Benguet’s Colorful Houses Reminiscent Of Rio
This is an idea whose time has come. Finally, a beautiful solution to unpainted houses on the hillsides of La Trinidad, Benguet.
For a long time, the houses in Balili, in Stone Hill, Benguet have been considered an eyesore. However, with the help of the residents, Tam-Awan village artists, and under the auspices of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Cordillera, REV-BLOOM project has transformed the houses into a mural on the hill. Tourism Regional Director for Cordillera, Venus Tan, said that Balili was chosen for this project because it is usually the first thing that greets visitors and tourists when they enter La Trinidad.
This Rev-Bloom project introduced by the DOT-CAR is patterned after the Favelas of Rio de Janiero in Brazil. It involves the painting of houses that have sprouted through the years on the other side of Balili River into a giant art piece. The project is anchored in the advocacy for sustainable development of tourism destinations in the region.
Designed around a sunflower theme, four different designs were chosen and merged into one. According to Jordan Mang-osan, an artist involved with the project, they chose the most beautiful and the easiest to implement. The sunflower theme was used because the area was once famous for its sunflowers. The project is expected to bring color to the otherwise drab houses. Houses in the area are not usually left unpainted because of the cost of painting. This is not uncommon in low-income neighborhoods.
In total, there would be more than 18,000 square meters of houses to be painted. Paint companies have also promised to help by providing the paint and other necessary materials. This will be the first project for a hill community type mural. Authorities are also looking at doing the same to Quirino Hill in Baguio City.
The inspiration for the project is the Favela paintings on the hills of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The paintings were done by Dre Urhahan and Jeroen Koolhaas, well-renowned Dutch artists, also popular as Haas&Hahn, with the assistance of the Favela residents. An organization in the Netherlands called Firmeza Foundation is running the project. It was initially funded by the Dutch Ministry of Culture. Additional funding is by donations and grants. The Favela paintings were meant to collaborate the citizens of the Favela to create a notable community artwork.
After some prior community work, Haas&Hahn kick-started the Favela paintings in 2010, with murals in the public square in the Santa Maria area. This covered more than 7,000 sq. Meters. The painting projects are called Boy with Kite, Rio Cruzeiro and Praça Cantão. The Favela project has garnered positive responses from the media and the general public. It has been featured in world news organizations. It has also been featured in exhibitions, as well as a prominent backdrop in the movie, “The Fast Five.”