Community art thrives in Buscalan, Mountain Province

Buscalan Village, Kalinga Province — A celebration of cultural exchange and identity, local artists helped to transform the village of Buscalan into a vibrant feast for the eyes with painting­­­s and murals that recognize the vibrant culture of the mountain province.

Initiated by artist Archie Oclos, a team of local street artists, cultural workers, and art practitioners went on a four-day mission to immerse, connect, and collaborate on community murals in various sites of the village. Members of the team included Kris Abrigo, Bvdot, Jenn Ban, Doktor Karayom, Ralph Eya, Ilona Fiddy, Dee Jae Paeste, Kookoo Ramos, and Sim Tolentino.

Home to the world-renowned mambabatok Apo Whang-Od, Buscalan became the inspiration for the artists’ works. “Sa Buscalan muna dahil buhay na buhay ang komunal na kaisipan ng mga lokal dun,” shares Archie Oclos, a local artist who initiated the project, when asked why Buscalan was the chosen site. “Modernisado man silang tingnan, nakaugat pa rin sila sa mga tradisyunal na paniniwala at pamamaraan sa buhay.  Magandang kundisyon din iyon upang mamulat at matuto ang mgaartists sa mga tao ng Buscalan dahil sila ang tagapagturo at may akda ng kanilang kultura.”

The team created 11 works of art, each representative of the artist’s cultural experience and creative style. According to artist Jenn Ban, the socially-engaged art project will be a continuing effort of the team. The initiative aims to sustain a conscious effort to reach different communities in various parts of the Philippines in the following years. Through their art, the team looks forward to creating a ripple effect among like-minded artists, community leaders, cultural workers, stakeholders, and the youth.

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