One of my favorite districts in Metro Manila is the Bonifacio Global City (BGC). There’s so much to discover there with the number of restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops in every corner. It’s also walkable so you can spend the day just cruising through the wide sidewalks. The best part? There’s a lot of public art!
Through the years, BGC has championed public art through the sculptures and murals all over the city. Just recently, the Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation gave a group of artists a grant to work on new murals on building surfaces.
The murals vary but they are tied by a theme of passion: for journeys, special meetings, technology, dreams, and friendship. I was able to go on a bus tour as a preview during the recently-held BGC Arts Center Festival and fell in love with the pieces.
Check out the new murals below:
The Way Home by Solana L. Perez (One Parkade)
Perez was inspired by her hometown of the Cordillera Mountains. In The Way Home, she paints her sentimentality and her longing to return to her childhood home through illustrations of mountains, horses, and the centipede, which feature in traditional tattoos. The artist also ground the three murals on the location, a parking space, by including wheels and circular motifs to convey the location’s role where people come and go.
Kapit Kamay by the Biskeg Pangasinan Artist Collective (C3 Annex, 30th Street cor. 7th Avenue, Bonifacio High Street Central)
Biskeg, a Pangasinan word meaning strength, is a Pangasinan-based artist group dedicated to promoting and uplifting the Pangasinenses’ craftsmanship. The large-scale mural is meant to represent people helping each other.
Dating Tagpuan by John Paul Antido (C3 Annex, 30th Street cor. 7th Avenue, Bonifacio High Street Central)
My favorite of the bunch, Dating Tagpuan signifies an old meeting place where people used to see each other. The clothes worn by the people in the mural represents a story set before the tall concrete buildings. The people are drawn on two adjoining walls and they can be viewed alone or together depending on where you stand.
The work is a collaboration between Antido and artists from Antipolo namely Raymond Vidal, Antonio Areola Jr., Shannah Orencio, Pogs Samson, Gab Baex, Red Salonga, and Fiona Helena.
For the People: Gates of Paradise by Palimpsest (BGC Bus Depot)
The mural is a commentary on the movement of civilization towards an uncertain future. Grounded by technology, a city moves towards progress, represented by the fauna, gems, and towering structures. For the People: Gates of Paradise is a collaboration between Miles Villanueva, Aids Marinas, Steven Burce, and Leny Leonor. It is inspired by films like Howl’s Moving Castle, Wall-E, and Snowpiercer.
Tree House by Jerson Samson and Janica Rina (Bonifacio High Street B2 Portal)
Tree House represents how people can still bloom even when urbanization encroaches on our personal spaces. Here, large trees have houses on top, recreating a child’s tree house. The mural is also inspired by the mushroom’s ability to bloom in unexpected places.
Samson and Rina were assisted by Chris Andujar Villegas and Jaypee Samson.
Beyond Borders, Peaceful Voyage by Younggyun, Nam, Siyeong, Sunil, Auggie, Bunga, Bows, Haha, Perol, Persey, Ariff, Cyrus, Zero, Miguel, and Nemo (26th Street corner 5th Avenue)
Beyond Borders, Peaceful Voyage is a collaboration between Korean artists and artists from other ASEAN countries. The shelf is a traditional Korean chaekgado filled with traditional items from ASEAN countries, symoblizing the friendship across borders. The mural was initiated by the Korean Cultural Center in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc. (BAFI), and was supported by over a hundred local and expat volunteers.
The best part about these murals is that they’re located right in the middle of the city, so people don’t have to go to the intimidating atmosphere of museums and galleries. They’re also free, which highlights the point of public art: it’s meant to be appreciated by everyone.