This Underpass in Makati Highlights the Story of 105 Million Filipinos

Athletes, designers, and volunteers take centerstage.

(SPOT.ph) Because of its designated bus stops and strict policies on pedestrian crossings, you have no choice but to walk more than you're used to in the city of Makati. Most of us who are keen on achieving several thousand steps a day are more than happy to do it. Plus, a 2,000-square-foot mural found on the ceiling of the Salcedo Underpass along Ayala Avenue gives us another reason to walk around the business district. This collage of black-and-white photographs by Archie Geotina was unveiled today, February 14.

A new mural now graces Salcedo Underpass in Makati City.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
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PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Geotina revealed to members of the press and guests that the piece called "Ang Lakbay ng 105 Milyon" was inspired by his travels around the country—which has a current population of 105 million people. "The real beauty of the Philippines is its people. I always feel that everybody that I meet or are inspired by are really the heroes of our time. So instead of just highlighting the beautiful places of the Philippines, I decided to tie them up with the beautiful people or the heroes that I admire or that I feel like the public should admire," he said in a speech.

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Black-and-white photographs depict the story of our nation.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
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PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Look up while in the underpass, and you can trace a timeline of our history and heritage, from images showing our pre-Hispanic traditions to photographs of skyscrapers in the city. There are also marked spots on the floor where you can get the best look at specific sections of the mural. But you can enjoy it from anywhere you are along the walkway—as long as you stop. "The [collage of] images, like our culture, is so vast and overwhelming na kapag hindi ka tumigil maglakad at tingnan 'yong paligid mo, hindi mo talaga siya maiintindihan," the artist added.

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Our inspiring athletes are some of our modern-day heroes.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Honey Sumndad-Usman from Marawi
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
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Nicolo Nimor from Cebu
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

On the walls of the underpass are portraits of our everyday heroes, each with a short note about what they represent. There's Siargaonon surfer Jolan Saavedra, who leads beach clean-ups and segregation on the island; Honey Sumndad-Usman, who spearheaded holistic peace education programs in places of conflict like Marawi; and Nicolo Nimor, who assists young designers in Cebu.

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"By creating walkways that are strategically placed, aesthetically pleasing, and safe, Makati Central Estate Association empowers daily commuters in Makati's CBD, especially when this network of sidewalks, underpasses, and overpasses are complemented by efficient public transportation," Makati Commercial Estate Association general manager Jonathan David said in a statement. The mural was commissioned by Federal Land, Inc.

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