Young helping young through the Arts

By Marian Jill Almendral MASBATE --- A young artist, Nathalie Jane Lazaro, shared her passion by creating a simple summer art workshop for the local kids of Masbate. “Gusto ko sya ishare” says Nathalie regarding her passion in painting. “Sabi ko gigibuhon ko na si bucketlist ko. Naglaag kaya ako kato (sa bucketlist) na gusto ko maging great artist kaya gusto kong ishare sa mga aki si talent ko. Eh ang plano ko kasi after college pa sana. Pero gusto ko na i-pursue kasi sayang kang opportunity, life is too short. Buong high school life ko feeling ko lost ako tapos ngunyan nahiling ko na si purpose ko”. Nathalie developed her desire in art since she was in elementary as she joined poster making contests and on her high school years where she joined an alternative class program that involves art and painting. She even shared her first experience of painting on a canvas where she was so amazed by the smell of the paint and the canvas. That is when she started to dream about painting. However, Nathalie wasn’t supported by her parents because they want her to focus more on her studies. In college she wasn’t able to get a course that involves art. “Siguro okay man si course ko, pero garo ako bird na may wings pero kaipuhan ko nalang magstay sa land, just because iyo ang gusto kang mga nakapalibot sako,” says Nathalie regarding the hindrances of achieving her dreams. Regardless of the obstacles, Nathalie still found a way to continue her passion. She joined the Center for Community Development Organization in Ateneo de Naga University where she became a student volunteer and teach the kids. “Since then narealize ko na kulang pa sya, kulang ang passion, dapat may purpose. So duman ko nahapot ano ba talaga purpose ko?” articulates Nathalie. Nathalie didn’t stop painting until more people knew about her talent. She was later invited to paint and to teach how to paint. She started painting in stone arts and wallet painting where she is able to earn money. Later on, she was invited at the Archdiocese House of the Archbishop of Caceres and St. Joseph School to teach kids and students how to paint and create stone arts. Nathalie realized that many appreciate her talent so she came up with the idea of sharing it to the youth. With the consent and support of her family, Nathalie made a simple summer art workshop in their house at San Pascual, Burias Masbate held last April 16-21. At first, Nathalie was discouraged as the workshop only had two enrollees who are also Nathalie’s cousins, until many of her friends and family members help in recruiting enrollees. The workshop started last April 16 until 21 wherein the kids had their painting competition on the last day. The workshop also had its exhibit held last April 22 which took place outside the Tourism office of San Pascual that is visited by some of the locals and tourists in Burias. The art workshop was a success. The children left bringing with them the learnings they had about arts and about pursuing one’s dream from their teacher Nathalie. Nathalie is overwhelmed with the workshop and to her, the art workshop has become a great motivation as an artist. “Dae man talaga mahahali ang insecurities. Pero pag naiisip mo na may mga aki na, they look up to me, (so) kaipuhan ko maging better” says Nathalie. Nathalie also has advice to the youth who are aspiring dreamers like her. “Dae sinda matakot mag-try, dae sinda matakot mag take risk kasi if you don’t try hanggang duman ka lang, very stagnant lang- dae ka ma grow as an artist, as a person” she says. “Dae sinda matakot magcreate ning mistakes kasi mistakes are really beautiful as long as inaayos mo sinda diba? Dae man gabos na mistake pangit, may mga struggle na marerealize mo ay mas nagpa gayon palan.”