Pinoys hold photoshoot in Canada to raise funds for PH kids

By Cecile Docto, ABS-CBN Canada

Posted at Feb 06 2013 03:05 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2013 11:05 PM

VANCOUVER - A group of Pinoy photographers in British Columbia have banded together to help children in remote and indigenous areas in the Philippines.

The Vancouver-based BC Squared Lenses has been holding photo shoots to raise funds for the Black Pencil Project in the Philippines.

“The aim of the BC Squared Lenses is to make the Black Pencil Project Vancouver work. I'm in close contact with the three persons that started this in the Philippines,” said John Corvera, founder of BC Squared Lenses.

Dubbed "I shoot for pencils and I model for pencils", the group collects pencils in lieu of money as fee from aspiring models who are building their portfolios.

“Black Pencil Project sends pencils to the Philippines and in turn they send it to the remote villages in the Philippines,” said Art Viray, a member of the group.

BC Squared Lenses is the first group to bring the project to Canada.

But it was not an easy task for them to introduce this endeavor to the Filipino community.

“Honestly, the other nationality is much quicker in responding, right. They give the pencils without questions. Filipinos, you really have to explain to them,” said Corvera.

The group also puts up photo booths in community events and parties to take pictures in exchange for pencil donations.

To date, around 90,000 pencils have been sent to the Philippines and they aim to continue this with the help of kababayans.

“Please donate pencils like I said one dollar worth of pencils would make a very very big difference,” added Corvera.

“It's a small cause but it's slowly getting out there not just to the Filipino community, but to everybody else as well,” said John Gutierrez, another member of the group.

The group hopes to change the world and most of all the lives of Filipino kids, one pencil at a time.