NY charity reaches out to Mangyan children with art
A warm welcome of songs and dances by barefoot children of Iraya Mangyan village at Talipanan, Oriental Mindoro, melted the hearts of volunteer artists from New York who came to hold art workshops with young students.
New York-based Carol Tanjutco came with Othoniel Neri and his team, Ramel Castillo, Benedict Simbulan, Carlmel Belda to fulfill a plan hatched a year ago with Talipanan Mangyan School principal Rebecca Presentacion and teacher Marita Umali, who suggested an art workshop for their school, which can’t afford the high cost of materials.
The newly appointed principal Marizel Axalan carried on the plan, communicating via Facebook via Messenger the details of the program with the New York-based Eagle Eye Charities Inc.
Several fundraising activities were started in 2019 culminating in a winter art auction held in cooperation with Philippine Consul General of New York Claro Cristobal and New York artists-benefactors.
The much awaited art day started with children lining up for T-shirts especially printed “Art on the Rocks” by Eagle Eye Charities Inc., followed by an introductory lecture by Othoniel Neri and an important health reminder about the use of a mask by pupils who may be feeling ill (the feared virus pandemic had started early March).
Art materials from New York, consisting of brushes, lead-free acrylic paint and clinical masks were distributed by Carol Tanjutco. Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiS8qjwsj0Y
Break out sessions grouped children by age, with volunteer artists as mentors. TMS teachers assisted in the distribution of snacks sponsored by Tamaraw Beach Resort. Children were delighted to experiment mixing colors, identifying warm and cool colors that surround their natural habitation.
In no time, the children were busy painting images of flowers, fishes, landscape or their abstract imagination into flat rocks that served as their canvas. Montessori-trained volunteer Chingbee Tanjutco picked several white rocks from Tamaraw Beach that morning and assisted in painting samples as she identified special needs children from the group that required more attention.
The volunteer team was feted to a feast of fried sweet potato and bottled water, the natives humble offering for all their efforts. A couple of hours later, the Mangyan children proudly presented their master pieces painted on rocks, each child beamed with pride as they laid the pieces on a long table, ready to be sprayed with varnish for a lasting memento.
On Day 2, the mural painting fun began. Former councilor Engr. Ed Axalan brought Boysen house paint to create a lasting landscape that will remind the children of their future as aspiring artists. Renowned Durian Collective artist Manny Garibay and his Artletics team subsequently joined in, guiding the children in color mixing.
Othoniel Neri painted a symbolic portrait of a Mangyan child as part of a flower garden, with Marian, a special needs child as model. She was initially very shy with all the attention she was getting. Everybody lauded how beautiful she is. At the end of the mural painting, teachers and students took turns taking her picture with them sitting by the mural wall.
The front of the school building was painted with large pop art of flowers, clown fish and smiling sun, to greet children in the morning as they enter the school. The side of the building leading to their medical clinic was painted with the iconic Mount Malasimbo, the endangered tamaraw.