Siningbayan Art of Peace Workshop- Batang Transformers Young Leaders Peace Camp

Batang Transformers Peace Camp
With the support of British Council Philippines–Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, Bagong Lumad Artists’ Foundation collaborated for a zoom Peace Camp with the MSU K-12 Director for Art and Culture Dr. Melba Agni and the Pimentel Institute for Leadership and Governance President Gwen Pimentel Gana. They have been working closely working with the Pimentel Institute for Leadership and Governance since 2013 in the Young Leaders Peace Camp founded by Senator Nene Pimentel.

Open Hands Sing Along
Open Hands by Joey Ayala
Here we are, my sister and my brother
Now is now the only time we have
We are in a garden made of open hands
Peace is all we gather for like flowers
Peace is all the earth we need to stand
We are like a garden made of open hands.


OKIR: Unending curves and colors

Creating an art community
In pursuing what keeps our soul alive, we find our place in a community, we find our people. For Mindanao State University – Marawi students who seek to be art missionaries, they found a family in their university’s art club — OKIR.
OKIR — the university art club was established in 2005. Its founding members took inspiration from OKIR, a term that refers to a repertoire of art motifs consisting of plant forms that are prominent in the art of Lanao and Sulu. For the founders,  adapting OKIR as the club name centers their mission to their culture. OKIR’s unending curves and colors can be seen in almost every Meranao household and activity which is eminent in their culture. 
The same way becoming an artist takes hard work and dedication, becoming a full-fledged member of the Okir Art club entails conducting at least two community service activities, a mini art exhibition and a variety show. 
Mother by Jalicareza R. Jamail
For one of OKIR’s alumna, Jalicareza R. Jamail or Kika, the university art club is a home for aspiring artists. A member since 2015 and also one of its leaders since 2017, Kika is now a civil engineer. Her visual art forms are painting and drawing.
Elyssa H. Macapodi, also known as Ely, is currently studying BS Sustainable Community Development at MSU – Marawi and has been an OKIR Art club member since 2019. She is focusing on portraiture and digital art.

“Okir – The University Art Club is not just an ordinary organization for me. It allows me to explore various things that I have never experienced in my entire life. This organization improves your art skills, social skills and as well as your personality,” Ely said.

Unspoken Feeling by Ciarae Jan G. Fuentes
Rediscovering our culture
From what started from just thinking of a nickname for each other, OKIR Art club members have created a tradition of calling each other ‘Vinz’ after Leonardo da Vinci. This started when they were coming up with names to call their members. After looking up about da Vinci, they learned that ‘Vinci’ is what they call members of an artist group and now they call each other ‘Vinz.’
Ciarae Jan G. Fuentes, fondly called Sweet, is taking up BS Electronics and Communication Engineering at MSU – Marawi. She has been a member since 2017 and was chosen to be the Grand Artisan (President) of OKIR last 2020.
Through OKIR, Ciarae discovered more about the beautiful culture in Mindanao, and she believes that OKIR helped her learn more about compassion despite cultural differences.

“Upon entering the club, the Vinzes taught me a lot of things, not just through visual art but also in life. I admit, on my first year in the club, I struggle a lot because of the language barrier since majority of our present members are Maranao; but as time pass by, I learn to understand them, even their body language. OKIR – The University Art Club is indeed a good platform for a student like me who loves art, because it gives a lot of opportunity not just to improve skill and boost self-esteem, but mold us to become an advocate of good will. OKIR taught me about compassion, too. Through visual art, we use our talent to express our screams while inspiring the youth,” Ciarae said.

Sari by Sittie Rania I. Candotan
Improving our selves, our art
Sittie Rania I. Candotan, known as Rania, has been a member of OKIR since 2015. She also led the club as its president since 2019, and has remained as a senior adviser even after graduating from university.
As an introvert, Rania shared that being part of an art club was never part of her plans, but when she became a member of OKIR, every single aspect of her life changed.

“I became more confident in myself. OKIR has helped me day by day in creating a better version of myself, [being part of the club] helped me learn, discover my talent, and develop it eventually. I realized that OKIR has been one of the most positive impact and aspects of my life now. OKIR taught me how to find beauty in ugliness and see ugliness in beauty, and made me appreciate the beauty and vibrant culture and traditions of my land; it made me embraced my identity as Moro. OKIR is not just a good platform for self-improvement; OKIR is like a home for most of the OKIR Members,” Rania said.

During the Art of Peace workshop at Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan de Oro, Sittie Rania shared their club’s desire to create storybooks to help make the youth in Marawi resilient to recruitment by paramilitary groups. They are currently developing a website library for the storybook they created. 
To discover more art from the OKIR art club, download their road map.
Marawi Sittie, 2018 by Ciarae Jan G. Fuentes She is Marawi City, and she could also be the Marawi Sittie. Sittie is the Maranao terminology of princess. The veil she is wearing represents the primary colors of the Philippine flag, but it could also be the reflection of the 2017 Marawi siege. Here eyes are sad, but despite the faded color around her, flower blooms as the symbol of hope. We all know that the window os someone’s soul is through his/her eyes, and as you can see, her sad eyes reflects the ruined Marawi City and the lost lives during the siege. Despite of what will happen, Marawi Sittie is still beautiful and brave.


Kalluman Dance Group : Traditional Dance as Livelihood

Radzmina Tanjili, the Artistic Director of Kalluman Dance Group wants to continue teaching generations of Sama Bajau about their traditional dances because she doesn’t want it to disappear.
“Whenever I teach, I want them to learn how to follow the way I tell them to do certain steps, the style, the form. I hope they are open to it,” she said.
Twenty-five year old Patma who lives in Malate, Manila believes that it’s important that they learn about their dance because it has meaning to them.
“We learn our heritage as Sama-Bajau. It’s meaningful, and it’s an inspiration for us who are learning it,” Patma said.
For Aysha Barahim, President of the Sama Bajau Women’s Organization, it is important for Filipinos and non-Bajau to know about the culture of Sama Bajau.
“In my opinion, Sama Bajau are stereotyped. People think the Sama Bajau are just street beggars. We want to break that stereotype. It’s important that we show you our culture, so that together, we share the joy of the Sama Bajau culture,” Aysha said.
Engage, learn and collaborate with the Kalluman Dance Group. Connect with them at kallumandancegroup@gmail.com.
Directed and Edited by:
Khalil S. Verzosa
Produced and Written by:
Regina S. Bautista

Dragonflies and Silences

Carlotta Abellana de Pio refused an interview about herself and her works. Except for a few titles (Rain, Dragonflies and Silences, Sensing the Morning, Ways of Gaia, Sending Off) the other poems were meant to go untitled, something we argues about at length, saying that it was like having a child unnamed. She gave way grudgingly in a quivering soprano. Her students at the Ateneo de Davao University know her as a teacher in philosophy art appreciation, and graphic arts. Davao painters appreciate her presence in the numerous art exhibits either as exhibiting artist or viewer, even if sometimes she raises a dissenting voice. Like most thinking people, she has her own answers to prevailing phenomena in the arts and the world at large. Consider reading her poems as a delirious experience.
Road Map Series
Vol. 2 No. 29
Printed in Davao City
Mindanao, Philippines

A Time to Live and A Time to Write

When I feel that I have so much to say I write, and while writing I understand better why I feel like so.
For many years my thoughts on paper became a journal of my growth, experiences, significant relationship, and insights. I wrote in notebooks, on pieces of paper, paper napkins (that I stashed away in a large envelope) in my rooms and makeshift rooms, and gardens – (I moved residence twenty four times in my adult years) – in bus depots, in train stations, in airplanes, in hotel rooms. My journal spans those years and from it I extracted these poems. I accept with gratefulness the comments and suggestions of other writers whenever they expressed my sentiments better. 
I did not call what I wrote “poetry”. I was not an attentive student, and cannot remember definitions. But I remember as a young girl how fond I was of quoting this or that line from a poem. In my adult years, women poets introduced me to an appreciation of poems that articulated my own feelings.
Although as a person, I always do my utmost in whatever I commit to do, over the years I have learned to be more centered, to say no gracefully, and to conserve my energy.
I love most of all the sea, the mountains and landscapes, the birds, friends, the night sky my children, and my four-year old grandchild Cair who warms my heart with her candor and discerning mind.
I would like to work a small farm.
I am still quixotic about justice.
I work for my loved ones and this beleaguered home, our planet.
Jinky Yap Morales
November 4, 1999
Road Map Series, Vol. 2 No. 28
Printed in Davao City


About Road Map Series

About Road Map Series
Road Map Series (RMS) is Tita Lacambra-Ayala's brainchild and nest egg. Whoever said "Art is therapeutic" is correct. Herself an ...
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