Friday, September 28, 2012

Philippine Art to the World

 Ronald Ventura's Crack in the Hull is the banner painting of ManilArt 2012
More than 40 art galleries, about 500 artists, more than a thousand artworks, and more than 10,000 visitors are expected for the ManilArt 2012, the “first and only annual international art fair in the Philippines,” according to Imelda Loste, owner of Gallery Nine and head of the National Committee on Art Galleries (NCAG) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the government agency for arts and culture which is one of the organizers of the event.
Co-organized by the Bonafide Art Galleries Organization (BAGO), ManilArt will be held from Oct. 3 to 6 at the SMX Convention Center at the SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.
Loste related that ManilArt started in 2009 at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, as a “one-stop shop and showcase of the best the visual arts in the Philippines have to offer.” Through the years, ManilArt has grown to be one of the major events in the local cultural landscape, gathering different galleries under one roof and including lectures, workshops and many other activities.
Last year, ManilArt had 24 galleries and drew a record of about 7,000 visitors to the NBC Tent. This year, organizers make the art expo bigger with 46 galleries participating, spread out on 2,800 square meters of exhibition space, and hope to double last year’s number of visitors. Participating galleries include Boston Gallery, L’Arc en Ciel, Looking for Juan, Art Circle Gallery, Art Verite, Art Cube, Mendez/Big & Small Gallery, Gallery Big, My Little Art Space, Leon Gallery, Arte Pintura, Galerie Joaquin, Galerie Raphael, Renaissance Gallery, Archivo Galo, Artes Orientes, Quattrocento, Galleria Duemila, Village Art Gallery, Blue + Gray Gallery, Gallery Nine, Galeria de las Islas, Chelra Art Gallery, 371 Art Space, Tam-awan Artists’ Village, Galerie Nicholas, Galerie Astra, Galerie Stephanie, Jiv Manila Art Gallery, Fete @ The Gallery, Galerie Anna, Galerie Francesca, Galerie Y, Republikha, Paseo Gallery, M Art Gallery, Altro Mondo Gallery, Moon Dragon Art Gallery, Mariyah Gallery, Art for Space and Secret Fresh.


Heraldo Corpus's Karmic Reaction (36 x 48, acrylic on canvas, 2010)
            The major activities at this year’s ManilArt include a by-invitation-only gala night on Oct. 2, a walking tour around the expo by Fatima University Gallery’s director Robert Bjorn Santos; an art auction featuring works reinterpreting the jeepney; and an international night with attaches, diplomats, artists and other art industry personalities. The International Night on Oct. 4, 7 p.m., allows the foreign diplomatic community as well as expats to survey the best of Philippine visuals art in the hope of getting international exposure for Filipino art and artists. On the other hand, the jeepney art auction on Oct. 5, 5 p.m., is in partnership with the Jeepney Arts Festival, where as many as 30 artworks in various media featuring redesigns and reinterpretations of the iconic Philippine jeepney are on auction. The walking tour will take participants through the participating galleries and key artworks, revealing interesting insights on featured pieces and allowing interaction and discussion between gallery curators or even the artists themselves and the participants. The tours are set for Oct. 3 (for bloggers) to 5 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.).
Workshops, demonstrations and lectures are also scheduled for the four-day event. Lectures include such topics as copyright law by Precious Leano (Oct. 3, 2 to 4 p.m.), the Cultural Center of the Philippes’ 13 Artists Awards by Victoria Herrera (Oct. 4, 2 to 4 p.m.), and preventive conservation by Lyn Yusi-Olazo (Oct. 5, 2 to 4 p.m.). The art workshop will focus on character design, which is great for budding artists who want to go into animation and comics. Set for Oct. 4 to 5, 10 p.m., the workshop will focus on how a character personality affects his/her shape and how shape says something about a character. Hobbyist can also join to improve their drawing skills.
            This year’s featured artist is Ronald Ventura, whose Grayground was sold for more than US$1 million at Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 4, 2011. His Crack in the Hull is the banner painting in the ManilArt 2012 poster, and some of his works will be featured at the Mendez/Big and Small Art Co. booth. This expresses ManilArt’s belief that the Filipino artist can make it big in the world and organizers hope that ManilArt will pave the way for that.

Titat Ledesma's Pandora's Offspring (20 x 20 inches, oil and fabric on canvas)

Tickets to the gala night on Oct. 2 is P2,000 and the general admission tickets are priced at P200 (adult) and P150 (student). Children seven years old and below are free of charge. There will also be discounts for groups and senior citizens. For more information, contact mobile number: 0922-8223369, telephone number: 910-8016 or fax number 470-2319. E-mail to or visit Web site

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Manila Ink

From left, standing:  Alex Garcia, international tattoo artist; Lyka Frontuna, Colt 45 brand manager; Greg Anonas, Colt 45 marketing manager; Alan “Big Tiny” Ayala, international tattoo artist; (sitting) DJ Anti, Dutdutan 2012 featured DJ; Eric Bobo and Sen Dog of Cypress Hill; and founder of Tribal Gear, Bobby Ruiz.

On September 28 and 29, 2012, tattoo artists, tattoo enthusiasts, rockers, music lovers and even the plain curious will gather to celebrate skin art as well as the lifestyle connected with it at Dutdutan XII, said to be the biggest tattoo expo in the country and even in Asia, at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay City.
             Last year, about 15,000 people attended the expo, which had 90 tattoo booths and 200 tattoo artists from here and abroad. Because of the success, this year’s Dudutan promises to be bigger with a bigger venue, more participants and hot acts. Dutdutan XII will have 130 tattoo booths, occupying three halls of the WTC. Participants from Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, France, Japan, Guam, Hong Kong and Indonesia will fly in to participate in this special event. Among the international celebrity tattoo artists involved are Alex Garcia and Alan “Big Tiny” Ayala, brought in by Bobby Ruiz, founder of the fashion brand Tribal, who is a big supporter of Dutdutan. A tattoo artist at Dolorosa Art Company in California, Garcia’s influences include graffiti, the low-brow scene in Los Angeles, the art he used to see as a kid growing up in a Catholic school, and especially music. On the other hand, Big Tiny is also influenced by graffiti and the street scene, and is based out of the Psycho Ward in Los Angeles, tattooing out of his private studio.
            Headlining the musical acts are Senen “Sen Dog” Reyes and Eric “Bobo” Correa of Cypress Hill, one of the popular groups in West Coast rap and hip hop, who will be performing tonight. Top local bands, including Wolfgang, Kamikazee, Franco, Valley of Chrome, General Luna, Urbandub and Imago, complete the roster of performers.
            The featured DJ of Dutdutan XII is DJ ANTI (another name to identify), a member of the Los Angeles-based the Literates who is a producer, MC, DJ, graphic designer, merchandise designer, production coordinator and many others. A.N.T.I. has worked with other artists such as Sen Dog of Cypress Hill, Rob Caggiano of Anthrax and Biohazard.
Also for entertainment, especially for straight men, Russian pole dancers are invited to perform and Tribal Gear’s cosplay-themed Pin-Up Babes Bikini Contest by FHM will make a comeback.
            Gaming and percussion enthusiasts will have a grand time competing at the Professional Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) and the third Drum Duel, but the centerpiece of Dutdutan XII is the tattoo competitions, which has 15 categories, in which the winner of each category will get P10,000 in cash, gift packs and a trophy.  
            Coming in as a major sponsor of Dutdutan XII is beer brand Colt 45.
“A tattoo is not just a picture worn on your skin. It often means something deeper than that. Everything about a tattoo’s design, color, size and even position means something to the person wearing it, and I have tremendous respect for the people who have the courage to express themselves through this art,” said Colt 45 marketing manager Greg Anonas. “It’s exactly how all the new Colt 45 bottles wear the triple hops seal to communicate the value each hop brings to the Colt 45 experience. The Seal tells us how magnum hops give the beer its flavor, how hallertau hops exude aroma, and how nugget hops balance out all the beers flavors and scents to put together an awesome beer experience. And just like a person’s tattoos, we too wear the Colt 45 logo and triple hops seal with pride.”
On the other hand, Ruiz, who is also a tattoo enthusiast, said: “Tribal Gear brought about Dutdutan in the spirit of passion and creativity. But we’re not here just for the art of inking the body, but also to present our market with activities and entertainment only Tribal Gear and its partners like Colt 45 can bring.”

For more details, visit

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Hundred Years of Ramon Valera

 Francisco Valera Zulueta, nephew of Ramon Valera; Luis Carlos, assistant postmaster general for operations of Philpost; and Prof. Felipe M. de Leon, Jr. NCCA chairman, unveiled the commemorative stamps of National Artist Ramon Valera in celebration of his birth centennial 

Commemorative stamps honoring National Artist for Architecture, Design and Allied Arts (Fashion Design) Ramon Valera were launched at the Tanghalang Leandro V. Locsin of the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) in the NCCA Building, Intramuros, Manila, last September 14. This highlighted the commemoration of the birth centennial of Valera, who was born on August 31, 1912. President Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation 291, declaring the period from August 31, 2012, to August 30, 2013, as the Centennial Year of National Artist for Architecture, Design and Allied Arts (Fashion Design) Ramon Valera. Also, the House of Representatives has issued House Joint Resolution 22, introduced by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Representatives Neptali Gonzalez II, Edcel Lagman, Salvador Escudero and Ma. Jocelyn Bernos.
The stamp launching was led by NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon, Jr., NCCA deputy executive director Marlene Ruth Sanchez, and Luis Carlos, assistant postmaster general for operations of the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost). Guests of honor were the nephew of Valera, Francisco Valera Zulueta, and his niece Peching Gomez.  

 From left: Peching Gomez, Ramon Valera’s niece; Luis Carlos, assistant postmaster general for operations of Philpost; Francisco Valera Zulueta, nephew of Valera; and Felipe M. de Leon, Jr. NCCA chairman

Zulueta thanked the group who made it possible for his uncle to become National Artist—Danny Dolor, Zenaida Tantoco, Bambi Harper, Criselda Lontok and Aureo Alonzo.
“The contribution of Ramon Valera to Philippine arts and culture and society as a whole went beyond fashion. More than the seminal innovation he did on the terno, it lies in the tradition of excellence his works and his commitment to his profession have come to represent not only to succeeding generations of fashion designers but also to a society aware of its arts and culture,” said the citation in his National Artist award.
The citation praised not only Valera’s artistry but also his “rigor and discipline,” and for giving the country “its visual icon to the world”—the terno, which “by his artistry and innovative spirit, he transformed…into a national symbol the succeeding generations eagerly embraced, used and are still trying to diligently replicate because of its beauty, artistry and uniqueness.”
Valera was born to a well-off family, but when his father died the family’s finances became unstable, forcing Valera to quit school and look for work. Early on, he displayed a penchant for fashion design. Valera became an “it” designer in the 1930s. From 1940 to the 1960s, he became one of the most prominent designers, who dressed the most prominent and beautiful women of the times such as Susan Magalona, Pacita delos Reyes, Chona Recto Ysmael, Gloria Romero, Barbara Perez, Luz Banzon Magsaysay and Imelda Romualdez Marcos.
Zulueta related he saw Queen Sirikit of Thailand visit his uncle on occasions and described her as “the humblest ruler in the world” because she came without fanfare. He revealed that his uncle was asked by Basque Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga to be his partner, who thought Valera to be greater than French designer Christian Dior.
Valera’s creations were noted for its elegance, attention to details, innovation and uniqueness. “I never duplicate what I already made,” Valera once said.
Zulueta believes that his uncle is a genius. Proof of this is that fact the he knew five languages even he never went to college. Zulueta also shared that many people don’t know Valera’s compassion to the poor and his value for integrity.
Valera died in September 1972 and was declared National Artist in 2006, the first in fashion design, together with Bienvenido Lumbera for literature, Ramon Obusan for dance, Benedicto R. Cabrera for visual arts, Ildefonso P. Santos for landscape architecture, and Fernando Poe Jr. for film. To the specially selected roster, then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo added Adulmari Asia Imao for visual arts.

This year, the nation celebrates the birth centennials of three National Artists. The other two are National Artist for music Felipe de Leon (May 1, 1912 to December 5, 1992), father of the NCCA chairman, and National Artist for visual arts Carlos “Botong” Francisco (November 4, 1912 to March 31, 1969). 

Friday, September 21, 2012

To Makati Street Market We Will Go

The Legazpi Sunday Market, the weekend community market at the heart of the country’s premier business district, will be, as organizers describe, “amplified” with more vendors and attractive events in four consecutive Sundays from September to October.
This idea, called Makati Street Market, is hatched by Geiser-Maclang Marketing Communications Inc. (GMCI), a Makati-based public relations and marketing company which likes to call itself a transformative social marketing company.
“Being a Makati denizen and as a long-standing communications partner of the most distinguished industry players for years have given us a perspective on how staying relevant to the ever-changing lifestyle of your market matters,” said Amor Maclang, director for communications of GMCI. “It’s one of the ideals that make us challenge ourselves to produce new, transformative, and game-changing ideas that serve as our inspirations to generate exceptional campaigns.”
This is to promote this portion of Makati City, which they call Makati North, as a vibrant community and to highlight it as “a lifestyle spot for young and creative denizens, since this district is landscaped with a range of bars, shopping spots, museums and concept stores.” And as such, it lines itself with the “Make It Happen! Make It Makati!” promotional campaign of Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), Makati Commercial Estate Association, Inc. (MACEA), and the local government of Makati.
Furthermore, GMCI stated: “Evidently, the ongoing success of the Legazpi Sunday Market was no fluke, despite the fact that Makati already houses a wide array of dining and shopping spots. And with the exceptional lifestyle concept that will be adapted and enhanced by the amplified Makati Street Market, the initiative will further strengthen Makati’s dynamism as an ideal address for today’s evolving urbanites, as well as the flourishing business of our fellow countrymen.”
Thus, Alveo Land, a division of Ayala Land, is joining in as one of the market’s sponsors “since the location of the market itself is pivotal to the thriving dynamism in the district, where two of its landmark projects are located — The Lerato and Kroma Towers.”
Located at the Lepazpi Park at the corner of V.A. Rufino Street and Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, San Lorenzo, the Legazpi Sunday Market over the years has become an interesting destination in Makati City and an urban attraction in Metro Manila. On Sundays, when everything slows down from the daily grind and people have time to stop from running around for business in Makati, the market blossoms and is abuzz, ensconced by the park’s greenery and surrounded by buildings and offices which are now quiet. In an area dotted with malls and boutiques, the seven-year-old market seems to thrive.
“There was a clamor for a market to service the community,” said Joey Casimiro, who has been with the Legazpi Sunday Market for six years now and mans the Patika Beads and Wireworks stall.
On the other hand, organizer Rosanne Hugo said: “I don’t exactly know how they came up with the idea of the market, but probably it is based on markets abroad like the ones in Paris.”
Hugo is one of the very first vendors of the market. “I am a constituent of barangay San Lorenzo. So when there were talks of putting up the market, I decided to join. Back then, we were selling consigned products only until I got up enough courage to sell my own stuff,” she related. She then became one of the organizers in 2008.
The market is integral in a Filipino community, even the makeshift and ephemeral ones. In parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, they have what they call taboan, literally, a “gathering place.” Different towns have different taboan days. An ordinary public place—sections of streets, vacant lots, plaza, parks, etc.—transforms during taboan day into a vibrant marketplace and returns to normal at the end of the day.
Corporate Makati’s first weekend market was in adjacent Salcedo Village in 2004, and Legazpi Village followed a year later. But the weekend markets here are different, being in an upscale area. The air is akin to European markets—pleasant, charming, warm and friendly—different from the usual palengke (wet market), which can be chaotic, smelly, shoddy and disorienting. It has become a place to mingle, with an affable vibe different from the impersonal malls. Families come in, and they eat together and shop.
“Our slogan is ‘Eat. Shop. Mingle.’ We meet new people and establish friendships. And I think that’s what sets us apart from other markets. There’s just more time to mingle and chat, not just shop and eat. It’s a common sight to see our vendors tell their own stories to customers. It’s also a common sight to see parents bringing in their kids to enjoy,” related organizer Mike Claparols, who became involved with the market in March 2008 when Ernie Moya, who is now the barangay captain of San Lorenzo, invited him.
The markets here are distinct from the malls and the Filipino tiangge because of the products they offer. They prioritize home-based businesses with unique products, things one is not likely to see in the malls. Most are artisanal products. Casimiro said they are not keen on letting in established businesses such as Starbucks. They also put a premium on quality unlike in the ordinary palengke. They also test the products themselves, especially the food, and suggest ways to improve them. Food tastings are enjoyable and educational affairs for the organizers.
“I enjoy doing the food tasting of potential food vendors, together with my co-organizers. This is a learning experience that is hard to beat, especially when the food being introduced is from another region or country,” Claparols related.
The Legazpi Sunday Market serves “not only the needs of the community surrounding the market but also provides an avenue for small businesses to try out their products,” said Claparols.
Some entrepreneurs use the Legazpi Sunday Market as a testing ground for their products. Some make it big like Manang’s Chicken. It started out with the Legazpi Sunday Market and is now restaurant with several branches.
For Hugo, one of rewarding things working with the market is “simply helping people,” giving small to medium enterprises the needed boost. “We are glad to be instrumental in that. Joey, Mike and I give applicants our suggestions and comments to help them improve on what they already have. When they succeed then it makes me happy,” she said.
The Legazpi Sunday Market prides itself with its arts and crafts offerings, which are more than what the Salcedo market offers.
“While other markets focus on food, the Legazpi Sunday Market has more arts and crafts. We have painters, photographers, jewelry makers,” revealed Casimiro.
The arts and crafts segment comprises a third of the market, and the rest are dedicated to food. Organizers admitted that food is still an attraction.
Usually, vendors come to them when they want to participate in the market. Sometimes, if they see interesting stuff in other places, they invite the vendors to sell at the Legazpi Sunday Market. They also have vendors who also sell at Salcedo market.
“Although it is within the vicinity, we have a different clientele from Salcedo. We complement one another,” Casimiro said. He added that they have more expat customers than the Salcedo market.
Surprisingly, there are only few Makati-based vendors. Vendors come from different places, even as far as Laoag in Ilocos Norte. Vendors here pay only about P700 for the space, which is inexpensive compared to the fees charged by bazaars and expos. With that, vendors get space and the tent. Organizers have a special deal with MACEA, which allow them to use the public area “for a song,” said Hugo. Working hand in hand with the barangay, security is also provided in the area. With these, they are able to keep the prices of the commodities low.
“The purpose of the market is to serve the community. We try to make the commodities here affordable and inexpensive,” said Casimiro.
Aside from quality, organizers also suggest prices and put a ceiling on high an item can go.
“This is, after all, a market,” Casimiro said. “We give them an idea on how much they should be selling because markets are supposed to be cheap.”
When the Legazpi Sunday Market was starting, organizers encountered many challenges.
“I guess the biggest challenge would have to be getting the people to come,” revealed Hugo. “Being a small local government project, there wasn’t much of a fund to use to get the buzz we need. We were not the first in Makati so loyalties were elsewhere. Once we got people to come, they saw that we were worth it as well.”
She further said: “We started with about 40 vendors and slowly we worked on getting quality vendors. We fine-tuned our rules and regulations for applications so as to give our buyers quality. Today we have more than 150 vendors.”
Claparols considered choosing the right vendors, choosing the right products, and spreading or enhancing the awareness of the market as challenges, which they eventually overcame.
“Basically, everyone (all vendors) did their share in promoting the market little by little. And little by little, we grew from 40 vendors to the current 150. The key was putting in committed vendors with promising and unique products,” he said.
The Legazpi Sunday Market flourished over the years. Every now and then, they organize events such as The Grilla in Manila in 2010 and Adobolympics in 2011.
“My favorite market event is our yearly grand buffet for our anniversary,” related Hugo. “It is memorable because it is the vendors’ way of giving back to the buyers that support us all year round. It goes like this: Each food vendor gives a dish for the buffet, something they actually sell at the market. We put all the dishes on one long buffet table then we get everyone to eat. It’s a one-go buffet but it’s a lot of fun as even our food servers are vendors themselves. We bond and eat together.”   
What are the interesting finds at the Legazpi Sunday Market? “I have sooo many favorites!” gushed Hugo. “One would be the Moroccan stall selling yummy cooked food. My favorite would be her fish fillet with saffron rice. Yum! I also love Patika. They sell beautiful one-of-a-kind ‘wirework’ jewelry. Another would be our chicken inasal! Super yummy! Leg’s Inasal is the name. Also there is Warung Warung Indonesian food. I love their version of ukoy.”
With a rich array of offerings, organizers simply invite people to come to see for themselves. And many did, spreading the word. Customers are not only from around Makati; some came from Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Pasig and even from Alabang in Muntinlupa. People who are going home to their provinces buy their pasalubongs here. About a thousand people visit the Legazpi Sunday Market every week, and the number increases during the last quarter of the year, which they consider as their peak season, because of the holiday season.
“We have a nice mix of people from our area and people from all over the place,” Hugo said.
The Legazpi Sunday Market opens at seven in the morning and closes at two in the afternoon. “This is in consideration of the food,” Casimiro said. “We like to serve fresh food. Anything after three or four, there’s tendency of spoilage. There is a clamor to extend the hours but we are concerned about the food quality.”
Organizers dream that the market to be bigger, more variety in offerings and more people coming in. With the upcoming Makati Street Market, they are marking another milestone closer to their dream.
“Makati Street Market’s aim is to amplify what we already have at the Legazpi Sunday Market. We invited more promising artisans and entrepreneurs to showcase their stuff and to make them accessible to everyone in the city. We want people of Makati to have a venue to support the local businesses, and also to give an alternative option to the people aside from the usual mall and supermarket,” said Hugo.
Claparols added that the Makati Street Market is to “amplify further the idea that we are the biggest artisanal weekend market in the country and to establish our position in Makati as being one of the major destinations for urbanites.”
For the Makati Street Market on four consecutive Sundays from September 23 to October 14, there will be 75 new vendors are added. Also, each Sunday has a pocket event. September 23 is Samba and Sangria, with dance and cocktails. On September 30, a biking workshop will be held. They will also be reprising successful past events such as the adobo festival Adobolympics on October 7 and the grilling competition Grilla in Manila on October 14. With these, organizers hope to double the number of visitors.

The Makati Street Market is located at the Legazpi Park in Makati City. The pocket events will run for four Sundays (Sept. 23, Sept. 30, Oct. 7 and Oct.14), from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Interested sponsors may contact 0917-5214624 or For the Legazpi Sunday Market, contact the Barangay San Lorenzo Business Association, second floor, Metrobank Building, 908 A. Arnaiz Avenue, San Lorenzo, Makati City, through telephone number 425-0851 and mobile number 0927-3243657.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Make Way for Jeepney Makeovers

One time, it was dubbed as the King of the Road, these American military jeeps left over from World War II transformed into colorful jeepneys. These have become ubiquitous vehicles in the streets of the Philippines and were embellished and added with flourishes according to the owners’ taste to become an amusing, moving mélange of folk and pop art, and a country’s icon.  
But over time the jeepneys have become a source of headache. The “king” has become a bully in the streets. Their colorful adornments have faded over time. People complained of rude drivers, reckless in their driving and indifferent to traffic rules. They have become the primary source of traffic jams.
Additionally, Undersecretary Corazon Jimenez, general manager of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), admitted that jeepneys are the biggest source of air pollution in Metro Manila.
“The jeepney is one of our greatest challenges,” she said, adding that there are half a million of them in Metro Manila.
            But when she was informed of a project of rehabilitating the Philippine jeepneys, she was supportive. The Jeepney Arts Festival will happen from Sept. 20 to Oct. 20, a corporate social responsibility project of the Hop-On Hop-Off Travel, Inc., the operator of the Jeepney Tours, which provide daily city tours of Metro Manila onboard a modern version of the jeepney with air-conditioning system, videoke facility, cooler and a tour guide.
            According to Clang Garcia, managing director of Hop-On Hop-Off Travel, the Jeepney Arts Festival, which has been in gestation for two years, aims to celebrate the Filipino artistry, relive the values of bayanihan, and rehabilitate jeepneys by repainting and redesigning them into works of art.
            The highlight of the festival is the four-day, on-the-spot jeepney painting event at the SM Mall of Asia open grounds, behind the SMX Convention Center, in Pasay City from September 20 to 23, 2012. The organizers invited all artists to join in the spirit of volunteerism (bayanihan) through online registration at their Web site ( Participants submitted design concepts for evaluation. To support the campaign of the Department of Tourism, designs must be inspired by the tourism slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” depicting the country’s cultural heritage, destinations, attractions, etc. The basic materials such as paint, spray guns, etc. will be provided by the organizers in cooperation with Nippon Paint, the leading paint brand of the automotive industry in the country (83 percent of the market). The interior as well as the exterior of the vehicle must be also be refurbished with the option to upgrade the interior materials (such as the seats) and to add decorations inside the jeepney.
The organizer will also supply the jeepneys. In cooperation with the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), they will select 50 working jeepneys for the venture. Participants can also bring in their own jeepneys. The jeepneys must be of good condition and must have the proof of a successful MMDA emission testing and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) Certificate of Public Convenience that states that the franchise is still valid until November 2012.
            The event is not only concentrated in beautification. The drivers and operators of the participating jeepneys are to attend a comprehensive training program on value formation, culture of tourism, passenger handling, road ethics, road safety tips and others.
            Environmental awareness is also part of the training program, although there are more things to be done concerning jeepneys and pollution. Hopefully, the festival will be a venue for highlighting this issue.           In the end, “we want to see beautiful jeepneys plying our streets using clean, natural gas as well as electricity,” said Jimenez, who also envisions for jeepney drivers to courteous and in uniforms.
Culminating the on-the-spot jeepney painting session is a grand jeepney parade on September 24 at 10 A.M. The jeepneys will also be used as a shuttle for foreign visitors in the travel mart of the Pacific Asia Travel Association. The Jeepney Arts Festival is also part of Design Week Philippines of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) happening from October 14 to 20, 2012, and the ManilART 2012, which will auction as many as 50 artworks in various media featuring redesigns and reinterpretations of the jeepney on October 4, 2012, 4 to 6 P.M.
According to Garcia, the Jeepney Arts Festival aims to be an annual event. She envisions the jeepney to be a roving museum of Philippine arts and culture.

For more information, contact telephone numbers 994-6636 and 869-7771, e-mail or visit Web site