DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 March) — Australian rock band Bonney Read had a very simple objective for their first gig in the Philippines: as musicians, the band members wanted to use the same influence that they had on their followers to make a difference in communities in need.
The band wanted to use its same voice to send out a relevant message: “poverty is a behavioral problem with economic consequences.”
“In order to transform a nation, we need to empower its poor by providing them with quality education, and helping them attain the mindset and skills with which they can build cooperative and progressive communities,” the band wrote in their website.
Bonney Read’s belief strongly aligns with aid organizations Gawad Kalinga (GK) and Joomajam—their partners for their first “international” tour, the Philippine Humanitour 2015.
Throughout March, Bonney Read embarked on a nine-date tour in the Philippines. The band ran music workshops and built houses at GK communities; and held gigs in Manila and Davao, donating the proceeds of these (along with the sales of their new single Days Gone By) to Joomajam’s education program.
They played in saGuijo Cafe + Bar in Makati; Route 196 in Quezon; Taboan (Matina Town Square), and Sa’Less Diner and Moozika in Davao.
“Bonney Read’s tour in PH is huge for me because I’ve never actually played in Davao,” guitarist Kat Ayala said. “I was with a completely different band the last time I played in Manila; I was playing bass back then.”
“I also have a lot of friends there who have never seen me play. And it just means so much to me to be able to show my family and friends what I do, why I care so much about it, and why I’m so passionate about it,” she said. Kat is the daughter of musician Mike Ayala and niece of musicians Joey Ayala and Cynthia Alexander.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to my community—to my country—through something I’m passionate about, which is music. To play music and to do something important for other people is like a big dream come true for me,” Kat said when asked what her band’s Philippine tour means to her.
Kat, 29, and a contemporary music graduate of Macquarie University, said that she goes home to Davao every Christmas. She left to live and study in Australia in 2006 and eventually met Jess Cooper (vocals) and the rest of the gang (drummer Astrid Holz and bassist Jeremy Goldfinch) to form the band in 2012.
“I’ve influenced them in the humanitarian side of what we do,” she said. “I always want to come home to Davao and I love my country. I’m very lucky that my bandmates have embraced the things that are important to me.”
March 5, 9pm @ The 70’s Bistro with The ButcherCons and Top Junk
March 6 @ saGuijo Cafe + Bar Events – The Yellow Room’s Paramore Night
March 10 @ Saguijo with REKLAMO and Blue Jean Junkies
March 11 @ Route 196 Bar with Top Junk, Oh, Flamingo!, and Jensen & The Flips
March 13 @ Saguijo with Locked Down Entertainment
March 18 @ Taboan, MTS (Davao City)
March 20 @ Sa’Less Diner and Moozika (Davao City)
March 21 @ Route 196 with Blue Jean Junkies and Reklamo
(Connect with Bonney Read www.bonneyread.net and Facebook.com/bonneyread)