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Concert fundraiser by Fil-Ams aims to see youth registered for 2022 PH elections

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 07 2021 08:30 AM | Updated as of Jul 08 2021 02:29 PM

Concert fundraiser by Fil-Ams aims to see youth registered for 2022 PH elections 1
Comelec officers process a ballot box from a Filipino community in Nigeria, as election returns are turned over to the National Board of Canvassers center in Pasay City on May 20, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

NEW YORK—A group named US Filipinos for Good Governance is raising money to register youth voters for the May 2022 Philippine elections and encourage overseas Filipinos to register and vote.

The "Songs for Suffrage" is an exclusive classical music concert featuring two music icons — Filipina virtuoso classical pianist Cecil Licad, dubbed as "a pianist's pianist" by the New Yorker, and acclaimed master cellist Christine Walevska, whose dream is to play Brahms Double Concerto with Diomedes Saraza, a Juilliard and Yale-trained Filipino violinist.

"And I'm dying to play in the Philippines I'm dying to. It's one of the few countries I've never played in . . . And I was so impressed with the violin soloist he was phenomenal a great great artist and I was I was trying to see how could I get ahold of him after that concert cause I thought it would be heaven to do the Brahms double concerto with him so I only wish that if he happens to hear this that he will invite me to I played it with," Walevska said.

The concert, held at the family room of US Filipinos for Good Governance chair Loida Nicolas Lewis, aims to register millions of eligible youth voters in the Philippines for the 2022 national elections.

Nicolas Lewis said her group is expecting to raise $75,000. 

"You all answered the call of our Inang Bayan Pilipinas because every $1 you donated is equal to 1 Filipino youth registered . . . The sad fact is there are 10 million eligible voters from age 18 to 29 in the Philippines and in the last mid-year election in 2019 out of the 10 million only 3 million are registered so what about the 7 million they're not," she said.

Meanwhile, in the United States, eligible Filipinos and dual US-Filipino citizens have until September 30 to register to be able to vote.

"It's time for us to change our attitude. I mean, this is a serious matter and this is about the future, not of us, but also the future of our younger generations I think it's time for us to take part of the change that needs to happen," Jerry Sibal, a register OAV, said.

Nicolas Lewis added: "You will not know how strong your donation will be and I am very hopeful that with a massive registration drive we can still get our ever decide result our desired result."

The Philippine Commission on Elections is currently exploring internet-based technologies for overseas Filipinos who will vote.

Republic Act No. 9189 or the Overseas Voting Act authorizes the Comelec to explore internet-base technologies that is expected to have a significant and valuable impact on how overseas absentee voting may be conducted in the future. 

But for now, eligible overseas Filipino voters may register to vote by making an appointment at a Philippine consulate near them.


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