Give the Gift of Smile Through Art

Smile is a universal language.

You might not understand some foreign tongues, but a smile – may it be timid or full teeth on as long as it is genuine is as welcoming as the first morning rays of the sun.

That is why it is important to have the ability to confidently smile. Unfortunately, some babies, for whatever reasons are born with a condition called Cleft. According to Wiki,

Cleft palate occurs in about one in 700 live births worldwide. Palate cleft can occur as complete (soft and hard palate, possibly including a gap in the jaw) or incomplete (a 'hole' in the roof of the mouth, usually as a cleft soft palate).

Good thing, there are organizations that are genuinely serious in helping out give the confidence smile to these babies and children. 

Acts of Kindness Hosts Art Exhibit Benefiting Smile Train, the World’s Leading Cleft Charity

Acts of Kindness (AOK) and Solaire Resorts and Casino unveiled, “A Celebration of Smiles: Creating smiles and second chances at life through art,” an art exhibit benefitting Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity last July 19. It is being held at Solaire's The Shoppes Artway that features artwork by local and international artists, and some of Smile Train’s former cleft patients. The artwork will be available for sale until September 2 and will help raise funds and awareness for children with clefts in the Philippines.

“We are grateful that Acts of Kindness is hosting this art exhibit to help raise awareness for Smile Train and our local programs here in the Philippines. Through this initiative, not only is Acts of Kindness able to showcase local and international talent, they are also able to help create a brighter future for children born with clefts,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Area Director for Smile Train in Southeast Asia.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Smile Train to help fund various local programs to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care for Filipinos.

Jervy, Gelli Ann and Julia, three of the local artists who used their art as a way to give back to those who also need help in bringing smiles to their faces.

Jervy Hobo was born with cleft lip and palate and had his cleft lip repaired at age 14. He became NCFPI’s patient when he had his cleft palate repair at 22 years of age and has been working as a professional photographer alongside their family business.

Gelli Ann Agus had her alveolar bone graft in NCFPI when she was about 14 years old after the repair of her cleft lip and palate in her early childhood. She undergoes orthodontic treatment prior to her orthognathic surgery to complete the process.

Julia Robert Capili has a complete left with cleft lip and palate that was repaired in her early age. She had received her second repair of cleft palate at NCFPI at age 13 and an alveolar bone graft at age 14. She is now a graduate with a degree in B.S. Psychology and now works as a prolific artist-painter on the side.

These are just three of the amazing Artist-Patient of the Smile Train Philippines.

Smile Train is the biggest cleft lip and cleft palate foundation worldwide. Smile Train provides free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in developing countries. Through training local doctors and empowering partner hospitals around the world, we advance a sustainable solution and scalable model to treat clefts, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, and speak over time.

In the Philippines alone, there had been

50,000+ free cleft surgeries provided since 2001

100+ trained cleft surgeons

200+ hospitals throughout the Philippines provide free cleft surgeries

5000+ estimated babies born with clefts each year

16 surgeries performed each day

What I like most about this foundation is that they use art to help children. This fusion of passion for art and passion to help children in need is a good arrangement that is beneficial for all parties involved.

The art exhibit showcases pieces from Roberto Sanchez, a DJ and entrepreneur by trade, but creatively a self-taught artist; Jon Ray Fernandez, an airline professional turned mixed-media artist; Camy Cabral, a full-time artist with a background in design and advertising; and Albrecht Behmel, an award-winning artist and best-selling writer whose works have been shown in  Paris, Beijing, New York, Moscow and London. Despite coming from different backgrounds with different styles of artwork, these artists came together to offer their pieces all for a good cause.

Apart from the seasoned artists, some of the artwork is from Smile Train’s former cleft patients including: Julia Robert CapiliAngel Ibo,Pearl Angeli MirandaJervy Hobo and Nickson Cabote. Having interacted with the guests, these individuals have shown how far they’ve come since their initial cleft surgery.

“We hope that we can continue to raise awareness for children with clefts in the Philippines and all over the world through these small acts of kindness,” says Flaviano. “We want to continue to spread smiles and encourage others to do the same.”

For more information about Smile Train's global efforts and to make a donation, please visit Follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.


About Smile Train
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit

About Acts of Kindness
About Acts of Kindness is an initiative that supports various causes and charities through art. They are able to establish brand awareness, social consciousness, and human interaction to drive trust, civic responsibility and humanity to today’s busy world by engaging in online and on-ground initiatives. The exhibit will be open for public viewing until September 2, 2018 at The Shoppes Artway, Solaire, Entertainment City, Parañaque City.


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