BENGUET - A more colorful La Trinidad, Benguet will welcome visitors as the painting of hundreds of houses in Barangay Balili into one big mural is nearing completion.
La Trinidad is the neigboring town of Baguio City. It shelters the famous strawberry fields, making it a popular tourist destination.
A mountain of houses, often considered an eyesore, welcome tourists.
After a month of painting, the mural is almost finished, giving La Trinidad a different image.
"Ang ginagawa namin ngayon 'yung outline ng mga buklaklak. 'Yung paint pa lang kasi 'yung nagagawa so hindi pa makikita 'yung design," Gloria Agasen, project coordinator, said.
This project is under the REV-BLOOM campaign of Department of Tourism (DOT) Cordillera which aims to promote a more sustainable tourism in the region.
The project was adapted from the favela paintings in Brazil.
The project is a first in the country, and is designed by the Tam-awan Village artists. The main theme of the mural is the sunflower.
"'Yung apat na design pinagsama-sama namin. Pinili namin 'yung maganda at pinakamadali. Pinili ng artists 'yung sunflower kasi dati itong puno ng mga sunflower,” said Jordan Mang-osan, one of the artists.
Over 18,000 square meters or 150 houses will be painted.
The residents themselves are the ones painting the houses along with other volunteers, like students and members of the police.
The paint is free and the residents recognize the economic benefits they will gain from the project.
Some of them are looking forward to expanding their businesses.
"Rice retail po kasi ang business namin dito, dadagdagan namin ng hand-made products at saka merienda," said Nenita Nead, a resident.
The official unveiling of the project is on June 23, but they still need two months for the project's completion.
DOT is also planning to implement the project in Quirino Hill, Baguio City which is three times wider than Barangay Balili.