“Kalayaan kong pumili ng landas na tatahakin, kalayaan kong hanapin ang hangad na pagbabago…” so goes a song with lyrics straight from the mouths of children in conflict with the law (CICL).
From May 12 to 14, the young artists of Batang Malaya Art Camp gave an outreach to the CICL of Cavite, in order to gain insight into what life is like under the juvenile justice system.
“’Yung interaction sa mga bata, naging mas matibay na inspirasyon at sandigan para lumaban pa sa buhay,” says Camille Mañalac, a spoken word artist from Baon Collective. Meeting the CICL has inspired her to continue expressing real-life experiences from the unheard and unspoken which few people choose to fight for.
Bryan Amparo, a singer-songwriter from Songwriters Philippines, says the immersion with the CICL changed his perspective on art-making and advocacy.
Camille and Bryan were some of the 15 delegates to the Batang Malaya Art Camp, a three-day workshop on arts for advocacy, organized by the Batch 5 of Academy of Political Management (APM 5) in partnership with the Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking (CYAN).
The Batang Malaya Art Camp (BMAC) seeks to raise children’s voices for children’s causes, to advocate for the full implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act—a progressive law that was passed to aid in the rehabilitation and development of CICL.
Through the BMAC, select artists from three different fields, songwriting, visual arts and creative drama, were given free seminars from artist mentors.
Delegates also immersed with the CICL, and from this interaction, were tasked to produce original artworks capturing their concerns.
As such, BMAC delegates invite the public to “Bata, Bata Malaya Ka Ba?” a free concert showcasing original works for children’s rights. The event will be held today at Sagul Food Park, 43 Malingap Street, Diliman, Quezon City, with performances starting at 6 pm.
Front acts to the performance include The Weirdos, Good Habit and Nicole Abuda. BMAC also invites aspiring musicians, spoken word artists and other performers for the open-mic that follows.
For inquiries, visit Batang Malaya Art Camp by APM 5’s Facebook page.