MANILA -- (UPDATED) The ongoing pandemic has seen the world or communities of people come together and in spite of difficult circumstances have reached down into the very best of themselves to help those affected. We’ve seen fundraisers for displaced sports officials, out-of-work musicians and bar and venue staff, and teachers to name a few that have been beneficiaries.
Last Saturday night, July 25, it was the jeepney drivers who were feted as young indie musicians Elise Huang, Tamara, Mix Fenix, Cucay Pagdilao, RJ Dacanay, Reese Lansangan, Vanya, and Martti Franca performed almost a three-hour set online.
“This is for our beloved jeepney drivers,” said organizers Never Gonna Jeep You Up, an initiative to help drivers affected by the mass transport ban and jeepney phaseout during this COVID-19 pandemic. “Nakarating tayo sa school dahil sa kanila. Nakarating tayo sa mga date natin dahil sa kanila. Nakarating tayo sa mga job interviews at client meetings dahil sa kanila. Nakauwi tayo ng ligtas dahil sa kanila.”
The charity organizers announced Monday that they were able to hit their target of P250,000, which will be used to purchase canned goods, noodles, hygiene kits, and detergent for jeepney drivers and groups that ply routes in Manila and Quezon City.
“Personally, performing in this fundraiser was very fulfilling,” said Mix Fenix, who is signed to Ivory Records. “This is for a cause and it is for those who haven’t earned since this crisis hit this March.”
“Some of the organizers are from UP-Manila. I am from UP-Manila and because our school is located near the Supreme Court, there are often rallies outside. We – the artists who performed and the organizers – wanted to make people realize the cause is also personal because we ride the jeeps to get around. We want people to understand that what they do is vital to everyday life and their own lives have been severely disrupted by this pandemic.”