Armand TJ: One Island, One World

Words by Maffi Deparis

Armand TJ, singer-songwriter from Boracay Island, Philippines

History: My dad started our family resort Boracay Terraces in 1986, brought the first piano on the island, set up jam sessions on the beach when the island had no electricity yet. Now, that magic and spirit is carried on through the music I make. Since he passed on last year, I plan to continue his legacy of sharing the paradise experience through music gatherings, not just in Boracay but all over the globe. I decided to pursue music on my last year of university because I discovered a spiritual calling for it after much soul searching. In 2005 I became island-based, I started writing songs and meeting globe-trekkers from all over.

Motivation: I believe that we all have to pursue our purpose in life, and our passions define our purpose. I believe that we all have our roles to play as characters in this unfolding story called life. Being a part of something bigger than ourselves motivates me, especially if it changes the course of history and goes off the beaten path.

Concerns: I’m concerned about the rising tides and the erosion of the beach. I’m concerned about too much infrastructure and the lack of politicians who are willing to put a curve to that. I don’t like it when people proclaim that Boracay is not a paradise anymore while doing nothing to help it. I feel that attitude has to change. There’s always hope. And we should unite for this cause to save our paradise.

Armand’s Project:  The “One Island, One World” project is a documentary which tells the story of the emerging global community that has been defined by the paradise experience. It’s about the Boracay story as told through my music and my experiences on the island. I believe Boracay is Boracay, not just because of its natural beauty, but also because of the soul prints left by all those who walked on its shores. There’s a connection that never fades. I use my music to define this connection and give it an identity. I hope the rest of the island community will be aware of this project and show their support as well. That’s why I intend to make “One Island, One World” a vehicle to create positive change, to convey the idea of making a difference and making sure our children’s children, and their children, get to enjoy what Boracay has to offer. A local is someone who contributes to the island in his or her own way. A local doesn’t just take from, but gives something back to, the island.

Future Hopes: I’m looking forward to creating a music festival whose main mission is to preserve the island’s environment. We start with Boracay, then continue on to save other islands in danger of unsustainable development.

Who is your personal favorite Boracay personality? Boracay Activista who use Facebook as a platform to raise concern and awareness, which is the best way in this day and age. It starts with the battle for minds and hearts.

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