2 Kapamilya stars bring joy to OFWs in Damman

By Florante Catanus, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Dec 13 2012 10:10 AM | Updated as of Dec 13 2012 06:10 PM

DAMMAM – Actor-comedian Vhong Navarro and singer Jed Madela were a hit during the 18th Filipino Community Day last December 7 in Damman, Saudi Arabia.

Dubbed “Kantawanan sa Dammam,” the event was organized by the Saudi Arabia Hiligaynon, Inc. (SAHI) in partnership with the ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC).

The duo thrilled the 9,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families who attended the event at the Cobra Amusement Park, Dammam.

Madela belted his famous songs and sang a medley of teleserye songs much to the delight of the OFWs.

Navarro, on the other hand, showed off his singing and dancing with his song "Totoy Bibo." He also danced with his famous Dance Evolution Remix with the AlJazeera Mabuhay Dancers as his backup dancers.

“They made our kababayans here very happy with their presence and they know how to connect with [them],” said Engr. Pacifico Legayada, SAHI President.

The Filipino Community Day (FCD) is an annual event considered as the biggest gathering of OFWs in the Eastern Region, if not in the whole Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, wherein OFWs from as far as Al-Hassa and Al-Khafji attend the celebration. Even OFWs from Riyadh travelled more than 400 km just to watch the event.

SAHI, a Filipino civic organization, have continuously organized the event for 18 consecutive years to give the Filipino workers and their families a day of fun and entertainment.

Last year, the event was graced by Happy Yipee Yehey hosts Randy Santiago, John Estrada and Rico Puno who drew 16,000 OFWs and their families in the area, a record-breaking feat in the history of SAHI in terms of number of attendees.

The event with the theme “OFW: Kabalikat ng Bayan Tungo sa Daang Matuwid” marked another milestone not just in the history of SAHI, but also in the Filipino community in the Eastern Region.

With the presence of Navarro and Madela, the organizers were elated because they added more energy to the event.

“Vhong and Jed contributed a lot to the success of FCD 2012. Their charisma drew our kababayans to watch them perform live on stage,” said Gamaliel Gonzales, SAHI Vice President and FCD 2012 Over-all Chairman.

Madela and Navarro were thankful to SAHI and TFC because they were able to perform for the first time in Saudi Arabia. They were amazed by the huge number of OFWs who attended the event. They also expressed their desire to return and perform again if given the chance.

Part of the proceeds of the event will be donated to the distressed OFWs in the Eastern Saudi. The group will also donate ETV package to the less fortunate children in the Philippines through the ABS-CBN’s Adopt a Hometown School Project.