Arman, 21, otherwise known as Chairman, was a very apt pupil. Having learned the basics of drawing comic book faces and action poses, he was now well on his way to putting together basketball scenes. Beside him was John Lawrence, 14, imitating what he was doing. Vincent, 5, was away in a world of his own drawing blue houses and blue robots.
This was an art class of sorts, and improbable as it may sound, I was the art teacher. Then again, this was no ordinary class: Arman and John Lawrence were inmates of the Bulacan Provincial Jail, while Vincent was visiting his dad.
Some weeks back, I showed up in jail with a pad of printer separator sheets from the office and a box of pastels. I just wanted something to do with my hands while talking with my friend D., but not long after, I had gained a bit of following from the young kids, both visitors and inmates. In that session, we used up my entire stash.
When I showed up the following week with no materials, they asked my friend D. to hint to me about the class. What could I do? So this week I brought a box of cheap pastels and more paper.
I may not be a very good artist, much less a good art teacher, but I did leave the jail with a light feeling.
Yes, and somewhat forgiven for all the separator sheets I stole from the office.