Sining Banwa partners with Surte for typhoon relief efforts

Coming all the way from the heart of Bicolandia, Sining Banwa Albay Performance Collective, Inc. (SB) joined hands with local literary group SurTe in providing relief assistance to typhoon victims in the far-flung barangay of San Isidro in San Andres town.

Volunteer-members from said organizations distributed survival packs on Nov. 24 to more than 350 families who are still reeling from the effects of the successive onslaughts of typhoons in Catanduanes.

A hundred and ten school children, majority of whom now live in houses damaged by violent winds, were also given bedding sets to keep them warm and comfortable during the rainy season.

Airing call for donations in social media platforms, SB and SurTe began mobilizing their respective relief drives days after Super typhoon Rolly (Goni), the world’s strongest typhoon this year, ravaged the Bicol Region.

SB president Julyses D. Belga, Jr. said that Bicolano artists should band together in challenging times to give their art forms a higher sense of purpose by extending help to those in need.

“As artists, we generate stories from the community and we should be grateful to it. Aside from theater performances that SB passionately showcases to the people, this simple act of volunteerism might be our best way to give back and care for the community,” Belga said in Bicol.

SB is an interdisciplinary art organization that gathers volunteer-artists to advance alternative culture in Bicol via community-inspired artistic productions.

During the relief operation, children beneficiaries were provided with psychosocial support through a brief art therapy to help them cope up with traumatic experiences brought by the natural disaster.

SB ran a storytelling session which aimed to foster resiliency, creativity and critical thinking among the children. It was followed by a coloring activity that prompted the pupils to visually express what they feel.

Meanwhile, SurTe taught the kids to write short poems using the Bicol language while stressing that their mother tongue is a powerful tool in overcoming the sense of loss and feeling of helplessness.

SurTe President Rochelle Ann Molina said that literary writing is a good avenue to help the children process their painful experiences.

“Typhoon Rolly left us too many wounds to heal. We hope that through poetry, we will be able to release all emotions related to our experiences, allowing us to heal. We teach [children] that through poetry, one can find bravery in accepting one’s scars,” she added.

In their respective Facebook pages, SB and SurTe expressed gratitude to all individuals and organizations who made their donations and helped in raising funds to eventually realize the project.

They also thanked the Provincial Government of Catanduanes and the Local Government of San Andres for the transport assistance extended to the group during the operation.

SurTe’s call for donations still runs. Interested donors may call or text Molina at 09303813329 for Smart or 0927 371 0124 for Globe subscribers.

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