Music heals the souls of street children

June 28, 2019
Margie T. Logarta (Ateneo Batch 1977, AB Communication Arts)

“At least one number during the Christmas Mass in December. At least one.”
This was the request that Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (Ateneo Class 1977, AB Pre-Divinity/Philosophy) made of the 25 youngsters, who performed in Pulling Strings II on June 22 at Buklod ng Pag-ibig Center in Quezon City.
A continuation of the “Music and Arts and Basic Computer Skills Development Program for Indigent Children and Youth in the Archdiocese of Manila,” – a special project of the Cardinal, Ateneo Class 1977 and Security Bank Corporation – the mini-recital featured graduates of the basic violin course and Grade 1 violin course in three group performances and 10 solo performances.
All are residents of the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation centers in Intramuros and Quezon City.
Showing confidence and pluck, the budding artists essayed a range of selections, from classics like Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” to popular hits Jessie J’s “Flashlight” and Titanic’s “My Heart will Go On.” They certain did their teacher Marian San Miguel and other volunteer coaches proud!

Cardinal Tagle, enthused by what he witnessed, joined the kids in the last number to sing old favorite, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
The Music & Arts Development Skills Program had its genesis when Cardinal Tagle watched a concert of young South Korean musicians some years ago. It turned out that they were orphans, who had poured the pain and sorrow at being abandoned into their art. This gave Cardinal Tagle the idea that music and art would be an ideal way for the street children of Manila to express themselves.
In August 7, 2017, that long-held dream became a reality when Ateneo College Class 1977, with the generous support of Security Bank Corporation, headed by another classmate, Alfonso “Yogi” Salcedo, Jr., and heart-warming donations by other classmates, turned over to the Archdiocese of Manila several violins, art kits, computers and printers for use of the first beneficiary, Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation.
Known as TNK, the group serves to offer “a normal life to the poorest children of Manila by providing them with a home and solutions in the areas of education, nutrition and health.”
Previously, Music & Arts Development Skills Program organized Pulling Strings, Art and Soul on April 7, 2018, a combination recital and art exhibit, also at Buklod ng Pag-ibig Center. Then, in cooperation with the prestigious ARTipolo Association, the children enjoyed eight art classes in drawing and water color, conducted by the group’s member-volunteers, which culminated in an art exhibit in July 2018. Prizes were awarded outstanding talents.
Pulling Strings II ended on a high note when an Estrel’s famous butter cake was brought out to mark Cardinal Tagle’s birthday the day before, and his batchmates presented him with the inscription of his name on the wall of the Arete Creative Hub.
Photos taken at Pulling Strings II
Photos taken at Pulling Strings, Art and Soul
Photos taken at Art Workshop and Art Exhibit, July 2018