365 Days to Change: The Aftermath
I’m still a little bit stunned that we actually pulled it off. You’d never guess that planning for the event took place in under a month. The start of the show was incredibly stressful, with all sorts of last minute details and mini-crises to deal with. But once we got everyone settled inside the theater, I was able to relax and enjoy the show.
My favorite performances of the night were the hilarious remake of Bohemian Rhapsody by Jim Paredes, Buboy Garovillo, Isay Alvarez, Bituin Escalante and Robert Sena; Tempestuous Jones’ rendition of Nosi Balasi (which totally transported me back to the 80s); the sizzling hot dance number by hiphop champions Philippine All Stars (“Mainit! Mainit!”); and Yeng Constantino’s passionate appeal to the youth to “stand up, be counted, speak your mind.”
In between performances, 3 new Juana Change videos were premiered: “Rowbaht,” an explanation of the OMR vs. OES issue infinitely more entertaining than any of MGG’s press releases on election automation thus far; “Kulungan,” a satire about speaking the truth and social justice; and “Baligtaran,” a rejection of apathy and cynicism.
Towards the end of the program, Mae announced that she’s giving herself 365 days to lose weight. “Ano naman ang kinalaman niyan sa pagbabago ng bayan?” Jim and Buboy asked her. “Sino ba ang bayan?” Mae countered. “Di ba tayo?” Mae went on to explain in order to change the country, we need to look within ourselves and make a personal committment to change the things that need to be changed. In her case, she said that it was her lack of discipline and greed. Quoting Apolinario Mabini, she challenged the audience to undertake an internal and external revolution.
‘An internal and an external revolution are necessary at the same time.’ Mabini warned that unless citizens renounce their vices, and solidly anchor their moral education, the new nation would be plagued by civil war and internal dissent.1
I got teary-eyed at the finale, when the entire cast performed Maniwala Ka as a huge Philippine flag unfurled from the balcony and the confetti rained down on the crowd. I was so moved by the response of the audience, who were on their feet clapping and cheering. There was a renewed sense hope and determination in the air. It was inspiring to feel part of something much larger than ourselves, and to realize that together we can change our destiny. Naniniwala ako na may pag-asa pa!
Congratulations, friends and colleagues in ArtistsRevolution and MGG. It’s a privilege to work with you. Here’s to 365 363 more days of blood, sweat and tears para sa bayan. Todo na ‘to!
365 Days to Change in the News:
Concert starts countdown towards change (Bandila)
Pinoy artists call for ‘revolution’ (ABS-CBNNews.com)
Belting out songs for change (Inquirer.net)
1 Felice Sta. Maria, Visions of the Possibe: Legacies of Philippine Freedom, Publishing, Inc., Makati City, Philippines, 1998, p. 76