On its 6th year, CANVAS’ Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project celebrates the beauty and importance of stories with Myths and Legends. Gathering the work of various Filipino artists, the show features mythological creatures, characters in Philippine folklore, and even icons – modern Filipino legends.

How Myths Become Real
As children, myths and legends were one of our first ways of understanding ourselves and the world around us. The stories we heard formed our views and values; told us the origins of the world and of the things that fill it; inspired us to dream, or discouraged us from doing wrong by showing us the consequences of bad behavior. These myths and legends, many and varied across our archipelago, give a glimpse of the richness of our culture, of our imagination.   

Behind every myth are grains of truth raring to be revealed.

It is real.

The Legends
"Nang napagod ang ibon, ninais niyang magkaroon ng madadapuan, ngunit ayaw tumigil ang hangin at tubig sa kanilang tagisan. Kaya't nagbagsak siya ng bato at lupa sa daluyong. Ito ang naging kapuluan."

Bakunawa is a dragon in Philippine history that is often represented as a gigantic sea serpent. It is believed to be the cause of eclipses.

The big mermaid.

In mythological traditions all over the world, the sea and the underworld are dominated by male deities. But in Visayan Mythology, it's a girl!

This work reflects not just the legend of the pineapple – the story of Pina who was cursed by her mother because of her laziness and stubbornness but also translates how cluttered we are these days. Most of us find faults in others, focusing on small, insignificant things, but tending to overlook the most important things in life such as family.

A tribute to our legendary poet of Philippine music.

"Mula sa 'Alamat ng Gumamela', isang kuwento ng nasawing pagmamahalan bunga ng pagnanasa't pag iimbot ng iba."

Expressions
A pop approach on Filipino myths of the underground, the different layers of rich folkloric stories, and the overlaps of influences by different cultures.

"My art is a penetration of the strong human emotions submerged deep in the subconscious, where the savage, dark truths of existence lie buried. I mostly work with portraits because I believe that they are the supposed expressive representation of humanity: narcissistic, selfish, and helplessly alone in life and death."

Interpretations
"My intervention on one of Amorsolo's painting series,  'Dalaga sa Batis', with the sirena of Philippine mythology."

The maiden's hand was buried in the garden. Soon a plant grew on the spot, bearing pure white flowers.

There is an old joke that a Filipino's nose bleeds from mental strain whenever he attempts to speak a foreign language. If that were the case, then the flat nose of the Indio has bled for every foreign language and culture he has had to learn.

For centuries, multiple nations have tried to assimilate and educate the indigenous peoples of the Philippines until the revolt of the Katipuneros against their final colonial ruler.

These days, most Filipinos are either bilingual or trilingual. The common Indio has now evolved into the modern Filipino -- a multicultural race bred from a melting pot of cultures bleeding into each other.

This work is inspired from the Bontoc myth about Lumawig, son of Kabunian (the god of the Bontoc tribe) that depicts the scene when he (Lumawig) with his dog visited the earth and found our that it is flat because when his dog barks it echoes.  

He then was able to create mountains by using rain and cloth.

Once upon a time...
Before the rape of Mother Nature...
The insects and leaves played in the blue sky…

Looking for Juan
Credits: Story

Looking for Juan is a program of CANVAS that centers on creative activities and events designed to explore the use of art to drive debate and discussion on selected social issues, particularly national identity, free expression, technology & culture, and sustainable development.

For more information, visit www.canvas.ph.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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