A number of big stars are supporting the auction being mounted by Angel Locsin in order to raise funds for mass testing of COVID-19. On May 18, the 35-year-old actress and humanitarian announced the comeback of her fundraising initiative Shop & Share as a reaction to the news report saying that the government will not be conducting a “mass testing” program during this pandemic.
On May 19, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque clarified his quote about this, saying that the Philippines would not have a mass testing program similar to the one conducted in Wuhan, China. He said that there would be "targeted testing" of 2-percent of the population carried out. According to him, the Department of Health (DOH) is also working on conducting up to 30,000 tests per day.
As of May 20, 13,221 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the Philippines. Among these, 2932 have recovered, and 842 have passed away, according to the DOH.
ANGEL REVIVES SHOP & SHARE
In an Instagram post last Monday, Angel shared that she started Shop & Share in 2009 in order to raise funds to help those affected by typhoon Ondoy during that year. Many celebrities donated personal items that were auctioned via eBay. The proceeds from the auction were given directly to the Philippine National Red Cross who took charge of giving assistance to those in need.
RAISING FUNDS TO BUY TEST KITS
In this instance, Angel thought of making use of the Shop & Share fundraiser in order to purchase COVID-19 test kits “for the poorer sectors.”
Her post reads:“We would like to revisit the idea of artists coming together and helping those who need it the most.
“This time, with the funds we raise, we would like to purchase test kits and allow testing opportunities for the poorer sectors in the hopes of helping out in the efforts to provide mass testing in the country.”
The Forbes Hero of Philanthropy believes that mass testing is the most effective means to control the spread of the virus. “Because in this way we can make a higher impact, by pushing the TEST-TRACE-ISOLATE/TREAT formula that is the only proven way to defeat the virus,” Angel adds.
CELEBRITIES SHOW SUPPORT
At the end of her post, Angel called out for support from her fellow celebrities. She tagged Anne Curtis, Bea Alonzo, Vice Ganda, Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Angelica Panganiban, Piolo Pascual, Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes. Also tagged were Kim Chiu, Coco Martin, Liza Soberano, Bela Padilla, Richard Gutierrez, Sarah Lahbati, Jennylyn Mercado, Jodi Sta. Maria, Shaina Magdayao, Karla Estrada, at Dimples Romana.
A response came quickly from Angel's close friend, Anne Curtis. Anne was Angel's partner in launching Shop & Share 10 years ago. On that same day, Anne reposted about Angel's fundraising initiative. In her caption, she encouraged "fellow artists and colleagues" to contact Angel and herself if they would like to help.
Her caption read: “We do hope you can join us as we all work together to help flatten the curve in the Philippines in our own little way.”
Angel commented: “Here we go mars! [three heart emojis]”
Anne's answer to Angel: “here we go Darna! [kiss mark emoji]”
Anne mentioned Angel's long-time monicker as a "real-life Darna." Angel has been actively conducting outreach efforts long after she took on the role of the Pinay superheroine in the GMA-7 series Darna in 2005.
Apart from Anne, many of Angel's celebrity friends also reposted about the Shop & Share fundraiser. Among them were Bea Alonzo, Dimples Romana, Karla Estrada, and Sharon Cuneta.
THE BIRTH OF SHOP & SHARE
On September 26,2009 was when typhoon Ondoy poured torrential rain over a large part of Luzon, including Metro Manila. Metro Manila and 10 provinces in the Philippines were inundated with floods for many days. The death toll reached 464, and over 993,000 families were affected, according to the record of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
After a few days, on September 29, typhoon Pepeng also rained down over Luzon. Though it was not as strong as Ondoy, it stayed longer within Luzon, bringing 9 days of rain. The death toll brought about by Pepepng reached 465, and over 954,000 families were affected, according to NDRRMC data.
In order to help those affected by the back-to-back typhoons, both GMA-7 and ABS-CBN held telethon at relief operations ang GMA-7 at ABS-CBN. Many celebrities answered the phones and packed relief goods. While the two rival networks were actively mobilizing,
Angel came up with the concept of Shop & Share together with Anne. The primary beneficiary of the fundraiser was the relief operations of the Red Cross. Angel is a Red Cross ambassador. Apart from Anne, actress and TV host Kris Aquino, as well as Angel's best friend Dimples also were part of the effort.
ANGEL SELLS HER HERMES KELLY BAG
For the victims of Ondoy and Pepeng, celebrities donated various personal items to auction off on eBay. Among these were Angel's own Hermès Kelly bag. This bag sold for P330,000 according to the report of Pilipino Star Ngayon. Angel also auctioned off other designer bags from Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, and Philippe Charriol. Anne also donated designer bags like a Gucci tote, Burberry handbag, and a Louis Vuitton backpack.
CELEBRITIES UNITE FOR A CAUSE
A few weeks after the auction was launched, Angel, in an interview with PEP.ph shared how happy she was about the number of celebrities that donated items and the number of people that participated in the auction. "Overwhelming ang response ng mga tao," Angel said in her October 20, 2009 interview. "Nakakatuwa na maraming gustong tumulong."
Angel said that beyond the prices of the donated items, the actual value of the item to the owner was more important. “Ang importante sa amin kung gaano ka-special iyong item na iyon sa nag-donate," she said.
Other celebrities who gave personal items to Shop & Share for auction were Heart Evangelista (Tiffany & Co. ring and Fendi shades), Isabelle Daza (dresses by Rhett Eala, Debbie Co), Pokwang (Louis Vuitton Magnolia heels), Maxene Magalona (Gucci and Coach bags), and Mariel Rodriguez (Kate Spade, Prada and Marc Jacobs bags). Dimples, Judy Ann Santos, KC Concepcion, and Bubbles Paraiso also gave donations.
It's estimated that Shop & Share raised up to P1-million in total for those affected by typoons Ondoy and Pepeng. This initiative of Angel to help the victims of Ondoy was the start of her continuing humanitarian efforts.
This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.