2006 Earth Camp "Tell Me a Story, Mr. Cloud"
Patrimoine Sans Frontieres (PSF), Paris, France
Enigmata Creative Circle, Inc.
in collaboration with
Department of Education, Division of Camiguin Island, Philippines
Tell Me a Story Mr. Cloud Project
“An Environmental Multi-Media Video Art Film for Children by the Children”
August 28-30, 2006
2006 Children’s Biodiversity Mini Earth Camp
The first of its kind biodiversity art film project for children initiated by Enigmata was conducted in Camiguin Island on August 28-30, 2006 in collaboration with Patrimoine Sans Frontieres, Paris, France as main sponsor. The participants of the 2006 mini-earth camp were thirty six students and three advisers from three local elementary schools namely; Sagay Central School, Anito Elementary School and Balbagon Elementary School.
“Tell me a story Mr. Cloud…” project is the offshoot of PSF “Culture of Remembrance” at the outbreak of Chernobyl, Belaruz accident which has caused serious problems in the lives of people. As a consequence of this environmental catastrophe, a project was launched to give voice to the affected communities and to restore solidarity with the inhabitants of the contaminated areas.
Enigmata was the counterpart organization in the Philippines among other participating countries like Belaruz and Lebanon. This is a very unique project which was the first of its kind and was limited to small group to be able to get the maximum output during workshops and outdoor shoot. The film entitled “Earth Song” and “Trash Can…” were filmed entirely in Camiguin Island with the help of expert consultants from Japan and Enigmata artists as facilitators, directors and screenplay writer.
The output of the visual workshops were collected for possible entry to The 14th Kanagawa Biennial World Children’s Art Exhibition. The output of the poetry workshop is now compiled into a “River of Words” poetry booklet which will be sent to the US secretariat to become part of the 2007 poetry contest.
The three day scheduled workshop was short of filming important parts, hence another two days spill over was maximized in filming more scenes with local children. The whole duration of the workshop was conducted in Enigmata Treehouse, while the filming where mostly done in the outdoors such as in the rivers, springs, falls, forest, white island sand bar, white sand beach, black sand beach, mangroves, ports, churches, shorelines, trees, garbage, labyrinth and treehouse.
The workshops were conducted using various creative theater and improvisational techniques. The facilitators were a team of musician, film makers, poets, visual artists and theater performers. The day’s workshop normally ends with a film or a slide showcase on biodiversity; a documentary film on “Nilasong Buhay” by The Correspondence; The Journey of Life by Moby’s Video; On Earth As It Is In Heaven by Animo Puppet Theater from Bacolod City; and the award winning Iranian movie Colours of Paradise. The highlights of the Earth Camp is Waway Saway’s concert, Pompet’s Villaraza’s writing and healing workshops, Greg Naduma and Felimon Blanco’s theater workshops, Rosalie’s Zerrudo creative group dynamics and Soni Kum’s film making with her mini-DV NTSC format..
During the outdoor workshops, special activities were conducted as a way of making nature as the most exciting classroom where children learn from hands-on experience. In the forest, several worksheet project were included such as a vegetation inventory, fantasy search, tree identification, and tree leaf bud identification. In the water areas, participants were given worksheets for river inventory and observation card for identification of species in the rivers and falls. The reading materials on forest and water including activity sheets were taken from the reference book published by Grupo Aprender con La Naturaleza (2003). A Day of Adventure in the Forest. Reading materials were researched regarding the Guimaras oil spill from the Greenpeace website. A primer on “Water for Life” served as one reference material from the “Bantay Kinaiyahan,” a publication of Interface Development Interventions, Inc., Davao City. A primer on environmental issues were downloaded from the web regarding the Chernobyl, Belaruz Accident and an article on Asian Brown Cloud Poses Global Threat as reference materials.
The two short films will be produced in DVD together with a booklet and translated in four languages; original language, French, Russian and English. The presentation of the DVD “Stories of a cloud” is scheduled to be shown in Belarus, in Braguine, in 2007. PSF will provide a copy of the booklet and DVD to each child, every participating artist and school.
Objectives of the Earth Camp and Art Film Project:
The activity aims to:
1. Produce an art film on DVD format based on the theme “Tell Me a Story, Mr. Cloud”
2. Expose the participants to creative learning environment to deepen understanding about the environment
3. Support the international appeal in the protection of children’s rights for their protection against environmental hazards
4. Conduct the third Earth Camp for the YES-O Camiguin
The registration was a creative workshop for children designing their own IDs. Each school set-up their own tents. The opening salvo was a special ritual which started with creative commentary by Rosalie Zerrudo then stories and songs from the foot of Mt. Kitanglad by Waway Saway.
The afternoon session orientation about the project and background on the Mr. Cloud Project.
The theater workshop was conducted by Felimon Blanco and Greg Naduma which included the basic elements of theater such as; space, level, texture, shape, line and time. The workshop was a fun way of getting started and making participants settle down and focus their energies.
A journey to the heart of the earth workshop was introduced in a creative snack break where everybody became the human spiral labyrinth while sharing the harvest and bounty of the earth. Pompet shared his thoughts on the importance of finding the heart of the earth. The script of the film was read to them in a story telling form to guide the participants to the experience of reconnecting to the heart of the earth.
A basic poetry workshop was facilitated by Pompet for the children to be able to gather their ideas and experiences into words
The experience of the children where later expressed in a “madala” painting where they start with a symbol in the middle then they expand like an ether with more symbols connected to the center in circle shape painted on chip boards using acrylic paints.
A biodiversity quiz bee and discussion served as a closure and recap for the day’s workshop
A biodiversity film about Camiguin and the “On Earth as it is in Heaven” was shown to prepare the participants for the following day’s field trip around the island.
The day started with a theater exercise then a prayer meditation. The participants were prepared for the outdoor activities as part of the location shoot for the filming of the short film. The local children where chosen as main characters at the same time the casts in the film.
The first location shoot was done in Katibawasan falls where they played with water, rocks, and rivers. A garbage clean-up was also part of the visit after the splash to the mountain fresh water. The participants were divided into six groups and did a series of water exploration based on their worksheets.
The second half of the day was mostly the beach side and shoreline shoot with different water games and water fight scenes. The toy animation in the water was one good experimentation during the filming with the main character. The Kebila children facilitated a biodiversity orientation and guided the participants to discover the giant clams and the corals in the marine sanctuary.
Toy animation along the mangrove was taken during sunset when the native mango was plenty and cheap.
A short stop over shoot was taken along a seaside stilt house as a good material for the film. The contrast of the clean surrounding and the man made waste shown in the shoot.
A film about “Nilasong Buhay” and the “Journey of Life” served as closure for the day
By the end of the second day this is what the participants have to say;
Loving and taking care of nature is important
Don’t destroy our nature
Pick up garbage
Segregate garbage, don’t throw garbage anywhere
Protect fish sanctuaries
The third day started early with an early field trip to the mountains to catch the clouds while it is still nestled next to the ground. Unfortunately when we arrive past sunrise, the clouds were already over our heads, but the passing dancing clouds was a graceful scene to welcome the morning.
In Itum at the foot of Mt. Hibok Hibok a dance with the clouds was mounted while the wind favored our kite flying scene. The ingenuous invention of a wooden bike was the special feature of the day.
A forest investigation was conducted using the worksheets to discover more about trees and roots, leaves and the vegetation in the forest. The participants were divided into six groups and assigned group leader to record all the findings of the investigation.
On the way to the sea, a short stop over in the Philippine Volcanology Station was an educational experience with pictures of volcanic eruptions in the island born out of fire.
The other workshop was done in the black sand shoreline where half of the children made their sand sculptures. The other half made their poems into songs with the help of Waway. While the main cast of the film took the boat crossed the white island sand bar to take some important water and island shoots. The day was kind and the sea was radiant. The clouds were dancing at the background watching us watching them.
A river exploration was conducted in Macao cold spring and a garbage clean-up while doing water shoots with the toy fantasy anime character.
A short visit to the ostrich farm was a delight for the first timers to be up-close and personal with the elegant princess of the outback.
Back in the treehouse another workshop was conducted on play dough molding and sculpting. It was a dynamic experimentation using the manual animation in film.
A mandala of words was introduced to capture their day’s experience in one power word…
Wow! Beauty Grateful to God Enjoyable
Helping Peace Wonderful Exciting
Fun Care Protect attractive
Colorful Useful Lovely Life
Important Clean Animals Enjoy
Unique Protect Improve Plant trees
Love Maintain Glad Preserve
Gorgeous Reforest Marvelous Save
Indigenous Filipino games related to nature such as the coco shell race were used as ice breakers which was a popular game in the afternoon.
The final ritual was a journey back to the heart of the earth. In silence while swinging with the trees, the children walked slowly barefoot feeling the belly of the earth on their feet and the whispers of the wind on their faces toward the labyrinth sculpture. A meditation poetry with the music of the children of the forest lead the moving ritual where each one will hold the symbolic earth and pass it towards the center of the human spiral. Then everyone connected with their hands to the center making them one web of life. A silent prayer for each one became a solemn affirmation of one’s relationship with mother earth.
The day’s closure was formally done with the words of thanks from Ms. Roselyn Jurial, Education Supervisor 1 (Science) of the Department of Education.
The extra day was spent in additional outdoor shoot which was either missed out during the first three days.
The anime manual toy animation was shot using the works of the children as background.
Additional garbage shots were also done during the day with the help to the local children from the nearby school.
Facilitators evaluation session was helpful in looking at the strengths and the weaknesses of the project. Each one expressed their feelings and joy for being part of the project.
In the evaluation, most of the children gave five as the highest score to what they remembered as their favorite activities such as games, field trip, paintings, poem composition, film showing, clay molding, prayer, acting, dancing, snorkeling, anime making, mandala making.
Each of us must be aware that it is our responsibility to protect, preserve, respect, conserve, love, care of our Mother Earth for future generations.
I have to listen, start to act now, work now before its too late. Each one of us has a mission.
I learned that as a child I have also great role and responsibilities to love, care and protect Mother Earth.
I learned that I must campaign to protect the clams and corals
I learned how to appreciate the beauty of nature.
I learned how to preserve mother earth for future generations
Garbage should be disposed properly
Respect the flowers, insects, animals, plants and fish, etc.
I learned that all are connected to each other, the clouds, the river, water, air.
I also learned to listen, cooperate, to participate to the call of nature
I discovered my self as an artist
I love the beauty of the falls
I love to watch corals and see “nemo” swimming
Its my first time to walk in the forest and I love watching the beauty of the island
First time to watch flightless birds
So nice to mold nature with clay
I enjoyed walking the spiral walk
I learned how to paint, act, dance, and care, love, respect nature
I learned from the forest different kinds of plants
I learned to appreciate the beauty of clams and corals
I learned to paint “mandala” and write a poem
Lessons in science can be done through dancing
Preservation, care, love, conservation and respect of the environment can be shown through paintings
Water is the source of life
I learned how to act, learn to draw, molding different animals and plants using clay
I learned how to care, love, respect, preserve natural resources
Suggestions and Other Comments:
Thank you very much. You are all wonderful persons.
It would be wonderful if all children in Camiguin can attend this wonderful activity especially those who have never been expose to these kind of camp in their life.
Hope you could also share with us your video tapes on journey of life.