In 2015, while the country grieved for the unjust killing of the 44 member of the Special Action Force (SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the leadership of UNTV headed by its CEO and multi-awarded humanitarian, Kuya Daniel Razon, put together a benefit concert for the surviving families of the fallen troopers.
The country’s top artists gathered together for the staging of the first “Songs for Heroes” — a touching tribute to the valiance of Filipino soldiers and policemen.
The celebration was made more poignant with the participation of talented members of government forces themselves, because who better to tell stories of their sacrifices than one of their own.
From the concert’s proceeds, UNTV was able to grant P6-million to the PNP Special Assistance Fund with additional P1million from Bro. Eli Soriano of Members Church of God International (MCGI).
This is on top of the P10,000 that Bro. Eli gave on the spot that night to each surviving family of the Fallen 44 and the offer of free primary to tertiary education at La Verdad Christian College.
The concert’s success prompted a sequel, “Songs for Heroes: Ang Mamatay Nang Dahil Sa Iyo” coinciding with the retirement of AFP’s then chief, Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. and PNP’s then OIC, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina.
Encouraged to leave a lasting legacy to their men, the generals collaborated with UNTV and successfully raised P4-million for the assistance funds of AFP and PNP.
As the Marawi siege descended upon the country in May, our government troops once again donned their gear, en route to a mission they know, they may never return from.
The eventual victory of the five-month battle for the liberation of Marawi led to a new-found appreciation for the nation’s peacekeepers whose stories of heroism and courage ignited the collective patriotism of Filipinos.
But drowned by the crowd’s loud cheer for the homecoming heroes, are the silent sobs of parents, wives and children left behind by those who perished in the unforgiving battle.
Now that the dust of war has finally settled, we are confronted by its casualties: orphaned families of slain uniformed personnel and injured soldiers and cops who may never return to active duty.
For the third time, UNTV has once again risen to the call of public service and put together, “Songs for Heroes 3: Bayani ng Marawi.”
The charity concert will be staged in Mall of Asia Arena on October 31, 2017 at 7pm and shall benefit the bereaved families of our hailed Marawi Heroes.
Performers include Kris Lawrence, Jason Dy, Darren Espanto, Richard Reynoso, Jamie Rivera, Bo Cerrudo, Jett Pangan, Ney Dimaculangan, Aia de Leon, Leah Patricio, Mela, Chacha Cañete, Plethora Band, KNC Kids and 1075 Wishcovery’s Wishful 20.
The bereaved families of slain policemen and soldiers along with those who gallantly survived the battle will honor the concert with their presence. They will be led by their respective chiefs, PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa and AFP General Eduardo Año.
This effort, truth be told, is a small price to pay for the priceless sacrifices we owe our valiant men and women of AFP and PNP.