Written by Juan Suarez
When our mode of visual entertainment has become a lot more virtual in the past year or two, several digital platforms have emerged giving artists more innovative ways to get inventive. Among those that worked tirelessly in the confines of the recording studios to bring quality entertainment to the general public are the creatives behind Happy Studios Ph.
And they are thrilled to present the Advocally Concert Series. Advocally, a portmanteau of vocals and advocacy, is a product of the creators that wanted to showcase local artists that advocate for beneficial causes. This envisions to widen the reach and amplify the voices of those that have something to say to spread positivity in our community.
This September, Advocally is ready to play it forward with singer/songwriter Abby Asistio.
Abby is not just your ordinary musician as she is also a champion for those that have alopecia – an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
And with the celebration of Alopecia Awareness month this September, this production could not have come at a more appropriate time.
Let’s get to know Abby a little bit and how she discovered her mission as an artist and as a woman.
Life can be tough for anyone diagnosed with a lifelong autoimmune condition that causes hair loss. Let alone from the eyes of a 4-year old whose values and dreams are just beginning to shape. It is not at all roses. And when we live in an age of prevalent bullying, it is painfully daunting to be mistreated just because you look differently.
Panot. Kalbo. May poknat. These are just a few words that Abby had to endure from people that didn’t know better. So for Abby, the journey to self-love became eminent at an early age.
In spite, or maybe because of this unwarranted weight on her, she has discovered a love for music.
Abby started singing in her teens and cultivated it during her college years. She would then perform in front of her audience with a wig on.
In all of the years of getting over physical insecurities and establishing her artistic identity, Abby has also unearthed a precious gem that she, later on, would share with others.
It was more than a decade into hosting and performing when an epiphany struck her. “Ayoko na magtago. It’s time to completely love, embrace and accept myself.” In 2012, Abby finally came all out about her condition. She wrote the song “Beautiful” as a love letter to all of the stars that have yet to discover their shine. Together with her team, they have created a heartfelt music video where Abby bravely bared her soul.
And inspired by people all over the world supporting a similar cause, she sparked a movement in the country through Alopecia Philippines – an organization that advocates alopecia awareness and mental health.
This movement, just like a drop in the ocean, rippled and encouraged others to also speak up. To this day, they have over 3000 members nationwide in support of this cause. And two years ago, Abby officially became the president of this organization.
Alopecia Philippines continues to be a rigid fort in furthering their purpose. They provide different types of assistance, from wearables and cosmetic products, to support groups that are willing to listen to anyone who wants to share their story.
And now, Abby is beyond grateful that things are coming into a beautiful place with her vision as an artist with the upcoming Advocally Concerts. From a child who had to constantly hide some parts of her, Abby has truly evolved into a woman of heart and passion. More than two decades in this journey of self-love and acceptance, she has taken back the power from our hardhanded societal conventions. She has emerged as a woman so comfortable with her skin, knowing that it has such a beautiful story, and discoveries to share.
“We all have insecurities but accepting and rising above those insecurities makes us the beautiful, brave persons that we are. The people that are meant to be in your life will completely support and love you. Mahal ka nila… Pero importante mahalin mo rin ang sarili mo.”
So mark your calendars and join in the celebration of Alopecia awareness month this September 18, 2021, as Abby Asistio graces the Advocally stage, live at ‘When In Manila’ Facebook page with her original music.