From peace murals to beheaded 'Endo king': A lookback to Duterte SONA protest effigies 1
Protesters acquire to carry a calm rally in strengthen of President Duterte forward of his first State of the Country Deal with on the Area of Representatives on July 25, 2016. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN Information

MANILA — The folk have been as soon as hopeful.

In 2016, innovative artist collectives similar to Tambisan sa Sining, Sining Kadamay, and UGATLahi collaborated on a 6-piece moveable mural dubbed “Portraits of Peace” that visualized the realities the hundreds sought after to peer right through the management of President Rodrigo Duterte. 

The work of art, status 9 ft tall each and every, have been to be paraded right through the primary State of the Country Deal with (SONA) of the primary Mindanaoan president, who then pledged to finish exertions contractualization and reopen peace talks with communist insurgents, amongst different guarantees that appealed to the Left.

“Hindi siya katulad ng mga nagdaang SONA na anti-administration, bumabatikos ng mariin sa Pangulo… Meron lang sigurong magaganap na konting adjustment dahil nga ang turing sa nakaupong pangulo ay hindi naman kaaway at meron ding mga kasamahan tayo na bahagi rin ng administrasyong Duterte,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary normal Renato Reyes informed ABS-CBN Information in 2016.

It ended up being probably the most largest and maximum non violent SONA protests in contemporary historical past, with round 30,000 demonstrators, no violent dispersal, and, extra particularly, no burning of effigies. 

From peace murals to beheaded 'Endo king': A lookback to Duterte SONA protest effigies 2
Philippine Nationwide Police Leader Director Normal Ronald Dela Rosa greets BAYAN Secretary Normal Renato Reyes right through a rally of strengthen for President Duterte out of doors the Area of Representatives on July 25, 2016. Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN Information

In line with professor Lisa Ito, who teaches artwork historical past and idea with focus in protest artwork on the UP School of Positive Arts, 2016’s Portraits of Peace was once an “vital paintings for dialogue” because of its exceptional departure from earlier SONAs that featured elaborately-made effigies of a sitting president that have been then burned and destroyed on the finish of the rally. 

“Nung first SONA ni Duterte as an alternative of manufacturing an effigy, portraits of peace was once made… As an alternative of portraying the enemy or the gadget that must be modified, ito this was once an try to display the alternate other people need… It’s no longer an effigy, no longer a determine of the president, but it surely portrays a type of problem,” Ito informed ABS-CBN Information.

However the cordial dynamics between the management and the innovative motion was once fleeting. 


“Yr 2017 is a landmark 12 months, biglang nagsilabasan na ‘yung effigies in conjunction with the protests starting from extrajudicial killings, ‘yung kaniyang subservience to the USA, later directly to China, tuloy-tuloy na militarization,” Ito stated.

“Nag-end ‘yung 2017 with a picture of Duterte na all-out demonyo na siya,” she added.

Since then, numerous incarnations of Duterte effigies have transform a staple in each protest. 

Militants march in opposition to the Area of Representatives right through President Duterte’s 2nd State of the Country Deal with on July 24, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN Information

Protesters march with an effigy of President Duterte right through his 3rd State of the Country Deal with in Quezon Town on July 23, 2018. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN Information

Protesters burn an effigy of President Duterte on Commonwealth Street on July 22, 2019 right through his fourth State of the Country Deal with. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN Information

Multisectoral teams acquire in UP Diliman in protest at the day of President Duterte’s 5th State of the Country Deal with on July 27, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN Information

Ito recalled one of the crucial maximum memorable Duterte effigies on the subject of scale and idea, amongst them “Rudy’s Dice,” “Duts in Boots,” “Duterte Hitler,” “Monster-Te,” and “Duterte Shokoy” right through SONA 2019, the ultimate being a standout. 

“Shokoy (sea monster) kasi connection with the West Philippine Sea and siya ‘yung shokoy. Would possibly mga symbols pa ‘yan eh, meron siyang China flag, might baril. It depicts paano niya binibitawan ‘yung sovereignty ng Pilipinas and paninindigan for the Philippines within the face of China changing into extra competitive.”


An effigy is “some way of visualizing collective victory and indicates the combat to conquer and smash inequality,” Ito stated.

“The president symbolizes the gadget na sinusubukang baguhin and while you burn the effigy, you aren’t simply burning the picture of a unmarried particular person but in addition symbolically conveying na gusto mong baguhin ang gadget.”

Because of this effigies also are “made to be destroyed.”

“Sinisira niya rin ‘yung thought mo what a murals is, na parang one thing everlasting, very valuable, hindi pwede hawakan o sirain… Integrated na doon paano mo siya sisirain,” she added.

The custom of the use of effigies within the Philippines started within the Sixties, however Ito stated there have been memories of them getting used right through the Commonwealth generation. 

“Within the Philippines, it began out right here as easy agitational propaganda and was once documented as early as protests in Sixties, resulting in the fist quarter hurricane,” Ito stated.

Within the pre-martial regulation years, Ito stated effigies began to transform extra visual right through protests on oil worth hikes, expanding militarization within the geographical region, and the continued ties of the Philippines with former colonizers. 

“Noong una it was once no longer as elaborate as to what you notice as of late, quite simple siya, napakapayak.”

Starting martial regulation in 1972, then again, effigies and different items of mass protests vanished. 

“It in point of fact disappeared within the time of martial regulation. Lumabas siya ulit noong Nineteen Eighties, when Noynoy Aquino was once assassinated,” stated Ito of the pivotal slay of the opposition senator on August 21, 1983, which sparked a calm insurrection that at last resulted in the cave in of the Marcos regime.

Effigies then turned into a well-liked type of dissent in demonstrations right through the Nineteen Nineties, but it surely in point of fact took off right through the transient presidency of actor Joseph Estrada. 

“That began within the time of Joseph Estrada within the past due Nineteen Nineties. Makukulay ang mga rally kasi kapag character mo ay Estrada—actor siya, maraming character sa movies, sa TV— talagang nag-spark ng creativeness sa lahat,” Ito stated. 

Since then, effigies have transform extra conceptually advanced and highly-produced, with an goal to present other people an image of the present realities within the society.

“You’ll be able to enlarge very advanced messages and distill it in one symbol… You spot how each and every admin[istration] is seen. Nare-reflect niya rin ‘yung mga problems, ‘yung burning issues, ‘yung team spirit ng mamamayan to critique the present state of items,” Ito stated. 


From peace murals to beheaded 'Endo king': A lookback to Duterte SONA protest effigies 7
Artists from Tambisan Sa Sining upload completing touches on an effigy to be paraded and set on hearth Monday right through Duterte’s ultimate SONA. Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN Information

For the SONA protest this 12 months, Tambisan Sa Sining ready an effigy of Duterte as a beheaded “Endo King,” whose severed head was once to be served to the “ravenous plenty.”

“Would possibly ancient foundation siya eh, hango siya sa follow noong unang panahon kung saan ‘pag might namumunong hari na maraming kasalanan sa mamamayan, ang hatol ay kamatayan o pagpugot ng ulo. Sa provide context isa siyang hari ng kontratwakisasayon, ngayon sinisingil na sya ng mga manggagawa sa lahat ng kasalanan niya,” stated Jaime Calma, member of Tambisan Sa Sining. 

“Kinakatawan niya, ginagawa niyang tangible ‘yung want at poot sa naging 5 taong panunungkulan ni Duterte,” added Jose Tanierla, any other member. 

Requested why artists like them make effigies, they stated it indicates their unity with the running elegance. 

“Ang paggawa ng cultural output tulad ng effigy ay pagpapakitang might mga artista, manggagawang pangkultura na nakikiisa sa batayang sektor tulad ng manggagawa at magsasaka. Nagpapakita rin siya na hindi hiwalay ang laban ng mga artists sa mga mangaggawa at lahat ng pinagsasamantalahan sa lipunan,” Calma stated. 

Because of this the Philippines’ effigy “custom” will raise on, stated Ito. 

“Those are markers of our crucial historical past and indicators of the days. That on my own is an overly treasured a part of the follow… Mahalaga siya para ipaunawa sa marami na tuloy-tuloy ang laban,” she stated. 

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