Inside the I Want to Share Foundation Charity Gala, discover the extraordinary impact of an evening that redefined charity with fashion, resilience, and unwavering hope
Amidst the shimmering cityscape, an evening emerged where life radiated more brilliantly than ever. Where opulence often took center stage, few managed to celebrate life in such pure and unadulterated terms. These were the galas that etched lasting imprints upon the hearts of their attendees—such as this one. This was the I Want to Share Foundation Charity Gala, a charity auction gala for the benefit of young cancer patients; a gala celebration that chooses to embrace life.
The phrase “Live, laugh, love” frequently triggers a sense of discomfort when encountered on various social media platforms. However, within the context of the recent event, these three words, which typically symbolize support, acquire a markedly unique significance. Furthermore, let’s consider adding a fourth word to this equation: legacy.
Before delving into the gala, where an auction for a cause took place, it’s essential to understand the heartbeat behind it: the I Want to Share Foundation. This organization, born from a profound desire to make a difference, has been a beacon of hope for thousands of Filipino children facing the daunting challenge of cancer.
Founded and led by Chairperson Sheila Romero, a visionary with boundless compassion, the foundation has been a driving force in transforming lives since its inception in 2015. Romero’s personal journey and deep commitment to making a meaningful impact have steered the foundation’s mission with unwavering dedication.
The host of the evening, Korina Sanchez, whose eyes held the reflection of personal loss and undying hope, stood before the audience. She talked of how her brother’s young life was extinguished by cancer at the tender age of 19. For Korina, his memory was a guiding star in the night; This advocacy is close to her heart.
After some performances and an auction led by Tim Yap, to charity for the foundation which included paintings, sculptures, a Rolex, and a Maserati, the important individuals of the night soon took place—the children. It began with the soft notes of a piano, a melody that seemed to echo the heartbeat of life itself.
As the runway came alive, it wasn’t just fashion that graced the stage; it was the embodiment of life’s tenacity. Young cancer patients, bearing both physical scars and indomitable spirits, walked with a determination that defied their medical conditions.
As these young cancer patients took their first steps down the runway, a collective gasp filled the audience, giving way to a joyous eruption of applause. It was as if the very room was filled with laughter—a laughter born from the triumph of the human spirit.
In that fleeting moment, these individuals were not just patients. In fact, we didn’t dare look at them as such. Instead, they were faces of hope, carriers of laughter even in the face of adversity. Their presence bore testimony to the idea that even amidst the darkest storms, laughter had the power to break through.
The mission of the gala was to transform lives, to infuse them with love and light. In a country where thousands of young hearts face the challenge of cancer each year, the gala was a promise of love.
Renowned fashion designers including Rajo Laurel, Martin Bautista, Andrea Tetangco, Mark Bumgarner, and Avel Bacudiohad poured their creativity into each creation, not for fame or fortune, but to celebrate life. Each stitch and each design, told a story of courage and the will to live. They were integral to the mission.
Rajo Laurel, when asked about being part of this gala, expressed, “It feels wonderful. It feels good. We continue a cycle of bringing goodness and hope.” Andrea Tetangco echoed this sentiment, stating, “We continue a cycle of bringing goodness and hope.”
Martin Bautista added, “It’s very special that these kids will be given this opportunity to be blessed and be part of this fashion show.” Mark Bumgarner felt privileged, noting that it was a way of touching people’s lives.
Avel Bacudio encapsulated the foundation’s mission beautifully, saying, “Ang hangarin ng foundation na ito ay tulungan ang ating mga kabataan na nangangailangan ng pagmamahal at galling sa puso na tulong para sila ay gumaling.“
Their shared sentiment reflected the love and commitment that fueled this gala, making it a beacon of hope and compassion for young cancer patients.’
These young cancer warriors weren’t mere participants; they were embodiments of love. The gala was their chance to experience the love of a community that stood by them. It was an opportunity to declare that love could conquer even the toughest battles.
However, the event wasn’t confined to a singular night of revelry. It aspired to leave a legacy of compassion and healing, to beckon the world to become a better place where every child facing cancer could not only live and laugh, but also love. In a world adorned with glittering opulence, the most magnificent aspect was the legacy of love and hope it left in its wake. It was about leaving a legacy of compassion and healing.
At the end of the night, the gala raised PHP 19 million, going over its intended target of PHP 12 million. The evening unfolded as a story—of life, laughter, love, and legacy. It became a tale of courage and a narrative of resilience. Those in attendance were not passive observers, but rather witnesses to a transformation.
The I Want to Share Foundation Charity Gala served as a poignant reminder that in a world bedecked with glamour, the most beautiful thing was compassion and healing. It was the indomitable spirit of young cancer patients. It was a night that implored us all to live, laugh, love, and leave a legacy of compassion and hope.
Photography: DANIEL TAN, EXCEL PANLAQUE, and KIM ANGELA SANTOS