Right in time for Undas 2019, over 300 artists from different provinces gathered to bring life and colors to the wall of Manila North Cemetery.
Artists from Ilocos Sur, Tarlac, Bulacan, and Rizal painted a mural of flowers from all over the Philippines. Acclaimed artist Ferdie Montemayor organized the volunteers, together with other artists from the Pinto Art Museum.
Dubbed “Flores Para Los Muertos (Flowers For The Departed),” the project is a collaboration among Pinto Art Museum, Office of Mayor Isko Moreno, Office of Congressman Yul Servo Nieto, and Davies Paints Philippines, Inc.
Demetrio “Demet” Dela Cruz, an award-winning artist who also grew up in Manila, made the initial sketch together with fellow distinguished artist John Paul “Japs” Antido.
“The idea is a bouquet,” said Dela Cruz. “The essence is unity; to produce an arrangement of native Filipino flowers as a non-political offering to Manila and to the departed who rest in the cemetery.”
“We offer flowers to the dead all the time as a way of paying homage to our loved ones,” said Dr. Joven Cuanang, founder of Pinto Art Museum. “As we are nearing All Saints Day, this is also a celebration of our cherished tradition.”
Another award-winning artist, Jim Orencio recalled that when Dr. Cuanang told them about the project, they happily volunteered. With him were his children who are also artists, Shannah and Rex, who were assigned their own parts of the mural.
The volunteers managed to paint the 500-meter mural in just 10 hours.
Manila 3rd District Representative John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto, was present at the event. “Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa kanila (I’m very grateful to them),” he said.
Davies Paints has been contributing to beautifying communities. In 2016, it collaborated with the Tourism Department in the Cordillera Autonomous Region and with Tam-awan artists who painted 200 houses for the colorful Stonehill, Botiwtiw, and Sadjap (STOBOSA) Hillside Homes Artwork in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Its most recent project prior to “Flores Para Los Muertos” was earlier in 2019, when the company collaborated with Mandaluyong City government and artist group Ang Gerilya to paint pillars along Shaw Boulevard with murals depicting the city’s folklore.