Members of the Filipino Press Group in Sydney (FilPress) swapped their notebooks for song sheets to raise funds for the needy just in time for the holiday season.

A suburban outreach program for young men and women, particularly young mothers with children, is the beneficiary of the latest charity project organised by FilPress, a loose collective of Filipino-Australian journalists, radio broadcasters and illustrators mainly based in Sydney.

The project is to create a music album filled with popular Christmas songs with the sale proceeds going to the CatholicCare Young Women’s Supported Accommodation Program (CYWSAP).

The twist is that instead of getting professional singers, FilPress members volunteered to sing the carols themselves. Music producer Oliver Gadista composed a fresh version of each song selecting the genre that he felt best reflected each individual.

The project is a volunteer effort with FilPress members chipping in with their time and resources to pack, print and sell 200 CDs. Oliver and partner Bless Salonga, in particular, are doing the heavy lifting in terms of the recording of the CDs, promotion and marketing.

The idea came on the back of FilPress Sydney member Jimmy Pimentel's annual practice to seek gifts from friends and family that he then hands to the outreach programs. But what started off as a lark soon became a full-blown initiative to make the album.

To pre-order a copy of the CD, ring 0450 708 768 or 0408 22 77 94.

1) Deck the Halls (Edd Aragon & Menchie Maneze)
2) Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem (Violi Calvert)
3) Jingle Bells (Mon and Nilda Carpo )
4) Joy to the World (Michelle Baltazar)
5) O Come All Ye Faithful (Bless Salonga)
6) O Holy Night (Millie Marcial Phillips)
7) Silent Night (Jimmy Pimentel)
8) 12 Days of Christmas (Ruben & Cen Amores)
9) Gloria In Excelsis Deo (Mitchell Badelles)
10) Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Charles Chan)
11) It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Marilie Eftekrharhastroudi)
12) Away In A Manger (Jimmy Pimentel)
13) Christmas Everyday (Oliver Gadista)
14) We Wish You a Merry Christmas (group song)

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