Bisaya Music Festival goes online to raise funds for frontliners

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Bisaya Music Festival (BMF) is a go. 

But, this year, it will happen online due to Cebu’s state of enhanced community quarantine or lockdown.

Artists will be coming together for a livestreamed show to raise funds to buy personal protective equipment for medical frontliners in Cebu City. 

Of the 36 total cases of coronavirus infection in Central Visayas, 29 are in Cebu City and Cebu province.

Among the featured Bisaya pop artists will be Oh! Caraga, Kurt Fick, Jacky Chang, Jerika Teodorico, Raki Vega, and Medyo Maldito.

The music festival will be streamed at 5 pm on Easter Sunday, April 12, on the BMF Facebook page. 

The festival was last held in September 2018 in Mandaue City. 

Thanks to the growth of the Vispop movement, the number of pop artists writing music in Cebuano has grown, and so has the market for it. 

Behind the festival is Kadasig, a music collective founded by prolific Cebuano songwriter Jude Gitamondoc. 

Gitamondoc is the composer behind such local hits as "Hahahasula," "Pero Atik Ra," and "My Morena Girl." 

With the availability of technology, the local artists said they wanted to do their part to support the region's frontliners, who are treating and caring for confirmed or suspected coronavirus patients.

Funds will go to a group called the “Cebu Backliners.”

According to the groups page, "the Cebu Backliners aims to be the backbone of our FRONTLINERS. Our goal is to gather support to be a #CebuBackliner and help raise funds for our frontliners' protective gear so we can all beat COVID-19 together."

As of April 9, Thursday, 203 people have died in the Philippines from COVID-19, while over 4,000 have been infected by the virus. –

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.