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MMDA invites artists to paint murals along Pasig River


By Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has tapped international and local artists to paint murals along Pasig River, once known as Metro Manila’s primary corridor for transportation and cultural activities.

MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations Julia Nebrija said the artists were chosen to take part under the agency’s Pasig River Art for Urban Change project, in partnership with the British Council.

A ferry passes along the Escolta side of the Pasig River. (Tony Pionilla / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

A ferry passes along the Escolta side of the Pasig River.

An Advisory Group, headed by Nebrija, composed of artists Leeroy New, Patrick Flores, UP Vargas Museum curator; and Lai del Rosario of the British Council Arts and Creative Industries, selected the finalists from the 75 artists who submitted proposals through an open call.

The finalists included Archie Oclos, Cristina Lina, Ged Alangui, Julius Sebastian, Kris Abrigo, Luigi Almuena, Malarko Hernandez, Ralph Eya and Team Manila.

Lina and Hernandez are both based in the United Kingdom and will travel to Manila specifically for this project.

Nebrija said this is the first of many projects the MMDA hopes to champion through the Pasig River Art for Urban Change project, an initiative of the MMDA and its partners to create more liveable and inclusive cities through the regeneration of urban waterways.

The project aims to inspire Metro Manila citizens to explore the river on the Pasig River Ferry where they can appreciate the river’s potential and also be made aware of the challenges such as cleanliness that affect its rehabilitation.

Additionally, the project brings attention to the pumping stations, which are often overlooked as common infrastructures in Metro Manila, but are vital facilities to address the massive flooding in the metropolis especially during the rainy season.

To help these facilities to work efficiently in pumping excess water during heavy downpour, MMDA’s Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office personnel are regularly de-clogging and clearing waterways of garbage and other debris.

The artists will be painting murals on eight different pumping stations along the Pasig River starting June up to July this year. The MMDA and its partners will organize an art cruise as soon as all of the murals are finished.

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