Street art in Manila

Or specifically, in the UP katipunan area.  I’ve been virtually sitting on a huge pile of pictures taken on my jaunt through UP last holy week that had me taking pictures of every bit of street art I could find.  Apparently there’s a nascent street art scene growing up in Manila, that’s far from being as developed as the grafitti you see in New York but light years better than the amateurish tags seen in the metro when being hiphop was still “in”.  Without further ado, here are some of my favorite artworks.


This dude calls himself “ff”, and has a thing for gorillas.  I found it hilarious how he painted right over the mmda “art” shapes.  It looks like he’s using the kind of brush you use to paint houses and diupping it liberally into a can of boysen.  Good stuff.  I wonder if the gorilla motif was inspired by bape?


Not quite as pretty as the gorilla but just as consistent, TMTK favors furry pink worm/caterpillars that seemingly enter in and out of “black holes”  Nest to FF, he’s probably the most prolific graf artist in the area.  Looks like housepaint as well, but with a smaller brush for the fur.

Clown guy

He/she doesn’t sign his pieces, but there’s at least one graf artist out there who has a preference for clowns.  Obviously he’s never wathed “it”.

Momy Nick

Momy nick likes drawing bear-like creatures.  Very iconic, very t-shirt worthy (idea!).  The top image looks to be spray painted on, while the bottom looks like acrylic latex (aka boysen).


It’s interesting that the scene’s grown enough to have its own griefers, or guys who just shit all over everyone.  ZTEG makes it a point to mess with other graf artist’s artworks, or perhaps it’s a collaboration?  The penis sticking out of momy nick’s bear would have me think otherwise.

Sticker Grafitti

This sticker grafitti intrigued me a lot.  I’d heard a little bit about it before but I had no idea that it was already present here.  It looks like he draws the circles with paint then sticks the cut-out stickers on afterwards.  The watertank piece on the bottom is really quite impressive up close, though it paints over some older grafitti.  On the top image, you can see more of zteg’s handiwork in the form of the blue streaks of paint.

Random stencil art

The Diceman

Hey at least someone misses him


Mao (Zedong) is free?

If any of you out there have an interest in street art or art in general, I encourage you to take a walk around UP sometime to take some pictures.  I only hope that this isn’t a fad that’s going to die down soon, as I plan on going back with a much better camera one of these days to take even more pictures.

You can check out the rest of the pictures in my Flickr account here.


11 Responses to “Street art in Manila”

  1. I believe the “Missed” image is She, the UPLB girl the was abducted when she went to help the farmers in Bulacan. She’s still missing even after a year of filing for habeas corpus and such and such.

    I’m not so sure about the “Free…” image however. I think it’s Ka Bel and not Mao. 🙂 Someone finally noticed them. Haha. Inside UP, there are some subtle graffiti that bore similar designs. There’s even this one near CASAA that said, “When I am King, you’ll be first against the wall.” It appeared there virtually overnight. 🙂

    Nice pics! 🙂

  2. Ah, well that’s a sad story but thanks for shedding some light on that image.

  3. Nice collection of snaps. Some unique styles. Thanks for sharing these.

  4. I think the stencil graffiti were an imitation of Banksy.

  5. hi kuya ryan! can i borrow one of your pictures? the one with gorillas. i will just use it in our analysis in pan pil 17… i hope you don’t mind…

  6. go right on ahead. 🙂

  7. hi :] can i borrow your pictures? we’re doing a report ’bout graffiti in one of our art class, please and thank you..

  8. Hi, go right on ahead. Just make sure to credit Ryan Sumo. I appreciate your asking permission.

    You can also find more pictures here:

  9. yess sir, i will thankee so much.. it really means alot.. 🙂 cecil robin :]


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