A unique exhibit of paintings by ‘handicapable’ artists depicting their interpretation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the “10 Commandments for Disability Prevention, and Building Community Resilience to Confront Climate Change catastrophes was unveiled at the Malacañang Museum on July 21.
The exhibit had its global premiere at the COP21 in Paris, France under the auspices of Earthsavers Artist for Peace and International Theater Institute (ITI) social Change Network, in cooperation with the NCCA, NCDA, UNIC, the Climate Institute, and the Malacañan Presidential Museum, and in liaison with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). The exhibit was reviewed in the European city to be “most colorful.”
This second outing of the exhibit at the Palace is undertaken to mark the observance of July as National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, twinned with the National Disaster Consciousness Month.
The inaugural event was presided by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, Secretary Salvador Panelo. Joining him were representatives of partner organizations, namely Teresa Debuque of UNIC, Manila National Information Officer; Earthsavers founder and former Philippine Senator Heherson Alvarez, who has served as DENR and Climate Change Secretary, and currently chairman of the International Advisory Board of Climate Institute; Deputy Executive Director Marichu Tellãno of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts; Rizalino Sanchez, IEC director of the National Council of Disability Affairs; and Jose Laderas Santos, Philippine Center Chair of the International Theater Institute.
The project concept and direction is by Ramon Magsaysay Outstanding Asian Laureate for Public Service through the Arts, Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, director of Earthsavers. Guidote-Alvarez has been honored twice by UNESCO as an Artist for Peace in 2003 and the 6th in the world as UNESCO Dream Center for excellence in cultural caregiving services through fusion of arts and technology bestowed by UNESCO Director General, Dr. Irina Bokova in 2011.
Secretary Panelo extended the greeting of President Rodrigo Duterte stressing his commitment of addressing the needs of the poor and the helpless as part of his inclusive growth policy alongside his whole-hearted endeavor to confront crime, corruption and drugs.
Secretary Panelo was cheered on when he expressed his intention to study and craft an executive order that can facilitate promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. He established swiftly strong rapport with the audience such as the blind rondalla from the Antipolo Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Lakbay Aral with his poignant revelation of having a special child and his family’s unique experience of caring for Carlo.
A paraplegic poet, Nikki Pahati thanked Secretary Panelo as their “Kuya Sal” for his presence and inspirational message of empowering the handicap.
Running alongside the exhibit is a poetry contest on the theme “Persons with Disabilities and their Role in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” The winners of this text poetry contest will be announced on July 31 at the award winning DZRH Radyo Balintataw at 6 p.m.