Jon Mari Villaflor’s simple yet very powerful illustration of the current happening in the world involving the Amazon rainforest. /Contributed Photo
CEBU CITY, Philippines — How can a Cebuano artist raise awareness to the “wildfire crisis” in the Amazon rainforest in South America and the plight of Mother Earth in general?
Well, create an artwork that can touch people’s hearts and can push them into action to help the planet— whether in big ways or in little ways. Then post this artwork about the man and his message about environment online, and, well, the rest is what we may call “a viral post.”
That is what Jon Mari B. Villaflor, 25, a human resource staff member of a Cebu City company, did when he made an illustration using only a black ballpen and a bond paper that went viral online.
Villaflor’s powerful artwork shows a man so focused on his cellphone and a monkey behind the man, pulling his shirt to get his attention and his help.
He said that he had just finished all his duties for the day an hour earlier and now he got an hour to kill before his shift would end.
That day, he was also frustrated at the news and posts online of the wildfires destroying the Amazon rainforest.
According to an AP report posted on the inquirer.net on August 24, the Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest, which is 10 times the size of Texas, and is called the “lungs of the earth.”
It is said to produce 20 percent of the earth’s oxygen as its trees are said to store at least 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide in a year.
Parts of the Amazon rainforest are in several South American countries but 60 percent of it is in Brazil.
The fires in the rainforest have worried European leaders and have prompted calls to Brazil to address this problem.
Meanwhile, news about the Amazon wildfires and what is happening to the planet, have frustrated Villaflor and this fueled his creative juices.
He finished his illustration in an hour, just before the end of his shift.
Villafor said he posted his illustration online and did not expect it to get quite a reaction from thousands of netizens.
“I made it due to what’s happening on our planet. I was really frustrated every time I saw posts about the fire in Amazon, etc. and all I can think about is to draw what I feel,” said Villaflor in his post on Facebook.
“I know people are a concern but I think sharing posts is not the only way of helping the planet. We also need to do our share. We need to do our part. I mean, by just picking trash would be a great help,” he said in his post.
He said that he just wanted to share his sentiments in the hopes to raise awareness of the depressing issue faced by Mother Earth.
The illustration which was posted by Villaflor, Friday, August 23 has now reached 399 comments, 25,000 reactions, 74,000 shares./dbs