Ed Lingao launches group in honor of late daughter
MANILA, Philippines – Journalist Ed Lingao is known for covering the toughest of stories – from wars to politics. He is also known for calling out politicians, supporters, and detractors for misinformation. A crusade against fake news is among his biggest advocacies. (READ: In fighting disinformation and trolls, silence 'cannot be an option')
In early April 2018, it was a different story Ed told as he spoke of his late daughter, Ellie, and her love for books and the arts. The 16-year-old died unexpectedly in 2017 due to aneurysm.
It's the memory of Ellie's and another relative that inspired Ed and his family to start the Sunday+Light Bearer Group.
The group gathered friends and family on Monday, April 2, at the Manila House in Bonifacio Global Center, Taguig where they presented two books – What Do You See, Ellie? and Appreciating Art.
These are the first two published by the organization.
Speaking during the event, Ed's wife Esther recalled how the group was put together because of Ellie's love for books and the arts.
"Naturally, we would like to encourage early literacy. The last few years, Ellie and I, and my sister Luisa, we were working on documenting a private art collection. And we realized it was hard to find if there were any – children's books on Philippine Art history. So, because of Ellie's love for books, and because of what the enormity of the work she has left us to continue, the documentation isn't finished yet. We have decided to blend [literacy and art history] together. And we also feel that each generation is asked of something, and it's usually values formation. So the community that we formed will want to respond to that," Esther said in a mix of English and Filipino.
She added that they decided to incorporate art into Sunday + Light Bearer's vision and mission because art is something children respond to very well.
"Art is important, especially for children, because to them it's playing and learning at the same time. It is important also for the young ones to know their past. Growing up, I was taught that Philippine Art history depicts the real soul of the Filipino. Whatever the Filipino is going through, art will not hide it," Esther said.
One of Ellie's friends, Trissie Punzalan, also spoke about her.
After Ellie's death, Trissie founded the E.L. Foundation, which also advocates for the arts and for English literacy. "Beneath that surface, we try to establish the same kind of compassion introduced by Ellie's friendship," said Trissie.
Trissie said that they are currently working with kids from 6 to 11 years old through the Virlanie Foundation.
What Do You See, Ellie? was written by Pam Meriales-Ureta, while Appreciating Art was written by Ricky Francisco. The books will be available soon and will be distrubuted to selected schools.
Aside from the book launch, the Sunday+Light Bearer plans to put together educational talks and seminars that will focus on literacy, values formation, and appreciation of Philippine Art history. – Rappler.com