As part of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) of the United Nations International Strategy for Risk Reduction, an 8-feet art installation made of recycled plastic containers and nylon strings surrounding a white figure rotated from the ceiling of Espasyo Siningdikato Creativenue last October 15, 2011 in Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines.
Entitled “The Re-Awakening”, the white figure symbolizing the innate resilience of the human soul to any hazard event represented by the plastic containers, was the centerpiece of the “Aksyon sa Pagpapalakas ng Kabataan sa Disaster Risk Reduction” or APAK SA DRR organized by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), Espasyo Siningdikato Creativenue and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Kigao Rosimo, the artist who did the installation, opened the event by introducing the artwork. Participants and guests lit candles and placed them around the foot of the installation signifying hope amidst disasters. Arth Ayson of Espasyo Siningdikato then did a poi performance (fire dance) during the opening. Jun Servano of IIRR provided the rationale of the APAK SA DRR event. He shared the five priorities in the Children’s Charter for DRR that was discussed during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva. These are:
(1) Schools must be safe – education must be uninterrupted,
(2) Child protection must be a priority, before, during and after a disaster,
(3) Children and young people have the right to participate and to access the information they need,
(4) Community infrastructures must be safe, and relief and reconstruction must help reduce future disaster risk, and
(5) Disaster risk reduction must reach the most vulnerable.
May Ann Salvador of Espasyo Siningdikato in her message asserted the important role of artists in building resilience through the arts. She added that their group is very active in environmental and other social issues and that the theme of this year’s International Day of DRR is relevant to their own outreach program centered on children and youth.
Emily Monville Oro, Country Program Manager of IIRR shared that IIRR is committed to building resilient communities through the implementation of DRR as part of its Philippine, regional and global programs. She added that DRR is a significant strategy to ensure that development efforts are protected against the impacts of disaster and climate risks.
Ciony Eduarte, Country Director of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) also shared the relevance and significance of the activity focusing on youth. She noted that as a humanitarian organization, building resilience of children is UMCOR’s global priority. She also added that the said event hopes to strengthen the partnership between the organizers in pushing for DRR.
An acoustic performance by Salvador Eduarte of UMCOR then followed. Lerio Salvador of Elemento/Espasyo Siningdikato also performed using the instruments he personally invented which he calls sandata (weapons) creating a unique repertoire of music he calls “experimental sound art”. Other artists who performed during the APAK sa DRR event included Cosmopolitan, Smoke Stabs, Gentle Universe, Jay Cris and Dreaming Jimer.