There's been a lot of talk recently about what exactly BTVfam is and what The Featured Acoustic Playlist (FAP) is about. As a BTVfam member that has been there from the very beginning (without a single hiatus) and one of the organizers of FAP, I've heard it all.
In hopes of clarifying who we are, what we're about, and elaborating on what was posted on the BTVfam Tumblr, I want to share my thoughts on everything. First of all...
What is BTVfam?
Here are some of the things I've heard. "BTVfam is..."
- a different word for 'internet friends.'
- the Asian side of blogTV.
- a bunch of different groups.
- like a fraternity.
- the self-proclaimed 'cool group' of blogTV.
I've heard a ton of different definitions from different people. Depending on who they are, when they were active and who they most talked to, they all make sense in their own right. I can't assume I know where everyone comes from but I do know how passionate we have become.
Here is how things started as I remember it:
Back in September '08, a big group of fans followed AJ Rafael, Cathy Nguyen, Gabe Bondoc, Passion, and Randolph Permejo onto blogTV. That was a time when one artist would broadcast for a couple hours, and when that person got tired we'd all migrate to the next artist's broadcast, and then the next...usually repeating this dance until 3 or 4 in the morning.
Since many of us live in the same general areas, it was only inevitable that we'd meet up. And our biggest meet-ups have always been based around music:
- Octoberfest 2008 -- Artesia, CA -- our first official meet-up.
- Fall Acoustic Music Show (FAMS) -- November '08 in Chino, CA
- For Your Soul 2 -- January '09 in San Francisco
- Featured Acoustic Playlist -- July '09 in San Diego
- Makinig 2 -- October '09 in Virginia
- Harmony for the Heart -- January '10 in Irvine, CA
We have a ton of respect for our fellow musicians, music, and the good things that music can do for communities. From there we realized the true value & positive impact of having a benefit concert.
Fast forward to today.
Featured Acoustic Playlist 2.0
Building on our goals, achievements and lessons from last summer's FAP, these are the things we want to accomplish this year:
1. Bring People Together
This was the original idea behind FAP -- bringing people together. Last year we brought together parts of the YouTube and blogTV communities. This year, in addition to the YouTube and blogTV communities, we are getting a ton of support Asian-American organizations and even groups from Tumblr.
We've learned how we're all actually connected to each other within just a couple degrees. I've experienced a ton of those "Whoa, you two know each other?" and "I've heard a lot good things about that person" type moments. At FAP2.0, we are all in a place where we can bridge those types of connections.
We've also learned that real friendships can transcend the tangible; that genuine connections can be made regardless of the medium. And as Raelynne Rosales recently described, "if their company is great online, imagine how amazing it'll be in person."
2. Inspire Music & Creativity
Somewhere out there is the next Kina Grannis, Alyssa Bernal, Andrew Garcia, Legaci, or Justin Bieber...someone with a humble beginning whose hard-work will pay off in front of the entire country.
Somewhere out there is the next AJ Rafael or Jeremy Manongdo...someone with the talent and compassion to single-handedly organize another Heal Philippines relief campaign or Empty Suitcase Project.
We have kids out there with the right potential but just needs the right bit of inspiration, the right opportunity and the right dominos to fall in place to make a positive mark on this world.
3. Showcase Our Music
Regardless of what the corporate/mainstream music industry has denied for years, we have some tremendous talent here. We always have. Many artists are simply more talented than what the industry or their YouTube subscriber counts give them credit for.
We want to showcase as much of this talent as possible.
4. Make a Difference
Part of our mission is dedicated to inspiring kids and helping them find their own better opportunities. But we have to remember, just as AJ and Jeremy have, that there are still kids out there that are struggling with the most important, most basic opportunity -- life.
Here we are, a family of friends, many of which were brought together over the internet. We are constantly connected to the world via our iPhones, laptops, webcams, etc...while some kids halfway around the world don't even have the basic necessities of food, water and shelter.
If you are sitting at home right now reading this on your computer, chances are you've always been blessed with everything you need...which makes it so easy to take it all for granted.
There is so much more to life than looking for trivial things to complain about on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or whatever. But if we put our hearts together, we can do something meaningful and help a struggling child see brighter tomorrow.
This is why The Featured Acoustic Playlist is so important to us -- it is the culmination of all the things we believe in and the goals we want to achieve. Music is what consistently brings us together and now we want to give something back.
Making It Official
When the planning committee and I put our heads together, we realized that in order for us to truly make a difference, we need to make this legit. So we did.
BTVfam has founded its own Non-Profit Organization.
The twelve members of the planning committee that have been working together the past several months are:
- Aldous Dela Cruz (@akbdc)
- Alex Carlin (@DJMajik) - Chief Operations Officer
- Darwin Pornel (@DarwinPornel)
- Dajuan Wells (@WonTonDJ)
- Francis Rochino (@FrancisRochino)
- Jennie Dinh (@JennieDinh)
- John Orara (@AuroraEmpire) - Chief Financial Officer
- Leo (@LionGali)
- Mel Tajon (@melmyfinger) - CEO
- Phil Chao (@PhilChao)
- Ron Palustre (@Ron_Palustre)
- Tam Le (@le_tam)
Each of these members bring something to the table because of their dedication, experience and expertise; together we have what it takes to get the job done.
I have to admit though, organizing a concert is a huge, time-consuming, financial & emotional investment. The hardest part is trying to balance business and friendships. Sometimes we are tasked with the painful decision of A) doing what is best for the show/charity vs. B) not hurting a loyal, hardworking & deserving friend.
Those discussions are never taken lightly and we take everything into careful consideration before we make a decision as a committee.
This year we are prioritizing the charity.
We started as a group of fans that grew into a family. From one family we blossomed into several others. Many of us have come and gone, often in bunches...but with FAP2.0 we have the opportunity to reunite all of those families.
With our Non-Profit Organization, we are staying true to what brought us together in the first place...but now in a position where we can give back.
We are more than just a group of fans with a common taste in music. We are more than just a group friends that came together online.
We are all God's blessed children, more connected to each other than ever before, in a world made much smaller thanks to the internet.
We have the opportunity to make something of ourselves and to help make another life breathe easier. Whether it is a kid in need of inspiration, a deserving artist in need an opportunity, or a starving child halfway around the world in need of saving...we want to help, starting with FAP2.0.
With a better understanding of who we are & what we're about, we hope that you will join us to support our cause. And if you do, we'll be seeing you in San Diego.