UNACOM celebrates its 70th Anniversary, underscoring on the importance of mental health in pandemic

The UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNACOM) organized the webinar-workshop entitled, “Reshaping Filipino Minds, Dedicating Talents Toward an Enduring Peaceful Global Community” as part of UNACOM’s 70th anniversary celebration. The event served as a platform to recollect the milestones since its establishment, to recognize UNACOM’s loyal public servants in terms of their number of years in Government service; and ultimately, to heighten awareness and engage UNACOM partners, from all ages and abilities, on art therapy to emphasize the value of our mental health especially amid the on-going crisis.

UNACOM Officer-in-Charge Usec. Ernesto C. Abella expressed his gratitude to all the institutional partners for their continuing support and proactive participation since UNACOM’s establishment. He shared his vision in strengthening partnerships that would contribute to the betterment of the Philippine society. He also conferred the loyalty and service awards to the following UNACOM team members who are in the public service for more than ten years: Ms. Josefina Escueta (35 years), Mr. Gay Alfred Blanco (32 years), Deputy Executive Director Lindsay Barrientos (23 years), Mr. Laurence Wilfred Dumadag (22 years), and Mr. Marlon de los Santos (13 years). They were awarded plaques of recognition and surprise video messages from selected partners and their relatives.

UNACOM Officer-in-Charge Ernesto Abella after delivering his inspirational message together with some of the attendees including Resource Person and Workshop Master Mr. A. G. Saño and Deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Aileen Mendiola-Rau

UNACOM Consultant for Ocean Decade Dr. Gil Jacinto delivering his message for Programme Officer for Natural Sciences Mr. Gay Alfred Blanco who received a loyalty and service award for his 32nd year in the government

Ms. Josefina Escueta, who is serving his 35th year in the government service, while paying attention to the testimony of her former UNACOM colleague about her dedication and hard work

The program proceeded to the seminar-workshop on mental health entitled, “PayapART: A seminar-workshop on Cultivating Peace of Mind through Artistic Expressions.” The participants were engaged in an art session that provided relief through art to channel their thoughts and emotions as the pandemic has undeniably affected everyone in one way or another. Mr. A.G. Sano, a renowned and multi-awarded Filipino artist who has painted more than 800 murals in 16 countries depicting peace and environment, served as the resource person and workshop master. Through this rich experience, he shared that people gravitate towards art, regardless of actual artistic experience. It can be appreciated and experienced, and art definitely bring peace. A young artist, Ms. Jeannica Mina, also shared her experience in making art amid pandemic. She emphasized that art can help in making one’s mind a safe space during the pandemic. She contributed to UNACOM’s 2020 publication entitled, Obra at Pandemya.

Resource Person and Workshop Master Mr. A. G. Saño welcoming the participants in his art therapy seminar-workshop session

Resource Person and Workshop Master Mr. A. G. Saño sharing his experience as a marine wildlife advocate

Activity A: Resource Person and Workshop Master Mr. A. G. Saño teaching the participants how to draw a starfish and a dolphin through basic triangles and circles

Activity B: Participants showing their outputs after Mr. Saño helped them draw a mandala

Activity C: Mr. A. G. Saño showing basic color mixing techniques to participants to paint a colorful turtle

Ms. Jeannica Mina sharing her experiences of making art during pandemic

Ms. Jeannica Mina and Mr. A. G. Saño in one screen while they wait for the questions of the participants

Participant-parents who, while attending the seminar-workshop in work-from-home set-up, engaged their respective children for a family bonding art activity

SAMPLE OUTPUTS OF PARTICIPANTS DURING THE ART WORKSHOP

Organizing Team