Need to help inspires, drives artwork from ‘Yolanda’ wastes
The heartrending story of a 2-year-old girl who lost her mother, her baby brother and her home to Super Typhoon “Yolanda” has inspired an art form using broken tiles.
The mosaic pieces capture the broken life of Maria Luisa Pamplona of Palo, one of the towns in Leyte province that were devastated when Yolanda pummeled the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013.
Maria Luisa’s mother, Luzvilita, 36, and her day-old brother died when the typhoon destroyed their house in Barangay (village) Cogon, Palo.
Eight months later, the girl had to leave her father, Rolando, and live with her maternal grandmother in Butuan City. Rolando, 44, is constantly out at sea earning a living for his family.
Mosaic artist Millie Kilayko met Maria Luisa in March when the girl accompanied her father to receive a boat from Negrense Volunteers for Change (NVC), a foundation based in Negros Occidental province and headed by Kilayko.
NVC has received donations for 4,081 boats for displaced fishermen and expects to fully deliver them before the disaster’s first anniversary.
Kilayko’s encounter with the girl inspired her to create a series of mosaic pieces titled “The Maria Luisa Story.”
The first work, “Maria Luisa With Father,” depicts the 2-year-old clinging to her father, who was her source of strength after Yolanda.
The second, “Facing the Sea,” shows Maria Luisa holding to a rag doll while looking out to the sea where her father is on board his new boat.
“Saying Goodbye” depicts Rolando tearfully bidding Maria Luisa goodbye as she is being fetched by her grandmother.
Kilayko hopes to do a fourth piece—a happy reunion for father and child.
The “Maria Luisa Story” mosaic series was crafted to raise funds to help support NVC Foundation’s nutrition and livelihood projects for typhoon survivors in Tacloban City, as well as in Cebu province, Panay Island and Negros Occidental.
NVC facilitated the training of survivors in Sagay City, Negros Occidental, and in Javier town, Leyte, in the manufacture of fiberglass boats.
Inspired by need to help
It also produces an instant porridge called Mingo (moringa, rice and monggo), which is fed to the children of the survivors.
The “Maria Luisa” series and other works made of materials from Yolanda-hit areas will be among the products that NVC will showcase at the 29th Negros Trade Fair at Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City on Sept. 24-28.
Other works include a depiction of Jesus in resin mounted on a mosaic cross that is attached to wood collected from Yolanda-hit areas.
“The trade fair will help us continue providing income opportunities to the artisans,” said Kilayko. She said it would also fund NVC’s projects for the poor.
The message on the tags that come with the NVC products best explain why they are being made.
“This artisan piece was lovingly designed by our volunteers and crafted by the poor. In purchasing this product, you are giving them an opportunity to live better lives,” it read.
“Your support will give hope to infants needing nutrition, to students needing education, to mothers needing new skills and learning.”
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