Damang Wall Art by Jojo Vito Designs Gallery
Being a designer of my own handicraft business, It has been my desire to design products which are not only visually appealing but products with social relevance.
In line with the goal of the Association of Negros Producers of which I am a member to reach out to communities severely affected by typhoon Yolanda, I started to search from the net for places where I can visit.
Yolanda was one of the hardest and deadliest typhoon ever recorded, devastating portions of Philippines, particularly the Visayas area, in November 2013.
My aim for the visit was either to work with some groups with the same objectives or work with the communities on some livelihood projects using my personal expertise and business experience. Another objective was to source for some materials available in the place and making the locals as my suppliers thereby giving them an alternative livelihood.
I choose to visit three Islands severely battered by Yolanda as follows: Molocaboc in Sagay, Negros Occidental, Bohol and Bantayan Island in Cebu.
Shells from Molocaboc being sold at Sagay during Market day.These shells after being eaten as cleaned and processed for handicrafts
Molocaboc is a barangay of Sagay City in the province Negros Occidental. The people of Molocaboc practically depend on fishing for a living and most of them lost their fishing boats when Yolanda struck. Molocaboc is rich with marine natural resources such as sea shells abundant in the shorelines. These seashells after being eaten are processed by the women to be sold as handicrafts component.
Bantayan Island is one of the worst-hit islands in the Philippines caused by the devastation by Super Typhoon Yolanda. Poultry, Fishing boats, houses… A majority of these were wiped out by the super typhoon. As of this writing, many were still dwelling in the tents.
A consultation meeting with the people in Bantayan Island
Before the super typhoon, Boholanons was already forced to be in a tent after their houses were destroyed by the 7.2- magnitude earthquake on October 15. While they were still in a very long way to recouping from the earthquake that killed more than 200 persons they were hit by two typhoons: Typhoon Wilma, which triggered floods and a week after that the Super typhoon Yolanda.
The remains of the Loboc Church after the Earthquake.
Photo by www.thehappytrip.com
I looked at those visits in the Islands as a point of no return. Seeing their situation and hearing their stories months later on the typhoon made me commit to do something that would somehow be of help to them. The dole out periods are over and the people from these places don’t want to receive dole outs anymore. They want jobs, they want livelihood, they wanted to restore their self-esteem and wanted to regain their self-worth by earning for themselves.
Back home, I immediately started to do some designs and sketches of some handicrafts which I gave to Humanitarian Open Source Touched (HOST) a Non-Government Organization which offers livelihood for the people of Bantayan. I also started to do some designs which I intend to do with my own design team at Jojo Vito Designs Gallery. Likewise, I started to order some materials which I saw abundant in the Islands.
MY YOLANDA INSPIRED DESIGNS
Real sea urchin shells meticulously attached to a large fiberglass ball to create this art piece lamp named “Marang”
THE MARANG LAMP
One of the delicacies famous in Bohol is the sea urchins normally sold by vendors in most beaches. Sea urchins, sometimes called sea hedgehogs, are small, spiny, globular animals. In Bohol, you will see many people would eat the meat of the urchin straight from the shells.
Using these shells, I designed a huge ball suspended lamp fully covered by sea urchin shells resembling a Marang fruit abundant in Negros. The main frame of the lamp is made of fiberglass covered by crushed mussel and capiz shells. The stem of the lamp is made of fiberglass in baluster shape and rendered with gold leaf creating a contrast with an organic and natural color of the shells.
THE ADNALOY DIVIDER
Using shells from Molocaboc, I created a room Divider named “Adnaloy”. “Adnaloy” is Yolanda spelled backward. Spelling Yolanda in reverse, for me, represents the desire and prayer of the people of Molocaboc to rise above their situation and reverse the negative impact brought about by the super typhoon.
Adnaloy is a three-panel divider with a mahogany wood frame. Sculptured shells made of fiber glass were added to create drama and added texture to the design. Stringed Small shells in various lengths and sizes freely hang on specific spots, creating a sense of fluidity in the design.
The 3-panel Adnaloy Divider in Mahogano frame adorned with fiberglass sculptured shell components and stringed multiple shells from Molcaboc Island.
“DAMANG” LIGHTED WALL ART
Abundant along the Island of Bantayan are little Button Top Shells which we called in dialect “batad”. Button top shells were normally used by the children to play in the countryside. Urged on by my fun memories of childhood and with the games kids played in the countryside like “Bug-oy” (game using button top shells) and “Pahibag Damang” (spider fighting), I created a lighted Wall Décor using these Button Top Shells. The wall décor which measures 4×4 ft has a lighted subject which resembles spiders. The Button Top Shells were meticulously wrapped around the wires mimicking the legs of the spiders. The lighted body was created with inlaid Capiz shells laminated on a fiberglass. The wall art is entitled “Damang”, a vernacular term for a spider.
Lighted Damang Wall Art
THE FESTIVAL DOLLS
These dolls are representations of various festivals in Negros Occidental. Made of fiber glass and dressed with various materials such as semi-precious stones, sequins, fabric, feathers and shells from Molocaboc and Bantayan Island. In my desire to extend further, I committed to a local church in Bantayan Island the 20% from the sales of these dolls which I will donate to help them in the construction of one church destroyed during the typhoon.
Festival Dolls by Jojo Vito Designs Gallery in various designs which was awarded the 2014 Bulawan Award by the Association of Negros producers
I recognized that making these people as suppliers or donating a portion of my income will never be enough compared to what is actually needed in the place. But I always believe that with everyone’s little help these islands will soon be back again in shape or even be better.
Interested parties may contact us at the Jojo Vito Designs Gallery at # 119 Kapitana Dikang St.-Alunan Avenue, Bacolod City, Philippines. Tel 0922-8516729.
Festival Doll inspired by Sinigayan Festival of Sagay City ,Negros Occidental.Dressed with shells from Molocaboc and Bantayan Islands.