kumu recently wrapped up its first–ever Bayani Festival, an 8-week long virtual events series dedicated to making a difference. Held in partnership with 9 non-profit organizations, the online festival brought together wholesome fun, heart, and charitable causes – with a #kumufied twist, of course!
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The four major events included were “Palarong Pinoy”, the Search for Bayani Festival King & Queen, series of concerts tagged as Bayani Festival Presents, and the Bayani Team Tournaments. The first event involved traditional Filipino games converted into online versions, with viewers participating, winning and dropping virtual gifts for the benefit of charities. The Bayani Festival King & Queen, on the other hand, tickled our collective passion for pageants, challenging the candidates’ charm – physical and intellectual – in attracting viewers and judges to support the social cause each represented. Bayani Festival Presents featured concerts with a line up of kumunity gems willing to urge their fan base to support the cause. And lastly, the Bayani Team Tournaments saw 10 select Kumunity Teams competing for the best advocacy presentation.
The virtual bonanza, which ran from July 23 to September 12, 2021, was a massive success, raking in at least 10 million diamonds. Diana Dayao, kumu’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, excitedly shares the great news: “Due to the amazing reception, the Bayani Festival will now be an annual CSR showcase of kumu’s altruistic missions wherein everybody is welcome and needed. It embodies our ‘Sama All!’ motto and the Filipino bayanihan spirit!”
According to Dayao, organizing the festival took long hours, brains, and a whole lot of heart, as kumu hosted 25 virtual events; each needed their own sets of program, hosts, performers, speakers, and judges. In addition, kumu found amazing ways to introduce new twists to the activities, bringing more fun and energy to the virtual stage while keeping audiences engaged throughout.
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“We set an example for our non-profit organization partners and showed them the power of Kumunity. In the end, everybody found a new home, new skills, [and] new purpose. The most amazing feedback from most participants really was the connection and the journey throughout the festival,” Dayao beams.
Among the organization partners were Save The Children Philippines, Theater Actors Guild, World Wide Fund for Nature PH, Waves for Water PH, Manila Street Love, Mano Amiga PH, Campaign One At A Time, For Our Farmers PH, and Tech For Filipino Youth.
Actress Liza Soberano has this to say, “As a child rights’ advocate and ambassador of Save the Children Philippines,I am happy and grateful to kumu and the whole kumunity for staging events such as this. I know that through our collective actions we can make a difference in the lives of many Filipinos.”
Mano Amiga Philippines was truly thankful for the opportunity to share their advocacy to a wider global audience. “By giving our organization visibility on your platform, kumu makes it easier for others to support our cause through virtual gifts,” says Sarah Castro. The organization looks forward to participating in more of these events as “we can now reach out to people and promote our mission of providing accessible and high-quality education to low-income communities.”
Waves for Water was also amazed by the immense support from the Kumunity. Jenica Dizon, W4W country director comments, “Our cause is to provide access to clean water. If people are given access to this basic need, this means less money spent on medicine and clinic visits, and less time staying home being sick. This also means more time for school, work, and play. With the support of the kumu Bayani Festival community, we can get the word out, raise funds, and rally the 9 out of 10 Filipinos who can help make clean water projects happen throughout the country.”
More than just being a beneficiary, organizations were delighted to become happy participants in the festivities, especially the Theater Actors Guild (TAG). A representative from TAG remarks, “This event was a great opportunity to expand and extend our bayanihan spirit. We were able to share a stronger sense of community that we all gravely need these days. The kumu Bayani Festival helped us connect with a new and bigger world, beyond what we were accustomed to.”
Box Seblario, part of the world music group The Enchanting which hosted the Chinese Garter episode of Palarong Pinoy, adds, “It was great to see that bayanihan is still possible even in this kind of platform. This opportunity not only gave me joy, but it gave me a bigger purpose as a streamer. I enjoyed the games and the performances, because the audience were really appreciative of the contents that we were showing.”
Throughout the run of the festival, there was no lack of laughter, and Pinoys were only too delighted to be distracted by all the fun activities – especially the King and Queen pageant. Crowned at the end were Queen Margeaux Cadavez (@margeaux) representing Manila Street Love, King JC Santos representing For Our Farmers PH and Royalty John Fred Marc of Tech for Filipino Youth. A seasoned winner, Cadaves was surprised to have won the crown, and was satisfied just joining the pageant. “For the next run, I also want to invite more people and get them more involved, because it’s amazing what we can do together with our platforms. Hopefully by doing this, we inspire more people to help, we inspire people to do bayanihan!”
On the other hand, Marc shares that this may be his first time joining a contest, but he already feels the immense pride of being part of the Kumunity. “I entered the contest because of the idea of using my platform to make a difference and to serve as an inspiration to the youth. If we have the heart to help, we can find a way.”
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Setting apart the Bayani Festival King & Queen search from other pageants is its direction and model. “What we were looking for was a real advocate, a charming one at that. One unique part I added to the Coronation Night in lieu of talent portion was the Royalty Clash wherein two candidates were pre-matched to answer a thought-provoking question that could render opposing or clashing views. It really opened up conversations,” Dayao shared.
More than just fun and games, kumu, of course, took the opportunity and trained the spotlight on serious causes, fulfilling its role in being a conduit of change. For the Bayani Team Tournaments, the Frontliners emerged the champions after creating a memorable and comprehensive presentation, highlighting the cause closest to their heart – quality education for kids. “Our team was born out of the pandemic and because of this, our main goal has always been to help people.”, says a representative from the Frontliners. “We are also personally invested in the success of the organization as we also have members who have children who would benefit from the efforts of the organization.”
kumu is a real game-changer, life-saver, and innovator. And through events such as this, kumu proves that it will always be a positive force in and outside the digital sphere. Will there be another Bayanihan Festival in the future? Judging by the positivity and impact of these efforts, it seems very likely that the Kumunity will seek more ways to flourish these virtual festivals.
More exciting news and shows are expected in the coming weeks! So make sure to stay tuned at kumu. You can also follow @kumuph onInstagram, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest events, and surprises from your favorite Pinoy livestreaming platform. To keep tabs on the Kumunity and all its exciting happenings, follow the @juankumunity on Instagram, or check the kumu blogfor all the latest news.
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