Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Bruno Mars’ recent visit to the Philippines was distinctively special.
In 2011, he promised his fans that he would come back—and he did, as he arrived in Manila last March 21, Friday.
But this year’s visit has taken a deeper meaning as he turned over a check worth $100,000 to Bantay Bata 163 of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. for the relief of super-typhoon “Yolanda” victims.
Program Director Tina Monzon Palma, before calling up Mars on stage, said that the Fil-Am singer has truly inspired Filipino children during his visit in 2011.
She said: “I would want to tell him that you turned the lives of the kids (around) when you visited us in 2011… The children are not here because most of them have come back to their homes, inspired to become better… They must be graduating from college now.”
After the turnover, Mars noted, “I’m really excited to be back here in Manila.” He added, “One of the most special moments for me in my career, coming here a few years ago and performing with my whole Filipino family watching.”
The turning over of the donation took place at Solaire Resort and Casino’s Eclipse Entertainment Lounge last March 21.
Mars’ donations will be used to conduct feeding programs and medical missions for children.
Post-traumatic stress debriefing will also be conducted to help children that were emotionally and mentally traumatized. It will be followed by disaster preparedness workshops to educate them with basic survival tips during natural disasters.
Mars’ life and music
Mars grew up in a musical household.
He was born Peter Gene Hernandez in October, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to a Filipino mother, Bernadette Bayot, and Puerto Rican/Eastern European father Peter Hernandez.
Her mother, who was a singer and a hula dancer, died mid-2013 due to brain aneurysm. His father was also a musician.
At a young age, he was exposed to various music genres, such as R&B and everything in between.
Before his musical career took off in Los Angeles, he initially performed with the family band, and became famous for his impressions of Elvis Presley.
His one-night concert in Manila last March 22—though only lasted a little over an hour was well-applauded, as always.
As he was about to perform his last song number, the huge screen behind him displayed the Philippine flag.
He said, “Thank you guys so much, you have no idea how much this means to me–performing right here, being a Filipino, and seeing my people. I promised you all before, and I promise you all again—we’ll be back very, very soon.”