By John Noel E. Herrera
The Rotary Club of Metro Iloilo (RCMI) in partnership with Museo Iloilo and Ilonggo Artists Group launched an art fundraising project for RCMI’s End Polio Program on Friday, Sept 16, 2022, at Museo Iloilo, Iloilo City.
Over 80 Ilonggo artists participated and showcased their artworks which were mostly made with acrylic paints, in the said noble project to help raise funds for the procurements of polio vaccines.
“We’re close to eradicating polio, but we are not done yet. We still need funds to continue immunization and surveillance efforts. Your support will get us closer to the finish line,” RCMI said.
RC Metro Iloilo President Marcos Jurquina said the proceeds from the art sale will also be donated to help RCMI and its partners in bringing polio vaccines to children.
It will also benefit the Ilonggo artists.
“It has been Rotary’s advocacy to end polio. As such, I personally pledge with great pride to be a Polio Plus Society member for life. On that note, I encourage my fellow Rotarians to do the same. So, with generous hearts, may I request you all to open your wallets and help end polio now,” Jurquina added.
RCMI Ann President Michelle Funtelar said the project aimed to raise awareness in arts and culture, and “the reason why it is delivering on a promise is because this is the international theme for polio and to complete the idea, it is delivering on a promise of a polio-free world by 2026.”
Meanwhile, Department of Health (DOH) Head of Family Health and Nutrition Dr. Daphynie Teorima said that the World Health Organization declared that polio has been eliminated in the Philippines, however, “three years ago in 2019, there was a resurgence of polio that was detected in Mindanao and Luzon.”
“Ang aton nga problem subong is the low immunization coverage sa aton under five children. Ang aton target is to reach 95 percent of the fully immunized child, however sa 95 percent naton nga target, ony around 70 percent ang ma reach naton,” Teorima added.
Other problems Teorima also presented during the program are the health-seeking behaviors of people and the possible transmission coming from adults who were not vaccinated when they were still young, making them asymptomatic.
Based on the guideline from the DOH, they can only immunize children under five years old as immunization is one of the key factors to preventing polio, aside from environmental controls.
ART FOR A CAUSE
Funtelar explained that they chose to hold an art exhibit as a fundraising project as art will give people different interpretations in life, affecting someone’s views, and a chance also to strengthen arts in the city “because no one takes a look at art and culture as it is always something that people really do not give importance, so it is time to raise awareness in arts and culture.”
Althea Villanueva, one of the participating Ilonggo artists whose paintings focused on subjects of faith, botanicals and landscapes, said that she always joined art events, especially if they can contribute something good to society.
“The first time that I heard it, basta mga art for a cause events, game talaga ako diyan because I know where the sales go, and at the same time, kumbaga giving back, not only to the community but also to those who are in need. I think it is also innate naman sa atin na mag-help. Para saan din ba kasi ang pagiging artist mo if you will not also return it to people,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva also said that every exhibit and fund-raising event is a milestone and will also be a craft itself of healing and helping “kasi aside from you are doing your craft, it is also na you are also growing in relationship with them sa community, and you get to discover a lot of things not just in arts but in people.”
Prices of artworks displayed inside the Museo Iloilo also range from P3,000 to P10,000. The event will run until Oct 31, 2022 as part of the celebration of World Polio Day.
The masterpieces can also be purchased online via a Facebook group, “DELIVERING ON A PROMISE”, created by Museo Iloilo wherein interested art enthusiasts can just comment on the posted artworks that they want to buy.
Rex Aguado of Museo Iloilo also said that the fundraising project can raise an estimate of P1 million if all artworks are sold.