Student-led org helps nurture Cagayan De Oro's local artists
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – A student-led organization in Cagayan De Oro City is advocating the promotion of local art using the skills they have learned from their business classes.
The Xavier University (XU) Junior Marketing Association (JMA), a co-curricular organization of the Business Administration program under the university's School of Business and Management, has engaged in a collaborative partnership with the Dire Husi Initiative, a local art advocacy group.
A fellowship composed of artists who primarily devote their craft for indigenous-inspired music, handiwork, and performance art, Dire Husi Initiative is a non-profit organization in CDO known for helping its member overcome personal, social, and economic problems, by using art as an avenue for change.
The name comes from the Cebuano word "dire," which means "here," and the Manobo word "husi," meaning "here." (READ: Dire Husi Initiative: Kagay-anon artists show art can change lives)
“Before these artists joined Dire Husi, they had difficulty in letting go of their past, but because of music and art, their lives have changed forever,” said Business Administration student Jerome Malack.
One of the initial activities conducted was a concert that showcased 4 Dire Husi artists' talents and skills, held at XU's theater earlier in November.
Known locally as “Ang Kusog sa Tingog (The Power of a Voice): A Dire Husi Story", 4 artists narrated their lives through traditional dance, music, and original songs.
Tapping the tambol (wooden hand-made drums), strumming guitar strings, and shaking cans tied on strings, they shared how they were able to win over social and economic challenges by working hard to pursue their passion.
One of them was once a calamansi street vendor, another was a motorcycle driver. Like most members, they became part of the Dire Husi fellowship in order to belong and to commune with a livelihood in earning through art.
Some of their handicrafts, such as key chains and dream catchers, were displayed and sold alongside the tickets outside the theater.
Empowering passion for profit
Providing opportunities to pursue passion and to sharpen skills are among the objectives of the partnership.
XU-JMA and Dire Husi Initiatives both aim to maximize their members' potential.
"Dire Husi has been in existence for 10 years now,” said the organization’s chairman and founder Rhyan Casiño. “We are hoping that we can inspire young people to pursue their dreams.”
A painter, sculptor, craftsman and a composer, Casiño has been organizing street art in CDO, such as performing pyro dances in the city's Divisoria for sight and spectacle, one of the many activities of Dire Husi last summer.
On the other hand, XU-JMA also aims to help the local art scene grow.
“Today’s generation of art is commonly defined by pop culture and mainstream media,” Malack pointed out. “But the kind of art that Dire Husi creates goes deeper than what is popular.”
“They give out something unique and authentic which makes it worthy of being appreciated by the people,” he added.
As long-term plans for the collaboration are currently being discussed by both groups, another concert might be held during the Xavier University Festival Days this late November and early December.
“Through this partnership, it is both XU-JMA and Dire Husi’s goal to inspire each and every person to explore and assess the special skills we have, and to discover what [every person] is truly capable of becoming,” Malack stated.
With the opportunity to enhance their skills to prepare them for their profession after they achieve their degree, the students of XU-JMA took the responsibility for a social cause which is part of the university’s formative mission for its students to become “men and women for others.”
“The students don’t have to wait until they finish school to make an impact to the community,” Petalcurin added.
Impact, in this matter, does not rely solely on honing one’s own capabilities, but in providing avenues for others to do the same. – Rappler.com
Angelo Lorenzo is one of Rappler’s Lead Movers in Cagayan de Oro. Besides writing features, he works in the city’s local government unit.