Ayla’s stunning calendar that will generate social benefit for three community groups in PH.

MAGANDANG BALITA
By Mel Fernandez

AUCKLAND – It started out as a hobby – “to immortalise the moment in photographs”. But now Ayla Louise Matencio, a 22-year-old Systems Engineer, is channelling her passion for photography to generate a social benefit for her community back home in the Philippines.

Last year she produced a gorgeous calendar capturing her love of nature and keen appreciation of beauty – it featured New Zealand landscapes. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar went to two community groups in the Philippines.

This year the ‘With a Smile’ project supports three groups:

  1. Project Kaluguran (for kids) provides financial support to cover their daily allowances for food and transportation, as well as a yearly stipend for books, uniforms, bags and school supplies.
  2. Tagumpay ng Panginoon provides feeding programmes for the homeless held every Thursday at 6:30pm with around 300 to 500 average participants coming from all over the surrounding areas of Manila.
  3. Leyte Development Centre Inc in Eastern Visayas empowers communities to be disaster prepared and capable of collectively rehabilitating themselves after every disaster and sustains their efforts towards a better quality of life.

“I now have two types of calendar – the wall ($20) or the desk calendar ($25). Plus I have two versions – the Classic Calendar or the Premium Calendar (with a Bible verse every month). Shipping is available internationally.

To receive Ayla’s calendars in time for Christmas place your order now: aylamatencio@gmail.com or on mobile 021825418.

https://www.facebook.com/aylalouisecyrene/posts/10216666136178366

FROM BEAUTY QUEEN TO COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR
The transformation of Ayla Louise Matencio.

AUCKLAND – She was then only 18, a soft spoken teenager, helping her parents – who are passionate about paying it forward – raise funds for a charity at a Filipino community event. But what came next may have had a great impact on her life journey.

Ayla Louise Matencio was invited to participate in the first ever Maginoo at Binibining Cultural Pageant 2013, organised by Filipino Migrant News to help young Filipinos connect with their cultural roots.

“I agreed to participate without hesitation,” she recalls. And according to the pageant organiser, Ayla came out of her shell at the pageant and communicated her belief that young people should be actively involved in community work. She wowed the audience and the judges with her riveting speech and walked away with the crown.

In 2016 she developed another passion – photography. “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.

“Since we moved to NZ I have come to appreciate nature more. I love going on walks or hikes around Auckland. One Tree Hill is my favourite place to go for a walk. I usually watch the sunset at the summit and take photos with my phone.

“Then I thought about buying an entry level camera and learning more about photography. I learned more techniques online and by meeting people with the same passion through social media.

“My photography skills peaked in 2017 when I made friends on Instagram who had the same passion. I then decided to travel around NZ to photograph landscapes.”

She then went on to produce a 2019 calendar for sale to the public featuring some of her amazing photographs.

“As per last year’s project, with every trip I do I would like to fulfil a greater purpose – and that is not only to share my landscape photos in social media but also to use them for a project that will make a difference to the lives of people who are in need and are not as fortunate as most of us who are in New Zealand.

“I noticed that most of the landscape calendars being sold here promote the beauty of New Zealand. But my 2020 Landscape Calendars go beyond that – I am using photos from both around New Zealand and from Europe (photos I took on a holiday there), so that they stand out from other landscape calendars.”