It’s almost been one month now since The Forgotten Ten exhibit came to a close at Yuchengco’s Water Dragon Gallery in Manila. Now that I have been able to catch up with everything since the closing, I wanted to take some time to thank everyone for making this such a successful event. There are a number of people to thank, from our sponsors, to those who helped with preparations and of course everyone who made it out to the gallery to show their support. I also thought it would be nice to put together a summary of the exhibition, share some insights, get more feedback and put some thoughts together about the future of the Katutubong Filipino Project.
Last week I had the opportunity to take some images for the Gift of Grace Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides resources to elementary school children living within the Umapad dumpsite of Mandaue City, Cebu. There are four large dump sites around metro Cebu with more than 5000 people living and scavenging for materials just trying to survive in whatever way they can. Many of the children living within these dumpsites are born into a life of extreme poverty and are often given very little opportunity to escape the cycle. Meagan Kelly, founder of the Gift of Grace, started the foundation in hopes to educate children starting at a young age so that they can follow their dreams and eventually provide for their families away from the dumpsites.
I spent last week with the folks from Baptist World Aid Australia and Share an Opportunity Philippines (SAO) working on an assignment in Panay and Negros Islands. SAO has a number of programs here in the Philippines focusing primarily on community development using a holistic approach. It sounds complicated, but the basic idea is that in order to improve a child’s life you have to improve all aspects of the community that influence that child.
Yesterday I got to witness thousands celebrate All Saints Day here in Cebu. People light candles, bring flowers and pray for their loved ones at cemetery’s all over. This was my first time to witness this holiday here and indeed a sight it was to see. There must have been a few thousand people at this small public cemetery I went to. Many people were camped out with their families and there were vendors selling everything from food to glow sticks. This is such a popular place for people to visit on this day that the Mayor even put up campaign signs for next years election.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with the children of Sapak yesterday during their monthly lunch-in. Sapak is a school and home for over 80 children from the poorest of Cebu’s mountain barangays, whose parents often can’t afford to feed or school them. The facility and program is run by the energetic 85…