The Philippines is one of the world's most biodiverse countries, boasting 2/3 of our planet's biodiversity and having 70% of its plant and animal species. This modern life that takes us away from nature can make it so easy to forget all the beauty to be found in it. But sometimes all it takes is a little nudge in the right direction to remember it all over again.
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This perspective got illustrator and graphic designer Cynthia Bauzon-Arre to collaborate with Forest Foundation Philippines on an Instagram art project in 2018. Initially an art contest meant to get people to pay more attention to nature and to find out more about deforestation in the Philippines, #DrawNativeTreesPH was revived in May 2020 "as a way for us to connect with each other and with nature during these trying times"—as Forest Foundation's had announced.
The idea for #DrawNativeTreesPH this year has changed from competition to cooperation, with Bauzon-Arre now posting tutorials on how to draw some of the more iconic flowers native to the Philippines on her own Instagram.
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Bauzon-Arre began the series with the medicinal Katmon flower below:
And then to her personal favorite, the delicately-textured and vibrant Banaba flower:
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To one of her latest posts, a flower iconic for its rich, perfumey scent, the Ilang-ilang:
Have a little time for some learning? Follow along with these posts, and who knows, this art and science lesson all rolled into one might just inspire even lead you to greater interests?
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Banner image from Cynthia Bauzon-Arre's Instagram account