Ilonggo artists pay tribute to COVID-19 frontliners
ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — To honor those at the front lines in the fight against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), artists in the city created a mural of people who risked their lives for others.
On Jalandoni and Ledesma streets, young artists commissioned by the city government are painting the portrait of 14 front-liners on a concrete wall. Ronnyl Bulahan said he and five other artists planned to complete the mural by end of this month.
The portraits, in latex paint and measuring 8 to 9 feet high, feature a fireman, nurse, doctor, cook, security guard, soldier, garbage collector and a delivery truck driver, among other front-liners.
They also included Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, who has been leading efforts to respond to the pandemic and the needs of residents in the city’s 180 villages, said Bulahan.
A bas-relief sculpture by Arel Zambarrano and Sabrec is also being installed on Jalandoni and General Luna streets.
According to Bulahan, local artists are among those struggling due to the pandemic, with most of their commissioned works canceled due to closure of, or cutback, in business operations.
At the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park (IBP) of Megaworld Corp., an iconic 8.8-meter bronze statue of Ilonggo revolutionary leader Gen. Martin Delgado on a horse dons a giant “hablon” (handwoven) face mask crafted by Ilonggo fashion designer Jeff Ticao. It symbolizes resilience amid vigilance and strict observance of health protocols, such as wearing of face masks and face shields, and observing physical distancing.
Delgado, a native of Sta. Barbara town in Iloilo, served as the first governor of Iloilo in 1901 under the American colonial government. During the Spanish occupation, he was a young teacher who served in the local government, but later became general in chief of the Ejercito Libertador (Liberation Army).
Go out but be safe
“We need the Ilonggos’ cooperation to follow and observe safety protocols to help the city recover from this pandemic. Iloilo has been enjoying an economic boom in the past years, and the only way for us to sustain that is to support our entrepreneurs and their businesses,” said Jennifer Palmares-Fong, IBP vice president for sales and marketing.
Businesses encouraged residents to help revive the local economy even as health protocols are strictly observed.
“There’s no need to fear going out and do what we want to do as long as we continue to adhere to all the safety measures and educate others to help curb the spread of the virus in the city,” she said.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
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