The Philippines may be known for its beautiful beaches and bustling metro but the country’s main issue is still poverty. Street children can be found loitering alleyways and often getting into trouble. Catholic priest Father Rocky Evangelista of the Salesians of Don Bosco began the Tuloy Foundation back in 1993, dedicating himself to the cause of these children children.
With the help of the government and friends, Tuloy has grown into a non-government, not-for-profit organization helping thousands of Filipino kids get off the streets while providing them a chance at a better future.
Tuloy is a Filipino word which means “Continue” or “Come on in”.
At the Miss World event, Fr. Rocky received the Humanitarian Award for his amazing work. Before he got to receive it though, he got serenaded by Celine Tam and Jeffrey Li. Two kids with unbelievable voices singing, “You raise me up“.
The song was composed by the Norwegian Duo Secret Garden but it was a man named Josh Groban who took the song to new heights. Celine and Jeffrey here seem to be singing on behalf of all the kids that Tuloy Foundation has helped over the years. It’s only fitting.
Celine is named after Celine Dion.
Both Jeffrey and Celine were on America’s Got Talent. Jeffrey sang “You raise me up“, impressing Simon Cowell while Celine has had previous performances with the same song. They’re small physically but those voices are anything but.
But why this song?
The song holds a special place for Fr. Rocky. He says it captures what the foundation is all about. The song’s message captures the lives of the street children he rescues and helps, giving them another chance in life. A better chance in life. It’s all about giving those kids a better future.
It is the theme song of Tuloy.
As Jeffrey and Celine begin the song, Fr. Rocky watches from the side realizing that his life’s work has finally caught the attention of the international media. A video of kids from the foundation plays along, the kids singing with Celine and Jeffrey their voices combined as one. It’s a tearjerker for sure.
“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be”
And Celine? Oh this little lady isn’t named after Celine Dion for no reason.
This girl’s voice soars above mountains, her power and control stunning to listen to. And she does it with a sweet smile on her adorable face.
Even Jeffrey gets in on it, blending his voice with Celine’s. These two took a song with a beautiful message and gave it more meaning on this night where thousands of street children were given opportunities to stand on mountains and cross seas.
The song ends on a beautiful note. A note that matches Fr. Rocky’s smile. Never underestimate the strength and courage of children. The odds may be stacked against them, and while they may be smaller and vulnerable, all it takes is a push from the right people to get them on the right track. You never know where life takes them. So raise them up.
Listen to Celine and Jeffrey’s meaningful duet in the video below!
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