The eruption of Taal Volcano on January 12 saw many concerned citizens come to the aid of residents in Cavite and Batangas, who were forced to leave their homes due to the damage and danger caused by heavy ashfall.
Celebrities were among those who extended a helping hand. Actress Angel Locsin, who is one of the first to respond to victims of disaster, took to social media to enumerate the basic necessities people can donate to evacuees, then was seen repacking goods in a video taken in Taguig. Matteo Guidicelli, an actor and 2nd lieutenant of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was with the AFP when it distributed relief goods in an evacuation center in Batangas City. Even recent visitor, American comedian Dave Chappelle (whose wife is Filipina), answered the call for pledges of any kind, by donating a generous P1 million to relief operations.
Of course, it doesn’t take a disaster for stars to show their Good Samaritan side. Here are three celebrities who help year-round through their chosen causes:
Advocacies: Animals, cancer survivors, thalassemia patients
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Just a friendly reminder from Yogi, Panda and Casper to keep your furry friends safe during this time. 🙏🏻 Let’s not forget them in this time of need. ❤️ The PAWS Disaster Team has already confirmed that there are animals that are left at the site around Taal Volcano when people were evacuated. These animals are left tired, thirsty, and very hungry. 😔 If you would like to send help, they are in need of the ff: – cow feed – chicken feed – dog food – bottles of water – pet bowls. You may drop off your donations personally or send them via Grab or Lalamove to the PAWS Animal Shelter. For cash donations, you may deposit to these accounts: Acct Name: Philippine Animal Welfare Society BPI (swift no. BOPIPHMM) PHP Acct. No. 3943-0086-11 USD Acct. No. 3944-0021-61 PNB (swift no. PNBM PHMM) PHP Acct. No. 1888-70015305
Whether you know her as Heart Evangelista or Love Marie Ongpauco, the actress, artist, fashionista, and wife to Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero certainly lives up to her name. This staunch advocate of the #adoptdontshop campaign for pets, is mama to Panda—a black-and-white aspin (mixed breed) decked in an Hermes scarf and Goyard collar! Heart also works with cancer support group Corridor of Hope Foundation, holding painting workshops with its members and donating proceeds from the sale of her collection of hand-painted dresses (a collaboration with designer Mark Bumgarner) to the group. Part of those proceeds also went to patients with thalassemia, a blood disorder that requires regular blood transfusion.
Advocacy: Clean energy
In September 2019, Jasmine Curtis-Smith was introduced as the youth ambassador of the Philippine Energy Independence Council (PEIC), a consortium of academic institutions that intends to engage with the government on energy policy development towards energy independence using new indigenous, renewable, and cleaner energy options for the country, as reported by goodnewspilipinas.com.
The actress and environmentalist took to social media to make people aware of the plight of Filipinos without electricity and the accessibility of clean energy. “There are still 16 million Filipinos going without reliable electricity and this is due to lack of access as well as a surge in power costs due to imports of fuel. Imagine if we could source our own energy right here from our very own home? From solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and natural gas… all of which we already have,” she told her 2.9 million followers on Instagram.
“Here to lead and begin progressive and positive discourse among the youth to create awareness, empower our knowledge and hopefully inspire our lawmakers and big-game players to start investing in our indigenous energy.”
Advocacy: Mental health
On Mental Health Awareness Day last October 10, Iza Calzado went public with a very private secret: her mother, Mary Ann Ussher, committed suicide 18 years ago. It was a painful fact and revelation that the actress discussed in a 28-minute video for She Talk Asia, a movement she co-founded with model and magazine editor Sarah Meier (who served as her interviewer).
Through this painful admission, fans of the actress now understand why she was an overweight child. “People know about this,” she told Sarah in the video. “Oh she was big before, she was a big kid, she lost weight. But I was big for a reason. I was diagnosed with childhood depression when I was in sixth grade. The psychiatrist said that was why I ate a lot.”
But her revelation serves a bigger purpose. “This is not an easy story to tell but I know that it is important for me and my healing and growth and, hopefully, to break the stigma and normalize conversations around mental health,” she wrote on Instagram. “You are not alone. Together, we can work for a brighter tomorrow for everyone.”