Charity show will help Filipino society’s sick friends

Norwich's multi-talented Filipino community will put on a charity show next week to help raise money for their friends suffering with illness.

The 'Concert for a Cause' at Clover Hill Village Hall in Bowthorpe on Saturday will feature diverse performances of traditional songs, dance routines, modern pop music and West End show tunes.

It is organised by Filipino organisation Pinas (Pinoy in Norwich Aksiong Samahan) in aid of two of its members, who both work at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

One of them, Mabel Garais, is undergoing treatment for a brain tumour while another, Jasmin Tovilla, has returned home to the Philippines to be looked after by her family.

Pinas vice-president Tess Ward said: 'Some people will be dancing, some will be singing and we have a band playing as well. Because people come to us for help and we have found that one of our officers has this cancer and the other recipient is also ill so we are trying our best for them and for the others who may come to us to request help.'

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Among the performers are Al Bernal, a 32-year-old nursing home care co-ordinator from Norwich, who was the UK's representative in a European talent competition final organised by a Filipino TV channel.

One of the people the group hopes to help is its long-serving officer Mabel Garais, who is undergoing chemotherapy for a brain tumour, and then faces a course of radiotherapy.

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The 54-year-old has worked at the Day Procedure Unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for nearly 11 years.

'At first I was told it was a risky procedure, but as you can see, I manage to cope and I feel better, probably for the sake of my children,' she said.

'I feel very supported. Because the aim of Pinas is to help people we have been running this concert for five or six years. Every year we try to help someone.'

-The fund-raising concert at Clover Hill Village Hall in Bowthorpe will run from 7pm to 11pm on Saturday, November 17. Tickets will be available on the door, costing �5 for adults and �3 for children aged 12 to 16.

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