Peace Concert: You Ain’t Heavy, You’re My Brother

Zamboanga City – HEAVY rains and strong winds brought on by typhoon “Lando” did not prevent the enthusiasm of top local musicians from performing during the 2nd Musical Peace Festival held in Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Gymnasium last November 27.

A quiet, enigmatic power coming from the music played by the performers filled the gym and neutralized the broken percussions of the weather outside as different songs about peace, love and humanity were dished out to the audience.

The peace concert was opened up by the Mindanaoan’s Youth Songwriting for Peace (MYSP) duo Darwin Wally Wee, who played drums, and Chester Ross Cabaltera on guitars and vocals along with their rhythm sections of Louie Santos on bass guitar and Jupiter Pollisco on rhythm guitar belting out ditties of peace like “Kasama” by Bridge and “Naroon” by Yano. They also played two tracks from the MYSP peace album – “Punda”, a beat about fundamentalism, and “Ligawasan”, an eco-song about Ligawasan Marsh (in Cotabato) becoming extinct.

Top local musicians who top-billed the concert included renowned Tausug Zamboangueño artist Rameer Tawasil, heading a seven-piece folk ensemble who are actually regular players in the city’s top music dives. They rendered meaningful folk music which carried out messages of love and peace like “Mindanao”, a song by Freddie Aguilar, “Bayan Kong Sinilangan” by Asin, and Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”, which impressed the audience with their gong and kulintangan arrangements.

Another group of performers were some selected students from WMSU, who struck up mainstream songs like “Taralets” by Imago and “Mr. Clay” by Bamboo.

“This is a different kind of a musical concert which I never attended before. It is so amazing that with the medium of music, one can deliver peace messages directly to the people – to love, to be free and to be one despite of the cultural differences that we have”, was how Lirio Tordil described the experience.

Beside the peace concert’s stage was a large-screen slide show of different images of the cultural diversity and episodes of violence in Mindanao to add a graphic counterpoint to the audio sensation.

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