As the social development arm of the Ayala group, Ayala Foundation envisions communities where people are productive, creative, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipino.
Founded in 1961 as Filipinas Foundation, the foundation’s first program was, in fact, implemented in Mindanao: the Sumilao Cattle Research Project, which sought to upgrade the quality of livestock in Bukidnon.
In the 1970s the foundation also undertook several studies on Muslim Mindanao, looking at migration patterns, culture, public policy, and economic opportunities program areas—youth leadership and education, the bulk of which are done in partnership with the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.. Projects in Mindanao continued in the 1980s and 1990s, until Filipinas Foundation was renamed Ayala Foundation in 1990, signaling the Ayala group’s renewed commitment to improving lives and contributing to national development.
Ayala Foundation’s operations in Mindanao are based in Cagayan de Oro City.
At present, Ayala Foundation’s initiatives in Mindanao focus on two
· Leadership Communities, a program which strengthens the leadership potential of community-based youth as they identify urgent challenges faced by their own communities, and to conceptualize and implement projects to address these challenges. LeadCom has reached the youth in Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, and Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.
· Basilan Young Leaders Program-LeadCom, where 28 young Muslim leaders underwent an immersion and exposure programs, enabling them to appreciate best practices in health, education, livelihood, peace and synergy in key cities around the country. This was done in partnership with RG Mujiv Hataman and the ARMM and the Eisenhower Fellows Association of the Philippines (EFAP). These 28 young leaders either partnered with each other or put up their own groups to implement projects. These resulted in 10 youth projects that had 628 direct beneficiaries benefited through the efforts of youth leaders; 167 youth volunteers all over Basilan were involved in the implementation of the projects
· Bangsamoro Young Leaders Program-LeadCom was initiated to build on the success of the Basilan Young Leaders Program, this time reaching out to the entire ARMM. Ongoing is the project conceptualization phase, where 35 Bangsamoro youth are participating.
· Training Institute is a teacher training program focusing on four major elements, namely classroom pedagogy, development of critical thinking skills, values clarification and use of technology in the classroom. Ongoing are two-year training sessions in both Lamitan and Lantawan in Basilan where 41 teachers and school heads learn new techniques in improving the classroom experience. In Cagayan de Oro, AFI has trained 64 teachers, most of whom will also become trainers for TI initiatives in other parts of Mindanao.
· Global Filipino Schools, a partnership program between Ayala Foundation, Globe Telecom, Mitsubishi, and the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, provides internet connectivity and teacher training in the use of technology in the classroom. GFS reached 2,710 pupils and 62 teachers from Fr. Masterson Elementary School and Indahag Elementary School, both in Cagayan de Oro.
· The Siyapen Drug Rehabilitation Center is a partnership project with the City Government of Marawi, and hopes to provide a community-based approach to drug rehabilitation. It will be opened in 2017.
Two acclaimed Filipino artists come together to celebrate Moro culture through Manāra, an interactive art installation at the Ayala Museum Plaza, officially opening on May 3.
Manāra—the Arabic word for “minaret”—is the result of the creative collaboration between internationally acclaimed sculptor and painter Toym Imao and industrial designer and installation artist Lilianna Manahan.
Featuring 23 minarets and lanterns, the Manāra interactive art installation features Moro textiles, wood and metal work, music, and indigenous patterns. Manāra is a project of Ayala Foundation.
Traditionally, minarets served as lighthouses, providing light to people and vessels that needed to find their way. Minarets, which are also important architectural features of mosques, are also where calls to prayer are made.
Similarly, the Manāra art installation hopes to shed light on the richness and diversity of Moro culture, and in the process inspire a deeper understanding of Muslim Filipinos. At the same time, the interactive art installation serves as a call for unity—for Filipinos, even though they come from diverse backgrounds, to become more open to dialogue and cooperation.
“In an increasingly digital environment, art continues to be a powerful expression of today’s realities and an important medium to convey messages of enlightenment, action, and community. We see this interactive exhibit as an opportunity to promote awareness and further educate people about the rich and inspiring culture of Mindanao communities and the significant role the Moro culture plays in our country’s history and heritage,” Ayala Foundation Co-Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said.
For over 50 years, Ayala Foundation has been implementing community development initiatives in Mindanao. One of the foundation’s first projects was the Sumilao Cattle Research Project at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro in the 1960s. At present, the foundation has been nurturing its partnership with the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao for its youth leadership program Leadership Communities, and its education program Training Institute.
Ayala Foundation has also partnered with the City Government of Marawi for the community-based Siyapen Drug Rehabilitation Center, which was started earlier this year.
Guests are welcome to explore and interact with Manāra at the Ayala Museum Plaza from May to May 26, which coincides with the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan. The installation will then be brought to key sites in Visayas and Mindanao later this year.
An internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor, Toym Imao has shown his works in the Philippines and abroad. His installation Last, Lost, Lust for Four Forgotten Episodes was the inaugural artwork featured in Ayala Museum’s OpenSpace in 2015. Toym received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of the Philippines, and a master of fine arts degree from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. Toym is of Tausug descent. He currently teaches at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts.
Lilianna Manahan is an internationally recognized visual artist specializing in industrial design, interactive art, and installation art. A graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, Lilianna also studied at Central Saint Martins in London, and trained under renowned designers in Europe and the Philippines, including the acclaimed Kenneth Cobonpue. Her artworks and furniture design have been showcased both here and abroad.
As the social development arm of the Ayala group of companies, Ayala Foundation envisions communities where people are creative, productive, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipino. Ayala Foundation's main program areas are Education, Youth Leadership, Sustainable Livelihood, and Arts and Culture. For more information, visit www.ayalafoundation.org, or “Like” facebook.com/ayalafoundation.
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