14 April 2011

Subic kids paint for Japan disaster victims

Grade school students in this free port had pooled their paintings together in an arts exhibit here in an effort to raise funds for victims of earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand Arreza said that students of the Casa Kalayaan International School (CKIS) in Subic had taken the initiative to raise funds in their own way.

“They put up their own first exhibit, not to profit from the sale of their artworks, but to help in their own little way the victims of disasters in Japan,” Arreza said.

“Their parents should be proud of them, like how I am proud of these kids,” he added. Arreza’s children, fifth grader Lorenzo Gabriel and fourth grader Danielle Bianca, both students of CKIS, participated in the exhibit.

CKIS principal Joanne Prieto said that the arts exhibit was conceptualized a couple of months ago after seeing several beautiful art works the students had made at the Subic Lighthouse Marina, and she thought the paintings should be put on exhibit for a wider audience.

Prieto then made arrangements with Lighthouse manager Argee Gomez, a noted supporter of environmental advocacy, who excitedly agreed on the proposal and named the project “Towers,” an art exhibit at the Lighthouse to save life in Japan.

“The destructive earthquake and devastating tsunami had inspired several students to make posters on Japan, representing hope for their recovery,” CKIS Student Council president Michelle Prieto said.

“The Casa Kalayaan International School Student Council was so moved by these efforts and wanted to organize a fundraiser for this country (Japan) in its time of need,” Michelle said.

The young artist said that there are about 20 paintings exhibited, each selling between P2,500 and P8,000. “Fifty percent of the sales will go towards helping Japan,” Michelle added.

Aside from the fundraising efforts of CKIS students, the Subic Freeport community also responded to a relief drive initiated by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake disaster.

The SBMA also sent its fire and rescue team to Japan to help in recovery operations, and expressed its sympathy and support to the Japanese community in this free port through a resolution passed by the SBMA board of directors.

SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga said the SBMA resolution expressed solidarity with the Japanese community “in this time of trial and adversity” and offered its deepest sympathy and condolences to all Japanese locators and residents in Subic, especially those who may have lost loved ones and friends in the recent disasters.

The Subic Bay Freeport Zone is home to more than 40 Japanese locator-companies, some of whom were pioneering enterprises that helped develop this free port in its early years. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

SBMA administrator Armand Arreza (right) and wife Maria Paz, together with Casa Kalayaan International School (CKIS) principal Joanne Prieto (second from left) and Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce official Susan Dudley, opens an exhibit of paintings by CKIS students. The students are selling their paintings to help raise funds for victims of earthquake and tsunami in Japan.