The Pearly Gates Of Sustainability
When one hears the luxury brand Jewelmer, it evokes images of their Golden South Sea Pearl, a string of pearls on the neck of some society doyenne or model, of their artfully staged shows in Tokyo and Hong Kong, of they’re being omnipresent in most of well-heeled Manila’s events & happenings. And yes, this is all part of the brand’s enviable equity, their commitment to Filipino-made beauty and craftsmanship. But there is another side to the enterprise, for the pearl farms that are owned and managed by the company in Palawan, are also bold statements made in the name of environmental conservation; part and parcel of their CSR program of sustainability in the seas.
Seven years in the making, the documentary Power of Pearl: The Farm Beneath the Sea, brought this all home as it travelled to pearl farms here in the Philippines, in Indonesia, and Australia. Directed by Ahbra Perry and R.T. Higgins, a special screening of the film, before it goes on its international tour, was held at the SM Aura IMAX Theater. Special guests were noted environmentalist Gina Lopez of the ABS-CBN Foundation, and Ambassador of France to the Philippines, Nicolas Galey.
At the special screening of Power of Pearl, Jewelmer top management welcomes Gina Lopez and Ambassador Nicolas Galey, and the creators of the documentary.
A real eye-opener, the film opened detailing how man has been creating havoc with the seas, and really imperilling the future of the planet—global warming, pollution, chemical poisoning, all playing their roles in this. What was interesting to note, was how pearl farms could act as indicators, or barometers, of the health of the seas; as these pearls are heavily dependent on natural nutrients to attain the right size and quality. The quality of the water becomes essential for the pearl’s progress, and it follows that where successful pearl farms thrive, there is hope for the seas and waters of that area. In a real sense, creating a pearl is sustaining life - and not just the pearl’s life, but all forms of marine life.
The footage shot at the Jewelmer Pearl Farms took on emotional heft, as filming was going on as Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Surviving the aftermath, the strong sense of community from owners and management, all the way to ‘farmers’ and workers at the farms, was evident, and touching to witness.
So yes, there is the side of Jewelmer that lives in the worlds of glitz and high fashion; but there also exists a side that speaks of livelihood, of shared experiences, and of caring for the environment.
Matteo Guidacelli, with his cousin, Mia Arcenas- Brannelec and Jacques Brannelec.?
Your author, Libet C. Virata, Issa and Alex Litton
Steph Kienle-Gonzalez, her mother Zelda Keinle, and Marc Nelson