Hoy! Jam ta!
HOY! was launched December 2, 2013 at 6PM at the USC Soccer Field with it’s opening event called ‘Hoy! Jam Ta!’ – in time for the celebration of the International Abolition of Slavery Day. This was in cooperation with MTV Exit along with the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP). It was open to all students of USC from all campuses and featured a film showing and forum on the status of human trafficking in the country. Aside from that, the event had a jam session and an open mic night for bands who wanted to show their support for the movement.
Hoy, Jam Ta! played a film by MTV exit called Intersection. The short cartoon movie featured Mei, a girl from the rural areas who was looking for better opportunities in the city. She found an agency that claimed could give her what she wants, but she found herself tricked into getting enslaved in Rainbow Massage Center, a cleverly named brothel. She was dehumanized and abused but after a smart undercover agent brought the brothel down from the inside, she was sent home, safe and sound. Another film, also by MTV exit, was a real life documentary called Enslaved. The film revolved around a Vietnamese man who tricked several Filipina girls into the trade of humans.
The Philippines, being one of the largest migrant countries of the world, is prone to having its civilians trafficked. Human Trafficking is in form, modern day slavery. It is the trade of humans, mostly for the purpose of sexual slavery or forced labor. Although there are legal channels for working overseas, there are men and women who offer ‘efficient’ but illegal alternatives. These businesses either lure their victims by the promise of better high paying jobs outside of their hometown only to violate contracts or lie about their working conditions or coerced, manipulated, threatened and even kidnapped. These men, women, and children are then exploited, prostituted, drugged, and harvested for their organs.
The most surprising thing about Human Trafficking is that not all persons who coerce or dupe these innocent people are foreigners. Human trafficking also occurs within the victim’s country. The numbers for human trafficking are at an alarming rate of 20 million people.
Aside from being a night of awareness, Hoy Jam Ta was also a night of music. A surprising female Engineering student showed off her beatboxing skills. Lady’s Choice, a band who went for all the punk classics like Sing for Me by Yellowcard, did a lively punk rendition of Moment of Truth by FM Static that had the crowd thrashing and screaming along lyrics.
Culture Sublimity, a Ska band complete with a trumpet and a Saxophone, left nothing for the imagination. The male lead’s rough vocals and the female singer grooved together in perfect symphony as they sang to No Doubt’s Underneath it All and Kolohe Kai’s Cool Down.
The ever-energetic Drop Decay played three full songs, two of which were originals. They had the crowd blend with each other as they launched into a classic Yellowcard song called Ocean Avenue while The Monkeys jammed right after like they were on a full bar of energy.
Regardless of the intimate number that came to Hoy Jam Ta, it was still a raging success. All proceeds of the event go to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. All in all, the evening was a night full of celebration and being one with each other through the cause of abolishing Human Trafficking and music.
When you really think about it, one small sacrifice, in the long run will turn into a means for a cause to come true. It’s all about knowing what we’re doing it for that inspires us to keep pushing through what we want to happen. It’s not a matter of faith, trust and pixie dust. It’s all about willpower and a desire to make real what is a dream.