Despite the pandemic, an art collective and volunteer artists collaborated to bring environmental awareness to life with art murals in selected coastal communities of Panay and Guimaras Islands.

The ProCoast Project of Artivisim Iloilo and partners were able to bring the message of conserving and protecting marine and coastal resources in key coastal communities of Iloilo, Guimaras, and Aklan provinces.


“It is our intention to continue to raise awareness about our oceans through meaningful engagements with the community, ocean activism, and through innovative and functional art,” the art collective explained.

In Ajuy town of Iloilo province, artivists (a portmanteau for artists and activists) Marrz Capanang and Hannah Vergara led a mural painting that paid homage to the late Elmer Barbiera, a community environmentalist who pushed for the planting of more mangroves in Pedada village that was also hit by super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. The duo were joined by Kai Buenavista, Fionalyn Villagracia, Jefferson Villagracia Balincuacas, and Margaux Blas in painting a mural at Pedada Elementary School.

Another mural project in Iloilo province was in Leganes town. Artivists Epalan Noel, Marge Chavez, Isaac Bravo, and Kyle Francis Dile painted a mural that paid homage to Wilson Batislaon, an agricultural technician who was awarded as one of the Disney Conservation Heroes in 2016 for initiating mangrove reforestation and the creation of the Katunggan Eco Park.

In Ibajay town of Aklan province, the artvisits and volunteers created murals of kamangi (fiddler crab), uson (mud lobster), the 700-year-old avatar tree, and the Aeta culture in illustrating the roots of the famous Ati-Atihan Festival. Artivists Jonard Villarde, Marlo Ubal, and Rey Gico with the special participation of Romer Almasol Superio created the mural at Bugtongbato village.

Lastly, artivists Marrz Capanang and Rey Gico, with the participation of Kindred Buenavista, created a mural in Taklong Island, a government-run marine reserve in Nueva Valencia town of Guimaras province. The trio were assisted by volunteer artists from La Paz and San Roque villages.

ProCoast Project was part of the recent celebrations of Ocean Month and Environment Month.

It is organized by Artivism Iloilo with the Mangrove and Beach Forest Rehabilitation and Conservation program of the Zoological Society of London – Philippines (ZSL-Philippines), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the local government units (LGUs), barangay officials, students, and community volunteers.

Other partners were Davies Paint and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) on behalf of the German government’s environmental agency.

Source: Manila Bulletin (