The use of symbols and colors to create harmony and beauty had always been one of the most effective ways of communication which encompass every aspect of human life. Known to us generally as art, the masterpieces that human race created (starting from the cave drawings in France to the multi-million dollar paintings in modern museums everywhere) can transcend differences in religious creeds, language, culture and beliefs.
AG Saño, a local artist working on the Peace Mural being completed along the historic Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Metro Manila, said that there is no other fitting medium to pass on the message of peace and unity to Filipinos and the word other than art.
Saño, a seasoned artist responsible for community peace murals in conflict areas like Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Sulu, is among the artists responsible for the design and completion of the 3.8 kilometer mural slated to be unveiled this coming July 6.
The mural is being completed by various sectors of society in the community spirit or bayanihan under the initiative of organizers Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Asia America Initiative (AAI), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Dolphins Love Freedom Movement, and Metro Manila Development of Development (MMDA).
Saño is also an advocate of peace who believes that continued efforts of making peace a household word can mainstream this valuable concept and give solution to armed conflicts everywhere.
“Art had been used as a weapon for change in different eras in different countries including the US and some countries in Europe,” he said. “Art was able to create social and political changes that affected the lives of millions of people. There is no reason why it can't help advance concepts such as peace in the Philippines. Peace begins with oneself.”
The Peace Mural project involves different sectors of Filipino society who volunteered to complete the “Longest Mural in the World” according to Capt. Gene Gabrido, Deputy Commander of the 7th Civil Relations Group, AFP.
Saño believes that involving thousands of people in the project will give them the opportunity to embrace the cause and inspire them to take a personal stand to be agents of peace.
He thinks that the primary component of the success of the peace building process by the AFP, which is embedded in thebayanihan efforts, is the cooperation of all sectors, whether military or civilian.
“Painting together a historical art piece, a gigantic task, could pave the way for the AFP to open up its "home" to civilians and for the civilians to work with the AFP,” he said.
“It is important for them to have an ownership of the work. Therefore, having thousands of people participate in the completion of the art work makes me feel that the effort is headed for success,” he added