral process, believing that every Filipino needed to have their voices heard, no matter what their political affiliations were, and to exercise their right to vote and truly hold the future in their hands.
The challenge was how best to do it, given that our Filipino hearts physically reside oceans away from our homeland.
The answer that came to mind was so simple in concept yet challenging in scope and execution.
A show of solidarity from various Fil-Am artists in NY and NY, coming together to make a difference through music.
The song? The classic Jim Paredes penned tune called HANDOG NG PILIPINO SA MUNDO.
Just one question remained – were we crazy enough to do it?
Fast forward to today.
More than 100,000 hits later from the day we first released our little video on Youtube that Saturday morning April 24, 2010, we commemorate the 3rd year anniversary of the Handog Ng Pilipino Sa Mundo 2010 NY – The “Halalan” Version with a lot of fondness and pride. The many comments on the video have been both inspiring and heartwarming, and never in our wildest dreams could we have anticipated the impact that it would have, and continues to have, on its viewers.
It was a project that was “DIY” to the core. Within a span of 6 weeks, we did the best that we could with the tools that we had – a $100 studio mic, a crude home recording studio with a software that was then limited to just 15 virtual tracks, a borrowed camcorder, and the talents and sacrifices of 17 Fil-Am artists (which included 2 child performers) committed to one goal – that of coming together in the name of music not because it was convenient, but despite the inconveniences, to make a difference.
Today we give thanks to all who inspired us to plow through in spite of all the challenges that we faced then:
– To visionary and composer Mr. Jim Paredes for his song, and to the 15 artists who recorded the original version of HANDOG NG PILIPINO SA MUNDO. Nothing will ever compare to the ORIGINAL! Thanks to all of you for paving the way.
– We pay tribute to Mr. Ricardo (Subas) Herrero, one of the singers in the original recording, who sadly passed away last March 14. Thank you for the music and the laughter. You will be greatly missed sir.
– To all the artists who shared their amazing voices and valuable time to this project: Kats Alvir, Adrian Barrios, Ave Dimaculangan, Dawn Dineros Fuentes, Boston Dolina, Chrysss Estipona, Tony Gado, Cutuy Herrero, Gatchie Ignacio, Jan Paraiso, John Pio Balingit, Bem Ross, Ellen San Miguel, and our child performers Mara Cabangon and Julio Juarez. I am your #1 fan 🙂
– To Sheldon Magbanua, who provided us with a musical arrangement that was both fresh yet stayed true to the integrity of the song’s message.
– To Ted Reyes and Sheryl Garcia-Reyes, whose belief in the vision and valuable insights helped get the project off the ground.
– To Mylz Tolentino and Serendipity Hype, for the confidence in this project and the logistical support in taking care of the “little details” that ultimately led to the project’s completion.
[Thanks to Marisse Panlilio of MPE Entertainment for sponsoring the NY Handog 2010 Banner]
And finally, we give thanks to everyone who supported the video and shared it with their friends when it was first released 3 years ago, and to everyone who continues to support it to this day. Thanks for making us feel IT WAS WELL WORTH IT!
To help celebrate our 3rd year anniversary, we present a professionally mastered version of HANDOG NG PILIPINO SA MUNDO NY NJ VARIOUS ARTISTS, available now for free download at https://soundcloud.com/dsymusic/handog-ng-pilipino-sa-mundo-ny.
In the end, our humble hope is that in our small way, WE DID MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Thanks for reading.