By: Kyla Estoya
I miss being a student.
This doesn’t necessarily mean I want to go to school again, because frankly, I don’t think I can make time and energy for that anymore. For the most part of my student life, I enjoyed taking part in extra-curricular activities and maybe that’s why I miss it. I get to meet other students outside class, grow with them, and if all goes super well, become friends with them for the rest of my life.
The Aesthete reminded me of the awesome days I had in high school and college. Yeah, sure there were days that may have been hectic and confusing or some teachers and professors may have not been very helpful with what we’re talking about—but taking part in a tiny organization and joining clubs were fun!
Members of The Aesthete wouldn’t have given birth to the organization if it wasn’t for a mandatory school requirement. They were asked to create a program that embodies the principles of service, creativity, action, and leadership enhancement. Since this was during the pandemic, they had to adapt to the current situation they were in. “Risking the slim chance of this outside-based interaction was not a choice for us so we thought of an advocacy-driven activity, hence giving birth to Aesthete,” Executive Manager, Feaid Ornedo says.
Up until now, the group’s commitment and their love for what they’ve created fueled their mission in bringing awareness to the arts. In fact, they just turned one!
One of the major things they’ve worked on as part of National Arts Month is a project called Feature February. Like most school activities and projects, the stress was all worth it. “It is a podcast series talking to people in different fields of art, specifically dance, writing, fashion, theater, and even science (because there is a bridge between them!),” Feaid shares. According to her, it was an exciting experience because they finally get to see different points of view from different people when it comes to their passion and their overall experience as they venture into their field. “There were a lot of realizations embarked to us during that time and it strengthened our advocacy in contribution to the better good for the creative community.”
Doing things for this org really fuels the artist in us and shake the academic things off
For most of its members, the organization serves as an avenue for catharsis and passion. Feaid adds: “None of the Aesthete family is in the Arts track, at least for high school, and those who are undergraduates are all taking STEM-related courses. Doing things for this org really fuels the artist in us and at the same time, serves as somehow an avenue to shake the academic things off.”
The members are undergraduates and high school students who are inclined to the arts. They’re mostly seen doing art-related hobbies or on the side appreciating the works of others. Some are also there to not only hone their skills just for the organization’s sake, but also for their own personal growth. “For the managers and the founders, this is very delightful because we not only promote positive improvement to the public relative to the art community but also to ourselves and our members”, Feaid emphasizes.
But other than that, the quirkiness and the student hype are evident among them. “The founders are a set of friends who really knows how to push each other’s buttons, hence this is where all the kulitan things start,” Feaid adds. Most importantly, they share the same passion for making the world progress. “This is where major decisions should depend, directing us to something better than what we have now and also unity.”
Even for these students, they can already see how the struggles the creative community faces in this country due to a lot of misconceptions and underestimation about the field of art. This makes them want to understand the situation and maybe contribute to managing such. “Artists, be it in the field of visual arts, performing arts, etc., deserve the right treatment and action,” Feaid says, “Some of them may even depend their lives on it yet the people just seemingly look at it as something not that important. Artists are driven by passion, skills, and dedication, just like any other professionals in their respective fields/disciplines who use up all their blood, sweat, and tears just to get where they are now.”
Why not also glorify the modern artists and art enthusiasts we have today?
“Helping them to rise is a matter of supporting them because that’s all they need. Support in such a way that they are no longer discouraged about what they do because they know that they are valued. In fact, the culture and heritage of our country are actually standing upon the arts. It is actually one of the foundations of why we are here now, so why not also glorify the modern artists and art enthusiasts we have today?”
If I was completely honest, I’m almost jealous I don’t get to be a part of their mission. But I guess, in a way, writing about these kids gives me hope in the creative community of this country. Witnessing this youth-led organization and seeing how much commitment and passion they have makes me proud.
To Feaid and the rest of The Aesthete members: congratulations on Year One, and hey— padayon!
Kyla Estoya is a super typhoon survivor and an advocate for throwing kindness around like confetti. She currently lives with her family in Cebu City, Philippines. She is the founder of The Love Club and The Local Creatives. Follow her on Twitter @kylayaan.