Ang Biyaya ng Rebolusyong Graffiti: Graffiti’s Revolutionary Blessing

Biyaya in English translates to blessing and the work was done by BLIC x CHESHIRE in Kawit, Cavite in the Philippines. As a province, Cavite’s motto is “be a part of the revolution”, which solidifies its historical role as being the place where the Philippines declared its independence from Spain in June 12 1898. According to Durmuller, graffiti functions as a “written cultural phenomena, making use of both symbolic and iconic language” (1988), by looking at this interpretation Biyaya celebrates the hardworking people of Kawit that makes a living by gathering clams, but the positioning of the work in a trash dump symbolizes the people’s disregard of the environment and way of life. The figure in the work is projected as both praying and crying, polarizing the irony that is experienced by the people of Kawit.

In a country that has experienced more than three hundred and fifty years of Catholic-Castilian Spanish colonization, fifty years of being an American colony, and hegemonic control of the political Oligarchy, issues of agency, influence of ritual prayer, blessings from the divine, and ideas of who or what is divine are on-going discourses in the sociocultural framework of the Philippines. The importance of Biyaya’s placement in a public space is “it allows concerns and conflicts to be visible to all that pass-by, which encourages collaboration and potential participation in sociocultural discourses” (Rodriguez and Clair 3:1998). Maybe Biyaya can capture and bless the people that pass-by it and inject a little revolution in them.

Edsel Yu Chua 36172104

*The “Keep Thinking” photo was taken by me at Vancouver Downtown 2010, projected here as “the other side of the coin” for fun 🙂


Biyaya 2012 BLIC x CHESHIRE

Durmuller, Urs

1988    Sociolinguistic apects of mural sprayscapes (Graffiti). Sociolinguistics 17:1-16.

Rodriguez, Armando and Robin Patric Clair

1999  Graffiti as communication: Exploring the discursive tensions of anonymous texts. Southern Communication Journal 65(1): 1-15


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About Philippine Studies Series

The Philippine Studies Series: Academics, Action, Art is a series purposed using the avenues of the academe, community action and art with the hope of (1) providing a venue for the discussion of Philippine issues within UBC. (2) contributing as a socio-academic platform for the Filipino Community in Canada (3) helping sustain a Vancouver-based network of scholars and community members interested in Philippine topics. All events are congruent with the strategic focus of the Liu Institute for Global Issues which are Security, Solidarity, Social Justice.

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