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Expressive Art Meditation Facilitator
I am Carolyn T. Tongco. Aside from being an artist, I believe God has given me a nurturing heart that is why I’d also like to describe myself as a “heartist”. I love art and sharing it with others. My decade-long experience of doing therapeutic art, music and play for children with cancer and chronic illness at Kythe Foundation awakened me to my core dream of becoming an Expressive Art Therapist and Social Entrepreneur. I am now a Volunteer Leader at Philippine Orthopedic Center. On some occasion, we also paint murals to make the ward a happier place for the patients. I am currently taking Graduate Certificate Course in Expressive Art Therapies at the World Education University. I am a professional member of International Expressive Arts Therapy Association(IEATA). I also became an international student member of American Art Therapy Association (AATA) in 2013. I practice Inner Dance Conscious Meditation (a traditional Filipino healing ritual) as a form of healing meditation. I took an intensive course to integrate the process with how I facilitate our Expressive Art Meditation Session. I finished Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Arts at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Cum Laude.
Expressive Art Meditation is a creative retreat where people gather and regain their connection to self and others. Its fusion of spiritual-based guided meditation and free-flow art making gives mindfulness practice an active and dynamic approach. The sharing of participants in a safe and empathic environment manifests a spirit of connectedness and upliftment.
This process is a product of our experiences as artists, volunteers, church workers and being Filipino culture enthusiasts. As artists, we have personally used art whenever we want to connect with our core and to heal our emotional distresses. For ten years, we have been doing therapeutic art and play with children with cancer and chronic illnesses through Kythe Foundation. We witnessed how art alleviates the physical and emotional pain of children and their families. Our deep spirituality is a product of our constant involvement in Inner Dance (a traditional Filipino healing ritual) and church service through the Charismatic Community. All our passions make up the innovative process of Expressive Art Meditation that is deeply rooted in our identity as Filipino artists.
In the face of our technology-driven world, likes, comments and followers that pop-up in our gadgets have slowly invaded our concept of connectedness and self-worth. Today, the more we resort to technology to connect, the more it feels unreal. Our fast and busy lives has further lead us to disconnect to our core and emotional fatigue. Expressive Art Meditation is a moment to pause and ponder on important things in life that we often set aside.
Expressive Arts Therapy is an intermodal field combining the study of health, illness, resilience, and the Arts. Through the process of Art-making, an Expressive Arts therapist discovers how their clients can live in a better way, how the Arts facilitate change, personal growth and transformation. Primitive cultures have often been cited as combining ritual, community and the use of the Arts for the purpose of healing and such practices have endured throughout the centuries. Through its intermodal approach, Expressive Arts Therapy integrates different Art modalities within a therapeutic context. Its roots are based in philosophy, anthropology, psychology and the Arts.
The Advertising Arts program provides a foundation of the design and the marketing aspects of advertising. Students are introduced to the aesthetic, design, and marketing principles which are essential to the conceptualization of an effective ad campaign and all its graphic requirements. Students learn, not only drawing and rendering skills, but also develop discipline for managing their tasks and an awareness of the values and ethics that should guide them in the workplace. The program includes elective courses that provide an overview of allied areas in design which anticipates specialization in illustration, fashion design, package design and photography. Design development projects are research-based; emphasis is placed on the communicative aspects of the discipline. Students are directed towards the creative utilization of the various media available in the pursuit of responsible advertising.