AKapella visited Carewell for the first time, and this first event was such a success! AKapella had been looking for a partner to support when they came across Carewell. Carewell was a perfect match, as it supported cancer patients, a cause that’s close to AKapella’s heart.
Before the event, the participants sent a list of songs they would like to be sung to them. These songs had to be meaningful in reminding them of a past happy or poignant moment in their lives. In addition, they sent in pictures of themselves in moments of happiness. The pictures were added to a slideshow that was projected during the event.
Once all the participants were seated, AKapella was introduced, how it came about and it’s activities. Then, each person got a chance to share their individual stories and be serenaded by the AKapella volunteers. The songs were extremely powerful, the participants shared laughter and shed tears. Some of the participants even volunteered to sing their songs.
Some of the Carewell Members sharing their stories.
Tita G, a cancer survivor, was one of them. An OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) wife, her husband has been away working overseas for 18 years. Theirs is a typical family set-up for millions of Filipinos who work overseas to provide a better life for their families in the Philippines. To make the separation more bearable, the couple agreed to never express their emotions to each other during their regular phone calls. “We’re not allowed to say ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you’,” she explains. Even when she was diagnosed with cancer, she had to endure treatments alone without her husband beside her.
Tita G requested the song ‘This Time I’ll be Sweeter’, and dedicated this to her husband, "This time I’ll be sweeter, our love will run deeper."
She personally sang the song and, with photos of her life showing in the background, tears streamed down her face. “This is the first time in 18 years that I’ve been able to express my feelings for my husband,” she said.
It was a beautiful program, where everyone was surrounded by stories of love and comfort through music. Sometimes, what helps us heal is when we get to share our journey with others. And through this small act of singing meaningful songs with memories or stories attached to them, people can make the journey worthwhile.
Visit the manilastandard.net for the feature of this visit in Carewell Community.