Justin Bieber has been honored with a Walk of Fame golden star in the Philippines.
The star has been named after him in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the relief effort and mobilization of fans’ fundraising for victims of the Typhoon Haiyan-hit Southeast Asian nation.
The 19-year-old’s star has dimmed in North America amid scandals and criminal charges, but in the Philippines Bieber’s #GiveBackPhilippines campaign which raised over $3 million has not been forgotten.
Bieber’s golden star is located in the Eastwood City Walk of Fame — a commercial and residential development located in the Libis area of Quezon City in the Philippines.
(Photo: Bieber has been immortalized with a golden star on Eastwood City Walk Of Fame in recognition of his campaign to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan)
The category-five Typhoon Haiyan storm struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013. In its wake nearly 6,000 people died and millions were displaced.
Although performing on his Believe tour at the time, Bieber contributed to the relief effort in a number of ways alongside the countries, aid agencies, celebrities and ordinary people who pledged help through financial aid, relief supplies or emergency teams.
The teen superstar launched his online #GiveBackPhilippines campaign on December 4 via an announcement video at Prizeo.com, a celebrity fundraising platform.
“Everyone knows I’ve got the best fans in the world,” Justin told his fans in the video.
“The moment I heard about the tragedy a few weeks back, I knew I could count on you guys to make a difference. So I’m looking for you guys to help me, help them,” he added.
Within 24 hours of the drive’s launch, Bieber fans donated over $400,000.
The quick response was galvanized by a multiple prize draw and grand prize, with the winner selected randomly. The grand prize is a date to watch the Canadian record some of his new album in a Los Angeles studio. The eventual winner was Alyssa Frausto.
However, the campaign received its most significant boost after Bieber and his crew flew to Manila on Tuesday, December 10, and then onto the worst-hit Central Leyte Province capital of Tacloban City.
The trip took place two days after the star officially wrapped his Believe world tour in Perth, Australia, capping a 15-month trek plagued by incidents, controversy, and relentless scrutiny by the world’s press.
On arrival in the Philippines, Bieber performed a surprise acoustic show — which he called the real “last Believe tour show” — singing Christmas carols and some of his new Journals collection for a rapt audience of children and older.
Bieber and co. distributed T-shirts, books, basketballs and toys to children, and were taken to two relief centers in local schools; one, a temporary learning center, the other a home for around 300 families. He also played basketball with local youth and the head coach of the national basketball team.
Speaking to Manila’s TV5 television network, which filmed Bieber and his longtime manager Scooter Braun in Tacloban, Justin said of his decision to join the relief effort:
“I feel like this is something that was really just strongly in my heart. I wanted to come out here and see these kids, bring some hope to these kids, bring some inspiration and let them know that it’s a big world and God is — God is, great.”
On December 16, the #GiveBackPhilippines campaign stopped accepting donations.
The sum raised surpassed its $1 million target, punching in a final figure of $1,164, 027.
When the target of $1 million was reached on December 15, a day before the drive ended, Bieber took to Twitter – writing:
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 15, 2013
Bieber’s native Canadian government matched donations made by citizens who contributed, with funds directed to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Action Against Hunger, and the Philam Foundation.
The artwork featured hands clasped in prayer with “Pray 4 Philippines” spray-painted in red above. A star detailed on one side and the singer signed his initials “JB” at the base.
A selection of pictures published at the celebrity gossip site revealed Bieber praying beside the piece.
The auction also included the spray cans used, together with a signed picture of the street art.
Bieber also contributed “I would” from his 2013 Believe Acoustic to a 39-song Songs for the Philippines, joining Bruno Mars, Bob Dylan, Lorde, One Direction, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, among many more.
At the close of the #GiveBackPhilippines campaign, Braun tweeted:
“Looks like over $3 million has been raised by @justinbieber and his #Beliebers for #givebackphilippines. So amazing. Well done.”
Bieber’s golden star in the Philippines’ Eastwood City Walk of Fame shines on.
(Photo: Bieber in the Philippines on November 8 visiting victims and survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.)