Sharks ‘take’ plea to the streets

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

DISPLAYED prominently in Mandaue City's streets, this mural aims to not only entertain the public but also raise their awareness on the need to conserve protected shark species. The mural was painted on a school's wall as one of the activities to commemorate International Shark Week last week. (Photo from the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook page)


DILI mi karne (We are not meat products).”

The message, hand-painted against a backdrop of shark images, easily catches the attention of pedestrians outside the St. Joseph’s Academy in Mandaue City.

With the help of volunteers and fellow artists, environmental advocate and mural artist Amado Guerrero “AG” Saño painted images of sharks on a portion of the school’s concrete fence last Thursday and Friday to commemorate the International Shark Week.

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Saño said he hopes the artwork, which can be seen by motorists and pedestrians on a busy road intersection near the City Hall, will raise awareness about the need to conserve protected shark species.

Goal

“With the artwork, we hope to entertain the people and make them curious,” he told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

Saño attended the opening day of Cebu Provincial Government’s first Shark Summit and continued his mural project on the flyover in Barangay Subangdaku. He was scheduled to return to Manila today.

Advocates for the conservation of sharks had asked him to create a mural depicting the need to protect sharks. He sketched images of sharks made of origami, a traditional Japanese art of folding paper.

The killing and selling of thresher sharks and whale sharks are prohibited by law.

‘Finish the job’

Saño said he will return in October to complete the shark mural on the 30-meter fence, which has a height of nine feet.

The artist and the Cebu Kabanay Lions Club have been working on a mural project in different parts of Mandaue. The project’s centerpiece is the Subangdaku flyover.

Saño and volunteers are painting environment-inspired images on the flyover and surrounding walls.

Saño, who started promoting his advocacy through mural paintings in 2010, is known for leading an awareness campaign against the slaughter and trafficking of dolphins.

With dolphins as the subjects of his paintings, he became known as the “Dolphin Guy.”

He also teaches art to children in conflict-areas in Mindanao to help promote peace through art.

Saño is the younger brother of Philippine Climate Change Commissioner Naderev Saño.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 21, 2014.

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