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In Dagupan, street art offers reprieve from health crisis

By: Yolanda Sotelo July 29,2020 - 06:51 AM

OCEAN FEEL A section of a pavement mural with images of sea creatures has become a favorite play area for neighborhood children in the village of Malued in Dagupan City. —WILLIE LOMIBAO

DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan, Philippines — A portion of a village road here has become a huge canvas for three-dimensional (3D) images of animated ocean creatures, providing a respite from the psychological burden caused by the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The 30-meter stretch of Claveria Road in Barangay Malued has gained attention from residents who have been visiting the area to take “selfies” with the artwork, according to village chief, Filipina de los Santos.

De los Santos said the low-lying road used to be in the path of flood during the rainy season until it was elevated.

She commissioned visual artist Joel Pangan from Barangay Bonuan Gueset here to paint the 3D artwork on the street’s pavement.

“Featured here are a whale, characters from the animated film ‘Finding Nemo’ and other vibrant sea creatures. There’s also a painting of a bridge that leads to floating islands,” De los Santos said.


On one side of the street is an old wall mural that features waterfalls, trees, and flowers.

De los Santos, who financed the project, said the artwork was inspired by the pieces she saw online.

Pangan described the project as “challenging” since it was his first time to paint on pavement. He used elastomeric paint and sealed it with a topcoat so the artwork would not be easily washed away by rain.

De los Santos said her sister in the United States gave her the money to paint her bedroom with 3D artwork but she decided to spend it instead for the project “so more people will enjoy it.”

She said she hoped the street art could help the villagers “relax and destress in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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