PURSUING master’s degree is quite a taxing endeavor. You need a lot of focus and hard work to get through it. It’s extra tough when you are also working to earn a living.

So, what are these masters students thinking when they still squeezed into their busy schedules the organization of a charity event?

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“It’s a final project for our business communications class,” says Carlo Villarica, leader of the 15-member group at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB). For them, it was an activity where they could break out from the highly academic atmosphere and get hands on with the lessons they picked up.

So they held their “Kids Rock,” a concert for a cause, at The Outpost in Lahug.

With their P100-ticket, concertgoers had their fill of a bottle of beer and a chance at the raffle prizes while donating for the less fortunate. The concert aimed to raise funds for about 700 children of poor families living in the mountains of the municipality of Oslob.

The children attend school under the Immaculate Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries in the southern town. According to Carlo, the missionary nuns have kept children in classrooms and away from prostitution in the city.

He admits that his group mates shared a common feeling of getting heavily tied with all the work that have to be done in one and half months allotted to them for the project. “It was indeed tiring to do all the preparation work and to always be on our feet for any hitches like one band backing out,” shares Carlo, who is also a part of a band named Rescue-A-Hero.

However, they were amazed and touched by the response from the sponsors when they invited them to take part in the project.

Carlo said that they initially wanted to raise P50,000 from the sponsors, but received more than double that figure instead (P160,000 in cash and in kind). It also helped that they had friends who were members of different bands whom they invited to play, and they gamely did so in support for the worthy cause.

When this European Studies graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University decided to take up a master’s degree, it was about enhancing his entrepreneurship acumen. He hopes to apply what he learns from graduate school to his family’s estate business.

But it turned out that there were other doors that were opened.

Together with his graduate school classmates, he just did his first charity event, an idea that remained just a dream for so long at the “back of his head”—until their business communications class gave them the challenge.

Carlo urges people to continue supporting the missionaries in Oslob by visiting them in the southern town. With the success of the event and the sense of fulfillment that tagged along, these business masters from Ateneo might just pump into their big hearts more passion to help others.