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Gary V, Korea’s best sign for street kids

Posted on: April 7, 2009

Gary V, Korea’s best sign for street kids
By Anna Valmero

Mr. “Pure Energy” Gary Valenciano and ten of Korea’s special artists performed in a one-night benefit concert Friday at the Cultural Center of the Philippines to help raise funds for Filipino street children.

About 246,000 children under 18-years old are roaming the streets, of which 50,000 are highly visible street children, based on 2000 statistics of the United Nations’ Children’s Fund.

“Children living on the streets of the Philippines are the most resilient, resourceful and determined children there are. But they also live in circumstances that leave them open to abuse of their rights and risks to their lives,” said Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF Representative.

“This is an opportunity for us to raise funds for the country’s street children and have a platform from which to promote our advocacy for children’s rights,” said Tobin.

Concert artists

The “Beautiful Children Concert” aimed to inspire its audience by showcasing how pure talent and belief in oneself can break barriers.

True to its objective, the concert featured San Jae Lee, a visually impaired clarinetist; Hee Ah Lee, a pianist who plays the piano using only four fingers, and Philippine soprano Alexis Edralin, a survivor of acute myelogenous leukemia or cancer of the blood.

Close up shot

Also showcasing their talents at the concert were the Beautiful Mind Charity Trio composed of cellist Il Hwan Bai, guitarist Jung Shil Suh and violinist Geenie Jung, the Clarion Chamber Ensemble, pianist Hye Young Park, and crossover artist Kyul.

Korea’s four fingered pianist

For his part as new UNICEF ambassador, Valenciano said: “My vision as an ambassador for UNICEF for the next 10 years is hopefully to encourage efforts to know more about UNICEF and unite our efforts for the rights of all children. We have seen great progress and I’m sure together we can achieve a lot for children here in the Philippines. I feel that is what I will be carrying out in the years to come.”

Valenciano said he believes in the power of music to bring his message of strength to young people.

Filipina Edralin said as survivor of cancer, she wants to use her “second life” to inspire hope and help people, especially Filipino children.

Tobin thanked the Korean Embassy, United Korean Community Association of the Philippines and Korean NGO Beautiful Mind Charity for sponsoring the concert, adding 2009 marks the 60th year of friendship between the Philippines and Korea.

All proceeds of the Beautiful Children Concert will be go to the child protection program of UNICEF Philippines. (Photos by author)


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