By Evo Joel Contrivida
Damay Kamay was created by concerned actors and actresses mainly to help address the financial needs of their colleagues, particularly in time of medical emergencies. But what happened to Actors Guild, is the organization incapable of assisting any member when the need arises?
It’s Labor Day and some big names from showbiz industry celebrated it with a more meaningful event, purposely meant for a big cause. They were raising funds to help their co-actors who needed much financial help for medical purpose. The show was entitled Labor-Akbay, where celebrities performed and stars sold their most-prized things (like dresses, bags and shoes). It was held at the Pioneer Market, along Reliance Street in Mandaluyong City. it was spearheded by a new group called Damay Kamay Foundation.
The said foundation started from a phone call by actress Jackylen Jose to theater and TV actor Peter Serrano, to post in social media to raise funds for the medication of Julio Diaz a few weeks ago, wherein the actor underwent a brain aneurism surgery, and needed immediate medical attention. Diaz needed to raise P1 million for his urgent medical operation and for him to survive.
Serrano immediately posted the situation of Diaz, and in less than 24 hours the said amount was raised and was given immediately to the Diaz family. Afterwards, Serrano was able to communicate to actress Vivian Velez and Bianca Lapuz for a meeting, and organized a fund raising event that will continue to support Diaz in his recovery, and for other actors who need help in order to live.
“Alam mo dun mo makikita ang puso ng mga taga-industriya, mga artista, nagkaisa, actually in less than 24 hours the P1million was raised, mararamdaman mo yung prisensya ng Diyos in that 24-hour period,” Serrano said.
During the said meeting, Velez suggested to create a foundation to further help actors who needed financial medical support, like Diaz. Nadia Montenegro right away registered the group at the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), under the name Damay Kamay Foundation. But still in the process of completion as they needed to raise another P1 Million as deposit to make the foundation a legit one. Serrano was confident that they will be able to comply to SEC requirement as they are committed to pursue the organization. Judy Ann Santos and Vhong Navarro are also part of the group as members of the Board of Directors.
And as a kickstart, Labor Akay was born along with Bianca Lapuz’ events company, and then stars started to pour in and sent their donations, either by performances, personal items and cash, as well. Aside from Diaz, the beneficiaries of the first Labor fund raising were singer-actor Richard Merck and actress Len Ag-Santos.
“Labor Akay is going to be an annual event, kasi one of the foundation’s target is to give all actors Philhealth Card, kasi kahit may health card eh hindi mo sya magagamit kung wala kang Philhealth, so yun ang next step namin. Pero ang Damay Kamay is actually for artists who will or may need medical emergencies, like deposit sa ospital, agarang gamot, even pagpapadala ng ambulance,”. Serrano explained.
Among local stars who volunteered to perform yesterday were Aiza Seguera, Piolo Pascual and his son Inigo, Tart Carlos (known as Yaya Doris from the soap opera Be Careful With My Heart), Martin Nievera, Niño and son Alonzo Muhlach, Jopay, Gesille Sanchez, Beverly Salviejo, Pilita Corales, Atak, Abby Asistio, Masculados. Also present in the event who did some short hosting stint are Lito Pimentel, Ricardo Cepeda, Alma Concepcion, Direk Maryo J. Delos Reyes, Ricky Davao, Shintaro Valdez, Mickey Ferriols, Archie Alemania, Ernie Garcia, Carlo Maceda and a lot more. Anne Curtis, Marian Rivera, Gary V, Heart Evangelista, Vhong Navarro and others auctioned their most prized personalized things.
“The unity is there, I’ve never seen actors this united for one cause, na ang ganda-ganda ng nangyari by the grace of God.” Serrano said in closing.
Serrano cleared to Glitter.ph that the beneficiaries are solely for film (TV and movie) actors and actresses. They can be reached thru Facebook, Twitter and Instagram thru Damay Kamay Foundation.