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Davao City, Philippines

Heartbreaking, Heart-warming, HeARTserves

November 22, 2019 - Friday 4:11 AM by Eva Aranas Angel

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This week I had the chance to talk with the parish priest of Santo Niño de Cebu church, Fr. Maximo Lapaz. 

For the first time, I was face to face with someone who actually lived in the epicenter, experienced, on location, the earthquakes a few weeks ago. I got a first hand narrative of the aftermath of the earthquakes and the aftershocks -- wreckage of the church and the convent which at the time was under construction. He and his staff were initially sleeping in tents until temporary shelters were set up and the other structures were determined to be structurally safe and habitable. Masses were held in the covered court.

Fr. Lapaz is hoping that as he and his parishioners start rebuilding their lives, private individuals and other entities might help in funding the rebuilding of the church which before the temblor, they parishioners were trying to expand by building an annex and a convent. 

They’re pinning their hope on government officials that, should there be funds meant for rehabilitating destroyed structures, help could be extended in rebuilding the Santo Niño de Cebu parish in Makilala.

On a positive note, though, Fr. Lapaz has been informed of aid and relief goods from Caritas Manila addressed to his parish for distribution. The parish has been designated as drop off point for many donors because distribution is easier as the parish has the list of families for every barangay through the chapels and GKK and their respective purok leader and kaabag.

Incidentally, I have been visited by patients and families from the area and nearby towns who sought travel clearances to flee the area and get re-settled in more secure and safe location. Some are relocating to cities in the Visayas, in Luzon, and as far as the United States. 

My heart goes out to them because among the reasons older patients get depressed include being away from the familiar locale or being transplanted to another unfamiliar environment (and culture) and unfamiliar faces. But to many, it’s a choice between quality of life and safety and sense of security. 

It’s a tough choice to make.

HeARTserves, a group of individuals who launched an online art auction, finished its Phase 3 with notable artists contributing to the auction. As the affected residents of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur are being ushered into the rehabilitation phase, the HeARTserves organizers upped the ante of the bundle of items in exchange for art works. This time it’s mosquito nets. Plastic mats, earth pads to protect them from the damp earth especially when it rains, fleece blankets to keep them warm and flashlight with batteries as many areas remain without electricity.

Participating artists in the Phase III auction were Alfred Galvez, Rodney Yap, Gilbert Miraflor, Reynard Borillo, Cezar Arro of Iloilo, Charlimayl Macadawan, Elenita Dumlao, Isang Ondon, Jimmy Uy Tablante, Nina Custodio, Rey Mark Gipulao, Dennis Puzon, Ernesto Santa Cruz, Cherli Wen Ben Galvadores Ybanez, Kim Vale, Maebel Monte, Rita Bustamante, Robin Castillo, Nil Capinianes, Joann de Castro, Mark Chua, Miyen Lim.

HeARTserves wish to thank all the participating artists in Phases I and II and III. It also extends its gratitude to the art patrons, art lovers, friends who love art for their contribution to this worthy cause.

Now that we’re discussing art, Tabula Rasa Gallery through artist Ega Carreon is inviting the public to visit its exhibit and art competition ‘Colors of Peace’ through Artists’ Initiative at Felcris Centrale, Quimpo Boulevard, Davao City. The exhibit opens on November 23, 2019 and opens at 5PM. The exhibit runs from November 23, 2019 until November 30, 2019. 

Those seeking unique items for gifts these holidays, Art Portal Gallery for Contemporary Arts is mounting a pop-up store that sells crafts, small paintings, sculptures, stickers and pins, prints, art shirts, art bags and there’s even live portraiture. The pop-art store runs from November 22 to December 22, 2019. Art Portal is in Paseo de Legaspi, 115 Pelayo Street, Davao City.