By the historic concrete road of Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Metro Manila, a 3.8 kilometer long masterpiece is set to be unveiled on July 6, 2013.
Completed by various sectors of society in the community spirit or bayanihan, the Peace Mural is slated to become yet another source of Filipino pride as the “Longest Mural in the World”
From the combined efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with Asia America Initiative (AAI), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Dolphins Love Freedom Movement, Metro Manila Development of Development (MMDA) and various local artists, the Peace Mural Project will stand as an enduring reminder that unity can be achieved under a single goal, Capt. Gene Gabrido, Deputy Commander of the 7th Civil Relations Group, AFP, said.
AG Saño, the artist responsible for designing the masterpiece, said that the mural is basically “an editorial of many concepts of peace, a comics version of reality, a colorful montage of images that shows how peace can be achieved in our daily lives.”
He said that he believes that the use of a mural as a medium of passing on the message of peace and unity among Filipinos is a good decision by the organizers.
He said that murals literally stand out among other forms of paintings because they get to have a larger and continuous flow of audience, particularly those motorists and pedestrians who use the street.
“…and until the paint fades, the message will be there for people to see,” he said. “The art attack concept where we allow the community to paint the mural with us gives the chance to volunteers to have an ownership of the art work therefore letting them in on an opportunity to be part of the advocacy.”
Saño explained that the design is actually a marriage of different concepts that were raised as a result of a multi-sectoral workshop conducted earlier.
“We had representatives from NGOs, the AFP, the academe, the youth, the government, etc. who gave inputs on issues on peace building. An AAI volunteer from MSU-Marawi shared his idea on how to show peace building efforts by employing the concept of cultural integration to be represented by the different weaving cultures of different regions in the Philippines,” he said.
Yet, despite the various symbols covering the vast wall, one can never miss the fact how the different concepts like bayanihan and nationalism is weaved together into one symbol which is the Philippine flag, Saño said.
“The central message of this artwork is that peace can be achieved by digging into the Filipino character and letting it blossom by highlighting its goodness, which is an everyday thing for us,” he mused. “The simple everyday acts of goodness can lead to a world of peace. The Filipino concept of bayanihan is our culture, and I would like to think that conflicts and wars can never be possible with such a culture.”