By Josephine Cuneta
MANILA, the Philippines—Arnel Pineda, the Filipino lead singer for American rock band Journey, is on a new mission – giving his voice to an animated music video to drum up support for Typhoon Haiyan recovery efforts.
The three-minute video segment titled “Charity” is part of the first season of Cha-Ching, a project aimed at broadening awareness about what’s needed following a disaster like the one that devastated the central Philippines last November.
Along with animated scenes that depict the relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan, an animated version of Mr. Pineda appears in the music video asking people to give their money, time and goods to help others. He sings a duet along with Anna Jomeo from the Philippine band Mulatto.“We all need to be reminded of our social obligation to share with those who have less than we do,” said the 46 –year-old rocker, who partnered with Prudence Foundation, the charitable arm of insurance giant Prudential Corporation Asia, to produce the video.“I am glad to play a part,” he added.
Mr. Pineda grew up in a poor neighborhood in Manila and has long been involved with charity projects, which he sees as his way to give back to his community. An organization he founded in March 2010, the Arnel Pineda Foundation Inc., provides underprivileged children quality education, health and services and medical attention.
Following Typhoon Haiyan, Mr. Pineda and several other well-known Filipino musicians recorded a tribute song called “Listen With Your Heart” as a gesture of thanks for the aid extended by more than 50 countries in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
Together with Journey, Mr. Pineda has also helped donate more than two million meals to the United Nations’ World Food Programme.
His personal commitments and those made by the band following the typhoon made the decision to collaborate a natural one, said Sean Rach, Prudential’s regional director and the co-creator of Cha-Ching.
“His voice is incredible and we are very glad that he agreed to donate his time and talent,” said Mr. Rach.
Before Mr. Pineda shot to fame after joining Journey in 2007, he sang with small bands in the Philippines and did covers of American songs that he posted on YouTube. One of those videos – a rendition of Journey’s hit “Don’t Stop Believin” in which Mr. Pineda sounds strikingly similar to former Journey front man Steve Perry – eventually caught the eye of the band’s guitarist Neal Schon.
This year the band is touring the United States and Canada and Mr. Pineda says the group is contemplating another album later in the year.
Despite his busy schedule, his manager, television director Bert de Leon, convinced Mr. Pineda that the Charity video fit well with his advocacy efforts.
The Cha-Ching series is meant to educate kids about the value of donating, said Marc Fancy, Prudence Foundation’s executive director.
“What we do in our disaster preparedness and relief programs is encapsulated in the song – we help people in need make a fresh start,” he said.
The Cartoon Network began airing the new Cha-Ching Charity music video across Asia on Saturday. It will also air on Channel V for one month.Together, the channels broadcast to an audience of 15.7 million households. Proceeds from downloads of the song, which is available on iTunes, will got to support the Prudence Foundation’s Typhoon Haiyan recovery effort.