“I am alive and kicking,” Violy Lapuz, 54, said as she took the stage, not only as a musician but also as someone who is battling breast cancer, during Friday night’s 2013 Pinktober Concert that has become a signature annual event to help raise funds and awareness about breast cancer.
Lapuz, of the husband-and-wife Walden & Violy music duo, donated and dedicated their performances at Hard Rock Café in Garapan to those battling breast cancer.
“It was during a mammogram that I learned about my condition. I felt sad that I don’t have my right breast anymore but I am also happy that my family is always there for me. I also would like to announce that I am very much alive, contrary to rumors that circulated for years that I had passed away,” Lapuz later told Saipan Tribune after their performance.
Lapuz hopes she would also get help from the Commonwealth Cancer Association and other programs so she could continue her medical checkup and treatment.
“My advice to everyone is to live a healthy lifestyle. Watch what you eat, and eat lots of vegetables,” said Lapuz, who also takes herbal supplements that she said “have been very helpful.”
The Pinktober Concert, which has become one of the Commonwealth Cancer Association’s popular events in the last few years, drew a huge crowd—many of them in pink dress, shirts, pants or ties, or wore a pink ribbon.
Pinktober wraps up Breast Cancer Prevention and Awareness Month celebrated in October every year.
Juan L. Babauta, CCA program director, said he’s thankful for those who showed up and those who generously contributed their time and resources to raise awareness and help in any way they can for those who are living with breast cancer.
“Our vision is to have a cancer-free CNMI,” Babauta told the crowd.
Babauta and CCA board vice president Lauri Ogumoro, along with emcee LJ Castro, raffled off prizes for those in attendance, in between performances by Parker Yobei, Jerry Alcantara, Saipan Southern High School’s Flow Band, Sugar Rush Band, the Alfred Saures Band, Walden & Violy, and Joshua Quintanilla of Tinian, among others.
Quintanilla performed his hit rap song, Thank you, Mom, which he wrote for and dedicated to his mother, Rosalyn Castro Quintanilla who, along with his father Jesse, was in the crowd Friday night.
Crowds also danced to the music of some of the performances.
At 10:15pm, Babauta led the lighting of candles in honor of those who perished and those who are successfully battling breast cancer, including Anicia Tomokane, who joined Babauta on the stage for the ceremony.
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), Reps. Christopher Leon Guerrero (Cov-Saipan), Ralph Yumul (Ind-Saipan), and Edmund Villagomez (Cov-Saipan) were among the dignitaries in attendance.
Funds raised for the night of fun, live music, dances, and raffle prizes would go toward the Commonwealth Cancer Association’s programs and activities.