Rockin' Mother Earth

Published April 24, 2018, 10:02 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The ’80s rocker Lou Bonnevie continues to harness the power of music to create greater awareness for the environment, most potently through “Earth Day Jam.”

Lou Bonnevie (
Lou Bonnevie

The annual advocacy concert — which coincides with the worldwide observance of Earth Day every April — brings together on stage some of the best local acts, as well as environment experts who talk about caring for our planet.

Now on its 18th year, Lou is not about to let up. In fact, “Earth Day Jam 2018” is on April 28 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

“The thing is, we just keep going because it’s alive and kicking,” she told Bulletin Entertainment at a press conference.

Lou likewise founded the Earth Day Jam Foundation as part of her years-long commitment to the cause.

The singer-songwriter said she believes being an environmentalist is a calling from God.

“(Though) I’m not an expert (when it comes to environmental issues). I just have an open heart,” she noted.

Talking about changing times, Lou revealed Earth Day Jam is also a way of keeping herself relevant in the industry.

“Before, I myself didn’t care about Earth Day. I was simply rock ‘n rollin. What turned me on to this? Siguro pumasok sa isip ko na, I have to think of something that was bigger than myself and the showbiz that I see which cannot even last long because ‘yung glory and the shine… it fades away,” she shared.

“So I said, ‘Is there anything that I can do?’ Something na pwede kong i-pour ang dedication and mind ko as an artist? I want something bigger than our egos as artists.”

It turned out to be her greatest passion, believing that young people need this kind of event in order to be more socially, environmentally aware while having fun at the same time.

“Ginawa ko nang advocacy ito because I see the young people need it, the youth need something like this, something they could look forward to… something that they can embrace and believe in. That’s why, this is their concert.”

What to expect

This year’s theme emphasizes the key elements Water, Air and Trash (WAT). It is a running advocacy that has “Earth Day Jam” resonate with the youth, development organizations and government institutions working on environment welfare and protection.

“Everybody has a key role when it comes to conserving the environment. We can protect Mother Earth through simple things like conserving water, keeping the air we breathe clean, and managing an almost zero trash environment,” Lou said.

“Earth Day Jam 2018” features over 100 musicians from different genres. Among acts joining the six-hour long marathon shindig are Abra, Barbie Almabis, Chicosci, Gracenote, Mayonnaise, Philia, Rogue, Sandwich, Sud, Tanya Markova, The Chongkeys, and Wally Gonzales joined by Wolfgang guitarist Manuel Legarda and introducing ace guitar protégé Gabriel Lazaro.

Special guest artists include LA “grassroot” rapper Aw Day P. The jam will be hosted by award-winning indie actress Phoebe Walker, TV personality Pam Nieva and Earth Day Jam Foundation’s Corporate Secretary and youth spokesperson Midi Gentica.

Recognizing contributions to various environmental campaigns and artist’s musical legacy, “Earth Day Jam 2018” will give a special citation to Filipino singer and known environmentalist, Joey Ayala.

“Magkakaroon tayo ng tribute sa mga kanta ni Joey Ayala dahil kailangan natin ipaalala sa mga kabataan ang kanyang awiting nagbigay kulay sa OPM. Of course, he himself, also prepared something good for us come concert night,” Lou said.

The foundation’s own GAIA Awards will be bestowed on individuals and organizations who have successfully contributed to the welfare of the overall environmental campaign and advocacy efforts in the country. This year’s awardees are green advocates Gina Lopez, Ipat Luna and the Environmental Science Institute of Miriam College along with “Earth Day Jam” supporters Abra and Browman Revival in the category of Earth-friendly music artists.

As always, “Earth Day Jam” is free to the public.

“To most young people, ‘Earth Day Jam’ is rakrakan, jamming na feel good, bring barkada and libreng show. Wala na tayong mapapanuod na ganito ngayon because everything is ticketed na. This event is a wonderful OPM gathering and celebration that we shouldn’t miss,” was how Lou put it.

Meanwhile, with support from the local government of Quezon City, the event will have more interactive campaign. Early participants can avail of “Earth Day Jam 2018’s” interactive booths showcasing art and drum sessions, a special puppet show dubbed “The River Warrior,” and many more. A recyclable trading and special waste garbage collection activity will also take place in the event.

Safe and secure

Attendees should not worry about security at the concert as Lou assured “we’ve done our assignment when it comes to that.”

Yes, you can jump, dance and sing all night but just be responsible, the singer noted.

“Sa generation natin, uso din talaga ‘yung slam dancing. It’s kinda hard understand for some but nauso talaga ‘yung worldwide at kasama talaga yang lalo na kapag people get really excited,” Lou noted. “Actually they don’t really want to hurt each other naman, kasi pagkatapos nagyayakapan naman sila. Slamming is also an art form and I think the more we suppress them the more there’s violence.”

“But siyempre we are prepared. Iba ang magugulo sa masasaya so ‘yung mangugulo, tatanggalin sila from the spot and many security (personnel) will be looking around (the venue),” she said.

Lou encouraged everyone to not bring bagpacks as “para maiwasan na rin ang dukutan.”

“Let’s have a peaceful celebration,” she said.