The kaLIKHAsan Ball And The Key People Behind It Take The Spotlight On "Driven"
Jewelry designer Wynn Wynn Ong finally hangs her hat after decades of beautiful and majestic work in a way that gives tribute to the best and the beauty of the Philippines.
This culmination of her successes and milestones over the years came in the shape of the kaLIKHAsan Ball by Metro Society, an event that showcased the breadth of Wynn Wynn's talent and raised funds for the benefit of Bantay Kalikasan, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
The kaLIKHAsan Ball was indeed a success, as it created an avenue for more people to know about the mission of Bantay Kalikasan, while celebrating the genius that Wynn Wynn is one last time before she retires.
TV host Tricia Centenera sat down with the key personalities that made the kaLIKHAsan Ball a success for a special episode of Driven.
Raul Manzano, editor-in-chief of Metro Society, says that for the past few years since Yolanda, they’ve been holding annual charity events like the kaLIKHAsan Ball as a way of giving back to the community.
Apart from the fact that the kaLIKHAsan ball featured Wynn Wynn’s swan song, the "Sa Dagat at Bundok" collection, the event also saw artists Wynn Wynn and Sofia Zobel-Elizalde collaborate on a project for the very first time.
“The reason why I fell in love with her work is that I feel all her pieces tell a story. Wynn Wynn and I, we just really connect as friends and as artists… and we just really wanted to collaborate at some point,” Sofia shares. That’s why when the kaLIKHAsan Ball was at its early stages, the fact that the two talented artists will be able to work together fueled the event and everyone working hard behind it even further.
Sofia is the founder of Steps Dance Studio, and has been dancing all her life since she started ballet at four years old. For the past 25 years, she has devoted her life to her dance school, creating prima ballerinas out of hopeful young dancers and even helping those who don’t have the money but have the talent to pursue their dreams.
For the kaLIKHAsan Ball, Sofia interpreted Wynn Wynn’s pieces into dances and vignettes that capture each piece’s spirit and story. “It’s a feast of sound, visual, and movement,” Sofia says.
"Sa Dagat at Bundok" collection
After years of creating beautiful jewels and art pieces, Wynn Wynn has finally decided to rest and hang her hat—but with a bang. “18 months ago, when I decided to move into a new phase of my life, I wanted to find the perfect way to do it, to pay tribute to the country that I love,” Wynn Wynn explains.
And the collection "Sa Dagat at Bundok" was born from Wynn Wynn’s desire to “honor the flora and fauna of the Philippines, particularly the endangered and newly discovered species.”
The collection is primarily composed of large pieces and Wynn Wynn made sure everything was created from Philippine-based materials: recycled wood, repurposed wood, recycled metal, Philippine silver, and gold leaf.
It also came full circle when Wynn Wynn knew that the kaLIKHAsan Ball will be for the benefit of Bantay Kalikasan’s 20th anniversary.
“As we go through life, we think about what the environment brings to us and what we can bring to the environment. And as the population and the needs of people increase, [you realize] there’s a finite amount of resources, of everything for us,” Wynn Wynn says. “That’s why we need to be aware. We need to do something more than talk. We need to walk the talk.”
For the benefit of the environment
“Bantay Kalikasan started, I can recall, when one of my staff came to the office and said, ‘Gina we should take on this La Mesa watershed.’ This was in 1999. It’s the last remaining watershed. How can we let the last watershed go at the turn of the century?” recalls Gina Lopez, founder of Bantay Kalikasan. And what started as 50 hectares now became the last reservoir of potable water in the metro, thanks to the efforts of the team. “That started my work with the environment. Then I discovered that if you take care of the environment, that’s a resource that can alleviate poverty in a massive way.”
Jen Santos, program director for Bantay Kalikasan, has been on top of all the programs and efforts of the organization, working on the 18 sites of Bantay Kalikasan across the country. From the La Mesa watershed to the Pasig river to countless community development work, Jen has really seen what happens when you put enough effort to develop people and motivate them to contribute in whatever little way they can in saving the environment.
“We believe in inclusion. We really believe that to make things work, we have to work together and then you witness people voluntarily raising their hands, ‘I’m gonna do this.’ I’ve witnessed several of those, and to me that really gives me hope of how the human spirit is meant to be. When we come together, miracles can happen on a daily basis. We’ve witnessed it,” Jen shares.
Indeed, the kaLIKHAsan Ball was able to hit two birds with one stone: celebrate the end of an era for Wynn Wynn Ong and inspire more people to follow her footsteps and do what little ways they can to help and contribute to the rehabilitation of the environment.
And now, as Wynn Wynn said, it’s up to us to walk the talk.
Catch the full feature on the kaLIKHAsan ball on Driven with Tricia Centenera on November 29, 8 p.m., airing on Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD. Catch replays throughout the week.