Architect solicits donations from mall goers in 5 languages

/ 12:22 PM October 23, 2013

HOW many ways can you ask for help for a good cause?

Architect Joy Martinez Onozawa did it spontaneously in five languages.


While waiting for the benefit concert #Bangon SugBohol to start last Sunday, she and another member of the Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC) wandered the floors of Ayala Center asking mall-goers at random to share their blessings with earthquake victims in Cebu and Bohol.

After two hours, the Cebuana architect, who spoke in Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese, was able to collect P60,000, which she turned over to concert organizers.


She also approached people and spoke to them in English and Cebuano.

Was it difficult convincing strangers to donate?

An ability to speak foreign languages made it easier and fun, she said.

Onozawa, whose husband is Japanese, said she would usually start her conversation with people by asking if they were enjoying the concert.

Two Singaporeans who just arrived from the airport told her this was the first time they experienced a strong earthquake in their ten years of doing business in Cebu.

One Indian did not wait for Onozawa to finish her spiel. She immediately gave cash.

Two mall security guards donated as well.


“Maayo gani mi kay naa pa mi gibarugan. Sila didto wa na gyud,” the architect quoted one guard as saying in Cebuano. (We’re better off because our houses are still standing. The victims don’t have any.)

“Many people wanted to donate but could not go down (from the upper floors) so Joy and Susan Lucero decided to do this,” said MLC lead convenor Marc Canton.

About ten MLC members, wearing their blue “Eat, Sleep MLC” T-shirts were having coffee in outdoor tables at The Terraces when the idea cropped up.

By the day’s end, MLC collected P80,000 cash donations for Cebu and Bohol earthquake victims.

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TAGS: architect, Ayala Center, benefit concert, Bohol, Cebu, donations, earthquake victims, five languages, Joy Martinez Onozawa, News, solicit
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