I understand the reasons for the lockdown and I knew the severity of the situation. I said to myself, “this is not good.”
On the eve of the lockdown, I came across someone on Instagram who was giving a live workshop and it gave me an idea.
I thought of the children during this difficult and scary time… I need to do something about it for the children.
Having had experience giving art workshops to children living in poverty with ATD Fourth World Philippines and hosting a TV art show for kids, Art is-kool under Probe Productions, I believe I could do something. I love Filipino children and I did this for the love of them. Sounds corny but that is the truth.
I knew this quarantine could be very unsettling for children. I thought of some routine, and something fun could be a respite in this crazy situation.
During the first day of the lockdown, I conducted an online art workshop at 10 a.m. I must admit I have no idea how to do this digital thing. I am not young anymore, besides, I am an extremely shy, introverted person. Anyway, I put that all aside and still continue with the workshop, which lasted an hour.
I was so incredibly nervous. I was surprised at the number of kids who joined the workshop. There were also adults who watched my online art class — many of those were my followers on TV several decades ago.
Since it was so successful, I decided to do it again the next day and the next. I ended up conducting online art classes every day at 10 a.m. for the whole month.
I eventually learned about the technology and I learned fast. Every day, I was learning new things. But most of all, I got to know my online students as well. The children were eager, fun-loving and absolutely brilliant. It gave me joy to see their artworks based on the art class. I would weep when I saw how wonderful and beautiful their artworks were as kids would send me the photos of their art creations.
On the other hand, I have to put a priority on myself. Since managing an online workshop is exhausting at times, I decided to give free art classes once a week, and that’s every Saturday morning.
“ I am incredibly blessed that I have this capability to do this little thing for the children. By this, I believe I can teach a few things, give joy and happiness, and make this world a little better. ”
I still hold online classes up to this day and seeing those artworks of the kids still makes me weep. I have a dedicated Facebook page where the artworks of my students were posted, facebook.com/teacherrobertsonlineartclass and my YouTube channel Robert Alejandro, where kids can catch the online classes. One can also visit my page at shop.papemelroti.com and robertalejandro.com.
Photo from Robert Alejandro’s Facebook page
I am incredibly blessed that I have this capability to do this little thing for the children. By this, I believe I can teach a few things, give joy and happiness, and make this world a little better.
Edited by Charmie Joy Pagulong