LEARNING FROM NATURE’S RESILIENCE 5: NATIVE SURVIVORS

For the fifth of our workshop series on Learning from Nature’s Resilience, we focused on native trees.  After supertyphoon Odette claimed so many of the sacntuary’s mature trees, an assessment was made of the surviving tree species and our suspicion was proven right that those that survived were mostly native trees.  We reached out to the Visayas Native Trees (VNT) Enthusiasts group to help us with properly identifying and learning more about the propagation of these species. So we arranged a special workshop day with the group on Saturday, May 28th.

Welcome and Intro by Eddy Lee, conservation educator and ecotherapist

Warm up activity was laughter yoga led by Joel Lee, Permaculture and Aprotech Solutions educator. 

Then the VNT group went around the nature sanctuary to identify and tag the native trees that survived Odette. VNT members Gala, Tin-Tin, Nonoy, Tess, Sarah, Lito, Bretha and JC examined the leaves of the native trees closely then shared their knowledge of these trees. Gala was the official scribe -writing both local and scientific names of the species on the tags.

When the group had had their lunch, we proceeded with the next part of our workshop which was the expressive arts portion which was led by Paulina Constancia.
The task was: Make your native survivor self-portrait using a leaf or seed from the native tree that you best identify with.

Paulina Constancia during the workshop demo

Each of the participants went around the sanctuary again to source materials for their self-portraits.

VNT enthusiasts and friends with facilitators Paulina Constancia and Eddy Lee (Roundhouse of the J Lee Nature Sanctuary) with the beautiful native survivor self-portraits
Tour of the MONA – VNT enthusiasts and friends

What a wonderful day of sharing love for native trees, art and laughter! So grateful for our learning adventure together, VNT!!!

The Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits

Today we share with you more detail on the expressive arts session on Sunday which was the making of The Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits.
Click here to learn more about this workshop from previous post

Below is the step by step process in pictures…

Below are the individual portraits of our teenage participants:

Very creative use of the fruit stamps and stencils to make these awesome portraits, young ladies! Thank you for sharing your insights and reflections too. We wish you all the best in your learning and development. Till the next time!

LEARNING FROM NATURE’S RESILIENCE 4: FLOWERS & FRUITS

Yesterday, my siblings and I co-taught  part 4 of our Learning from Nature’s Resilience workshop series. This time we took inspiration from the surviving trees and other flowering plants that have recovered and started to bloom, and some are even bearing fruit again!!!

Our participants were homeschooled teenage survivors of difficult situations traveling all the way from Northern Cebu.

My brother Joel Lee, Permaculture and Aprotech Solutions educator, facilitated the warm up laughter yoga and encouraged its regular practice as a way to health and relaxation. 

My sister Eddy Lee, a conservation educator and ecotherapist,  led the tour of the sanctuary’s food forest, higlighting the effect of Typhoon Odette on the fruit trees that were bent, and broken and uprooted. They noticed how the trees are starting to recover because the leaves have sprouted back.  Some of the surviving trees, including a few mango trees, are even flowering. The meditation and vegetable gardens have also recovered and are blooming.

Here are the tools for the expressive arts session: Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits

Before starting the expressive arts segment of our Learning from Nature’s Resilience workshop I distributed the flower quotes below for the participants to discuss within their groups:

“Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.” -John Harrigan
Flowers grow back even after they are stepped on, so will I!” – Author Unknown
“Nothing in nature blooms all year. Be patient with yourself!”
“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” – Zen Shin

Paulina Constancia demonstrates how to make the Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits using fruit stamps
(slices of the following fruit were provided: okra, cucumber, eggplant and balimbing aka starfruit or carambola)

The instruction for the expressive art session was :
Your life is God’s gift to you and what you make of it is like a bouquet of flowers that you give back to God, the earth and humanity.  What kind of blossoms will you bear?
 As you create your floral bouquet portrait focus on your pesonal resilient trait and be ready to share this with the group.

How to Make Your Floral Bouquet Self-Portrait

  1. Use fruit slices provided: (okra, cucumber, eggplant and balimbing aka starfruit, carambola,) and watercolor to make prints on paper of flowers.
  2. Practice with your stamps and layout on scrap paper provided before doing your final layout on the artboard provided
  3. Allow work to dry completely before adding design details with ballpen and pencil crayons. Feel free to do freehand drawing or use some of the stencils available to add details to your work.
  4. Prepare to share your work and personal resilient trait with the group.
Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits in the making
Quick sample floral portrait made by Paulina Constancia
Tools used: carambola (balimbing), cucumber (pepino), bird stencil, water-colour, brush, ballpen

MONA -Museum visit

Our teenage participants gather at the meditation garden at the Justice German Lee Nature Sanctuary

Thank you for joining us for a fun learning adventure at the Sanctuary. We hope you will apply the things you learned here today – Care for the earth, care for each other, care for the future and care to laugh, lots! And believe that you are resilient, you have the capacity to bounce back from the adversities life may throw your direction.

The ME TREE Self Portraits

Today we share with you more detail on the expressive arts session on Saturday which was the making of the Me Tree Self-Portraits.
Click here to learn more about this workshop from previous post

Here you will find the individual creations of our teenage workshop participants from the St Alfonso Maria Fusco Home, Compostela.

The portraits with their corresponding hand carved camote stamps

Awesome camote carving and leaf pattern prints, young men! Thank you for sharing your insights and reflections too. We wish you all the best in your learning and development. Care for the earth, care for each other, care for the future and care to laugh, lots!

LEARNING FROM NATURE’S RESILIENCE 3: TREES

On Saturday, my siblings and I co-taught  part 3 of our Learning from Nature’s Resilience workshop series. This time we took inspiration from the surviving trees and the regrowth of their leaves and worked with a group of teenage scholars from the St Alfonso Maria Fusco Home, Compostela.

My brother Joel Lee, Permaculture and Aprotech Solutions educator, facilitated the warmup laughter yoga and encouraged its regular practice as a way to health and relaxation. 

My sister Eddy Lee, a conservation educator and ecotherapist, led the nature walk, inviting our teen participants to pay attention to the various species of the trees that survived Super-Typhoon Odette and their leaf patterns. They were able to identify most of our fruit trees and surprisingly some of the native trees. When asked why they had some familiarity with the native trees, most of them said that they still had these trees in their mountain villages.

The ME Tree Self-Portrait
(the camote stamps)

We were recently gifted with some camote (sweet potato) and I thought of using this as a medium for the day’s expressive arts session which is the making of The Me Tree Self Portrait.  

I used two medium camote and cut them into thick slices and distributed them among the participants.  They were each provided a dull knife as a simple carving tool to make their leaf stamps.

Paulina Constancia demonstrates how to make the camote stamp and design The ME TREE Self-Portrait

P.Constancia sample ME TREE

The instruction for the activity was :
If you were a tree, what kind would you be, what leaves would you bear and as you createyour portrait focus on your pesonal resilient trait and be ready to share this with the group.

How to Make Your Stamped ME TREE Self Portrait using a camote slice:

  1. Choose leaf design (shape, veins,etc)
  2. Cut the camote slice to shape/margin of your leaf of choice
  3. Using the dull knife provided start carving out the pattern, bearing in mind that the part you remove from the camote is what won’t print or register on your paper.
  4. Practice stamping on scrap paper before doing your prints and composition on the artboard.
  5. Use watercolor or stamp pad for the color and allow to dry before adding design details with ballpen and pencil crayons
  6. Prepare to share your work and personal resilient trait with the group.
Our camote carvers…
Stampin’ away…
Museum visit after the workshop (inside the MONA)
Our teenage participants in front of the museum
Teenage scholars from the St Alfonso Maria Fusco Home at the
Justice Lee Nature Sanctuary. With them are Paulina Constancia, Sr. Vicenta “Inday” Yap, Sr. Salve Narvaja, Eddy Lee and the goldens- Gabby and Sunny

Thank you Sr. Inday, Sr Salve and our teenage workshop participants for the learning adventure that we shared at the sanctuary. Till the next time!

The Floral Assemblage Self Portraits

We are proud to share with you the creations of our recent Learning from Nature’s Resilience 2 workshop. Taking inspiration from the resilience of flowering plants and trees, the teenage participants were invited to create a floral assemblage self-portrait. They were also asked to focus on personal traits that make them resilient. Some of the traits mentioned were STRONG, UNIQUE, CONFIDENT, PRO-ACTIVE, …
(Click on this link to see workshop process and instructions.)

Here is a gallery of the group’s works. Left image is the actual floral assemblage, right image is the water-colour recreation of the assemblage portrait.

We thank the teenage participants for joining us for a fun learning experience at the Nature Sanctuary.

LEARNING FROM NATURE’S RESILIENCE 2: FLOWERS

Yesterday my sister and I co-taught  part 2 of our Learning from Nature’s Resilience workshop series. This time we took inspiration from flowers, and worked with a younger group – teenage survivors of difficult situtations.

My sister Eddy Lee, a conservation educator and ecotherapist, led the nature walk and discussion on nature’s resilience while I facilitated the art session on the making of floral assemblage self portraits.

The group with Eddy Lee, conservation educator and ecotherapist.

I went on an early morning walk at the Sanctuary to gather the variety of flowers to be used for the art session. I was expecting a group of 17, so it was quite a challenge since this is post-typhoon times and there’s not many kinds of flowering plants left. Despite that I am proud to say that i managed to gather more than enough variety for the participants.

Since this was an exercise on resilience, the participants were not allowed to choose from the floral selection and had to make the most out of the flower assigned to them. However,  they were free to choose the other natural add-ons (stones, twigs, leaves, cowrie shells,etc) to complete their assemblage piece.

Creating the Assemblage Portrait

It was fun watching the girls so focused on creating the assemblage then recreating it on another sheet of paper using watercolor as a medium. Later when each of them had the chance to share their process and their reflections, some said they enjoyed making the assemblage better than painting.  Others said the two versions of the portrait were equally fun to create and complete.

Recreating the portraits using water-color

My thoughts on this is that the medium of flowers and other natural elements was a more relaxing medium for the teens, once they drew and painted they started becoming critical of their work (and themselves). Suddenly, i could hear some saying, ‘I’m not good at drawing!’
My reflection on this is that the closer we work with nature and what’s natural, the more we are free and spontaneous, the more we can be our true selves, and without a doubt creativity is at the core of our human nature.

The artists with their assemblage art at the Roundhouse of the Nature Sanctuary
Museum visit after the workshop to see Paulina’s FLORAL CHORUS collection and other works

The teenage participants with the workshop facilitators – Far left expressive arts educator Paulina Constancia and conservation educator and ecotherapist Eddy Lee. Photo also shows a golden retriever named GABBY, the Nature Sanctuary ambassador.

The Resilient Leaf Self-Portrait Art Workshop

Today I thought I’d show more photos of the art making component of our “Learning from Nature’s Resilience” training the trainors workshop which was participated by head teachers and principals of Cluster 7- Carcar City DepEd.

It was a fun and inspiring day learning about resilience through nature’s example.   From a previous post, I shared the enormous damage caused by Odette to the Justice Lee Nature Sanctuary here in Carcar. Below is a photo of our beloved Acacia tree right after Odette.

It appears that the super-typhoon basically “claimed its life”, but picture below shows what our beloved acacia tree looks like now…fresh new branches and leaves have emerged.

It is a living example of resilience. It may have been hurt and broken by Odette, but it has evidently bounced back and is now thriving!

About the WORKSHOP

Inspired by the re-emergence of leaves amongst the trees that were originally thought to have been completely damaged by the super-typhoon, we initiated a resilience art workshop using leaves as base material.

We had a tray of various pre-cut leaves and distributed them among the participating head teachers and principals. They were not allowed to choose because this is a workshop on resilience. You have to find a way to make good use of your “givens”. I was amazed by what the teachers came up with.

The instruction was: Using the leaf provided make a leaf self-portrait that shows this..”I am resilient because I am _________” (participants choose their key personal resilient trait)

This teacher painted a background of rainbow colours before making the leaf imprint.

This teacher made a few two-colour imprint of her leaf and then drew her portrait using a pen once the water-colour imprint had completely dried

This teacher made several leaf imprints using three different colours and turned it into hair for her self-portrait.
Tri-colored leaf hair for her self-portrait.
Head teachers and principals of Cluster 7- Carcar City DepEd busy creating their Leaf Self-Portraits
Here is an image summary of the works of all the participants from Cluster 7 of Carcar City DepEd
Our tall acacia tree may have fallen but it is definitely not dead. Now lowered closer to the pond, its bent trunk is more accessible and serves as an awesome rest and recreation spot for our farm felines. Once again –All’s well (actually “better” according to our cats’ meows.)😹

LEARNING FROM NATURE’S RESILIENCE 1:LEAVES

Yesterday I had the great honour and joy of co-facilating a training the trainors workshop with my siblings — Learning from Nature’s Resilience. Participants of the workshop were head teachers and principals of Cluster 7- Carcar City DepEd. Workshop program included an introduction to permaculture, a silent nature walk, a discussion on nature’s resilience based on their observations during the nature walk, making Leaf Portraits, and a tour of the Museum of Naïve Art. Why leaf portraits? During Super typhoon Odette (aka Typhoon Rai), all the plants and trees lost their leaves from her fury. The first sign of visible recovery is the emergence of new leaves. The participants made their portraits using leaf imprints and stated their resilient trait. It was a hectic morning filled with nature, art, stories, reflections and laughter.

As shared by one of the participants Sir Guilbert “Miski unsa ka kusog sa unós, naay pagluráng!”
(Translation: “No storm lasts forever”… or you can say.. “no matter how heavy the storm, the moment of calm will eventually come”)
A teacher’s training with the DepEd Carcar City Division- Cluster 7 on learning from nature’s resilience
Participating Schools: Kalam Elem School, Kalangyawon Elem and High School, Ocaña Elem School,
Can-asuhan Elem and High School
Intro to Permaculture with Eddy Lee
Silent Nature Walk
Leaf Self-Portrait Art Demo by Paulina Constancia
Leaf Self-Portrait Art Session
I am resilient because I am…..
The group’s leaf self-portraits, I guess you can call this a “group shot”🤣
Museum Tour
Reading about Paulina Constancia’s art, and taking wings at the museum
Happy spirits and winged hearts
Happy, enthusiastic teacher-learners
The whole group with the facilitators: Joel, Eddy and Paulina
Sanctuary Ambassador GABBY

We join Gabby in thanking you, DepEd Carcar City Division- Cluster 7, head teachers and principals for joining us for a fun and inspiring learning experience at the Sanctuary. Till the next time!

(Gabby wants to remind you that one of the secrets of resilience is being proactive… remember the ‘active voice’ – The dog ate the sandwich… not The dog was eaten by the sandwich)

SOME HELPFUL TIPS ON RESILIENCE from Tasimba
Listen. Watch. Learn. There is so much wisdom and wonder in Nature that strengthens our resilience.

Have a purpose – where do you want to be when this is over?

Be proactive – don’t dwell and overthink things; just make stuff happen

Remain hopeful – look forward to and work towards your goal lines

Learn from the past – act on what has served you well in previous adversity

Focus on wellness – (mental AND physical); it is essential for survival

Stay connected – ‘Together we are strong’ – find ways to stay connected through challenging times (adversity)

Whimsical Art Challenge 2

A few nights ago, my sister Edna asked my brother Joel and my 9 year old son Lucas to do a whimsical art challenge. Here’s what came out, really fun, really naïf, and totally  nature-inspired!!!

I will post Joel’s first then Lucas’.

A MUDSKIPPER FISHING
(mudskipper is Filemon’s TAMBASAKAN)

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A DUCK SUNBATHING

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A FANTAIL BIRD ON FREE THROW LINE

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RABBIT PLAYING FRISBEE

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DOG COOKING PANCAKES
-only Lucas did this one… looks like the customer being served is a kitty and there’s two doggy customers waiting for their order

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