Art can alleviate ultra-poverty among Filipinos

Published October 23, 2021, 6:00 PM

by Aaron Cabeza

Philippine artists donate their works in support of International Care Ministries’ transformational work with the ultra-poor

ARTISAN’S RESCUE On His Throne by Kristine Lim, cover design by Jules Vivas

True art has the power to make a difference. It can influence thought, provoke strong emotion, impact culture, and even improve the lives of others. Many artists strive to make a difference through their work. This is especially true of the 34 artists who have generously donated their works to International Care Ministries’ (ICM) fundraising banquet this year.

ICM is a non-profit organization working to transform the lives of the ultra-poor. Its annual fundraising banquet, which attracts hundreds of Hong Kong’s top executives, has raised tens of millions of US dollars over the past 16 years toward the alleviation of ultra-poverty in the Philippines. Every year, the works of Filipino artists have been a highlight of the banquet’s auction. 

“I’ve been involved with ICM for the past several years,” says painter Addie Cukingnan. “I believe in the work they’re doing among the poorest of the poor here in our country. I’ve visited one of their first adopted communities in Bacolod and was very impressed with what I saw.” 

Other artists donating their new work include sculptors Ram Mallari and Seb Chua, and painters Migs Villanueva, Louie Ignacio, Kristine Lim, Ombok Villamor, Carlo Magno, Marius Black, Sam Penaso, Benjie Cabangis, Marcy Dans, and Mary Rose Gisbert.

In 2020, 1,600 guests participated from around the world, with the auction raising $170,000 or ₱8.5 million.

Most people did not expect that, come 2021, the world would still be in the grip of this global pandemic. ICM’s 2021 banquet, as the year before, will be a virtual affair, broadcast live from Hong Kong to hundreds of guests and donors joining from the US, the UK, Australia, the Philippines, and other countries. In 2020, 1,600 guests participated from around the world, with the auction raising $170,000 or ₱8.5 million.

Entitled, “Inspiring Hope, Empowering Change,” the banquet will be held on Oct. 28, 2021, with the main event starting live at 8.30 p.m., Hong Kong/Manila time. The Countdown Show, with

a more-detailed look at auction items starts at 7.30 p.m. Interested parties, or even just art lovers looking for new art in the auction, may learn more and sign up at