Read through our stories from events, exhibits, and book giving activities.

Book-Giving at the BenCab Museum

Last December 9, 2016, CANVAS gave books to 427 kids in Baguio City. 100 books were given to random kids visiting the Burnham Park while 327 were distributed to students of Kiwas and Gilbert Semon Elementary Schools and organized by the BenCab Museum.

Check out the video below to see more of our last book-giving activity to close 2016! 

Miss International Kylie Verzosa gives books to students

Miss International Kylie Verzosa joins CANVAS’ book-giving activity at the Balara Elementary School last November 21, 2016. 

Verzosa surprised the kids with a storytelling session of "Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day". Right after, 400 copies of BenCab’s Activity Book for Children were given away. 

The students' eyes and ears were glued to Miss International as she read the story out loud, and they were quick to browse their own copies of the BenCab book.

 The teachers were also grateful for the eight hardbound books we donated to their library. 

Miss International Kylie Verzosa was invited through the Bb. Pilipinas Charities. This is the third of the institution’s partnership with CANVAS. 

Little Free Libraries in Quezon City

CANVAS partners with the Quezon City Local Government for its educational project, Little Free Libraries (LFL). This aims to build small bookshelves in each baranggay in the city. Over 142 baranggays will benefit from this partnership. 

A total of 710 hardbound books were turned over in the presence of Mayor Herbert Bautista last November 21, 2016. 

Five titles will be allotted per baranggay: "A Fish Tale", "Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day", "Tahan Na Tahanan", and "The Triangle Man and Flightless Diwata". 

CANVAS GOES TO IFUGAO

Last November 5, 2016, CANVAS went with Black Pencil Project to distribute 400 copies of BenCab’s Activity Book for Children to elementary students of Cambulo, Ifugao. Pencils, raincoats, clothes, and other school supplies were also given away. 

The community in Cambulo consists of only 2,000 people. 

There are two neighboring schools, Cambulo Elementary School and Pula Elementary School, one Anglican Church, and a small healthcare center with one team of nurse and midwife. They call their tribe and language Tuwali, and both the tribe and the language are among the oldest in Ifugao. 

The road to Cambulo is not easy. From Banawe, we travelled for two hours by jeepney and then trekked for another 30 minutes down the mountain. Regular jeepneys, however, go Cambulo only once a day. If they miss the jeepney, the Tuwalis will have to walk for three hours just to get to Banawe. 

This is the first collaboration of CANVAS and Black Pencil Project. The Land Rover Club also participated, along with other volunteer civilians.

CANVAS and BenCab collaborate for an activity book for children

For the past several months, CANVAS has been working with National Artist Benedicto "BenCab" Cabrera. Considered by many as a national treasure, BenCab's works are coveted by collectors in the Philippines and abroad. It has been said that he "is arguably the best-selling painter of his generation of Filipino artists."

CANVAS and BenCab collaborated to produce and publish the "BenCab Activity Book for Children". Using some of BenCab's artworks as inspirations for activities especially designed to engage children ages 6-10 years old, the book touches on various themes like family, climate change, heroism, workers and the Filipino identity.

Launched in late September, among the first to receive their very own copies of this unique book were the children of urban poor communities in Tondo, Manila and Batia, Bulacan. Working with Project PEARLS (Peace, Education, Aspiration, Respect, Love and Smiles), a local nonprofit working focused on education, nutrition, economic and community development, and working to help children get out of poverty, 1000 copies of the BenCab Activity Book for Children were given away.

According to Project PEARLS, the book was a big hit with the children. “Ang galing ni BenCab mag-painting! (BenCab is so good in painting!)," one of the kids told us as he scanned the book he was holding. “Sana maging katulad din niya ako. (I hope to be like him someday.)” 

12,000 copies of the book are set to be given directly to children in other poor and disadvantaged communities all over the country in the coming weeks, just in time for Christmas.

CANVAS and Mitsubishi work together for reading literacy

CANVAS partnered with Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation for a book-giving activity in Kasiglahan Village, Montalban, Rizal last July 24, 2016. A total of 250 elementary students received their personal copies of Sol: A Legend about the Sun, written by Agay Llanera and with artworks by Farley del Rosario. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation facilitated the storytelling, gave loot bags, and provided healthy snacks to the kids.  

CANVAS also coordinated with KADAMAY, an organization that protects the interests of urban poor communities. Kasiglahan Village, a relocation site that houses displaced families from several parts of Metro Manila, is one of its focused areas. Among the neighborhood's calls for the government to provide better services, education is one of their priorities. Aside from the 250 books, CANVAS also donated ten hardbound books to Kasigalahan Village’s mini day care center and library for everybody else to borrow.  

It was a fun-filled activity not only to give the children a happy day, but also to shower them hope that through reading, they can dream bigger for their selves, families, and community. And this is just the first of CANVAS’ partnership with Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation. With CANVAS’ vision to promote art and reading literacy, the two parties will continue to collaborate for the future of several other underprivileged children throughout the Philippines. 

CANVAS and LANDBANK share stories in Saranggani

Together with LANDBANK, CANVAS shared and exchanged stories with some elementary students in Saranggani Province last February 5, 2016. A total of 750 students from Nicomedes Tolentino Elementary School and Pangyan National High School received copies of either Inang Kalikasan's Bad Hair Day or Loooking for Juan. 

The children were thirsty for books. They were really silent, listening intently during the story telling sessions. Some of them opened their books immediately, wrote their names on the first page, and read the story again. Others went to other classrooms and quitely shared their books to the lower grade levels. The Nicomedes Tolentino Elementary School has no library. Hence, CANVAS books are a great help for the kids to learn beyond the classroom walls. It was a very inspiring scenario, and indeed, a celebration of hope for the little ones. 

Mr. Butch Garcia and Mr. Raymond Sakiwat from the Corporate Social Responsibility Department of the LANDBANK Head Office spent their weekend at the municipality to oversee and participate in the book-giving. On the other hand, Mrs. Susan Acosta of LANDBANK General Santos facilitated the story telling sessions. This is the first time that one of CANVAS' corporate sponsors took part in a book-giving activity. LANDBANK's personnel did not only enjoy with the kids but also realized the hardship these students experience just to be able to complete their education. LANDBANK wishes to be able to participate in activities like this regularly so as to help more children become lovers of reading and education.  

This book-giving activity would not have been possible if not for Hearts and Brains Youth Volunteers (HABYV), a service-oriented organization in General Santos City, which coordinated with the Saranggani local government.  

CEBUANO KIDS TO INANG KALIKASAN’S RESCUE!

Report from Pandoo Foundation

Last February 10, 2016, the Pandoo Foundation team went to Umapad Elementary School in Mandaue City, Cebu to ask three Grade 5 classes to help solve Inang Kalikasan’s problem. Through a felt board-inspired storytelling technique, Teacher Mel and Kuya Paolo told the story of “Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day”. For this book giving and storytelling activity, we focused on the theme “the process of problem solving”. With each new page, the children learned about Inang Kalikasan’s problem and the different solutions that were offered to solve it. Our storytellers kept the students engaged by asking questions and involving them in finding a solution for Inang Kalikasan’s problem.  

After the storytelling, Teacher Gen and Teacher Julia, as well as our volunteer Stephanie, asked the students some questions that 1.) checked their comprehension of the story, 2.) stimulated their imagination, and 3.) encouraged them to express their opinions. After the question and answer portion, we did an activity called “Problem Solving with Images”. We asked students to pick an image or scenario, which they then showed or read to the whole class. We also asked different students to roll a dice. The number displayed on the dice was the number of solutions that the class needed to come up with in order to solve the chosen problem. The students were hesitant to participate at first. But after encouraging them, they started speaking up and offering different solutions to the problems presented.  

At the end of the activity, we revealed to the students that we were giving them their very own copy of the book “Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day”. In all three classes, the children were happy to hear the news. They became even more excited when we encouraged them to write their names on the space provided in the book. It was such a heartwarming sight to witness! We gave away a total of 175 books to Grade 5 students. However, they weren’t the only ones who received a book that day. We also gave each of the five homeroom teachers a copy of the book, which they can share with their classes.

We prepared Teacher Kits that contained: a lesson plan for the story, a set of comprehension questions, and a Word Search/Fill In The Blanks activity sheet. We hope that by providing the teachers these resources, they can make the most of the book.  

Imagine what we can do to solve the problem of functional illiteracy if we just spend enough resources on teacher training, quality teaching material, as well as quality and age-appropriate books. A better world is in store for us all if we establish in children a love of learning, strong communication skills, critical thinking, and creativity. Pandoo Foundation is happy to have participated in CANVAS’ One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign!

CANVAS gives Inang Kalikasan's Bad Hair Day to Lumad Children

CANVAS gave a total of 100 softbound copies of Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day courtesy of TELUS International to Lumad kids last November 5, 2015 at Liwasang Bonifacio. CANVAS also handed out five hardbound copies of Nadia and the Blue Stars to some teachers of the now dilapidated Lumad schools in Mindanao. With the initiative of Ms. Cristina Santiago of The Manila Times, CANVAS also invited Mr. Abner Delina to have a fun and creative storytelling session with the kids.  

The Lumad kids were very interested and participative during the storytelling. Even the adults listened and asked some books for their grandchildren who were not able to attend the session. CANVAS was equally happy to witness how the kids were surprised to receive their own, personal copy of Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day.

Together with their families, the Lumad kids willingly participated in Manilakbayan 2015 to bring to the city their plight in the mountains. Some of their schools have been destroyed while some were used as military barracks. Formal education is very important to the Lumad children as they see this as a great help to not only have additional knowledge but to also increase their consciousness regarding the history, politics, economics, and culture of the Filipino nation and of their lands.

IDV organization holds book-giving in Tacloban City

Report from International Disaster Volunteers Organization

Thanks to the amazing support of CANVAS and its donors IDV was recently able to conduct an exciting book giving event in five communities in Tacloban City. The event took place on during the month of September 2015.  

The communities were badly damaged by Typhoon Yolanda in 2014. Many of the homes lost their roofs and several buildings were completely destroyed. The typhoon also destroyed many of their crops, and thus losing their livelihoods. They, however, received little help to recover following the typhoon.  

People live in a mixture of small brick and simple wooden homes. When the parents were asked what type of books their children had at home, their answer was, “None”. After Yolanda’s destruction, even the community schools have a very limited selection of books.  

As a result, the kids have little access to the joy of reading. Sadly, none of the children have ever owned a book themselves.  

It is for all these reasons that we are so thankful to CANVAS, and its donors, to be able to organise the recent book-giving event.  

The activity started by IDV asking the teachers to help us find three kids to volunteer to answer our “profile” questionnaire. IDV’s Project Manager, Siggy, then had a quick talk to the kids. Siggy’s first question to them was, “Who among you has a book of your own?” Nobody answered.  

Siggy then took some time to explain the importance of books in our daily lives, and how it is also important to take care of the books. Siggy also encouraged the kids to share the story in the book with others – their parents, brothers, sisters, and friends. When the kids learned that they could bring the books home, we saw the happiness their eyes.  

As the kids began to leave the school, we saw some of them started reading the book, and also wrote their names on it. Some even began running toward their houses to show their own and personal book to their parents. All of them were shouting out loud, “Thank you very much, sir!” And in reply, we said, “Don’t thank us, say thanks to CANVAS and it’s donors!”  

Check out our GlobalGiving page for more information about the activity. 

S2S donates CANVAS books to young surfers

Report from Surf to School Program

S2S gave CANVAS books to young surfers from Zambales. They aim to give more books to different surfing areas around the country in the following months. Aside from CANVAS books, S2S also gave back packs to the children. In the future, they would like to grant scholarships and build education facilities for all young Filipino surfers.  

Book and Mag Junkies and SRBSPCAA holds a book drive in Laguna

Report from Book and Mag Junkies and SRBSPCAA

In a joint effort by Book and Mag Junkies, a community of book enthusiasts in the Philippines, and Scout Royale Brotherhood San Pablo City Alumni Association (SRBSPCAA), a book drive was conducted last July 3, 2015 in San Pablo, Laguna. 300 books donated by CANVAS were equally distributed to five public schools in San Pablo: San Gregorio Elementary School, San Lucas Elementary School, Sta. Isabel Elementary School, Sitio Baloc Elementary School and Magcase Elementary School.

This campaign hopes to encourage children to read and to promote learning and creativity through reading. 

One In Christ Movement organizes Balik Eskwela School Supply Drive in Tanay, Rizal

Report from One In Christ Movement

On the third year of the Balik Eskwela Drive, we aim to surpass our previous record to distribute 1,000 school supply packs to less fortunate but very willing kids of our main outreach area in Sitio Gabihan, Tanay, Rizal.  

The kids’ families belong to those who have been affected by Typhoon Ondoy. Despite this, the Sitio’s bayanihan inspired Gawad Kalinga volunteers who helped them rebuild their own houses. But livelihood is still a big question, much more their children’s education. Even if we, at the One In Christ Movement (OIC), are organizing regular Sunday classes, the children still need proper education at a proper institution. And even if there are public schools around, school supplies are big necessities for the students. The desire to aid these children to have a good and quality education, OIC launched this project.  

Just like any other year, school supplies from friends, families, and ministry partners poured-in. However, what made this year extra special was the addition of CANVAS books for the children.  

On the early morning of May 30, 2015, our team reached the site. To our amazement, the community’s function hall was filled to the rafters already. More than 900 children, ages between 7 to 12, were lining up, waiting for their gifts. Some parents were also around—even more excited than the children were.  

It was such a feast. We started with prayers followed by a few song and dance numbers. We offered a soup kitchen before the school supplies distribution started. Kids grouped according to their grade level, but there are lots of younger ones who also wanted to be part of the activity. And that’s when we thought of the CANVAS books as perfect gifts to those little kids! We asked them to line-up for their own copies. Right after, an impromptu book reading happened led by one of our head pastors.  

We were amazed with how the kids reacted upon receipt of the books. One even said, “Sa wakas, makakabasa na din po ako ulit ng bagong libro!” He instantly dropped to an Indian seat and started turning the pages of “Ang Dyip ni Mang Tomas” – as if lunch did not matter anymore.  

As the kids one-by-one dispersed to their own houses, we felt much happiness knowing that we were able to make their first days at school quite complete, as they are now armed not only with notepads and writing materials, but also with a book which they can use to practice reading and learn comprehension.  

We went home that day with overflowing hearts. For our beneficiaries, what they received are already a big help in achieving their dreams, and with that, we want to express our deepest gratitude to all our project partners. The Lord has touched all your hearts to be a channel of blessing to those kids. We hope to continue working with you in our future endeavors.

Globe Art Gallery hosts CANVAS’ “Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day” book launch

Press Release from Globe Telecom

As a staunch supporter of the arts, Globe Telecom once again showcases visual masterpieces, this time from “Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day”, the latest children’s book published by the Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development (CANVAS).  

The book launch and artworks is featured at the Globe Art Gallery in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, marks Globe Telecom’s continuous support of contemporary art and the people in the art community which speaks of its advocacy for creativity and innovation.  

“Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day” is CANVAS’ 19th publication that will also be part of the organization’s 1 Million Books for 1 Million Filipino Children Campaign. The campaign aims to inspire in disadvantaged youth a love for reading by donating its award-winning books to public schools, hospitals, and communities throughout the country. To date CANVAS has already donated 80,000 books to children around the Philippines.  

“Globe is an active supporter of education. For many of the beneficiaries, the donated books may be the first books the children would own. That kind of experience may be life changing and could spark a genuine love for reading and a strong understanding of the value of education. Supporting CANVAS’ campaign strongly enables us in creating a wonderful world for these kids,” said Atty. Didi Santos Javier, Globe Director for Workplace enhancement and Customer Support.  

Author Recle Vibal and painter John Paul Antido collaborated with CANVAS and produced the latest release. Each painting in the book is on display at the exhibit.  

CANVAS aims to promote greater awareness and appreciation of Philippine art and culture in the country. The non-profit organization works with the creative community to promote children’s literacy, explore national identity, and broaden public awareness of Philippine art, culture, and the environment.  

Since the telco’s gallery at the TGT opened, it has been the home of top artworks, paintings, photos and other masterpieces from premier as well as up-and-coming local artists, including the telco’s employees themselves. Just two months ago, Globe also hosted an exhibit depicting various interpretations of the summer season titled “Some are stories” wherein a portion of the proceeds will go to the Aruga Center Foundation for street kids in Paraňaque, and the Special Olympics Philippines for the training of their athletes.

CANVAS launches two new books

Last April 15, CANVAS launched two of its latest books at the Vargas Museum in UP Diliman.

Two books, each born from two different CANVAS competitions, and brought to life by the collaboration of two pairs of young Filipino writers and artists. The first comes from CANVAS’ flagship initiative, the Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Writing Competition.

It began with an artwork by Dex Fernandez – a contest piece – that contained the seeds of a story. Filipino writers here and abroad were then challenged to pen the story they saw in that artwork; and after CANVAS and a panel of judges selected the winning piece, it was given to Dex to be interpreted scene by scene.

The result is a full-color children’s book, The Triangle Man and the Flightless Diwata, written by Kate Osias, the 10th Romeo Forbes Story-Writing Competition awardee.

Using photographs, paint, and thread, Dex illustrates a fantasy world of a misfitting triangle-headed man and an earthbound fairy whose friendship is brought about by the same difference – they are outcasts who find and can turn only to each other.

The second book, My Big Sister Can See Dragons by Rocky Sanchez Tirona, was also a winner of a CANVAS-initiated competition in 2008 and in partnership with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. The idea was to create opportunities for Filipino writers to tap into, and learn more about the global market.

Five short-listed entries were reviewed and critiqued by Kelly Sonnack, a literary agent who specializes in all types of children's literature (picture books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels). In picture books and middle grade fiction, she looked for a good sense of humor--stories that stretch a young reader's imagination and an authentic voice. My Big Sister Can See Dragons was her favorite.

“It highlights a very true feeling and experience that children have,” she says. “This relationship between siblings and the difference in imagination is a brilliant topic for a children’s story.”

And now, with scissors gliding through paper to create shapes and tableaus of little girls and dragons, Liza Flores takes us into the minds of siblings Gaby and Marty, and artfully tells a universal story of a big sister and little sister sharing a room and some pretty wild imagination.

Stay tuned for more CANVAS books in the pipeline: Here Be Dragons, story by Victor Ocampo, art by Jon Jaylo, and translation into Filipino by Rhandee Garlitos and Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day, story by Recle Vibal, art by John Paul Antido, and translation into Filipino by Mikael Co.

selections fromthe backroom

CANVAS' online backroom, featuring selected artworks from our exhibitions that you may have missed. If interested in any of the artworks, please call 216-7750, or email info@canvas.ph

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The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS) is a non profit organization that works with the creative community to promote children's literacy, explore national identity, and broaden public awareness for Philippine art, culture, and environment.

CANVAS works with some of the best young artists to promote Philippine art, culture, and environment. To be placed on our preview list for future shows and exhibitions, or for more information, email us at info@canvas.ph.

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