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Indonesian Community Reaches Out to Haiyan Victims

By Hannah Amante
Community Writer
12/11/2013 at 03:22 PM
Over 12 bands and musical artists took the stage at Loma Linda Indonesian Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Dec. 8, to help raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The event was put on by Indonesia for the World (IFTW), an organization that started as a response to the Indonesian tsunami in 2004. “It’s just our way of showing we care about people less fortunate, especially with the disaster,” said Daniel Ribowo, chief officer of IFTW. “And we invite everybody — we invite all bands.” Ribowo, who plays guitar in a band, reached out to the Indonesian community in Southern California and beyond to help put the concert together. He said he was amazed by the generous response from bands, some of which were local and some that came all the way out from Los Angeles — especially when he told them they would not be paid. The music of the evening varied from praise and worship songs to rock and jazz. Both traditional Filipino and Indonesian dances were performed at the concert. Sher Santosa, a San Francisco-based musical artist, and Jeff Mamora, were the masters of ceremonies for the evening. The concert was free but donations were encouraged. Multiple booths provided Indonesian food for all the guests. All of the proceeds from the food bazaar went to aid for the Philippines. “It’s not about the amount of money we raise,” said Ribowo. "I’m sure we don’t raise as much as larger organizations. We just want to show that we care. The basic reason is that we show that we care. We don’t care what color, religion, race, or ethnicity (you are) — it’s just human-to-human caring for one another.” Representatives from the Philippine Consulate General and the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia were among the guest speakers of the evening. Daryl Oft, of Living Waters International in Arizona, shared a few words with the audience and praised the efforts of IFTW. “You don’t see much in the news [about the Philippines] anymore but here you are raising funds,” he said. “It’s because of organizations like this that things are getting done.” Ribowo shared that IFTW had tried contacting the Red Cross but did not get a response. “We decided that whoever provides the place, all the donations would go to their organization, which is ADRA,” he said. ADRA stands for Adventist Disaster Relief Agency. Ribowo attends a different church but said he knows everyone who goes to the Loma Linda Indonesian SDA church. “The Indonesian community is small, so everybody knows everybody,” he said. Photographer and journalist Eva Neva, who is Ribowo’s cousin, was among the attendees. “This event is not only good for the Philippines but it is also good for the Indonesian community because it brings us closer together,” she said.