Using Music to Cross Boundaries and Unite

Zamboanga CD Release Concert
(Photo : CFCA)
Zamboanga CD Release Concert
It all started when the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) group in the Zamboanga community of the Philippines suggested putting on a concert to celebrate peace. The coastal city, which is home to nearly 1 million people, is predominantly Catholic, but Muslim rebels have fought for an autonomous homeland in the region for almost half a century. Poverty abounds and life is a daily struggle for harmony. But for 13 Muslim and Christian young Filipinos, it is a struggle worth working through.

The teens and young adults, all sponsored by the CFCA, volunteered to form the headlining band for the concert. They had a mere three months to learn how to play traditional Filipino instruments. They practiced four hours a day, every day, in the midst of school, work and family responsibilities. A band was formed and a bond that crossed religious boundaries was born.

Led by Barclay Martin, a Kansas City, Missouri musician from CFCA, the teens stepped onto the biggest stage of their lives. Rise and Dream, a documentary that chronicles the concert and the road they had to take to get there, shows that love and music can cross any boundary.

The Young People from Rise and Dream Now:

  • Ainee is now 22. Two months after the concert, she lost her mother but she continued to follow her dreams. With the help of a CFCA Scholarship, she went to college, graduated and found a job as a merchandising supervisor at a department store in Zamboanga. She is married and has a little boy.
  • Annaliza is also 22. She hopes to get her degree in marine biology but has had to take a break school to help her family. She works as an accounting clerk at an appliance store.
  • Christian L (called "Chan") sells homemade pastries to help his family with the bills. In his final year of college, he is very close to earning a bachelor of science degree in physical education.
  • Christian M. (called "Naknak) completed his bachelor's degree in accounting in April 2010. He then became a certified public accountant after passing the CPA exam in May 2012.
  • Harold is 22 and he graduated with a bachelor of science in economics in 2011. He began working at a company north of Zamboanga that distributes coffee and food items.
  • Lorie Ann graduated from college in 2009, earning a bachelor of science in secondary education through a CFCA Scholarship. She lives at home, taking care of her ailing fathe, while she looks for a job in education.
  • Mark is 23 and the young drummer has completed an architectural drafting program and has taken computer education classes. He works as a contract employee at a telecommunications office in Zamboanga City.
  • Miguel is 24, having completed school and earned an accounting degree. Since graduating in 2011, he has been taking care of his ill mother.
  • Rex was able to attend Mindanao State University and study mechanical engineering.
  • Ryan B. (called "Ouch") graduated college with a degree in elementary education and joined the Philippine Air Force, where the 22-year-old continues to serve.
  • Ryan is 25 and he graduated from college in 2010 with a degree in forestry. He went to work for a government agency outside of Zamboanga City.
  • Wengie is now 20. The young singer is an active member in her church's choir who receives invitations to sing at parties, weddings and other special occasions. After spending a year in college, she began working at a call center outside Zamboanga City to earn extra money to help with her educational costs. She plans to work for a year and then return to college to finish her studies and earn a bachelor of science in office management.
  • Xarina obtained her nursing degree in 2012 at the age of 20.

Watch Rise and Dream

Tags : CFCA Philippines

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