The year 2014 saw at least five international celebrities visiting areas like Tacloban and Ormoc cities in Leyte island in the Philippines.
Canadian pop idol Justin Bieber and British soccer superstar David Beckham visited Tacloban. They talked with people in evacuation centers. Justin sang and played basketball with the kids.
Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in “Harry Potter” and author Mitch Albom also came to Tacloban.
PRworks Inc. got a more active role when “Suits” actor Gabriel Macht, who arrived in Ormoc City with Globe Telecom officials led by communications boss Yoly Crisanto. The agency brought along some members of the media and blogging communities in Cebu to cover the event.
Macht, who plays the Harvey Specter character in the popular television series, came to the Philippines in early March 2014 to help Project Wonderful, Globe Telecom’s humanitarian initiative for Yolanda victims.
“(Project Wonderful has) three tracks: one is livelihood, which Gabriel is doing with us; the other one is with (football player) Chieffy Caligdong, he’s doing education with us; and the other one is home-building, which we did with Gawad Kalinga,” said Yoli Crisanto, Globe senior vice president for corporate communications.
“We really need somebody of substance. Hindi naman yung ganun lang. Even the way he did (the project) is very different with how the others did it. For a person of his stature, or his celebrity, to go over to Ormoc, to walk on the tubohan, that’s really something different,” Crisanto told reporters.
Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, who actively helped in the relief and rehabilitation efforts of her congressional district, accompanied Macht as he went around Ormoc, Leyte.
Macht helped put up a sign on a sari-sari store, met with some women entrepreneurs, and talked with children and teens. During a break, he ate some rice cakes (kakanin) and drank freshly-made sugarcane juice.
“The kids (showed) beautiful smiles. and that generosity of spirit is just- the innocence, sort of ripples through the community, and your culture is very endearing, and very warm and welcoming,” said Macht.
According to Macht, the strong Filipino spirit he witnessed is instrumental in the rebuilding of Yolanda-hit areas. We definitely agree. What can you, our dear readers, say?