Growing up as a kid from the once sleeping town of Mati in the southern tip of the Philippines, I took my pencil and paper on several afternoons at the old wharf waiting to catch a glorious sunset. There were no DSLR cameras yet to capture the natural beauty of a setting sun. I had no formal art training either. No money to buy a canvas and paint. I only had my eyes and my hands for my simple work that would later become a masterpiece for my two adoring fans'”my parents.
My works would end up pasted on our wall until the next artwork would dislodge the old one.
I had great times as a self-made artist. Later I would have some informal training with a town moviehouse artist and I would have my share of the movie billboards in exchange for a free movie pass on weekends.
Growing up, we are inspired by the beauty around us and would only hope our creativity would match the wonders of creation.
Last month, 24 kids from Malungon in Sarangani, Tampakan in South Cotabato and Columbio in Sultan Kudarat, and Malalag and Kiblawan in Davao del Sur got the dreams of their young lives as artists.
Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI), the Philippine Government’s contractor of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, held an art workshop for selected high school students last month at the Sarangani Highlands Resort.
Jamel Obniana from the University of the Philippine Diliman College of Fine Arts was commissioned by SMI to be the workshop facilitator to help the young artists build their confidence and polish their painting skills.
The 24 students aged 14-18 participated in the workshop which was themed “Highlighting the identity of Southern Mindanao together with SMI.” These artists emerged from a qualifying competition held earlier to pick the cr¨me of the crop.
John Arnaldo, SMI Communications Manager said the Department of Tourism chaperoned participants to the workshop venue where they were taught how to paint and express their ideas through art.
It couldn’t get any better than this. The kids were given by SMI all the materials needed for the workshop. Makes me regret why I was born too soon.
Things like this one really inspire us. We don’t get a chance like this everyday and when we do, the opportunity is just too good to pass up.
Twelve finalists will be picked from the output of the workshop which will be displayed in an art exhibit on May 27 and the best three works will be declared winners and will be sent to compete in the first ever Southern Mindanao Regional Arts Competition which SMI is again sponsoring.
You get to have your work in the gallery. Get a chance to be the best work out of this program. Compete in a bigger stage. And who knows what’s next? These are what every artist dreams of.
These are among the many outreach programs SMI is implementing as part of its social commitment in the development areas. I once chatted with Andy Orobia of SMI Communications and he shared a number of CSR programs SMI is doing, something we do not normally hear in mining exploration projects.
As a child growing up, I love the sunset bidding goodbye to a lovely day. But I am always just as thrilled to wait for the sunrise in the morning as I wake up to join my father to the old tennis club for an early morning game.
To this day, I still look forward to painting a wonderful sunrise. I may just have to capture it someday. But for these young kids touched by SMI, all of the next day’s sunrise is brighter.