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20 February 2019 Volunteerism and the Arts

The month of February is always anticipated for it brings with it the celebration of love. Little did people know that February is not only the love month but also the month to celebrate arts in different forms. Proclamation No. 683, s. 1991 declares February as the National Arts Month (NAM) observed annually. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) leads the activities relative to NAM. This year’s theme is “Ani ng Sining: The Philippine Arts Festival.”

February is not only about the expression of romantic love but also a time to rekindle the spirit of nationalism and pride as Filipinos through arts. Many Filipino volunteers use arts as a medium to help raise the level of consciousness of the people on different challenges faced by the nation.

The Philippine Rubber Artist, Mr. Mark Cerezo, uses his knack for arts in influencing people of different backgrounds to transform scrap rubber into toys, sculptures, puppets, and other forms of decorative artwork. He serves as a motivational speaker and delivers trainings in different parts of the country to share his talent merged with his advocacy to upcycle rubbers. With his program, he was recognized as a National Outstanding Volunteer Awardee (NOVA) in 2016 under the Search for Outstanding Volunteers of the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA). He leaves a positive impact especially to the young people he encounters that arts can actually be used to transform not only wastes but more importantly, the mindset of the nation in protecting the environment.

As a government agency mandated to promote and coordinate volunteerism as a strategy for socioeconomic development, PNVSCA utilizes arts as channel to showcase acts of volunteerism in various walks of life. In 2015 and 2018, it held Volunteerism Photo Contest to capture volunteer activities and engagements in communities and paint a vivid picture of volunteerism for development. In 2016, PNVSCA partnered with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for the conduct of Volunteerism Story Writing Contest for NSTP students. The students shared, through written accounts, real-life stories of volunteers they personally know. A Poster Making Contest was conducted in 2017 congruent to President Rodrigo Duterte’s ten-point socioeconomic agenda in which the use of creative arts was given a particular attention. The poster entries reflected volunteerism as a way of life and artists had their own interpretation of the theme which was put into their artwork.

PNVSCA has always recognized arts as an effective tool in promoting volunteerism and will continue to use this platform to strengthen its advocacy. Hence, the Agency celebrates with the nation in observing NAM. ### VF

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