OPM musicians support concert for health care

By Jackie Dosmanos

Posted at Jan 14 2013 03:41 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2013 12:11 AM


MANILA, Philippines -- OPM music makers, supporters and fans will troop to the Camp Crame Multi-Purpose Hall on Wednesday, January 17, for "Mabuhay Nyor!," a fund-raising concert to provide health care coverage to Pinoy musicians. A medical mission will coincide with the show.

The concert is top-billed by samba group Guarana, with performances by Cooky Chua, Sitti Navarro, Lynn Sherman, Bayang Barrios and Gou De Jesus. 

Heart of Music (HOM) Philippines, a newly organized NGO that seeks to secure and protect the health and livelihoods of local musicians, is behind the concert.

HOM is headed by Myra Ruaro aka Skarlet of Put3ska and Brownbeat All-Stars fame. Its board of directors includes Color It Red’s Cooky Chua, keyboardist Atty. Butch Saulog, microfinance consultant Julius Alip and small business adviser Bam Aquino.

The concept and vision for HOM initially dawned on Ruaro some years back while she was mourning over the death of a close friend and fellow musician Susan Fernandez.

Ruaro facilitated the benefit concert for Fernandez and at some point, thought benefit shows, while useful, were belated short-sighted responses to a big problem.

She said: “Fund-raising is tradisyunal na alam natin. Book ng isang venue kung saan magkikita-kita at tutugtog ang mga musikero. Pagkatapos, matutuwa ang may sakit o mga naiwan sa tulong na ibibigay pagkatapos ng show.

“At the end of it, napag-iisipan ko. Walang may sakit ngayon, ano pa pwede magawa? Hihintayin pa ba meron magkasakit ng malubha o mamamatay na bago kumilos?”

In her search for answers, Ruaro stumbled upon proposals to launch a regular series of benefit shows, to work with established musician’s organizations and to start a party list.

A friend referred her to Aquino who in turn provided the services of R. G. Salazar, a young aggressive project officer who helped fast-track the establishment of HOM.

Operationally, HOM will initiate musicians in getting PhilHealh accreditation. Proceeds from the "Mabuhay Nyor!" concert will be earmarked to enroll 100 aging and ailing musicians in PhilHealth for 2013.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets at P1,000 each with open bar. For more information, contact Ruaro at 09163624596 and 4127572.