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Home Sections Entertainment Arnel Pineda, Himself a Typhoon Victim, Hosts a Fundraiser for Other Victims in California Today
Arnel Pineda, Himself a Typhoon Victim, Hosts a Fundraiser for Other Victims in California Today PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Entertainment
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Friday, 06 November 2009 08:49

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(Journal Group Link International)

 

C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – Arnel Pineda has never forgotten his roots in the Philippines.

 

The newly-acquired lead vocalist of the popular American rock band, “Journey,” was among the thousands whose homes were devastated by the killer Typhoons Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma) last month.

 

Yet, Mr. Pineda, 42, is leading a fund-raising event not to fix his own flooded home but to raise funds for the thousands of other less-fortunate victims of the twin-killer typhoons.

 

Arnel Pineda’s friend and voice impersonator, Fernando “Ronnie” M. Estrada of San Jose, California, told this reporter that he was supposed to meet with Mr. Pineda in Manila this week. But the Journey front man begged off to make it to his appointment to clean up his flooded home in Quezon City.

 

Mr. Estrada and mutual friend, Dr. Sam Obsuna, saw Arnel Pineda off at the San Francisco International Airport two weeks ago. He was bound for Manila, where they were supposed to hold a reunion.


 

Editor’s Note: Please view two YouTube videos of the Journey Band, as published in this website, Arnel Pineda - New Lead Singer for Journey

 

B ut it was only after Mr. Pineda arrived in the Philippines when the singer found out the extent of the damage to his home, preventing him from complying with his prior social commitments.

 

Mr. Pineda, however, has taken off from overseeing the repair of his home this week so he can return to California to attend the “Golden State Warriors ‘Filipino Heritage Game’” today, Friday (November 6), at the Oracle Arena in Oakland when the Warriors host L.A. Clippers during an NBA game.

 

Even before returning to the Philippines a month ago when news broke out that Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng wrought havoc upon Metro Manila and a big part of Luzon, Arnel Pineda donated $25,000 to Sagip Kapamilya.

 

Arnel Pineda will have a special appearance during the game and will field questions after the game.

 

Afterwards, Mr. Pineda will sign autographs and whatever money is raised during the event will go to the foundation bearing his name. The Arnel Pineda Foundation “will use a portion of the proceeds from each ticket” generated during the event for the relief efforts to aid typhoon victims in the Philippines.

 

The foundation will work in collaboration with the Filipino American Arts Exposition, the Filipina Women’s Network, the Bayanihan House, Manilatown, ClubWorks, Inc. and others.


Even before returning to the
Philippines a month ago when news broke out that Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng wrought havoc upon Metro Manila and a big part of Luzon, Mr. Pineda donated $25,000 to Sagip Kapamilya.

 

Mr. Pineda had just wrapped up Journey’s concert tour in the U.S. when the two typhoons brought deaths and destructions in the Philippines. He immediately signed up for an all-star benefit concert at Music Museum last October 10 and another one with international pop artist Katy Perry at SM Mall of Asia concert grounds in the Philippines on November 15.

 

A ccording to Philippines Today, a weekly out of the Bay Area in California, during his seven-month break, Arnel is going to launch the pet project of his foundation, which would help the street children of which he once was.

 

The project will follow the concept of “kariton street education,” popularized by CNN Hero finalist Efren Peñaflorida.

 

Arnel will be giving back to the community by providing teachers around Roxas Boulevard or Payatas to extend education to the out-of-school youths.

 

“Biglang buhos ang grasya sa akin so in my own little way, sana maibalik ko yong blessings na yan sa mga mahihirap lalo na dun sa mga bata.” (As I received a huge blessing, in my own little way, I want to return the blessing especially to the kids.), Arnel was quoted as saying.

 

Mr. Pineda was introduced to American national audience recently when his Journey band appeared on Oprah Winfrey popular ABC TV talk show.

 

The Queen of Talk Show was shocked and amazed over the singing talent of Arnel and his inspiring rags-to-riches story.


Arnel, who had to scrap for food by singing to friends, has a diminutive stature but has a booming tenor voice that has been missing from the Journey band following the departure of lead vocalist Steve Ferry in 1995.

 

In 2007, Journey lead guitarist Neil Schon stumbled on an amateur video clip of Arnel’s original The Zoo band posted on YouTube, showing Arnel crooning Journey’s selection.

 

In a GQ magazine interview, Schon said, “The hair stood up on my arms. I got up off the computer and told my girlfriend, ‘No way – this guy sounds too good. I don’t believe it.’”

 

Bass guitarist Ross Valory had goose bumps when he checked the YouTube clip. While drummer Dean Castronovo said, “it was frightening to see that voice come out from the little guy! Ha, ha, ha! It’s just so strong. And the best part of it was to see how humble the man was, just humble human being (with) beautiful heart."

 

The Journey had recorded such hits as “Don’t Stop Believing,” “Faithfully” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.”


The Journey’s new album, Revelation, is available exclusively at Wal-Mart.

 

The album package consists of a CD featuring eleven new Journey songs with Pineda on vocals, a DVD of the Planet Hollywood show, and a third disc featuring Pineda-sung re-recordings of eleven Journey classics whose original iterations featured Ferry.

 

A documentary, “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey,” is being produced, featuring Neal Schon, lead guitar, Jonathan Cain, keyboard and rhythm guitar, Ross Valory, bass, Deen Castronovo, drum; introducing Arnel Pineda for a 2010 release. It is a “post-YouTube, post American Idol generational view of an inspirational rags-to-riches story set against the backdrop of some of the most anthemic songs of recent rock n’roll history. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net) # # #



 

 



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Last Updated on Friday, 06 November 2009 09:03
 

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