Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mara Balayan's Hand Lettering class for #SULOngSULU

At one time as I was backpacking southeast asia, I decided to deactivate my facebook because posting has been so compulsive. While driving around Vietnam, there were times I pulled over my bike just to update my status about the road, the weather, my bike, the dust; All sort of things which later I wonder what it is for, after all.

That time, I put my facebook inactive for a week detox.

But considering how much facebook and other social media has been helping me get my stand on issues and hopefully make others make a stand as well, and more importantly, how social media has help me gather help for others (which otherwise I could not do on my own).

People are naturally good. This is a faith I hold. In fact, when people ask me about my religion, I say, the only thing I believe in is humanity. That humans are naturally good. And, looking back at the people who would randomly pop on my messenger, introducing themselves, saying they stumbled upon my post, and are interested in sharing some help, and also looking at their backgrounds, trully you should restore your faith to humanity. After all, as I say, there will be thiefs, killers, etc, but they are probably one in a 100. You don’t want to lose that relationship you may have made out of the 99 because of only 1, who, probably have done that (steal, kill, whatsoever) for surely some reason (hunger, emergency, etc).

Anyhow, one of the people who I randomly met in virtual space is Kay Feliciano who, i must say Thank You for helping me spread my advocacy. She said she has a friend who want to put up a Hand Lettering class and proceeds to go for the #SULOngSULU project.

Last Feb 28, Mara did a basic hand lettering class at Designer Blooms Cafe in Molito, Alabang. She said she was lucky enough to get sponsorship for the materials after writing a letter to her ex boss-Jade Tulio.

“We got Artline and Maped for free! I had to buy paper and other materials but the pens were free! We had 16 attendees ranging from a 9 year old who spent her whole night working on what she learned in class to a 30 something who said I taught her a life skill. Attendees were a mix of art enthusiasts, and friends and family who love me and wanted to support. The goal was of course to learn lettering for a good cause."

 "In the workshop, I taught some "mathematics behind the art", like the measurement of letters, and later how to tweak the rules and do lettering pieces."

"My bestfriend, Febby, helped me fix the event and also shared some of her art skills in class."

Growing up, Mara has been exposed to a lot of cause-oriented works. She spent 13 years in Elizabeth Seton School where she was taught to share what she has in excess.

“In UP, there were a lot of opportunities to help. I joined the last wave of Project Jomalig of Journeying James-what he terms as voluntourism- you get to travel and help. And lately, I've been raising funds through my artworks. We gave out art materials to an orphanage last December using what I've sold from my artworks, and now I'm teaching lettering for #SULOngSULU.

She said she wanted to do something special this February when she turns 27.

“ The challenge was to teach and share something I am passionate about-my love for arts and crafts.”

“When I turned 18, my dad wanted me to donate all of my gifts to charity, I said ‘No.’ Maybe in the future I will. I guess, after 9 years, this is me fulfilling my promise to my dad."

"I fixed the class thinking it was my way of celebrating my birthday and donating what I'm getting and at the same time I did my challenge."

Mara is planning to do another lettering session in the northern side of the metro, Quezon City, and will have 14 slots at the time. This second one for #SULOngSULU project as well.  For those interested or want to know more about her hand lettering class, please do message her.

*All pics courtesy of Mara, Chona Panis- Aganinta, mom of two participants.

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