Raul Sunico, Martin Nievera Become First Filipinos to Perform at The Smith Center

The most spectacular city on earth showcased Filipino and American music and raised thousands in charitable funds for ABS CBN Foundation International, the US-based nonprofit organization whose flagship program in the Philippines, Bantay Bata, provides a safe, nurturing, and loving environment where Filipino children can develop and realize their full potential through the rescue and care of abused, abandoned, and sick children.

Concert pianist and orchestral soloist, Raul Sunico, and Philippine concert king, Martin Nievera, shared the stage and brought The Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz room to life, as the venue’s first Filipino musicians, through the endowment of Las Vegas-based philanthropist, Dr. Noel Fajardo. Dr. Fajardo of Las Vegas Gastroenterology was also instrumental in the creation of the Hepatitis B screening program, Juan B Free, that launched this year to provide preventive and early care to the Filipino American community which belongs to an ethnic group where 1 in 10 are affected by the disease. On this occasion, Fajardo brought big artists with big talent to a grand venue to support the charity.

With musical favorites like “Be My Lady,” “Corner of the Sky,” and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” the crowd of 250 patrons and supporters enjoyed an evening of concierto and concert.
“Over the past few years, I have witnessed how ABS CBN Foundation International always came to the needs of our countrymen, in the Philippines and around the globe,” said Dr. Noel Fajardo. “Being the first Filipino performers at The Smith Center, Raul Sunico and Martin Nievera have made us proud during this opportunity to help the children of the Philippines.”

Fajardo corralled the Filipino American community of Las Vegas to contribute nearly $10,000 towards the cause.

“In our everyday work, it is moments like these that humble as most – to experience the generosity and passion of one man and see how greatly he can affect a community to work towards a cause,” said J. Robbie Fabian, President of ABS CBN Foundation International. “The children of the Philippines will sleep better, feel safer, and get a fair shot at life because there were men like Dr. Noel Fajardo, maestro Raul Sunico, and Martin Nievera who remembered to look back and give back.”<

Photo Credit: Robert Macabagdal