The ASIN Law & Lydia Velasco

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    Lydia Velasco
    Lydia Velasco

    Listening to Clara K.R. Lapus, president of the Mama Sita Foundation, about the ASIN Law can be more than interesting. The law, also known as Republic Act No. 8172 in 1995 was signed into law by then President Fidel V. Ramos and frankly, I hardly knew that it existed.

    “This law aims to promote the use of iodized salt to address the lack of micronutrients in the country.

    It also requires all salt manufacturers to iodize the salt they produce and distribute”.

    According to Ms. Lapus: “The demand for traditional sea salt is rising with perceived advantages among wellness consumers. The preference of wellness and discerning consumers is for non-iodized natural sea salt. Once natural salt is fortified with iodine, it can no longer be considered as natural. For one thing it makes food taste like medicine and diuretically stressful.

    “The Philippines is capable of producing tons of sea salt but our existing law is discouraging salt makers to continue their craft for lack of support from the government.  Ironically, the exportation of our natural sea salt is only .03% compared to the iodized salt we import into the country.

    “Although we understand the government’s concern for iodine deficiency among some Filipinos, iodine supplementation to communities can be addressed in many other ways…..there really is no global requirement for the iodization of foods.  The consuming public should be afforded the freedom to choose as to their use of salt.”

    As many of the laws in the past are being reviewed for the moment, this is an appeal to our lawmakers to please include the review of the Asin law.

    This will greatly help our own salt producers to compete in the domestic and international markets.

    As local salt is natural and so readily available to us, would it not just be wonderful to make the dishes on our tables be more yummy ?!!!

    Thank you, Ms. Clara Lapus for enlightening us regarding the use of salt which definitely can affect our gastronomic and health needs !

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    Lydia Velasco’s love for the arts is an innate calling she traces back to her childhood. She took her early influence and encouragement from parents, who also appreciated the arts. She took her father as her idol who was a set designer and stage painter at LVN Productions. Her mother was a typical homemaker who painted still life. Once upon a time in her life, Lydia had to help support the family as fish vendor in Navotas.

    She enrolled at the University of Sto. Tomas and pursued her Fine Arts Major in Advertising; and shortly after, worked for Philprom  Advertising Agency where national artists H.R. Ocampo and Cesar Legaspi were her art directors.  There, she proved herself  by delivering excellence in any of the projects she undertook.

    Eventually, she rose from the ranks and became Art Director for several multinational advertising companies. In 1988, Ms. Velasco finally ventured in entrepreneurship as co-owner of an advertising photography and graphic design office.

    When the company was about settled, she tried to paint. Velasco first explored painting through faceless figures with rigid torsos and poses in 1992. Muted and monochromatic in approach, they are the reflections of the artist’s soul seeking its identity in the art world.

    Velasco devoted her time fully in painting and discovered her art, medium, and style.  She describes her depictions of women as elongated, massive, heavily set, and invigorated with almost masculine assertiveness.

    She focused her subjects on women, liberating them on her canvases and asserting their glory, identity, and freedom amid a mainly patriarchal society.

    Velasco’s women are graceful yet hardworking, sensual, strong and independent showing all the facets of the artist’s inner self. Looking back, Velasco is aware that she has gone a long way and is truly grateful and humbled of the blessings she has received through her art.

    A portrait of self-actualization, she feels a deep sense of fulfillment whenever she can help her family and siblings; extend support to young aspiring artists; while working on her paintings of women as they continuously evolve in surprising ways.

    The essence of a woman is indeed what Lydia Velasco herself is made of.

    Have of view of Ms. Velasco’s  works at Rockwell starting on September 20th to the 30th of this month.