‘Paper boat’ a tribute to kids, fishermen
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan, Philippines — An art installation of a giant paper boat here pays tribute to children’s dreams and to fishermen voyaging safely toward the West Philippine Sea.
“It is an offering to all [the] children who never ceased to pursue their dreams, and a tribute to [all] fishermen and [our] countrymen who never ceased dreaming [about] the West Philippine Sea without fear,” said Jonathan Benitez, founder of the Palawan Artists Collective.
Benitez and other artists built the art piece, dubbed “baroto’’ (Visayan for canoe), for the Sikatugyaw Festival, a monthlong art celebration held every February.
The P100,000 art piece is made of marine plywood painted with caricatures depicting children’s dreams. It was commissioned by Palawan Culture and Arts Program manager Ceasar Sammy Magbanua and the city government with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
It’s built inside the Princesa Eulalia Park in Puerto Princesa Heritage Area on Rizal Avenue at Barangay Liwanag.
The baroto, which took about a week to finish, was built by Benitez, Mario Lubrico, Alvin Bayking, Dan Habaradas and Frances Mendoza, with the help of other young Palaweño artists from Art On The Move and Guhit Pilipinas Palawan.
“Children like having dreams. We want to show this kind of energy — imagination — create a mind for their future,” Lubrico said.
The region has been a flashpoint for conflict between China and other countries. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, of which the West Philippine Sea is part, while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan claim parts of it.
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