Music Rebuilds Distraught Philippine Communities

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The past few years have been tough for the Philippines, as disasters come one after the other. Fortunately, music from progressive artists continues to reach the helpless and hopeless marginalized sectors of the country. Through music, the message of hope that can be achieved through collective actions becomes attainable and available even to the most vulnerable parts of the Philippines. In 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) destroyed many communities and took many lives in Visayas, the middle region of the Philippines. However, until today, communities have not yet fully recovered, as collective efforts to help the people were not facilitated well enough by the government to provide shelter and aid to those in need.

Edge Uyanguren, a singer who is a member of the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, writes songs and performs them to continue the support and relief operations in the Visayas region. Together with his wife Glennis, as well as various people and cause-oriented organization, he helps in the rehabilitation efforts in communities shattered by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Also, through his songs, he sends the message that there is still hope in the face of adversity and state abandonment. He continuously asserts that only through collective actions can the people be able to face and struggle against the oppressive Philippine society that has long been impoverished by inequality and unfair power relations.

It is really difficult for Filipinos to even move forward from natural disasters, as the government seems not interested enough in helping the people recover. As a matter of fact, corruption allegations hinder the development of communities as the supposed funds that were thought to rebuild communities have been misused and misallocated. Because of this, people, particularly the children, continue to suffer. Some even die even without seeing a little bit of hope in their lives.

In tough times like this, music has become the therapy for the people to help them release the trauma that disasters have given them. It is also a way for them to get inspired by the message of progress that can only be achieved if people work together collectively to hold the government accountable of their misactions in addressing the problems of the nation.

More so, music has become the driving force so that people would never lose their rationality. It has become the shelter that helped them face succeeding storms altogether. However, the best part of music that helps in rebuilding the distraught nation is its cause-orientedness. Music, in this instance, is not used for arts sake but as a concrete tool to gather enough support so that people in ravaged communities would be stronger and more stable. It has become an instrument of unity so that people can organize by themselves, even in the absence of government support. Most importantly, music became the reflection of the people’s collective aspirations to strive for a better life that everyone rightfully deserves.

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