The Rotary Club of Makati West (RCMW) is calling on art lovers to support their annual all-sculpture exhibit-sale dubbed “Alay Sining” to be held at The Gallery, Greenbelt 5, Makati City from November 12 to 15, 2015. Now on its eight year, Alay Sining 8’s theme is “Art with a Heart” which complements the Rotary International’s theme of “Be a Gift to the World”.
Alay Sining is a fund-raising initiative for one of RCMW’s signature projects, the Gift of Life program, which gives Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) patients under the program with free heart surgeries.
According to RCMW President Victor “Junvee” Vital, supporting the art-for-a cause exhibit will not only mean supporting Filipino children with heart ailments but also local artists.
Both seasoned and new sculptors will be contributing pieces to the Alay Sining, and donating a portion of the sale price of their art pieces to the exhibit’s intended recipients the CHD patients that will be given free heart surgeries under the Gift of Life program.
“If you support Alay Sining, you don’t only support children with heart ailments, but Filipino artists as well. So I say, “Start saving hearts through art,” said Vidal.
According to Paolo Delgado, this year’s chairman of the exhibit’s Organizing Committee, “this year’s Alay Sining will be joined by over a hundred artists who have sent their respective works for the exhibit.”
“They are from all over the country we have some from Palawan, Mindanao and Cebu. So, it’s really a Philippine-wide sculpture shop, and what’s really nice is that all of the artists have joined because they want to support the Club and the Gift of Life,” said Delgado.
“They (the artists) have taken all the time and the effort to be with us. We’ve had a lot of them over the last eight years, and they have been with us since the first Alay Sining, when we are still learning how to run an art exhibit. And it’s really been heartening and we are very thankful for all the support that the artists have given us,” he added.
Explained Delgado, congenital heart disease usually forms at a very young age, and the mortality rate is not very good.
“Even if you do survive, you end up living a life with some sort of a handicap… you will not be able to engage in sports which young kids should be doing at their young age. So this fundraising that we run for the Gift of Life can really make a world of difference for the children out there,” he said.
RCMW member and former president Roque Tordesillas said that the cost of a heart surgery in a private hospital ranges from Ph800,000 to more than Php 1 million if for an open-heart surgery.
“But because of the work we have done at the Rotary over the past 11 years, we have established ties with the National Children Hospital, our main partner, which have brought down the costs because of subsidies. So that the Club only pays about P100,000 up to P200,000 especially for more complicated surgeries.”
Tordesillas also lauded the Alay Sining artists calling them the “heroes” in this project.
“They are the real heroes of this program because they are the ones contributing their works, their artistry, and their hearts for this particular project. Without the artists, there will be no Alay Sining. We have had very generous artists who have contributed their talents to the cause over the years, so that the hearts of children are saved.”
Speaking on behalf of his co-artists, Ral Arrogante, who have been with Alay Sining since Year One, said that for them artists, doing charity completes their vocation.
“Since hindi kami maka-contribute ng cash, kino-contribute namin ang aming works. Hindi din kasi magiging full ang pagka-artist namin kung wala kaming tinatawag na kawanggawa. So ‘yun lang ang maitutulong namin… ang aming mga sariling gawa (Since we cannot contribute cash, we contribute our works. We can’t fully consider ourselves as artists if we don’t do charity. Our works are the best things that we can contribute),” he said.