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Street art in Cebu is alive and thriving, thanks to local artists

I started my wanderings at the intersection of Spianada and Rahmann Streets, two quite roads near General Maxilom Ave. in Cebu City when I spotted a lengthy street art. Eight different heads that were connected, seemingly melting into each other spanning almost the entire wall of an old residence. At a section of Sikatuna St., another lengthy work from the same artist, Soika, this time, a white and blue boy with a worm like animal coming out from his mouth with the other end inside a fish’s mouth. These two works were surreal but interesting, amidst the vandalisms and random spray-painted wall surfaces around the city.

The street art scene

Street art has its beginnings with graffiti in New York in the 60s and over the decades has seen it explode. From the rough and grimy neighborhoods to gentrified spaces around the world. From political expression to tourist come-ons, street art, whether legal or illegal continues to fascinate viewers with its colorful visuals.

In the Philippines, street art still has a long way to go although it has its share of adherents. The general population still deride it as vandalism or just annoying graffiti with some cities banning it outright. But efforts undertaken in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and other places thru art events like in La Union and Siargao with commissioned street art by local and international artists. Filipinos might change eventually change their mind and embrace this art form.

The street art in Cebu

Cebu has a thriving street art scene with local artists painting otherwise lifeless and bland walls. From the contemplative works of Kidlat to the pop art of Windil along Echavez Street. A seemingly mythological and colorful word art by UBEC Crew is seen in Gororodo Ave. Soika, seems to have a penchant for long but interesting works and figures. Janot, known for his complicated pieces, have works that are comprised of very detailed letters. Bek has his name sprayed in different parts of the city.

While Chinokoy, with his psychedelic word art is at home both in the street and tattoo studio. The works by (and signed as) Daot and Sid are also to look out for. Their collaboration for BlockOut2017 was the biggest mural and done in Brgy. Kamputhaw. Daot, Lean and Kidlat were commissioned to paint the walls and posts at the Crossroads. These and more are scattered around the city.

Something always new street art in Cebu

One thing that makes street art interesting in Cebu is the high turn over of works that keep viewers and passersby entertained. What you see today may be another wonderful work tomorrow. Or a wall owner erasing forever with a layer of white paint only to be covered back with a new artwork the morning after.

Originally published February 2018 issue of the now defunct Going Places magazine where I was a travel columnist and contributor. With edits and some additions as originally published. This article started my interest in documenting street art in Cebu. When I travel abroad, street art is one of my must sees. Follow my street art feed at @LangyawStreet in Instagram.

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