By Cynthia Bauzon-Arre
Around the start of this year, I started making notebooks and other stationery that featured local flora and fauna as a personal project. My motivation was these are the plants I grew up around and the produce that my parents introduced to us siblings when we were young. Feeling a wave of nostalgia, I drew them while looking back at my childhood, also thinking that kids today could benefit from learning about them (More on this here.).
I also found myself getting interested in endemic species and through the process, I learned about how a lot of our native plants and animals have, since the ’70s and ’80s, lost their habitats due to deforestation. That saddened me because it felt like this was no longer the environment I grew up in so I started drawing Philippine-endemic birds, some of them vulnerable or critically endangered, and putting them on stickers (with info sheets) and notebooks as my small way of bringing attention to them.
It was around that time when I received an e-mail from the kind folks at Forest Foundation Philippines asking if I would be open to collaborating with them. I actually had to do a double take because it was as if they had read my mind so I was on board almost immediately. <3
Some meetings, project proposals and many brainstorming exchanges later, we thought up a campaign to promote the important role of native trees in forest protection. These greeting cards and a planner are among the products of our collab.
We also held a drawing contest on Facebook and Instagram (Do check the #drawnativetreesph hashtags on Facebook and Instagram to see the entries.) and there’ll be other activities soon which I won’t spoil for now.
If you would like to help advocate forest protection and conservation, check out and join the Forest Foundation’s Best Friends of the Forest Movement.
This article was first posted on Cynthia Buazon-Arre’s blog.
About the Author:
Illustrator and graphic designer Cynthia Bauzon-Arre majored in Visual Communication at the UP College of Fine Arts and took up Graphic Design at Parsons School of Design in New York City. She worked in advertising and won international awards, including a CLIO, later moving on to become the founding Design Director of Wedding Essentials magazine. As a freelance artist she is best known for her album designs for the Eraserheads, Itchyworms and other rock bands.
She recently reconnected with a lost love, painting, and has been selling art prints and stationery in local craft stores, specializing in designs that celebrate Philippine pop culture and nature.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Forest Foundation Philippines. Furthermore, the Foundation assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate or incomplete information presented in this article.