Sunday, February 13, 2011

Filipino entertainers perform for Tembari children’s benefit

The Valentine-red stage where the concert dubbed Valentine’s With Idols was held on Saturday night at Grand Palace Restaurant to raise funds for the Tembari Children Care (TCC), a day care and orphanage center. Featuring Filipino top entertainers Gretchen Espina and Lance Raymundo, the fundraiser was staged by the Filipino Association of PNG led by newly-elected president Tony Valdez.

Top Manila entertainers Gretchen Espina and Lance Raymundo belt it out to the delight of the Pinoy audience during their dinner-concert on Saturday night. (More pictures after story.)


A Friend of Tembari Children

POPULAR Filipino entertainers Gretchen Espina and Lance Raymundo wowed the expatriate Filipino audience in Port Moresby on Saturday night, one of those rare entertainment spectacles from Manila seen in the city every year.

The yearly Valentine’s concert, this time dubbed Valentine’s With Idols (A Dinner Valentine Show), had been long anticipated by Port Moresby Pinoys and the only group here that could pull this off was the Filipino Association of PNG (FAPNG).

In fact, FAPNG has been known, among other feats, for importing Filipino artists to cheer up the Filipino community once or twice a year, alongside raising funds for worthy causes such as supporting the Port Moresby General Hospital Children’s Ward and the police force in the National Capital District

But such yearly live concert had also entertained other expatriates in the city, particularly those who are married to Filipinos. And on Saturday night, there were lots of them seen with their Filipino spouses and partners.

As far as I am concerned, the bigger news here is that the proceeds from this two-day fundraising concert will benefit our day care and orphanage center, the Tembari Children’s Center (TCC).

The Tembari children, who now number 162, are a lucky lot, because it is the entire Filipino community in Port Moresby that is supporting the upbringing of the Tembari children to make them good citizens of Papua New Guinea in the future.

Of course, the support they are giving by coming to the show is coursed through FAPNG now headed by my good friend Tony Valdez, who recently took over the presidency from another good friend of mine, businessman Joey Sena.

Both gentlemen have inspired FAPNG members into helping the Tembari children through fundraising drives carried out through live concerts played by noted Filipino performers from the Philippines.

In his last official act as president of FAPNG, Joey offered to donate a portion of the proceeds from the 2010 Hatid-Saya concert (Courier of Joy) held last September to Tembari children, a gesture which was wholeheartedly supported by the members.

And I was just too glad to accept it on behalf of the children, because it would help a lot in furthering their cause.

A cheque for K5,000.00 was donated to Tembari children, an amount which is now supporting the daily operations of The Center that include daily feeding and administrative activities.

On Saturday night just before the concert began, Joey was delighted when I told him that a portion of the fund had paid for the bulk water (5,000 liters) that filled up the water tank of Tembari Center a week ago, thus ending the long water crisis at The Center and began making the lives of our kids a little better.

This much water is expected to last for about a month.

It is now being used daily by our volunteer mothers in cooking meals and cleaning the utensils, among other things. More importantly, it also provided clean drinking water for our 120 beneficiary children.

Of course, a portion of last year’s FAPNG donation has been set aside for our preschool classroom project for our 40 kids who have been holding their class under the mango tree since school began last week.

The cost of the building with an area of 15 meters x 4 meters is estimated at K50,000, and will accommodate a small classroom (9m x 4m), a small office (3m x 4m) and a dirty kitchen of the same size.

For his part, Tony’s first act as FAPNG president, as far as I know of, is to hold this Valentine concert for the benefit of the Tembari children.

Tony, along his Filipino colleagues at Hitron, namely Jocelyn and Dhes, has known about the Tembari children for quite a long time now, particularly their need for sustainable food and education.

For several times last year, the troika at Hitron had sent their assistance even without my asking for such, and for this I thank them with all my heart.

So, Tony’s decision to involve the FAPNG to help our children by holding the Valentine concert on Saturday night, and this afternoon as matinee show, just came out naturally.

I know very well that our partnership with FAPNG will last because its members have a soft heart for less-privileged Papua New Guinean children, in particular the orphans, abandoned and unfortunate children at ATS Oro Settlement now under the care of the Tembari Children Care (TCC).

In this country, the Pinoys have been known for this unique, proud trait.

To Pareng Tony Valdez and Joey Sena and the entire FAPNG organization, more power to you!

A Filipino expat having fun of his life on stage with sexy songstress and ‘Pinoy Idol” winner Gretchen Espina.

Part of the big Filipino crowd who came to watch the Valentine’s With Idols concert on Saturday night.

Gretchen calls a Pinoy to stage expat as part of her repertoire on Saturday night’s concert.

Gretchen and Lance in one of their numbers.

Gretchen glowing in her sexiness as she sings a love song.

Lance comes down from the stage to be with the audience. – All pictures by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ

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