The first season of Coke Studio Philippines culminated in the grandest way possible on Saturday (December 9). The breakthrough OPM TV show staged a Live Benefit Concert at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds for the victims of the five-month Marawi City siege.
The program lasted about 12 hours, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., the following day. It featured 13 Coke Studio Artists from the recently concluded season of the show—Abra, Sandwich, Ebe Dancel, Franco, Gracenote, Noel Cabangon, The Ransom Collective, Gab & John of Urbandub, Autotelic, Curtismith, BP Valenzuela, Reese Lansangan, and Moonstar 88.
The free benefit concert was aimed at rebuilding a school in Marawi through encouraging the audience to turn over empty Coke plastic bottles for a recycling drive. The initiative aligns with the Coca-Cola Foundation’s partnership with the Little Red Schoolhouse that will re-construct a damaged school in Marawi in 2019. Coke Studio red bins will be placed in 12 participating schools across the metro to encourage students to donate empty Coke plastic bottles, which will eventually be converted into cash to fund the rebuilding project.
The December 9 benefit concert was part of Coke Studio’s efforts to help rebuild Marawi. On December 1, it brought music back to the besieged city through a mini-concert that featured young musicians from the neighboring city of Iligan. At the same time, hydration kits were handed to more than 5,800 Marawi evacuees in evacuation centers in Buru-Un SF, Saguiaran Gym, and Sta. Elena.
On December 2, a solidarity concert featuring The Ransom Collective and Franco was held at the Saguiaran Covered Court. It also coincided with another hydration drive that reached out to more evacuation sites.
Up to 500,000 Marawi residents were displaced during the armed conflict that lasted from May to October this year. Local authorities also estimated that about 40% of the city was destroyed during the battle between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the terrorist group Maute.