One Year With 150+ Kids

Today marks our 1 year anniversary. It was summer of last year, I just had this idea of encouraging kids to do something while on vacation. I only have 7 kids on the first day. My neighbors are my pioneer students, including my daughter and my niece. It wasn’t really supposed to be a ‘real’ art school. My goal is for me to do something for the summer, and let the kids enjoy some hours free from gadgets. I never thought that after that day, inquiries poured-in and moms keep calling for their kids to be ‘enrolled’ in my summer art class. And the rest is history. I finished that summer with 52 students! It’s such an amazing [even exhausting] experience for me and the kids.

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May 26, 2019

After summer, kids still love to continue their art adventure. So, when the school year [June, 2019] began, I offered art classes on weekends [Saturday and Sunday]. I thought, why not? I was managing my own small eatery on the first floor from Monday to Friday [3:00 pm to 7:00 pm], so I can teach on weekends. That was the plan. But moms with special kids came to me, and they wanted their kids to do something too, when not in school. So, I put them in the morning sessions. Anyway, I start cooking by 12:00 noon. I can do it, I told myself. Weeks passed and toddlers are coming too, especially after lunch [1:00 pm to 3:00 pm], so I adjusted my schedule in my eatery at 4:00 pm. I’m not Wonder Woman though. And, I don’t want to abuse myself. I don’t need to [my hub told me so]. I am basically working [teaching and guiding kids] from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. Then cooking [serving] from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. I don’t complain, but my body needs to rest. So, I decided to close my eatery by October, 2019. Kids missed my french fries, waffles and other snack bites. But, I can’t manage both business alone. I have to give up one.

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To make the story short, I teach full time now at my center, 8:30am -11:30am, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, then 4:00pm – 6:00pm. Monday to Friday. Then on weekends, Saturday, 9:00am – 12noon, 1:30pm – 5:00pm. And Sunday, 9:00am – 12noon. Top that! Hahaha! When someone asks me, “Do you still sleep?” I just laugh, then reply, “I still paint after dinner!” That’s how workaholic I am. No room for complains. I just love what I do.

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Before the enhanced community quarantine, we held our “Appreciation Day” last March 14, 2020. It was overwhelming to see these enthusiastic kids. Some are already inquiring for this summer. But, this pandemic arrived like a thief. No one was ever ready for it. The kids and I were doomed. It was sad not seeing them [personally] now. Our summer class is supposed to start next week. They’re getting a little bored I guess. Some are busy drawing and painting. That’s good to know.

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The lockdown will end by April 30, 2020. But, as of now I don’t know if it will be a good idea to start soon the art classes. I hope the virus will be gone by that time. Though the cases are adding up each day here in our region. We’ll all hope for the best, and pray that everything will be back to normal again. We can’t live like this. People starts to starve and fight.

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Before I end this write up, I would like to acknowledge everyone who has been part of my one year journey:

Lord God, of course for giving me enough strength and guidance;

My husband for the enormous moral support and love;

My family and my kids, for helping me out every now and then;

Project Space Pilipinas [by Leslie de Chavez] for always accomodating my students in every exhibit/event;

Museo de Lucban/SaLAGsak Gallery [managed by Jojo Raneses and Lucban Artist Guild] for always giving the students a space for their art exhibit;

Ma’am Lucille Balais Javier of Magik of Music, for more encouragement and support;

Lucban Council for Culture and the Arts [headed by Jojo Raneses], for the art workshop space;

Lucban Artist’s Guild [headed by Efren Nantes], for the support and workshop activities;

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March 14, 2020

Original Sipay [my friends from grade school], for always being there when I needed a helping hand, donations and assistance;

Unknowns and 22B’s [my friends from high school], for being supportive in my endeavor, especially giving donations to our projects;

Neyosa Shirts and Embroidery [by my best friend, Chat Abuel], for the awesome T-shirts and souvenir folded fans that they make for the students, for the discounts, support, love, inspiration and donations as well;

Johannes Wiener [architect/gardener from Austria], for the support and inspiration to the kids;

To all the parents of these wonderful students of mine, I am forever grateful for your trust, help, donations, patience and understanding;

And to all these wonderful kids that has passed into my care and guidance, YOU will be forever in my heart, even in your silly, crazy, noisy, messy, happy moments–YOU are all treasured!

You Tube here:  Bimbi Piccoli Learning Center

Facebook Page here: Bimbi Piccoli Learning Center

THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

See you soon.

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