Painter-activist seeks volunteers for ‘Wall of Nature’
He’s well past his “quota” of 23,000 dolphins.
On May 25, however, A. G. Saño hopes others will join him in painting more of these amazing creatures and other marine wonders to make a colorful statement in celebration of Mother Nature.
Saño, who left a globe-trotting job on a Disney cruise ship in 2008 after seeing disturbing news footage of some of the practices in Japan’s dolphin hunting industry, is the visual artist tapped to lead a mural painting activity marking the Month of the Oceans.
Scores of volunteers—including government employees, environmental advocates, fellow artists, students or anyone who may have read about the campaign on Facebook—are expected to pitch in by picking up the brush on Friday, starting at 8 a.m.
Their collective masterpiece will adorn the one-kilometer-long wall surrounding Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City. The Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) which organized the project is calling it the “Wall of Nature.”
Since May 4, Saño has been preparing the wall with sketches depicting different species of fish, turtles, manta rays, sharks, dolphins, corals, etc. The painting will include freshwater or marshland dwellers led by “Lolong,” the giant crocodile caught in Agusan del Sur last year.
Lolong’s image will have a prominent spot near the park’s Quezon Avenue gate, Saño told the Inquirer in an interview last week. “He’s our flagship species for this project.”
Come Friday, the volunteer-painters will apply the colors based on a scheme Saño had prepared, “just like in a coloring book,” he said.
PAWB chose the Batangas-based 36-year-old Saño for the mural project not only in recognition of his talent but also for his decade-long involvement in green campaigns.
From a family of artists
Coming from a family of artists, Amado Guerrero “A. G.” Saño started painting at age 10 and received an apprenticeship under master Fernando Seña. He earned a degree in landscape architecture at the University of the Philippines in Diliman although the call of the wild led to his participation in several “immersion” tours in the countryside as a volunteer for environmental groups.
By 2000, he had segued to wildlife photography and was taking shots of humpback whales off Babuyan Islands. Between 2004 and 2006, he was somewhere in The Cordilleras, painting the walls and ceilings of churches and holding art classes for children.
A job overseas as a portrait and scenery photographer for the Orlando, Florida office of Disney Cruise Line briefly veered him toward a regular, if not a more lucrative, career. But an epiphany at sea in the Bahamas steered him back to his earlier course.
“I was on the ship Disney Wonder watching CNN when I saw a report on the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, and how two Hollywood celebrities once tried to get in between the dolphins and the fishermen.
“I was affected by what I saw, especially after someone (who knew my past volunteer work) told me that I could have been that person coming in between the hunters and their prey,” he said.
That episode was enough to make him return to the Philippines. In March 2010, his revived passion was further reinforced when his girlfriend made him watch a DVD copy of the 2009 documentary “The Cove.”
“It turned out that the clips I earlier saw on CNN were from the [then upcoming] documentary,” Saño said. “That’s when I also learned that in Japan, particularly in [the town of] Taiji, they supposedly have this quota to kill 23,000 dolphins each year.”
Man with a mission
Saño decided to use his art to draw attention to the killings. A mission was thus born: To paint a total of 23,000 dolphins, matching the number of casualties in the annual slaughter.
He painted “Dolphin No. 1” on March 31, 2010, just a day after watching “The Cove,” during a return trip to Camiguin Norte, Babuyan Islands, on the walls of St. Vincent Ferrer church.
Over the next nine months, with the help of an online campaign and some media exposure, he received one invitation after another to paint his favorite subject on the walls of private homes, buildings and schools in Metro Manila and several provinces from Isabela to Tawi-Tawi, and even in Singapore and Indonesia.
“Friends and strangers alike asked me to do their walls. For the paint, I sometimes went to nearby construction sites and asked if they have leftovers that they could give me.”
In between sessions, he hit the streets as an activist. He joined protests, for example, against a dolphin show held at Araneta Coliseum in December 2010, a campaign that later led to a court case against the show’s organizers for alleged animal cruelty.
Quite fittingly, it was also around that time that he finally rendered his 23,000th dolphin, on one of the floats during the annual UP Lantern Festival.
For the May 25 event, Saño said he would be joined by members of Save Philippine Seas, a group which recently helped expose the smuggling of black corals and other endangered marine animals out of the country, and the Dakila Artist Collective who would also hold a concert.
Volunteers are still welcome. To register, they may call PAWB’s Coastal and Marine Management Office at 9258948 and look for Jhorace Engay.
(Original article here)
Facebook event link here.
When in Baguio, I never again will drop by SM!
How will you go beyond the hour? - Earth Hour 2012 Official Video
An unexpected side effect of the 2010 flooding in parts of Sindh, Pakistan, was that millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters; because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water took so long to recede, many trees became cocooned in spiderwebs. People in the area had never seen this phenomenon before. (Courtesy: National Geographic)
Join mural artist AG Saño of Dolphins Love Freedom Network and WWF in making a bolder, colorful statement for the environment.
The registration fee of P300 per person includes painting materials. Enjoy live entertainment and FREE face painting, henna tattoos, animated portraits, fun photo booths and more!
HOW TO REGISTER:
-Register at the WWF booth located at the Ground Floor Lobby of Glorietta 3 from February 4 to 17, 2012.
-Visit the WWF office at Unit 1702, 88 Corporate Center, Valero corner Sedeño streets, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
-Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation!
Log on to wwf.org.ph/adopt or email email@example.com for more details!
Hi Tumblr people,
Help us reach other environmental groups for 2nd ANS (which ever part of the country). Tnx.
Calling on bike clubs, environmental & concerned groups to show your solidarity for the 2nd Araw ng Siklista. Invite bikers and runners to do a simultaneous ride/run or assembly in your city or town on Nov. 6. While your city/town may not be experiencing the same road congestion, pollution and accident-prone streets yet, bikers & concerned citizens need to act now and lead in pushing for bike safe streets, clean air & preserving the liveability of your hometowns. Tell us upload photos of your action and we’ll echo what you did before the Metro Manila Bikers joining the ANS.
Occupy City Streets with our Bikes! MABUHAY ang mga SIKLISTA! Of course BURN NOT kami!
Isang Litrong Liwanag
Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light), is a sustainable lighting project which aims to bring the eco-friendly Solar Bottle Bulb to disprivileged communities nationwide. Designed and developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Solar Bottle Bulb is based on the principles of Appropriate Technologies – a concept that provides simple and easily replicable technologies that address basic needs in developing communities.
Flash Mob -Recycling a plastic bottle
An Honor to Rizal’s contribution to development.
Lucky was I to have been invited to a forum earlier celebrating our national hero, Gat Jose P. Rizal’s contribution to the environment and social development. Under the heat of the sun, feeling as though I was being smelted into the pavement of Ortigas, I walked to Development Academy of the Philippines. I was slowly losing my drive to even go as I felt it evaporating with every second that passed. I arrived a bit late fortunately the talk started late and I just arrived in time to hear part of Professor Lapuz’, Grand Knight of Rizal, talk on Rizal’s role in Human Security Professional Development. He mainly focused on Dapitan, citing it as a prime example of Rizal’s boundless contribution to the city’s growth. Despite his exile seemingly destitute of any hope, he found the city, according to Prof. Lapuz, and I quote, an “Ideal place for biological study”. True to this, a handful of the animals found there, had ‘Rizali’ in its scientific name.
Second to talk was Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, Chairperson of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. I was deeply moved by her intelligent choice of quotes, all of which circumpassing time and be as meaningful as it was during the 19th century. She shared her thoughts on Rizal’s efforts on Development Management despite the nonexistence of that term during his time. Praises to him were raised in between her speech, all highlighted through his cited words that reflected the unwanted “Juan Tamad” culture of the Filipinos which he deemed was a result of the occupation and years of societal rape of the Spaniards. She quoted him with “Laziness is the effect of the backwardness of 19th century Philippines,” with certainty. According to her, Rizal saw laziness, a negative trait, as a micro-weapon used by the natives against colonialism, and she quoted the thought of Rizal on this “Why be rich, says the native? So that the Government has a lynx eye upon you?”. Filipinos, she said, were much less lazy when the word ‘miracle’ was introduced, and I agree.
She closed he talk with a question for the developers of the new age, will they be strong enough to take upon Rizal’s work and help the country?
Before snacks were served, the forum ended with the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners awarding Rizal, accepted by his descendants, with a conferment of Special Posthumous Citation as Bayaning (Hero) Environmental Planner. This honor was accepted gracefully by the family.
What I took from this was from the talk of Dr. Diokno, she made a very strong point about how a person’s initiative should be in relation to his faith. She said that even Rizal had spoke of it back then, and it could be seen now, that blind devotion is as much a sin as those priests who sin by imposing ignorance to his congregation. A very strong argument that could be applied today.
Original post is on my blog.
(days to words - 168)