There’s art all around us. From walkways, underpasses, building facades, to food parks, hostels and malls, street art is slowly invading the city and making art more accessible to the public. For urban explorers, here are just a few of the places where you can spot street art around the metro.
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Those who work in BGC are probably very familiar with the eye-catching murals by international and local artists around the buildings. Cyrcle’s “Between the Lines” astronaut, Faile’s “Wonderland” and Dee Jae Pa’este’s “Mother Nature: Four Seasons” artworks commissioned during the ArtBGC Festival are immensely popular on Instagram.
Some of the newer murals you can spot here include “Manpower” by Kris Abrigo, a colorful piece that gives tribute to the labor force of the country; “Magsasaka” by Archie Oclos and Aleili Ariola, which celebrates the Filipino farmer’s work; and “Calamansi and Sampaguita” by Francisco Diaz, based on ancient local traditions using these humble native plants. There’s an interesting story behind every art piece here. For those interested in checking out the murals in BGC for themselves, here’s a detailed visual guide, location list and map to help you out with your street art hunting.
Intramuros, the historic center of Old Manila, is more known for its architectural landmarks, churches and old fortifications dating back to the Spanish rule. But if you go around the cobblestone streets and old buildings, you’re also sure to encounter some of the best 21st-century urban street art by artists like Egg Fiasco and EXLD, leaders of the collective Pilipinas Street Plan.
Completed last December 2016, “Ang Bakunawa at Minokawa” by art collective Ang Gerilya, gets inspiration from two dragon-like creatures in ancient Filipino mythology. The bakunawa is a gigantic sea serpent that swallows the moon causing an eclipse. The minokawa is a giant dragon-like bird that swallows the sun. By painting these forgotten mythological creaures, the artists hope to rekindle the stories of folklore once told by our ancestors. You can spot this beautiful mural on Gen. Luna Street corner Anda Street, Intramuros.
The University of the Philippines in Diliman is another place where you can spot some street art. Since many of Manila’s street artists are alumni of UP Diliman’s College of Fine Arts, it’s no surprise that the state university hosts several murals, usually with an underlying socially relevant theme or message.
Many of the historical and political murals you can find around the campus are also by the art collective Ang Gerilya. Others feature representations of youth and education. By nature, street art is fleeting, and the artwork changes from time to time. Aside from the main Fine Arts building, street art and graffiti by various artists can also be spotted at the University Shopping Center as well as the long stretch of the campus wall along Katipunan Avenue facing UP Town Center.
Street art is no longer confined to just public places. For backpackers and budget travelers, looking for a unique space to stay in Makati, check out Lokal Hostel, which takes inspiration from Philippine urban art style and culture.
Located along P. Burgos street in the hip neighborhood of Barangay Poblacion, the hostel is an evolving canvas featuring the artistic talents of 22 different Filipino street artists including Ang Gerilya, Egg Fiasco, We Will Doodle, Dee Jae Pa’este and Whoop Wanka, to name a few.
The common areas, including the hallways, lobby, activity area, and rooftop garden are all splashed out in murals highlighting Philippine culture. Each of the rooms also features its own unique artwork by different artists. How cool is that?
Goodfriend Bridge, the long wall stretching off Mayor Gil Fernando Avenue in Marikina that leads to a dead end, has become sort of a freedom wall for various street artists and graffiti collectives. While biking around Marikina, I’ve spotted many random walls, abandoned houses and structrues, featuring interesting street art around the city. However, these aren’t concentrated in one area and get painted over every so often.
A new spot where you can feast your eyes on cool street art while feasting on food at the same time, is Crave Park. While food parks are a dime a dozen these days, Crave Park immediately stands out because of its hip and visually appealing murals by local street artists Egg Fiasco, Kookoo Ramos and Distory. Some food stalls even feature unique artwork related to their food offerings!
Know of any other hip destinations in the metro where you can spot street art? Sound off below!