“Mental health should not be sacrificed. It should be prioritized. This project is very impressive and very responsive to the needs of its stakeholders, the community and its beneficiaries in this time of COVID-19,” - Christina Monroe, EWC Director

The SOA project aims to raise awareness on mental health and environmental problems through sketching, painting and writing poetry. For six weeks, the participants will learn about mental well-being from VSU’s former Head and licensed Guidance Counselor Ms. Marwen Castañeda; pressing environmental issues and ways to protect nature from environmentalist Ms. Ariana Loehr, also an EWC-APLP G19 fellow and a visual artist herself; and skills on visual arts from the DevCom department’s resident visual artist, Prof. Jude Nonie Sales.

So, how is the Nautilus Shell incorporated in our advocacy? Here is the explanation from the designer himself, and one of the resource persons of our initiative, Assistant Professor Jude Nonie A. Sales.

Let’s take a closer look at our logo, the very symbol that represents our core advocacy in the School-On-Air on Visual Arts for Mental Health and the Environment.

We are proud to present to you the speakers of the School-on-the-Air (SOA) for visual arts, mental health and the environment.

All of these speakers are experts in their own rights. Ms. Marwen A. Castañeda was the point person for mental health. Ms. Ariana Loehr was the focal speaker for environmental communication while Prof. Jude Nonie A. Sales was the expert in charge of visual arts.

This time, we will feature the brains behind the implementation of the school-on-the-air for visual arts, mental health and the environment. Meet Dr. Christina A. Gabrillo, the current Head of the Department of Development Communication (DDC) at the Visayas State University (VSU).

Dr. Gabrillo is an educator, researcher and leader at VSU with more than two decades of experience in the field of development communication–a discipline she took from her bachelor’s degree up until her doctorate degree. Both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were obtained from VSU while her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree was completed at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

“EWC’s mission is such a big vision, but in fact, how it actually happens, is by exactly what you’re doing. With our hearts and with our spirit, beauty, and the visual arts, bringing in our full selves to the case of creating a better community, a better internal and external world, it’s very exciting to know that you’re carrying on that mission as innovators, as arts innovators, as technical innovators, as environmental innovators and that is absolutely what the Philippines is known for. We need you to continue being a global leader in innovation and resilience.” - Christina Monroe, EWC Director

As the school-on-air (SOA) program on visual arts, mental health and the environment concludes on August 31, officials of the East-West Center (EWC) have nothing to say but praises to their local counterparts here in VSU.