Saturday, June 14, 2014

How I Spent "Independence" Day: Close to Nature, in Advocacy, and Without Pretentions

I spent June 12 with [one of] my trusty backpack and rubber shoes. The day was a tad bit overcast, promising rain and lots of it. Despite this, I was running around the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife, laughing, and hanging out with my fellow bloggers Erick Bernardo and Drei dela Cruz.The park was a good change from the everyday hustle and bustle I experience in Makati. It's quite, it's filled with trees, and there was a lake I really wanted to swim in. It was a great day out.

I spent June 12 with my trusty backpack and rubber shoes in NAPW to support a photography event by an advocacy group called One Pencil at a Time, which also explains why I have a small pack of pre-loved pens and pencils with me. The One Photo, One Pencil, One Photographer Funshoot for a Cause aimed to raise money and donations of school supplies that would benefit Aeta children in Zambales. The event was made possible through a partnership of OPT with Pinoy Nikon Canon Sony Shooters (PIKON) and FUNtastic Laguna.  Members of the OPT will be climbing Mt. Tapulao to bring the donations to the kids. 

Photographers, models, and other OPT supporters at the NAPW for the OTP Fun Shoot. Photo by Mr. Hermz Narvasa. Used with permission.

My contribution to the event was a few used pens and dragging some people to come. Unfortunately,I'm not a photographer. I don't even have a decent camera! But I did bring along some friends: Yzak Vargas, Elaine de Guzman, and Elaine's buddy, Gino. I wish I can show you some of their work, but I have yet to ask them for links to their awesomeness. For now, be satisfied with some pictures I took with my crappy camphone.:


TRYING HARD NUMBER 2! The lawin is so cute, but an owl would have been cuter :P

TRYING HARD NUMBER #3! Ehhh... Wag na nga. :(

Just like photography is a relatively new activity for me, One Pencil at a Time is a very new advocacy for me to support, in a sense that the goals are different. As some of my readers are aware, I have been into advocating for health (AYNLA and PHBS), RH in particular (PSORHN), and was even in a group for humanism (HAPI), although I am not active in the latter any more. I have been an advocate for several years now and in all the groups I have been to, the goal is always a big, relevant thing (which is good, of course; why advocate for something insignificant?) and the methodologies in achieving this goal is usually grand and geared towards both publicity and effectiveness, sometimes the latter more than the former. In fact, some leaders in advocacy group are now really working for a goal, but working on achieving some sort of fame through what they are fighting for.

OPT is not like that. Its founder, Jade Adducul, is the outdoorsy kind of girl who spends summers teaching street children. She also understands that one pencil, even a small, used one, can mean the difference between learning and staying ignorant for many children. "Kapag umaakyat ako ng bundok, dala ko lang gamit ko. Anu ba naman yung magdala ako ng isa o dalawang lapis para sa mga bata dun?" ("When I climb a mountain, I only bring my things. Why not bring one or two pencils for the children there?" Thus, OTP was born. 

I like OPT for its mindset: it's goal is big but its methodologies are simple. OTP does not hesitate to get down and dirty - to ask people to donate their used pencils and pens and crayons and to actually encourage people to support the cause by recycling their used stuff instead of asking for new ones. While other groups would scoff at used things, OTP embraces them. 

But I don't. I do know how important one pencil is. After all, isn't one pencil the first tool one uses to create a masterpiece?

Artwork by Yours Truly

For people and groups who are interested in supporting One Pencil at a Time, you may get in touch with Jade Adducul at 09169162582.