June 15, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Woodside community members unveiled a new mural Friday honoring the Filipino neighborhood and the efforts of Filipino healthcare workers and businesses during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The mural reads “Mabuhay,” a Philippine expression that has several meanings, including “cheers”, “welcome” and “may you live.”
It was painted on the side wall of the restaurant Amazing Grace on the southeast corner of 69th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in the Filipino section of the neighborhood known as “Little Manila.”
Filipino organizations, businesses, artists, community leaders and local elected officials unveiled the mural Friday, on Philippine Independence Day.
The mural is a special thanks to Filipino healthcare workers who risked — and gave — their lives on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community leader, Sockie Laya Smith, read names of Filipino healthcare workers who died from COVID-19 during the unveiling ceremony.
“This is to remember them as human beings—not simply as a labor percentage, a deceased statistic, or an immigration number,” she said. “We thank you, say thy name. Mabuhay!”
Artists and community members Princes ‘Diane’ De Leon, Ezra Undag, Hannah Cera, Jaclyn Reyes, and Xenia Diente painted the mural, borrowing details from Philippine culture. For example, the typography is based on lettering found on iconic jeepneys, colorfully painted jeeps used for public transportation in the Philippines.
The community has tried to create a Philippine mural in the Little Manila neighborhood for more than 10 years, according to organizers. The “Mabuhay” mural finally came to fruition thanks to the Little Manila Queens Bayanihan Arts, a year-long project that seeks to create public art installations in Woodside.