Kapwa Rising: the first mural in SF’s Filipino cultural heritage district

SAN FRANCISCO — This is the “Kapwa Rising” mural, located above the Filipina-owned restaurant Mestiza — located in downtown San Francisco.

After a year of speaking with the Filipino community around mental health, a group of local artists created the first mural for the Filipino cultural heritage district.

“They could really see a representation of the strength and resilience of our community of artists. They would see a reflection of how much the community is willing to come together to talk about how to be healthy and we could move towards becoming well.”

The mural and other projects exhibited at this event — were centered around mental health and the Filipino value of kapwa — which is fellowship and unity between the community.

“This idea of mental health is really seeing ourselves in other people; that’s kapwa. And it really is true. If you never see anybody that looks like you, or you never experience anyone that has shared lived experiences with you, then how could you ever know how to get better?” said artist Monica Magtoto.

While the mural is a new landmark of the Filipino community, the artist hopes all people can get something out of it.

“This isn’t just for one group of folks. Really anybody can experience kapwa. And I hope everyone does especially with the way our country is right now mental health is a commodity. It’s really hard to maintain. It’s an everyday maintenance project.”

Artists say that the public can expect more murals and other exhibits in the cultural district in the near future.

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