MAKATI CITY – Out with the old and in with the new. In the last couple of days Ayala Avenue pedestrians were surprised to find a new art canopy at the Paseo de Roxas Underpass. The area that was once a space-themed mural to inspire the younger generation to reach for their dreams was transformed to a sanctuary of Philippine terrestrial and marine creatures hoping to convey the same message of hope for a brighter future for Filipinos, this time through conserving Mother Nature.
Security Bank Corporation (SBC) has established a strong reputation for empowering businesses as reflected by its recognitions as Bank of the Year and Best Retail Bank. Through its corporate social responsibility arm, Security Bank Foundation Inc., it builds communities through education programs and classroom building projects nationwide. The Security Bank commitment goes beyond providing excellent financial products and services. It supports education, arts and culture as all these aspects enrich the lives of the Filipino people.
“The theme for the Makati underpasses was Philippine nature and since education is our corporate advocacy, we decided to take this opportunity educate the public about issues that are affecting nature, specifically Philippine biodiversity through art,” explained Alfonso L. Salcedo, Jr., SBC President & CEO.
The Bank invited multi award-winning, self-proclaimed, artivist (artist-activist) AG Saño to redesign the Paseo De Roxas underpass mural. AG has been traveling the world to work on murals clad with designs that show his advocacy to protect Mother Nature. “I said yes to the collaboration with Security Bank because of our shared values and mission. I learned about their deep engagement with communities through their education and livelihood programs because they are committed to making lives better. I found a partner who will help me get my message across. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when I began the mural I found out that my mother has been a Security Bank client for over 3 decades. This partnership was meant to be,” said Saño, now a Security Bank client himself.
With a large network all over the country, Security Bank is in a position to inspire change and rally support for various causes affecting local communities.
“We develop and support social responsibility initiatives all over the Philippines. This mural is one of the ways we hope to educate and inspire the Makati community,” added Salcedo.
The mural offers a unique take on street art. Two areas have a cascading design from the ceiling meant for pedestrians to take a photo and look like they are part of the artwork. It symbolizes that we are part of our nature’s biodiversity and we are responsible for it.
“The title of the mural is ‘Art in Defense of Mother Nature.’ The natural defense mechanisms of species are not enough anymore to cope with what humans have been doing to their habitats. I thought of equipping them with metal armors to signify the need to go beyond the status quo and exert more effort in helping the ecosystem thrive and the species survive,” Saño added.
Coinciding with the Bank’s anniversary month, a program was held at Security Bank’s Discovery Hub on June 26 to commemorate the new mural. A short documentary was aired to tell the story about the collaboration and the artist’s plight. Erwan Heussaff, content creator and SBC brand ambassador, also spoke about his personal environmental advocacies. Over the past years, he has been active in initiatives involving sustainable traveling, nature conservation, plastic pollution and permaculture.