SINGER-actor Ogie Alcasid will be doing a Bob Hope through the Bayanihan Peace Caravan 2011 that will hold musical concerts for soldiers in a bid to boost their morale amid allegations of high-level corruption in the military.
Comedian-actor Hope used to headline shows with other celebrities and stars, including Marilyn Monroe, to entertain US servicemen deployed overseas through United Service Organizations (USO) tours. He made some 60 USO tours to various destinations, including Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam war, for which he was honored by the US Congress as the "first and only honorary veteran of the US armed forces."
Alcasid, president of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), signed a memorandum of understanding with the AFP for the holding of the Rockrakan para sa Kapayapaan concert which kicks off on April 27 at the military’s general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
Alcasid will be accompanied by singers Noel Cabangon, Cookie Chua, Syato Banda and Mitch Valdes. Cabangon is the OPM’s vice president for external affairs while Valdes is the group’s chairman of the board. Chua, vocalist of the disbanded Color it Red band, is a member of the 500-man organization.
Performing with them are the Philippine Marine Corps, Philippine Navy Seabees and Philippine Air Force 710th Special Operations Wing and Ltjg. Chat Alvaro, singer of the song "Bayanihan" that was inspired by the military’s internal peace and security plan Bayanihan.
AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said the concert will be held in selected areas nationwide. He said they are now finalizing the dates and venues.
Alcasid said the activity is meant to show support for the troops. "We feel for the soldiers. You know, when all these things (allegations of corruption) came out, we thought that the morale of the soldiers went down. This is meant to restore (their morale). It’s just our way of showing that we’re for you, we are behind you," he said.
Alcasid, recently appointed by President Aquino to the People Power Commission, said his organization is also supporting the peace initiatives of the 120,000-strong military establishment. He said his group’s concerts have nothing to do with his post which pays him nothing. "I’m doing this as an ordinary citizen. You know, all of us can complain about many things that are going on in our society, even in government. But if you’re not gonna do anything about it (that’s useless)…I’d rather do things that can be of help and these (concerts) are one of them."