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Fit for the arts: Celebrating life and the arts in Artletics 2014

From April 4-6, 2014 participants engaged in team and individual sports, yoga and meditation, mural painting and liberating art talks. This was the second time that De La Salle Lipa hosted the sports and wellness event, which aims to build stronger ties within the local arts community and promote an active and healthy lifestyle for artists.

ARTLETICS is an independent initiative to break the stereotype of artists as inactive and physically-challenged individuals and encourage artists to make healthier choices for living. This year, Artletics offered a spectrum of activities that fostered the development of healthy bodies, sound minds, and heightened consciousness on important issues of the day.

Now on its fourth year, Artletics has found support from individuals and groups who supported its cause.

Artletics 2014 De La Salle Lipa sportsfest poster

Clash of the colors

At each Artletics event, artists compete with one another and reveal the athletes hidden behind the canvas. Four artists stood out this year and led the four teams that tried to outplay each other. Demosthenes Campos was captain of the Red Team while Rene Cuvos governed the Greens. Joseph Ablay headed the Blue Team, and Jonathan Joven was leader of the Black Team.

The Black Team proved to be the power team, bagging first and second place in most of the games. Winning the basketball, volleyball and table tennis events, the Black team soared at the tally sheets and took home the overall championship.

Healthy bodies, sound minds

To teach artists how to lead healthy lifestyles, a health and wellness talk was given by Dr. Jessica de Leon, an advocate for alternative medicine. She presented variants of alternative medicine, elaborating on Pranic healing, an energy healing technique that addresses not only physical disease, but also heals the emotional and spiritual body. She also prescribed sustainable lifestyle practices which are doable and affordable, such as a diet of indigenous fruits and vegetables with high nutritional content.

In order to discourage participants from keeping vices, Dr. De Leon showed complications and afflictions which may result from continuous smoking, ingesting large amounts of alcoholic beverages and frequent intake of processed food.

Fit and active bodies need healthy minds, and to complement the sporting events and wellness lecture, participants were treated to a yoga and meditation session by Jefferson Lim with the assistance of Dawani De Leon.

Art, environment, and society

True to its spirit of broadening the artists’ perspective, the featured talks aim to help artists be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy and to be also aware of the political, environmental and social context which they are in.

One of the lectures encouraged them to further hone their craft to respond to their current situations and furthermore, to realize their position as part of the cultural community, to be agents of positive change in the nation.

An environmental talk by Prof. Lisa Ito-Tapang of the UP College of Fine Arts and a resource person from the Center of Environmental Concerns-Philippines, presented the richness of the Philippine ecosystem and the grim situation it is currently facing. According to her, mismanagement of natural resources and the pressure and hazard brought in by commercial and extractive activities combine to endanger the environment and the people. To demonstrate how environmental issues affect everyone, a sharing among artists of personal experiences with environmental problems (floods and typhoons in particular) followed the lecture.

The last lecture is facilitated by artist and activist Renan Ortiz with his talk: AKKSYON (Artista Kontra Korapsyon). Mr. Ortiz tackled the problem of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the ‘pork barrel’. He also shared activities by AKKSYON, and invited artists to support the campaign for clean and transparent governance.

Awards and recognition

Awards were given during the closing ceremony to the players and teams who excelled in the sporting events. Special awards were also given for outstanding participants and circumstances all of which were given in the spirit of fun and camaraderie. The awarding ceremony culminated in the raffle of two basketballs which were signed by all the participants of Artletics 2014. The prize balls were won by Jennifer Antonio and Jun Tuplano Jr. Artletics organizer Manny Garibay closed the ceremony noting that there should be more activities promoting wellness and the spirit of community among artists, especially in light of the recent passing of notable members of the art community: visual artist Don Salubayba, visual artist and musician David Sicam, visual artist Gerard Baja, comedian, TV & radio personality and activist Arvin “Tado” Jimenez and writer activist Kim Nepomuceno.

Artletics has grown in scope, as it helps artists live fully by setting up venues for artists to learn more about their health, craft and the issues that surround them. By keeping the artists in tune with body, mind and their surroundings, Artletics plays its part in forging stronger community links and moulding the local art scene into a vibrant influence in Filipino life and culture.

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