Magandang Balita:


Ayla channels her passion for photography towards social causes

By Mel Fernandez

AUCKLAND – It started out as a hobby – “to immortalise the moment in photographs”. But now her passion for photography is taking Ayla Louise Matencio, 22, to new horizons. She is using her talents to generate a social benefit for her community back home in the Philippines.

To achieve this goal Ayla started up a 2-month project to produce a 2019 calendar featuring New Zealand landscapes for sale to the public. Funds generated from the sales will be channelled to two worthy organizations in the Philippines. “I am supporting the Lumad community through Aroha Migrante in Auckland, because their schools are being forcibly closed in Mindanao. The other group is the Tagumpay ng Panginoon Charismatic Community, based in the Nuestra Senora de Guia Shrine in Ermita, Manila. The latter group started welcoming and supporting homeless people in the 1990s.

“The secondary goal is to inspire others to appreciate the things we sometimes take for granted – there are scenic mountains and spectacular waterfalls that are so accessible in New Zealand. I also hope that people who order the calendar overseas will be inspired to come and visit our beautiful country.”

Ayla took up photography in late 2016. “My photography skills peaked in 2017 when I made friends on Instagram who had the same passion,” Ayla explained. “I then decided to travel around New Zealand to photograph landscapes.

“In August I took a road trip in a caravan and toured the South Island for 8 days. That was when I took the photograph which appears on the front cover of the calendar in Canterbury.

“In February I photographed the Omanawa Falls in Tauranga – one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen.”

Her favourite photo in the calendar? “I have a thing about mountains – I seem to have a certain connection with them. The photograph of Mt Cook – the highest peak in New Zealand – which I took in August is special.

“Every photo has a story behind it. For me it is not taking a photo for the sake of taking a photo and posting it on Facebook or social media. For me taking a photo is immortalizing the moment, so that I can look at the photo 10 years from now and relive the memory of when I was taking that photo.”

To support this worthy cause please contact Ayla via her Facebook page: Ayla Louise Cyrene Matencio or text/call : 021 825418 . There is no deadline as to when you can place an order. But she recommends that you place your orders soon, because the supply is limited.