By Shane Remate
Chalk Campus Correspondent
Music, art, and cool shirts for a cause, anyone? Linya-Linya’s Heartist Night was all that and more as it showcased various local artists from different “linyas” such as performance art, poetry, spoken word, standup comedy, and music last February 25 at Cup Fiction in Quezon City. Not only that, it also served as a unique fundraising event for Kythe Foundation, a non-profit, non-stock organization that aims to improve the quality of life among hospitalized children with cancer and other chronic illnesses by providing psycho-social support to its beneficiaries.
Heartist, has a double meaning. Pwede mo siyang basahin na ‘artist with a heart’ since gathering ito ng mga musicians, poets, and other artists sharing their talents for a cause. At the same time, kahit hindi ka artist, 'heartist' ka kung ginagawa at ibinabahagi mo sa iba ang work or passion mo nang buong puso," shared Ali Sangalang, one of Linya-Linya's partners.
The night officially kicked off with a special message from Ali and his co-founder and co-host Panch Alvarez. A special live painting performance by visual artist Victor Covarrubias started the festivities, followed by a music set by Filipino pop band Autotelic. Other cool heartists who were part of the line-up were poets Gian Lao, Joel Toledo, Yol Jamendang, Rafael San Diego, and Mikael de Lara Co; standup comedian James Caraan from Comedy Manila; spoken word artist and rapper Syke; and musicians Johnoy Danao, She’s Only Sixteen, and Cheats.
The Story Behind Linya=Linya
“It started as a 9GAG type of Facebook Page created by Ali and Panch that went viral. Then, I came in, I said, 'You know, why don't we convert it into a business?'," shared musician and entrepreneur Jim Bacarro who then became the third mastermind behind Linya-Linya until it officially opened in 2015. Ali was the writer, Panch was the visual artist, and Jim was in charge of taking their feels and turning it into sales. Since then, Linya-Linya has opened around 10 retail branches and a growing number of loyal Facebook following.
Choosing Kythe Foundation, Inc. as their benefactor was a no-brainer because the team's inspiration hits close to home. After hearing an intern’s cancer survival story and Kythe's vital role in it, “We decided to make the Heartist shirts—only a limited quantity, but all proceeds of the event will go to kids with cancer. When I was a kid, I was also very familiar [with the the foundation] because my Dad was the chairman [of Kythe] for a time. Back then, we'd go on hospital visits every year, so that made it a personal advocacy as well.”
The venue for the event, Cup Fiction is also owned by Bacarro alongside his wife, Saab Magalona-Bacarro. “Saab has always wanted to make a library. With us being in a band, we also took interest in local art. The opportunity came to put all those ideas together when we were starting to learn more about coffee. The difference between us and other café libraries is that we get local literature as well as CDs from local artists and bands then we display them here.”
We can't wait for more Heartist Nights soon! See you at the next?
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Banner photograph from Instagram.com/linyalinya