'Sa Asul o Sa Itim': An exhibit for marine environment conservation

Manila, Philippines – A group of young artists and Eco-Sys Action, a foundation geared to protect marine life, recently launched an art exhibit entitled “Sa Asul o Sa Itim” last May 4 at the Renaissance Gallery in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

The exhibit featured art works of Mike Garcia, Willhen Peneyra, Allan Calingansan and Ezra Reverente, which center on conserving the marine ecology.

Garcia, a Fine Arts graduate from the University of Santo Tomas, focused on the details of destructive fishing while Peneyra, another Fine Arts degree holder from the University of the Philippines, probed coastal infrastructures and coastal tourism.

Calingansan’s paintings, meanwhile, focused on fishery mismanagement. He also graduated with a Fine Arts degree from UST like Reverente, whose works tackled the endangerment of the whale shark.

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The art exhibit was held with the aim to raise the public awareness regarding the condition of marine life and to generate some funds that will go to Eco-Sys Action’s Whale Shark Project in Donsol, Bicol Region.

This project includes the establishment of a marine library, distribution of educational materials in various schools in the area, erection of mini clinics along the coastal areas and set-up of microenterprises to give people alternative livelihood.

“Sa Asul o Sa Itim” ultimately aimed to encourage the people to do their part in the process of protecting the ecosystem in the waters.

Nix Nicolas of Save Philippine Seas, who gave a short talk on the state of whale sharks in the Philippines during the program said: “I thought they were very honest depictions of the issues… It's just wonderful that more and more people are not just becoming aware of their effect on the environment, but also reading up on the issues and getting involved in various ways.”

For his part, Roald Arcangel of Clean Up the Philippines organization said: “Environmental problem is a global concern and it is inspiring to see that art is utilized as a medium to bring awareness to the people the serious effects of neglect and abuse to the environment.”

The organizers, guests and participants are looking forward to seeing more initiatives like this to intensify the call for the cause.

The exhibit is sponsored by Milea Orchard and Bee Farm, Coffee Alamid, Must be Mom’s, Oryspa, Ginebra San Miguel, and Manhattan Eco-Solutions and is in cooperation with Clean Up the Philippines, Save Philippine Seas, Center for Environmental Concerns, and Project H.OU.S.E. It is still ongoing at the Renaissance Art Gallery, 4/F Artwalk Bldg. A Megamall Ortigas.