April 15, 2013
A beautiful thing
When you put a civic-minded violinist in a province devastated by the eruption of a volcano, you get something like Casa San Miguel in the province of Zambales. In 1993, violinist Alfonso "Coke" Bolipata merely wanted to uplift the spirits of his province mates—still reeling from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991—by bringing art, music, theater, dance and film to town plazas, orphanages and hospitals. In 1996, a dozen young local children began learning how to draw and play the violin under one of the mango trees in the Bolipata compound. Now, Casa San Miguel has more than a hundred students in music, drawing, painting, photography, film, and creative writing.