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Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The Gen Rosso tour passes through the city devastated by typhoon Haiyan in the Asian archipelago. Also Cebu and Davao were stop-overs. Excerpts from the diary of the international band’s journey.

“Tacloban, a city of 60,000 inhabitants in one of the many Philippine islands which was largely unknown to a large part of the world until last 8th of November, when it sadly became famous because of the Supertyphoon Yolanda  that hit it with all the strength of its 320 kilometer per hour winds, causing more than 10,000 victims. [On February 25] after three and a half months, we went there for a few hours to share the experience of suffering, of giving, of heroic generosity… of those people who did all they could to find water, food, clothes, gasoline, for themselves and for others; people who won over fear with faith, people who are proud to have survived…”. (continued in The kites of Tacloban)

“The metropolitan city, called Metro Cebu, is the second in the Country, bested only by Manila. The Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu is a private Catholic school of the Jesuits that welcomed us for another incredible project: “Spark for Change”. The characteristic was the participation of the students of a public school, who for the first time entered into a private school: it was beautiful to see them playing together in the courtyard of Sacred Heart School, as if they all belonged to just one school. Here is one of the more meaningful impressions of one of the teens: “I was a lost person… when I was able to get rid of my burden, I understood in a marvelous way what life is and what love is: it is not only being admired but it is sacrifice and determination to work for the good of the others”.

Video Choreography in prison in Cebu

At our arrival in the city, we met the vice-governor. After having explained to her our work in the schools and also in the prisons, she invited us to the prison of Cebu where 600 prisoners, presented a program for us, dancing four different choreographies.

A very meaningful reality that touched our heart is the social action project of the Focolare: “Golden Thread (Filo d’oro)”:  a small textile industry for poor youth and those in difficulty. These same teens helped us in building the stage design of Streetlight.

Before leaving, we went to the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño: the statue of the Infant Jesus, that was given as a baptismal gift to the Queen of Cebu, by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the era of the exploration of the Portuguese navigators in those lands. We entrusted our families and the teens we had met in out projects”. all’epoca della esplorazione del navigatore portoghese in quelle terre. Gli abbiamo affidato le nostre famiglie e i ragazzi incontrati nei progetti». (continued in Spark for change in Cebu)

“Davao, is the hometown of one of us: Joseph!Waiting at the airport, a was a group folkloristic group from the school, that astonished us with the beauty of their costumes and dances. We were welcomed by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of the city, experiencing important moments with them. In the City we received the title of “Ambassadors of Good Will” and in the end they asked us for a song; we sang a cappella one of the songs of the musical.

The two evenings of the show, held in the enormous gym of the Holy Cross College, gathered together around 7,000 spectators… a charge of unprecedented energy. The motto of the city of  Davao is : Life is here! We truly left with a sense of gratitude in our heart for having experienced once more, the warmth of the family of this splendid people… who gave us their LIFE” (continued in The surprises of Davao)