Business News, Views, and Tips

Banking on Art

With the recent surge in confirmed Covid-19 cases, the discovery of two new variants, and the reimposition of stricter lockdowns, it’s become apparent that life as we know it has changed dramatically the past year and a half.  This ongoing pandemic has created uncertainty in nearly every aspect of daily life.

Unsurprisingly, everyone — from employees, employers, and business sectors, have been bearing the brunt of this ongoing crisis.

Activities that catered to a live audience were badly compromised.  For obvious reasons, one of the most affected was the Arts community, both visual and performing.

They say that for some folks, turning to art, with its many forms and varying perspectives, provides a temporary escape from reality and into a world of colors and hues. For artists, the limitations and restrictions have made all the difference in their pursuit of passion and, more importantly, their source of livelihood.

From the beginning of civilization, art has been ingrained in our culture and has continued to reflect our history and the different influences that have shaped our country to what it is today.  For me, this is reason enough why both the public and private sector must do their part in preserving and supporting it, especially during these difficult times.

It’s a good thing that the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), recently reopened their Competitive Grants Program last July 2021. Through this program, they are able to provide grants to artists and cultural groups to pave the way for their artistic achievements.

Closer to home, I’m fortunate that my employer (BPI) is a longtime advocate for Philippine arts and culture.  In fact, as part of our 170th anniversary celebration this August, we are sharing some of our relevant art pieces with key stakeholders, including the general public, through our very first virtual art exhibit, dubbed BPI: Banking on the Arts.

This free museum-like virtual reality experience aims to create an environment of arts awareness and appreciation, reinvent the way people see local art and more importantly — boost the Philippine art scene, by highlighting its significance in expanding our culture, and inspire people to see things in a different light. You can say that we are ‘banking’ on art to help our fellow Filipinos through this extra challenging times.

In partnership with the Ayala Museum, BPI:Banking on the Arts will showcase over 50 artworks from the BPI Art Collection that highlights the virtues of the bank—celebration, tradition, relevance, resiliency, creativity, innovation, and growth. This month-long virtual art exhibit will be open to the public until September 24.

Beyond aesthetics and visuals, art has played a vital role in shaping our national identity and bringing Filipinos together. In my view, it is our social obligation to do what we can to support the local art scene, and help Filipino artists survive these extra trying times.

To visit BPI: Banking on the Arts, go to