In celebration of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month this August, SM City Iloilo hosted “Ilig Sang Kabuhi” art exhibition featuring artworks of 15 notable Ilonggo artists under the Himbon Contemporary Ilonggo Artists Group.
The more than 40 masterpieces on display at the mall’s Northwing area aim to showcase the journey of breastfeeding moms and their babies.
“With these artworks, you will find different approaches but even if it is done in different modes, approaches, or styles, you can feel the vibe of connection. The connection between the mother and the child, of receiving that gift of a miraculous drop of milk from the mothers,” said Gigi Apostol, Himbon vice president, in her speech during the opening on Monday, August 8.
Participating artists included John Ernie Acedera, Gina Apostol, Brando Banga, Gerundio Buendia Jr., Alan Cabalfin, Eros Endencio, Vic Fario, Rachelle Acla Kim, Gilbert Labordo, Nick Lanes, Vic Nabor, Alex Ordoyo, Atty. Carol Salvatierra, Roneal Torres, and Althea Villanueva.
The artists did an on-the-spot sketching session with breastfeeding mothers and their babies who graced the event.
Lactation consultant Adhara Sebuado, co-founder of Breastfeeding Ilonggas, said that the exhibit helps their advocacy for normalizing breastfeeding in public.
“Breastfeeding in public has been a perfectly natural act for centuries. Through showcasing these artworks, we empower the modern women to breastfeed in public and educate the society to establish breastfeeding as a norm,” Sebuado said.
SM City Iloilo mall manager Engr. Gilbert Domingo said that the event is part of their Art With A Heart exhibit which is one of many programs under SM Cares that promote good health and well-being of women and nursing mothers.
“Through the creative expression of our artists and the support of our partners, we aim to raise awareness on the benefits of breastfeeding and the beauty of a mother’s journey with her child,” said Domingo.
“We hope that in doing so, we are able to positively influence acceptance of breastfeeding by mothers as a means to nourish their children, in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals targeting Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being.”
SM City Iloilo and other SM Supermalls nationwide have services and facilities which support women, particularly in creating a safe space and welcoming environment for a mother to nurse her child.
These supermalls have Breastfeeding Stations that accommodated over 1 million mothers since their introduction, averaging nearly 170,000 visitors annually.
“At SM Supermalls, we say that “You’re Always Welcome Here”, and we show that “SM Cares” by supporting the individual choices that a mother may make, with regard to her health and breastfeeding preference,” Domingo said.
Ilig sang Kabuhi art exhibit is in partnership with Breastfeeding Ilonggas, Rotary Club of Downtown Iloilo, Philippine Pediatric Society Western Visayas Chapter, and the Iloilo City Government.