Sumakwel's Song of Freedom

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Storytelling, one of the earliest forms of folk art, was featured for the first time today as part of Negros Wildlife Month celebrations.

Renowned local storyteller, Mark Asuela, from the charity foundation Share An Opportunity Philippines, was the guest narrator.

Using antlers from a rare Visayan Spotted Deer, renowned storyteller Mark Asuela tells the children about Sumakwel's Song of Freedom.

Speaking to 150 local school children at the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation's Center in Bacolod City his chosen tale was 'Sumakwel's Song of Freedom'.

This tells of a young Visayan Spotted Deer who asks his grandfather why the family ended up in the Mari-it Wildlife Conservation Park in Panay.

The old deer tells the fawn how long ago they all enjoyed the freedom of the forests, but then as the forests became smaller and smaller due to logging, hunting and poaching life became a dangerous struggle. But, their deepest wish is one day to return to the forests and once again enjoy their freedom.

"It's a touching story", said Asuela, "it really moves listeners and makes one want to go out and do something positive to help protect these beautiful animals."

The day's storytelling was such a success the organizers plan to include it in future Wildlife Month programs.

NFEFI works closely with the Mari-it Wildlife Park in the protection and conservation of the endangered Visayan Spotted Deer. NFEFI has13 of these deer in its Conservation and Breeding Center in Bacolod City.