Filipino artists team up for art exhibit, webinars to reforest Ipo Watershed

Filipino artists art exhibit Ipo Watershed
Filipino youth artists are taking part in the Kagubatan online art exhibit to fund WWF-Philippines’ reforestation project in the Ipo Watershed. WWF photo.

Young Filipino artists have teamed up for “Project: KAGUBATAN”, an upcoming online art and technology exhibit and educational webinar series to support the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines’ water conservation and reforestation efforts in the Ipo Watershed.

The project is hosting an upcoming virtual forest exhibit this November featuring the artworks of nine Filipino youth artists who have collaborated to stress the importance of forests and watersheds in the country, as well as an ongoing art educational webinar series dubbed “Art for Conservation Conversation”.

Filipino artists shared how they’re using the power of art and storytelling to conserve the Ipo Watershed and the Philippine seas, along with WWF-Philippines’ Forest for Water program manager Paolo Pagaduan who educated and engaged audiences in the first episode of the webinar series live-streamed on WWF-Philippines’ Facebook page on October 18, 2021.

WWF noted that in recent years, the Ipo Watershed’s forest cover has dramatically dropped from 85% to just 40%.

“Water does not just come from the faucet. Most of Metro Manila’s residents are probably not aware that 96% of their water supply comes from the Ipo Watershed. The natural environment there reliably keeps water clean and fresh as a form of ecosystem service, so it is important that we protect and conserve it as much as possible,” WWF-Philippines’ Forest for Water program manager Paolo Pagaduan said in a WWF news release on October 15.

“The aim of ‘Project: KAGUBATAN’ is to use the power of art to make an impact for our watersheds and forests in the Philippines,” organizer Gab Mejia, National Geographic Explorer and WWF Philippines National Youth Council (NYC) Member, said.

“The diverse young artists work on different mediums of art from photography, painting, to digital illustrations with subjects related to the interconnected relationships of people, nature, and culture,” Mejia adds.

“We hope this virtual forest exhibit and educational webinar series can inspire new artists around the Philippines to take on this journey of curiosity, creativity, and to ultimately drive positive impact for nature and culture, to create beyond themselves for the betterment of our environment.”

The next installments of the webinar series will be conducted at 5 p.m. on October 30 and November 19 through live-streaming on WWF-Philippines’ Facebook page.

The Kagubatan Art Exhibit will immerse audiences on an “environmental journey following a river that goes from lush mountain forests down through agroforests, and eventually to wetland forests.”

The online exhibit will launch on November 10, 2021, to showcase the artworks of the artists featuring forest landscapes, endemic flora and fauna, and people who depend on the forests.

The artists participating in the exhibit include:

  • Issa Barte – Illustrator and Visual Artist; founder of For The Future
  • Javi Cang – Nature and Travel Photographer
  • Sara Erasmo – Still Life Photographer and Multimedia Artist
  • Chesleigh Nofiel Alagá at Sining – Painter and Naturalist
  • Gab Mejia – Conservation Photographer and Environmental Storyteller
  • Angelo Mendoza – Travel Photographer and Filmmaker
  • Kara Pangilinan – Visual Artist and Muralist
  • Ivan Torres – Filmmaker and Nature and Travel Photographer
  • Pau Villanueva – Documentary Photographer

Funds raised from the artworks will be donated to WWF-Philippines’ reforestation project in the Ipo Watershed with a target of 1,000 seedlings.

The funds will also support the Bantay Gubat in the Ipo Watershed led by the Philippine Parks and Biodiversity and the Bantay Danaos of the Agusan Marshlands led by Youth Engaged in Wetlands.

The Ipo Watershed in Bulacan was reforested by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines together with GCash, by the end of November 2020 despite the limitations brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Art-for-a-cause projects launched by kind-hearted Filipinos during the pandemic include a ‘Visual Poetry’ art drive funding learning materials and Cartellino’s online art drive First Edition for Museo Pambata.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to young Filipino artists who are teaming up for “Project: KAGUBATAN”, an upcoming online art and technology exhibit and educational webinar series to support the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines’ water conservation and reforestation efforts in the Ipo Watershed.

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.