For his 19th birthday this year, Darren Espanto held a live event on his official Facebook page called D’Birthday Concert from Home for the benefit of Darren’s chosen charity which is ABS-CBN’s Pantawid ng Pag-ibig which aims to help communities affected by the COVID-19 virus. Darren performed from his own living room in Calgary, Canada. The concert was able to raise a total of P526,156.43 from donations online. Darren’s special guest performers included his younger sister Lynelle, Gary Valenciano, and Moira dela Torre.
Before the start of his online concert, Darren talked about life in Canada during quarantine. “Nakaka-miss mag-live shows pero sana matapos na po itong pandemyang ito so we can go back to doing those things kasi na-mi-miss ko na rin makita kayong lahat. That’s something that I always think about, kung paano at kailan kaya tayo makakabalik sa normal na yun at I’d say malungkot at nakaka-worry din po ang mga directly hit by this pandemic, ang mga nawalan ng mga mahal sa buhay at pati ang mga nawalan ng trabaho of course. Wala pa ring mass testing and padami ng padami na ang bilang ng nagkakasakit especially COVID, yan talaga ang nag-drive sa amin para gawin ito tonight sa paraan na kaya nating magawa, he shared.
Darren revealed that both his parents are frontliners and they follow all safety precautions even at home. “I think nakakatakot and nakaka-worry talaga ang nangyayari sa mundo ngayon. There’s just so much uncertainty right now. Our future, our dreams, almost everything that we’ve worked hard for, anytime puwede talaga mawala eh. And in spite of all these challenges kailangan pa rin natin magpatuloy of course. Kaya kami dito sa bahay we still practice strict hygiene, yung tamang paghuhugas ng kamay which is 20 to 40 seconds and even yung social distancing since yung mga kasama namin ng kapatid ko here in our house, our parents are frontliners. But in spite of all that, we still find a way to bond. And I even had to do self-isolation for two weeks pag dating ko dito sa Canada kasi nga protecting ourselves is also protecting the people around us who we love. And that’s also protecting the dreams that we all have. And in line with that dream ay ang dreams and ambitions nung ating mga mahal sa buhay,” he explained.
One of his special guests who performed first was his younger sister Lynelle. “My best experience is being here with my family because I don’t get to do that often when I’m in the Philippines and this is really time for me to make bawi sa lahat ng time na na-miss ko, especially for Lynelle because majority of the time that she grew up I wasn’t here most of the time. Napakadami niyang gustong gawin talaga. Ever since she was little, she’s been copying me when I perform. I’d say she’s my best friend din. And she’s been pursuing those dreams intensely,” he says.
Before performing one of his favorite worship songs, the 19-year-old singer also shared how thankful he is about his life. “One of the important things na natutunan ko during this time ay yung makapagpasalamat sa lahat ng mga blessings na natanggap ko, natatanggap ko pa rin at meron pa rin tayo. At yung patuloy pa rin nating i-praise si papa God. Naniniwala ako na He will not give us something na hindi natin kayang malagpasan. Kung mahirap man po, alam kasi niya na kaya natin,” he added.