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SAWA Philippine Students Activists Workers Artists

Article by Ben Nacion

Donation to Jeffrey Reodica Memorial Fund on April 9, 2005

Review of "Para Mama! / The Jeepney Project"
By Ben Nacion

When I decided to attend and be part of SAWA's fundraiser on March 19th, not only did I have personal reservations about having a good time, I had no inkling that I would end up with the formidable task of writing about the experience.

I had never been to the venue, Rotonda 21 before. As I walked in I saw familiar smiling, welcoming faces. Meringue music was playing and it took all my strength not to jump into the middle of the dance floor, start gyrating, and make a major fool of myself.

I finally made the conscious decision to just share a table with some people I knew when the entertainment started. The co-hosts were dressed in a fusion of flamboyantly fabulous fashion. One was clad in an all-black outfit straight from the set of "The Fifth Element", while the other in an explosion of colors reminiscent of Carmen Miranda sans the fruity headdress.

The performances were entertaining. The Galaxy Girls rendered their female-impersonating prowess, Combat Science expertly showcased their self-defense artistry, Grupo MaL, Salsa dancers treated us to gender-bending choreography, and the dancers from Pardz Nite dazzling the stage with their moves. Special kudos to Ms. Lilac Caña, her vocal range was nothing short of perfection. Lilac's song choices showcased her versatility as a singer - from opera, and ballads, to Tagalog songs.

For me, the highlight of the event was a speech given by the mother and father of Jeffrey Reodica, a 17-year old Filipino youth shot by police three times after an incident on May 21, 2004. The Reodica's talked about the impact of their son's tragic death on their family, and shared information about the impending inquest. Like most, I had read about the incident, but actually hearing directly from Jeffrey's parents brought up strong feelings in the audience. Personally, I felt an eerie sense of seething anger from within.

I was glad I went to the event. I had a wonderful time.

SAWA raised $900 towards the Jeffrey Reodica Memorial Fund, the Canadian Committee for Relief to Eastern Province (for tsunami survivors) and Migrante International (for flood relief in the Philippines).

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