Mark Wesley Pahate (left) and Alexander Grenz, chief executive officer and president of Allianz PNB Life (right)

THE CITY government of Manila recently unveiled art installations in the form of bike racks in some of the city’s historic sites, all designed by a Thomasian.

Fine arts alumnus Mark Wesley Pahate expressed his love for Manila’s history, culture, diversity and energy through the art installations, made possible by a partnership between the Manila city government and insurance firm Allianz PNB Life.

Pahate’s designs featured different cultural and historical references.

“Kalesa,” mounted at Plaza Roma in Intramuros, symbolizes the horse carriages used during the Spanish colonial era.

“Alon” at Rajah Sulayman Park is depiction of the Manila Bay sunset.

“Tabak” at Bonifacio Shrine pays tribute to the courage of Andres Bonifacio and his men in fighting for freedom for Filipinos.

“Maya,” installed at Liwasang Bonifacio, was based on the maya bird, the national bird of the Philippines until 1995.

Pahate told the Varsitarian that the project sought to evoke nostalgia and memories of growing up in Manila, as well as promote tourism. 

“As a Manileño, born and raised, I had a wealth of experiences to draw from…Being from the city, I just tried to remember things about the city that could potentially be visually interesting and serve the function of bike racks,” Pahate said.

“We hope to elicit a few more fond recollections from Manileños who visit them,” he added.

While art innovation during the pandemic may be challenging, artists could use the opportunity to find new ways to express themselves, Pahate said.

“Necessity is the mother of invention. Creatives need to find ways to express themselves, they just have to do that in ways that are most relevant to the situation we have been forced to face,” he said.

Pahate obtained his advertising arts degree from the University in 2000. Ma. Dyanne Mirasol P. Reyes


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