MANILA CALLING #4: Jennifer Maramba, Kilusan Collective

by Leonard

Pink is the new black.  The term is even passe – now that Emo Kids, Skaters and Kanye West sporting hot pink, cotton candy and salmon tones have resurrected the androgenous shade from its dusty resting place in Zack Morris closets across the world.

Tito Len Takes Shitty Pictures #1: Gwapo Garage

Tito Len Takes Shitty Pictures #1: Gwapo Garage

Pink is the new black is no truer anywhere in the world other than Metro Manila where if  you want to hide something,  you don’t make like the Rolling Stones and ‘Paint It Black’…. YOU PAINT IT PINK.

Jen Maramba’s Kilusan Exchange piece at Rolly’s Garage (124 Ossington) is based on ‘Metro Gwapo’, which is a project started by the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) that aims to ‘clean up’ Manila in the hopes of attracting business and investment to the city.  


Picture 3

“Metro Gwapo, Pook Na Bulok, Negosyo Hindi Papasok,” is the project slogan and according to MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando, its not only for the environment and the economy.  It’s also for the people. “Metro Gwapo aims to make every family in Metro Manila proud of the place they live in,” said Fernando.  “It is designed to improve the lives of the people in the area.”


Many would disagree.  The hallmark of the Metro Gwapo project is the PINK coloured paint used on the barriers, walls and urinals erected in front of shanties, squatter areas, trash piles and pee walls that line Manila’s thoroughfares.  For some, the pink paint is a symbol of larger problems being simply covered up and placed behind a curtain or swept under a rug.

Wouldn’t it be great if all our problems were easily covered up with pink paint?  Our hurt, our anger… our insecurities… our faults.  Our fears.  Our messes and mistakes.  Our unresolved issues and the conflicts that we just don’t want to confront.


If you take a trip to Manila, you can’t miss ‘Metro Gwapo’ and its pink paint.  Next time you are there staring at a big pink wall, try to envision what is behind it.  It’s the very first step in even beginning to fathom any kind of resolution.

Our problems might be ‘Pretty in Pink’ but nothing is prettier than coming to terms.



—-The Details—-


May 15 – 23, 2009 Weekday Gallery hours: 3PM – 8PM

Five artists.
Two cities.
One crazy exchange.

{ Alex Felipe }{ Ilona Fiddy }{ Jeff Garcia }{ Jennifer Maramba}{Tiffany Naval Jr}

with special international guest artist: { Carlos Celdran }

What happens when you take a group of Canadian-born Filipino artists and throw them across the ocean to go face-to-face with the land that they were raised by, but never knew?

Explore the story to be told of having one identity rooted in two cultures

A trip to the Philippine metropolis of Manila
An intense exchange with Carlos Celdran, the dubbed “Pied Piper of Manila”
And the integration of it all back into the Canadian metropolis of Toronto

A multimedia & multi-perspective cultural art show-of-sorts.

May 15 – 23, 2009 Weekday Gallery hours: 3PM – 8PM

STARTING TOMORROW!!  May 22 & 23, 8PM : Spoken word, multi-media rendition of famous Intramuros tour by Carlos Celdran

~ by Leonard on May 21, 2009.

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