Sing and Shoot Gathers Fans and Supporters for La Verdad Free School
Last March 19, we had a fun-filled evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as a sea of people were amused by guest performing artists and public service personalities through a mini concert and exhibition basketball game called “Sing and Shoot”. This project aims to support La Verdad Christian College’s expenses in providing free college education to poor but deserving students.
Behind the Scene
We, the fans of Kuya Daniel, were lucky enough to get back stage passes to speak with key celebrities who participated in the basketball game. Inside the celebrities’ dugout, Mr. Kier Legaspi was extremely accommodating and helped us by introducing us to his celebrity buddies. Such a kind and humbling gesture!
We asked comedian “Bentot” what is his favorite public service project of Kuya Daniel Razonand he replied: “Favorite na project ko kay Kuya Daniel? Marami eh. Isa na yung libreng sakay. Isipin mo, kahit anong relihiyon mo, isasakay ka. May libre ka pang Bible, kape. Kulang na nga lang, patay at biskwit eh!” (“My favorite project of Kuya Daniel? There are many. One is the free ride conducted daily. Think about it, no matter what your religion is, they’ll let you ride. You’ll get a free Bible, coffee. The only ones missing are corpse and biscuits!”—referring to a typical Filipino burial service where coffee and biscuits are often associated with). We can’t help but laugh at his humorous remarks.
The former matinee idol from the 90’s, and one of the “Gwapings” Mr. Eric Fructuoso expressed to us that “there’s something different about this organization, I feel happy, spiritually. Everything is organized and the preparation of the event was in top-of-the-line quality.” When asked if he would be willing to join other public service projects in the future, he said, “I’d be honored to be a part of each and every project of Mr. Daniel Razon. I love the person, he’s a very wonderful guy.”
We also asked Mr. Onyok Velasco what made him decide to join the roster of players for this exhibition game, in which he said “Isang palaro ito para sa mga bata na kapus-palad sa pag-aaral, kaya nag-enjoy ka na, nakatulong ka pa. Willing akong mag-join ulit sa iba pang projects basta makakatulong sa mahihirap.” (“This is an exhibition game for the less fortunate kids, for their education. Therefore, not only do we enjoy, we also get to help. I’m willing to join again in other projects as long as it will help the less fortunate.”)
Actor Allen Dizon said “Isa sa pinaka nagustuhan ko sa mga proyekto ni Kuya Daniel ay yung libreng edukasyon. Kulang kasi yung bansa natin sa ganon eh, sa mga scholarships. Maraming matatalinong Pilipino, may mga potential, pero hindi makapag aral dahil walang pera. Kaya napakalaking tulong nung ginagawa ni Kuya Daniel.” (“One of the projects of Kuya Daniel that I really liked is the advocacy for free education. Our country is lacking of such projects — of scholarships. There are many intelligent students with potential but they are unable to study due to lack of money. That’s why what Kuya Daniel does helps a lot.”)
Rising Australia-born singer Natasia Moon told us that “I’ve only just met Kuya Daniel and I’m very honored to be a part of any event that he leads and I support him completely. I think Kuya Daniel is a great example so we should also follow his example.
Sing and Shoot Mini Concert
The mini concert started on time, in which the Metro Manila Choir led the Philippine National Anthem. Hosts William Thio and Beth Santiago introduced the night with a sweet serenade from Natalia Moon singing a song from her album, “Forevermore”.
The energy of the crowd rose as Milan sang “Faithfully” — a song popularized by the band, Journey and lately, remade by Journey’s new (Filipino) front man, Arnel Pineda.
UNTV’s “Ito ang Balita” news anchors Louella Decordova and Veronica Alejar also wowed the crowd with the songs “Neither One of Us” and “Fireworks”.
One of the evening’s most entertaining and unexpected performance was the one made by Mr. Richard Reynoso, where he sang “Bongga ka Day” with the BMPI Dancers backing him up to what seemed to be a surprising twist for a song that translates “You’re a fabulous woman” — a cheer to a woman (or in this day and age, even a male that is considered “bongga” or fabulous) wearing fancy signature shoes and apparel.
Luke Mijares sang one of his all-time hits, “Nobody But You,” and energized the crowd with a current top 40 hit titled “Dynamite”. Nyoy Volantes swooned the crowd with “Just the Way you Are” and “Nasaan”.
Another crowd-pleasing performace was made by the BMPI dancers with special guest performers Aaron and Joshua, Kuya Daniel Razon’s sons.
The Basketball Game
The roster of players from the celebrities’ team consisted of Kier Legaspi, Zoren Legaspi, Brando Legaspi, James Blanco, Ian Veneracion, Eric Fructuoso, Ervic Vijandre, JC Tiuseco, Onyok Velasco, Allen Dizon, and Bentot. While the players from the public servants’ team were comprised of PNP Chief Nicanor Bartolome, Cong. Eric Tañada, Cong. Juan Edgardo Angara, Cong. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Cong. Sherwin Tugna, Cong. Jonathan Yambao, Mr. Rodel Chua from the Supreme Court, Cong. Scott Davies Lañete M.D., Cong. Sigfrido Tinga, Cong. Alfredo Garbin, Cong. Romeo Jalosjos Jr., TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, Court Administrator Midas Marquez, and UNTV’s very own, Manny Pangyaw. Veteran actor Mr. Philip Salvador was the coach for the Team Celebrity, while former Crispa Redmanizer and original “Tapal King” Philip “The Scholar” Cezar acted as the coach for Team Public Servants. Team Public Servants took the lead in the first half of the game.
At Half-time Break
During the halftime break, we were blessed to have a chance to interview people who were watching the game. From the audience panel, we spoke with Doctor of Economics and Station Owner of UNTV, Mr. Hilarion “Larry” Genares, Jr. who expressed his enjoyment of the game and delight for Kuya Daniel’s public services, “Well you know, me and my family are big supporters of Kuya Daniel and Ang Dating Daan. We’re very much honored to be a part of UNTV and I am very proud of it being a public service channel. It’s very good for our country, and it is for God’s glory.”
From the patron area, couple Mr. and Mrs. Rico Tan, anticipated the outcome of the game. “I feel very excited to see Kuya Daniel Razon play basketball. I also think that the Team Public Service will win because they’re showing a strong team collaboration”, said Mr. Tan. “We support the advocacy for free education especially through La Verdad Christian College. I’m also fond of playing basketball,” he added.
Another viewer from the patron area, Mr. Mel Magdaraog, who seemed to be having a blast watching the game with his family, said “The game is fun, exciting, and very interesting to watch. Aside from Kuya Daniel, my favorite player so far is Director Joel Villanueva.” We asked Mr. Magdaraog who he thinks will win the game and he responded, “At first, the game seems to favor the public servants, but with the way the celebrities are moving, it’s difficult to tell what to expect.”
To everyone’s surprise, Members Church of God International Presiding Minister Bro. Eli Soriano delivered a message via satellite. Bro. Eli is the president emeritus of La Verdad Christian School and La Verdad Christian College. He recounted for inspiration his life’s struggles when he was a student and taught that one should be grateful for the gift of education. And as always, he inspired all to do more good works for the benefit of others.
“Lahat ng kailangan para matuto ang estudyante ay libre lahat sa La Verdad Christian College. It pays to do good. May ganti ang bawat gawang mabuti. Crime does not pay but good things always pay. And it is Christ who pay.” Bro. Eli remarked.
The Celebrities’ Victory
Team Celebrity won by 8 points as the game closed with 80-88 score. Eric Vijandre with 13 points and Rodel Chua with 36 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals, were chosen as Best Players of the Game for teams Celebrity and Public Servants, respectively.
Another celebrity who was made victorious during the evening was Mr. Jimmy Sorena, a beggar from Subic who was given an opportunity to perform a song number at the Big Dome for that special evening. A video clip from the show “Istorya” was played telling Mang Jimmy’s life story. “Your leftover, I’ll appreciate” — was one of the messages that pricked the hearts of many. “I want him (God) to give me more life, life is wonderful,” he said. [Interviews by Avon Yang, Neil Kristofer Dizon, Stacey Tee]