Every Holy Week, Church Simplified offers Manila an alternative way of looking at the passion of Christ through Walkway: Reflections On The Stations Of The Cross. The interactive art installations – which runs the stretch of Bonifacio High Street all the way to One Bonifacio Park – has drawn thousands to the area, as they reflect and pray with their families. The exhibit goes up on Palm Sunday and is open until Easter Sunday. This year’s installation will focus more on how the cross has the capacity to bring healing and redemption. Church Simplified aspires to shine a light on different social issues, in partnership with a few NGOs.
A major highlight of Walkway Is the annual Easter Concert. In the first few years, the concert featured among the best musicians in the local music scene, including the likes of Julianne, Robin Nievera, Amber Davis, Marcus Davis, Paolo Valenciano, Jay Durias, and even Gary Valenciano. The concert is open to the public. Church Simplified spiritual director BeboBharwani elaborates on the importance of music to the church’s ministry, saying “CS as a community has always believed in the power of the arts to be a medium that can open up both the heart and mind. Music has always been core to the human experience. At a personal level, in our quiet moments, music can get beneath our skin and speak to us. And yet music also has a special power, when used in the context of community. It can unite us, allow our personal journeys to have a common theme. A hymn we can all sing together to know that we are connected. Music has the ability to challenge and be inspired by ideas.” Church Simplified as a community has produced 5 full-length albums and most of which can be downloaded for free at www.churchsimplified.com.
In 2013, Church Simplified took the Walkway Easter Concert even a step further by bringing in international artists to perform in the free show. Bharwani explains that the group decided to pursue this endeavor because “…Making international artists accessible to our country, especially those who are of substance, can help inspire our own artists. This is our way of contributing to exposure and education.” The choice of artist is based on the message behind their songs. “Artists that describe what it means to be human – our struggles, our potential, our failings and our victories. These are all a common thread. Each time you walk away from the experience, you are a little bit changed.” Among the artists, the Church Simplified has brought in are Jars Of Clay, Gungor, KyeKye and Mute Math.
As Walkway marks its ninth year, Church Simplified is excited to feature Switchfoot once again at this year’s Easter Concert. Known for iconic hits such as “Dare You To Move” and “Meant To Live”, the band will also be promoting their current album, Where The Light Shines Through. It will be the band’s fourth visit to the country. During Switchfoot’s first tie-up with Walkway and Church Simplified last year, they teamed up with the nonprofit organization Young Focus International to shoot a music video for their song, ‘Float.’ The music video highlights the urban poor who live in Tondo and seeks to be an invitation to lift others up.
Bharwani shares that the choice to have them on the Walkway stage was an easy one to make, “Switchfoot’s central message has always been about the idea that life is short and that we need to love well. These are messages that we value as a community and hope to communicate to anyone who might lend an ear and listen.
The Walkway Easter Concert, featuring Switchfoot, is on April 9-16, 2017. The show, which is open to the public, starts at 7:00 PM. Church Simplified will also be bringing the band to Cebu on April 19, Wednesday. This is in partnership with Ayala Center Cebu at The Terraces.