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Press Release: “Art for a Vision”

February 8, 2012

Here’s an interesting art exhibit opening this weekend, for a really good cause. All proceeds from the sale of artwork go to the Ophthalmological Foundation of the Philippines (OFPHIL).

World-class artists join fundraising project for visually-impaired indigents

A visual art exhibit featuring works of local and international artists entitled “Art for a Vision” will be staged at the Crucible Gallery in SM Megamall from February 10 to 21 to help raise funds for the Ophthalmological Foundation of the Philippines (OFPHIL), a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness among the poor in the country.

A selection of paintings and sculptures from Gus Albor, Virgillio “Pandy” Aviado, Cesar Caballero, Valeria Cavestany, Igan D´Bayan, Ramon Diaz, Arturo Luz, Ramon Orlina, Impy Pilapil, Cid Reyes, Juvenal Sanso, Betsy Westendorp and Jaime Zobel will go on sale as full donations for OFPHIL’s many projects, with the Ifugao State University-OFPHIL (IFSU-OPHIL) Eye Center at Alfonso Lista in Ifugao Province as one of its main beneficiaries.

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“I am very honoured to be part of this project once again. We organized a very successful event similar to this one in 2010 and we have high hopes that “Art for a Vision” will produce the same results. I myself suffer from age-related macula degeneration so this advocacy is very meaningful to me,” said Betsy Westendorp, Philippine Presidential Medal of Merit Awardee.

The first art sale helped fund the construction of the IFSU-OFPHIL Eye Center . The center is now Philhealth-accredited with consultations and surgeries scheduled every Tuesdays and Saturdays. It is equipped with the Yag Laser for a more efficient treatment of cataract and glaucoma. To date, it has served almost 2,000 patients from Ifugao Province and other neighbouring municipalities.

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The IFSU-OFPHIL Eye Center has regular visiting physicians who conduct vision screenings. They also give training seminars to medical officers, nurses, barangay health workers and teachers.

“We are very thankful to everyone who extended their help for this second art sale. With your support, we wish to acquire state-of-the-art equipment such as the Argon Laser, build comfortable waiting areas for patients, construct secure staff quarters for our medical team, and acquire a generator in case of power failure which we usually experience during the rainy season,” said Dr. Felipe Tolentino, founder and president of OFPHIL.

Also in the pipeline is the development of a training center within the IFSU-OFPHIL Eye Center to help accredit specializations for ophthalmic nursing, ophthalmic assistant and ophthalmic technician.

3.4 million Filipinos are visually-impaired and 62% of the cases are due to cataracts, with almost 500,000 blind in both eyes. About 90% of people who suffer from blindness belong to poor communities.

“It is important to note that 75% of cases of blindness can be avoided through prevention and treatment. No person should be needlessly blind and we hope to reach as many people as possible who have no means for proper eye care,” said Tolentino.

Call (632) 6361389 or email ofphil.eyecenter@yahoo.com for inquiries on OFPHIL and “Art for a Vision”.

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