Families of Gallant 44 SAF, Soldiers to Receive More than P6-Million from UNTV, MCGI Through “Songs for Heroes” Charity Concert

The families of the gallant 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will receive more than P6-million in cash, the amount raised through the “Songs for Heroes” benefit concert initiated by UNTV and Members Church of God International (MCGI).

Bro. Eli donates P1-Million to dependents of 44 SAF and Soldiers
Kuya Daniel Razon turns over the P1-million check to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr., a fund donated by Bro. Eli Soriano. (Photo: Photoville International)

The P1-million of the total amount was donated by Bro. Eli Soriano, host of Ang Dating Daan religious program. The AFP Finance Center will distribute this amount to the families left behind by the soldiers killed in the all-out offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Songs For Heroes Concert Raised Millions for SAF 44 Kin
Kuya Daniel Razon (L) with Mr. Atom Henares (R) turns over the P6-Million check to PNP Representative Nestor Quinsay as the MCGI’s assistance to the PNP and the families of the fallen 44. (Photo: Photoville International)

The PNP Special Assistance Fund, recipient of P6-million, will then distribute this amount to the deceased families of the 44 members of the SAF.

Apart from these support, Bro. Eli and Kuya Daniel Razon, CEO and Chairman of Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International, offered to give scholarship grants to deserving dependents left behind by the brave SAF members and soldiers.

Meanwhile, Bro. Eli gave each of the families cash envelopes containing P10,000 in cash during the concert. “Songs for Heroes” benefit concert was held on March 19, 2015 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Bro. Eli tweets for peace
“Songs for Heroes” came as a response to the tweets of Bro. Eli Soriano calling for peace and unity.

Progressive Broadcasting Corporation’s Atom Henares has pledged an additional Php 500,000 for the bereaved families as well.

Bro. Eli said the children of the SAF members can avail of the sholarship package offered at the La Verdad Christian College in Caloocan City. It will be noted that La Verdad’s free education program provides qualifying college students free lodging, meals, uniform and books.

UNTV produced the charity concert following Bro. Eli’s tweets calling netizens to support the incumbent administration, instead of calling for President Benigno Aquino III or P-Noy’s resignation.

Bro. Eli calls on netizens to support the presidency of Benigno Aquino III amidst criticisms.
Bro. Eli calls on netizens to support the presidency of Benigno Aquino III amidst criticisms.

“Instead of blaming the President, why not help?,” recalled Bro. Eli as the content of the tweets he posted using his @BroEliSoriano Twitter account. He added,“there is no Commander-in-Chief na gusto niyang mapatay ang kanyang mga sundalo (there is no Commander-in-Chief who wants his soldiers to perish).”

“Kaya, as a way of helping the President, maintain peace and order, naisip ko na mag-launch ng isang concert, for these heroes, they are heroes, (As a way of helping the President, maintain peace and order, I thought of launching a concert dedicated for these heroes, [because] they are heroes.).”

Observers note that the Aquino administation faced its harshest criticisms from different groups for allegedly mishandling the Mamasapano operation.

The official hashtag: #Songs4HeroesConcert debuted at No. 2 in Philippines trends on Thursday morning in the Philippines.

Among those who graced the concert include the heads of PNP and AFP, namely, P/CSupt. Nestor Quinsay and Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang.

Noel Cabangon performs at "Songs for Heroes" benefit concert.
Kuya Daniel Razon is seen on screen watching Noel Cabangon (R) perform during the Songs for Heroes Benefit Concert at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena, Pasay City, Philippines on 19 March 2015. (Photo: Photoville International)

Present to perform during the concert were: Noel Cabangon, Faith Cuneta, Bo Cerrudo, Jonalyn Viray, Jay Durias, Neocolour with Ito Rapadas, 5th Gen, Gerald Santos, The Voysing, the Bueno Sisters, and Bembe and Trifosa Erese. The AFP and PNP Chorales also performed during the concert.

A repeat of the concert, which will be dedicated to the 77 injured SAF staff in Mamasapano incident last January 25, this year, is already being planned.

(Erratum: The amount to be received was incorrectly placed at P7-million. This has been corrected.)


“Taguan Pung”, the Maiden Film Project of La Verdad Christian College Student Film Club, Premieres

You thought the story of six teenagers out to search for meaning of life, identity, and their self-worth is something you’ve watched or seen couple times already. You might ask yourself if it’s in the mall theaters near you that just recently or during the seasonal Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival or Metro Manila Film Festival where you’ve watched such youth-themed piece of film.

Anyway, be it from Star Cinema to Viva Films, or something crafted by Gino Santos (“The Animals” and “#Y” fame) or Pepe Diokno (“Engkwentro”), the notion of all-too-familiar-storylines don’t seem to matter anymore but the approach and imagination the filmmakers can conjure to enliven the genre.

Taguan Pung poster
Official poster of Taguan Pung, the debut film offering of the student film society of La Verdad Chrsitian College in Caloocan.

These days, it’s hard to simply dismiss anyone equipped with passion and creativity to not offer anything new, break new grounds or blend new twist to the teen movie flick.

Who knows the budding filmmakers with fresh voice could be someone near you and they’re out to bring something exciting and challenging in the teen movie genre. Yeah! That’s real pressure to anyone thinking talent alone trumps everything.

Here enters Taguan Pung, the premiere offering of Cine La Verdad, the newly-minted student film society of La Verdad Christian College in Caloocan City.

Mixing elements of the mystery and suspense-thriller genre, the student film “Taguan Pung” dealt with the almost perennial search for meaning and identity. Is there something new? Is this the kind of film that will reveal the newest voices in the world of cinema? That’s of course something we’ll need to find out upon watching the film this week.

Using the traditional hide-and-seek game called tagu-taguan or taguan pung as allegory to find answers to the characters’ bigger-than-life questions, the premise alone makes for a promising take of the genre.

While a curiosity why use the suspense-thriller genre to debut a film project, the film’s scriptwriter Joemer Delos Santos said he and the film director wanted to capitalize on the popularity of the genre to draw audience to watch their film.

The almost zero-budget independent film production relied on borrowed cameras, lighting and editing equipment to complete Taguan Pung. But the trailer the filmmakers showcased during the press conference is proof guerilla filmmaking is alive and working so long as you’re armed with great story, passion, dedication and teamwork.

During the press briefing held last February 20, the film’s director Mark John Viola revealed that while everything’s been wrapped, editing is still ongoing. So it seems it’s even miraculuous they’ve completed the film with the addition of press briefing that’ll put even big mainstream production to shame. Yes, that’s how admirable and serious these folks really look to me.

Anyway, the young filmmakers, who could be in their 18-20 age range only, further revealed the main inspiration for their film is Bro. Eli Soriano and UNTV’s Kuya Daniel Razon, the two leading figures who founded La Verdad Christian College.

The La Verdad school is well-known locally as perhaps today’s only private school that offers tuition-free education, free meals, book and school supplies budget and fare transportation.

The main casts named during the press briefing include Paul Jason Ramirez, Mark John Esteban, Darells Ison, Mark Abucejo, Jaisa Pomida, and Eliosa Malig and ….

That “You” as the last participant – as it is written in the press notes — is what the director and the film’s writer used as a cliffhanger thingy. Is it a trick? Perhaps or maybe not. Anyway, whatever these filmmakers’ up to is enough for filmgoers everywhere to go and check them out.

Initial showing were held last February 26 and 27 at the La Verdad’s Caloocan Branch’s Auditorium.

Visit the film’s Facebook fan page for more information.