Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Kids on Project Photography all over the place

In continuing the implementation of Kids on Project Photography (KPP), I kept on visiting my beneficiaries or students to follow up their skills and motivate more interests from them. I conduct the workshop in new places especially to the indigenous kids whenever possible.

After a year I went back to visit Subic Bay Childrens Place in Olongapo City on the month of January. The residents are orphans and it used to be a home of Ameresian kids. Im just surprised that some of them still recognize me. This time around, there were so many of them attended my Kids on Project Photography workshop. I gave a refresher on basic photography outdoor then conducted a hands-on shoot. Again as expected, they are fond of posing for the camera. 

Next was a visit to the children of Pag-Amoma Children's Place in Davao City on the month of January but an interesting activity we did on August of 2012, I took my students to the Kadayawan Festival celebration of Davao. Mommy Lisa, the house parent, turned them over to me for the day for the workshop. I met them all near the Marco Polo Hotel, the assembly point of the parade. I gave them each a uniform T-shirt and they were happy to receive it. We moved infront of the City Hall for the festival program. This activity was an on-field shoot to experience festival photography. 

I tagged along a few of them namely Rolita, Katrina, Roshell, Ramil, Jaymar & Joanne to experience covering an event. But because of a dense crowd, we did not get a good vantage point and cannot even penetrate. We just had portrait photography of the indigenous peoples in their ethnic attire and lucky to have coached by a newfound friend photographer Jacob Maentz. 

We took the kids for a tour around the city visiting Davao Museum, Bone Collector Museum and the Islamic Center.

I went back a few times to see the kids of the Aeta community in Bataan. What was so special was that we had photo shoot of mother and child because it was Mother’s Day on May. I asked them to find their mama then any of their siblings for the portrait photography. Everyone cooperated and got successful with the activity. 

Later, we participated in the medical mission of Zambales Vice-Governor Ramon Lacbain II on the month of July in Castillejos town of Zambales, I had the chance to implement the Kids on Project Photography to the children of the Aeta community in Canaynayan Resettlement Area. I met many kids who were there and I invited them to join the workshop. Some of them were shy at first but when some of them started to try it out then one by one came up to try it also. Even if they are done with their turn they still ask for another round. There was even one boy named Marvin who came back with a nice shot, a volunteer soldier doing a free barber to a boy. It’s amazing to learn that he has that inclination towards photography. 

Another indigenous people’s community that benefited from KPP was the Batak ethnic group. They belong to the Negrito family and exhibits dark skin and kinky hair. We had the cultural immersion after a meeting in Puerto Princessa in Palawan so we met them for some interaction and peformances. Then I saw the kids and I introduced them to photography and they enjoyed their first exposure. 

Lastly on December, we conducted psychosocial healing & art workshop for the quake victims in the Sagbayan town of Bohol. I met some young children. I encouraged them to try out my DSLR camera and a four-year old boy got so interested shooting some of the people especially his father. He sweated a lot but enjoyed the workshop.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Indigenous Youth participate in Katutubo eXchange

A voluntary group of cultural workers called Katutubo eXchange Philippines (KXP) headed by its president Dr. Edwin Antonio held the first-ever Katutubo Exchange for indigenous youth and children. 

The cultural exchange program was held on August 10-14, 2013 in Manila to celebrate the International Youth Day and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples with the theme “Katutubong Kalinangang Filipino: Ipagbunyi sa Mundo!” 

Thirteen indigenous youth, from 10 to18 years old were selected to participate in the program. The Manobo, Bagobo and Matigsalog orphaned children of the Pag-Amoma Children’s Place from Davao, Katrina Lacia, Roshell Royo, Jaymar Laidan and Ramil Eman, got the chance to touch base with their roots through their performances. They were accompanied by their adult leader Elisa Templado and were flown in to Manila by Cebu Pacific Air. 

The Aeta children, composed of Clarise Cayetano, Jerafi Tamundong, Raymond Gulisan and Jacob Gulisan with adult leader Rosalee Joy Reyes, were supported by the provincial government of Bataan. They likewise performed ethnic songs and dances. 

The Ivatan youth delegation of Batanes with Ralph Ezra Viola, Christian Gabilo, Olga Galat and adult leader vice mayor Anastacia Viola were supported by the municipal government of Basco. They featured the palo-palo dance, vakul, and laji, an oral tradition. There was also a special participation of Angelic Claveria of the Isnag ethnic group from Apayao, who performed a monologue depicting their community’s culture and tradition. 

On day one, the delegation performed at the GSIS Museum of Art during the Philippine Art Educators Association seminar and art exhibit and the KX opening and homestay matching program. The second day was an enjoyable and memorable stay with their respective host families led by Florinda Vaflor, Marivic Langit, Kelly Flynn and Shiera Rivera. They were brought to the Rizal Park and the malls for ice skating. They also dined out and did other activities, experiencing a new home in the city. 

On day three, the KX participants went for a courtesy visit at the city government of Manila and were toured around the city hall and the Manila Zoo. A cultural program was held at the Leandro Locsin Hall of the NCCA with chairman Felipe De Leon, Jr. receiving and giving them an inspirational message. It was attended by deputy executive director Marlene Ruth Sanchez and NCCA secretariat members and guests from the Department of Education, Manila Tourism Office and National Archives. NCCA executive director Emelita Almosara hosted a lunch for the delegates. The Embassy of Japan in Pasay City was also visited by the KX delegation for an origami workshop under the Hello Japan program. 

On day four, the delegation had a courtesy call with the National Youth Commission chairman Leon Flores III and executive director Shierwin Taay. The delegates were given a talk on the issues and rights of the youth. 

Lastly, a grand farewell concert program was conducted at the St. Mary’s Academy in Pasay with Sister Lourdes Cao, principal and Orlando Abon who arranged the event. The school’s auditorium was jam-packed with elementary graders who were happy to watch and experience for the first time the culture of indigenous peoples.