CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Cebu Pink Paddlers, known for their dragon boat prowess, have started a unique project to raise awareness about breast cancer.
The Cebu Pink Paddlers, made up of incredible women who have survived breast cancer, have teamed up with several local artists for a one-of-a-kind project dubbed “Our Brave Choice”.
A dozen members of Cebu Pink Paddlers who underwent mastectomies while battling breast cancer, bravely bare their scars and turned into a beautiful canvas of art through body paint.
The unveiling of “Our Brave Choice” took place on April 9, 2022 at the Radisson Blu Hotel with the 12 volunteer members of Cebu Pink Paddlers and partner artists.
To immortalize the masterpieces, they collaborated with renowned international photographer Ted Madamba. The portraits of the 12 canvases were displayed during the unveiling on Saturday.
According to Cebu Pink Paddlers Chairperson for its Advocacy Committee and Board Member, Vivian Veronica G. Borromeo, they have been planning to hold such a unique event since 2019.
However, it was shelved for several reasons, until the end of 2021 when Madamba pushed her to start the Pink October or Breast Cancer Awareness Month celebration project.
From then on, they began to materialize the inspiring project.
“During one of our discussions Ted and I said it would be nice to have a photography session through body painting, it’s still a dream of mine and it turns out it’s also one of his dreams. It was in 2019, we dropped him off, nothing happened because in 2021, in the middle of the pandemic, he messaged me and he said, it’s time for us to body-paint for Pink October,” Borromeo said.
“However, it was a month and a half before Pink October. From there we created the mechanics, I started looking for breast cancer survivors from Cebu Pink Paddlers to show off their scars.
The artists who participated in the project are Joan Martinez Florido, Elna Rizada, Abigail Buenaventura, Charles Bobson Gonzales Noguera, Alean Jovita, Jessica Igana-Dante and Rhodesa Uy Cruzet.
Borromeo also noted that they are planning to hold various exhibitions in the coming weeks or months in Cebu, throughout Cebu province and hopefully in Manila and overseas.
“The canvas is going to be the one that dictates their favorite design, the artist will interpret the design and Ted will photograph it. Our intention is to do an exhibition and make it a traveling exhibition. Because it’s never been done in Cebu Our goal is to put an exhibition in the city, province, Manila and internationally to raise awareness in a different way,” added Borromeo.
Additionally, they are looking for generous sponsors who can support their traveling exhibit in the months to come.
Since 2017, the Cebu Pink Paddlers have been known nationwide for their incredible way of raising breast cancer awareness through sports.
For several years they have not only been active in the dragon boat scene but in various sports such as the marathon until recently they have ventured into this unique endeavor to bring hope to women that breast cancer breast is curable and not a death sentence.
Additionally, the team is also active in their charitable works through free mammograms and other breast cancer related programs.
One of the 12 paintings presented is that of a survivor of stage 3 breast cancer for 12 years. The canvas titled ‘The Journey’, which wants to send a message to women with breast cancer that ‘there are no right or wrong decisions, all they have to do is trust their journey”, which means there is hope in their perilous journey to overcome breast cancer.
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