Fifty-three members of the Loboc Youth Ambassador Band (LYAB), a 10-year-old musical group, benefitted in Tzu Chi Foundation’s rice distribution on August 6. The activity was conducted at the Loboc School of Music in Barangay Jimili-an, Loboc.
The distribution was Tzu Chi’s way of showing support to the said musical group.
The Loboc Youth Ambassador Band (LYAB) is a project of the Loboc Youth Education Association (LYEA) which aims to alleviate poverty and promote gender equality. Its members are composed of boys and girls from Grade 3 to senior high school.
The project’s goal is to provide free musical training for children who came from the marginalized sector so that they can avail of free college education by becoming members of school bands. The children are also provided with musical instruments, solicited from patrons and donors.
Currently, the project has already trained 495 students. One hundred and forty of these are now pursuing their college education through scholarship grants as members of their respective school bands.
21-year-old Maryrose Arbuyes is among the first batch of LYAB. She joined the band in 2008. She plays the clarinet.
“I found myself getting in love with the music my clarinet is producing and how it synchronizes with others,” she said.
Her hard work in training paid off. She is currently in her third year of studying Business Administration at the Holy Name University. She is also the present LYAB’s band president.
“I am thankful that aside from my LYAB (Loboc Youth Ambassadors Band) family, there are other groups supporting us in one way or another to reach our dreams,” said Arbuyes of Tzu Chi’s rice donation.
Another band member is 14-year-old Christine Ancla. She joined the band when she was in sixth grade, hoping to ease her parents’ burden for her college tuition fees when the time comes. She is currently in ninth grade.
Ancla’s mother is a housewife while her father is a bus fee conductor/collector whose income is not sufficient to sustain the family needs.
She said the rice gift from Tzu Chi is a big relief to her family. “This can help reduce a week’s expenses. Thank you Tzu Chi. This just means our basic need for one week will be sustained,” she added.
Each band member received 20-kilo sack of Taiwan rice.
Meanwhile, Tzu Chi Foundation advocated kindness, compassion, joy and selfless giving through a program before the rice distribution.
Arbuyes was moved by the said program.
“It is important to share our blessings to others as it will help both the giver and receiver, and I learned that we can be happy when we do good deeds,” she said.
Before the Tzu Chi volunteers, staff, and scholars left, the band expressed their gratitude with a musical performance.
The Loboc Youth Ambassadors Band (LYAB) members are composed of underprivileged boys and girls who are passionate about music and wish to pursue their college education. During Tzu Chi volunteers’ visit, band members explain about the musical instruments that they are playing. 【Photo by Kristelle C. Ferrir】
The relief program starts with a prayer. Everyone put their palms together to pray for peace and harmony in the world. 【Photo by Kristelle C. Ferrir】
Tzu Chi scholars help in piling up the 20-kilo sacks of Taiwan rice which will be distributed to the band members. 【Photo by Kristelle C. Ferrir】
Maryrose Arbuyes (third form left) plays the clarinet. She is grateful that apart from the LYAB, several other groups such as Tzu Chi Foundation are also helping her fellow band members to reach their dreams. 【Photo by Kristelle C. Ferrir】
Christine Ancla receives the 20-kilo sack of rice allocated for her family. She extends her gratitude to Tzu Chi for the blessing. 【Photo by Kristelle C. Ferrir】
The band expresses their gratitude to Tzu Chi with a performance. Their repertoire on this special day includes “Let It Go.” 【Photo by Kristelle C. Ferrir】