INAUGURATION OF LAGUSNILADManila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna led the inauguration of the underpass with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The modernized underpass, designed by University of Santo Tomas (UST) alumni — architect Juanito Malaga and UST graduates John Fallorina, Sean Ortiz and Leon Tuazon — in collaboration with the city's Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), features a 25 x 2.8-meter mural that showcases the culture and history of the city as well as serving as a tribute to COVID-19 pandemic.
MURALS AND ARTWORKSThe Manila Public Information Office said that “the mural and the bas-relief artwork was created in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and NCCA Gerilya artists inspired from the works of famed artist Botong Francisco.”
SIGNS IN BAYBAYINThe signs were also written in Baybayin, a pre-Spanish script used in Luzon and other parts of the Philippines before it was replaced by the Latin or Roman alphabet.
24/7 SECURITY OF THE UNDERPASSThe Manila PIO said that key issues such as flooding, vagrants and security issues have been addressed by key agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region, Manila City Security Office and the Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila.
The underpass will now have 24/7 security, composed of designated security personnel and CCTV cameras connected to the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office command center.
The rehabilitation project started in November 2019. It was temporarily halted during the enhanced community quarantine but work resumed in late May.
Manila Public Information chief Julius Leonen said the city did not shell out funds for this project.
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THE ARTIST BEHIND THE MURALSMural artists include Marianne Rios, Jano Gonzales and Ianna Engano while the signages were designed by Raven Angel Rivota from the Far Eastern University, Edrian Garcia and John Leyson.
'Books from Underground' returnsLast week, Moreno also announced that the “Books from Underground,” the well-loved thrift bookstore previously housed in the tunnel, will make a return.
This bookshop owned by AJ Laberinto was removed in July 2019 after the clearing operations that removed illegal vendors in the tunnel.
Moreno in August last year said the bookstore may return as a “legitimate businesss.”
Laberinto, who now secured a business permit, said he is looking forward to operate in the rennovated underpass.
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