Categories Lifestyle

Celebration of ‘Kalye’ Art at the Pulilan Festival

The town of Pulilan in Bulacan, Philippines, recently hosted the Mandala Art Festival, showcasing vibrant “kalye” (street) art in the lead-up to the annual Pulilan Carabao Festival. For the past 12 years, artists from Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Bulacan have come together to transform the streets of Pulilan into a colorful and inspiring art gallery.

The festival, initiated by Andrew de Guzman of Pulilan Jefarca Arts and Historical Society, aims to raise awareness about the importance of preserving rice farms from being converted into roads or residential areas. The term “mandala” refers to a traditional Filipino art form made from rice stalks and hay, typically found in rice farms.

This year, the festival featured works by artists such as Ang Gerilya, Luna, Kapok, and many others. A highlight of the event was an exhibit at SM Pulilan titled “Ang Ating Sining sa Nagbabagong Panahon” (our art in changing times), showcasing the creativity and talent of 95 participating artists.

The Mandala Art Festival aligns with the Carabao Festival, which honors San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. The Carabao Festival features a grand procession of a thousand carabaos from various barangays in Pulilan and neighboring provinces, showcasing the strong bond between farmers and their animals.

According to de Guzman, the festival symbolizes the unity and protection of agricultural lands in Pulilan from modern developments that threaten traditional farming practices. While modern farming techniques have reduced the use of mandalas, the festival continues to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Overall, the Mandala Art Festival serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving traditions and supporting local artists, while also highlighting the beauty of “kalye” art in the streets of Pulilan.