Poblacion is a study in contrasts. The neighborhood—Manila’s latest creative center of gravity—is a chaotic mix of high-rise hotels, open prostitution, innovative nightlife, and prolific eateries. Lokal, a street art-inspired hostel, sits comfortably in the middle of all this, with the red light district on one side and glitzy high rises on the other, unconcerned with either extreme. Its liberal attitude and live-and-let-live philosophy is what makes this such an appealing place for artists and travelers. And Lokal aims to play host to both.
Poblacion 是一个拥有多重面目的区域，这个社区既是马尼拉最新的创意中心，也是荟集高层酒店、色情场所、热闹的夜生活和众多餐厅的大杂烩之地。Lokal 则是一家以街头艺术为灵感的旅店，它舒适地坐落在这一切的中心地带，一边是红灯区，另一边则高楼林立，但这都与它毫不相干。它自由开放的态度和互不干涉的人生哲学，使它成为艺术家和旅行者都有相当吸引力的地方。而 Lokal 的目标正是招待好这两拨人马。
The street-level entrance, an alleyway with a row of graffiti-covered walls and a candy-cane floor, calls to mind a carnival ride. Featuring the work of Filipino artists like Apok, Distort Monsters, and Chase, the corridor is visible from the busy sidewalk, drawing in passersby and rewarding them with an eclectic mix of art not found anywhere else.
Lokal’s third-floor lobby greets visitors with a large mural, the centerpiece of the hostel, painted by Egg Fiasco, Manila’s most internationally recognized street artist. A host of other works cover the hallways, like the letter art of notorious graffiti writer Nuno and the politically charged paintings of Ang Gerilya. There are 15 rooms here, ranging from single and double private rooms to dormitories for four to six people, with a total capacity of about 50. Each room features its own artwork as well.
Don Angelo Bautista, the owner, says he was inspired by Sydney’s Kings Cross district, which revealed the possibilities that street art can offer a neighborhood. “There are about 20 hostels there,” he says. “Backpackers were exploring and taking pictures with the street art in the background. So I realized if I had art in my hostel’s rooms, they would take pics in front of that too and tag it. It’s a natural marketing tool.”
“Plus, I knew that if I hung art on the walls, people would snatch it. But if we painted right onto the walls, no one could take it,” he adds with a sly smile. “Most accommodations are known for pilferage.”
店主 Don Angelo Bautista 说，他受到了悉尼国王十字区的启发——它向人展示了街头艺术可以为社区提供的种种可能性。“那里大约有 20 家旅社。”他说。“背包客正在探索和拍摄以街头艺术为背景的照片。所以我意识到，如果我在旅社的房间里有艺术品，他们也会在前面拍照并贴上标签。这是一种自然营销手段。”
His inspiration for the hostel was much more than practical, however: “When you get into business without passion or creativity, you won’t be able to bring out your full potential. It’s a back and forth transaction.”
In his travels, Bautista has noticed that street artists are often used for commercial gain. He didn’t want to be a part of that cycle, bringing some in to help promote the neighborhood and then abandoning them. “I’ve seen a lot of street artists when traveling around the world, and I’ve learned they need to be protected,” he explains. Nearly all the art on the walls is Filipino. It’s an important point to him: his hostel is a way to connect with the local culture—hence the name—and shine a light on artists from home. “I want the locals to get a chance, the same way I got a chance to run the hostel.” He envisions the hostel as a node for artists to take advantage of, whether simply as a place to paint safely, to stay when visiting the area, or a place to throw events.
Don 在旅行中注意到，街头艺术家常常被用于商业目的。他不想成为这个循环的一部分，不想先请一些人来帮助推广这社区，然后再抛弃他们。“我在周游世界的时候看到过很多街头艺术家，我知道他们需要被保护。”他解释道。墙上的几乎所有艺术品都是菲律宾的。对他来说，这一点很重要：他的旅社是一种与当地文化联系的方式——也是这个旅店名字 Local 的来源（Lokal，音同 Local，意为“当地的”）——并且照亮了来自家乡的艺术家。“我希望当地人能有机会，就像我有机会经营招待所一样。”他把旅社想象成艺术家们可以利用的一个地点，不管是作为一个安全的绘画场所、还是作为参观该地区时的停留场所，或者是一个举办活动的场所。
Climbing the staircase to the treehouse-like rooftop reveals even more murals. A half dozen paintings grace the top of the building itself, and several more from across Poblacion are visible from this vantage point. “None of these murals were here before Lokal,” says Bautista, waving his arm at the surrounding buildings. “If you don’t have street art, then your neighborhood lacks character and color. Businesses that work with these artists should remember that without their talent, a wall is just a wall.”
爬楼梯到树屋状的屋顶，会发现更多的墙绘。五六幅油画装点着旅馆的墙壁，从这个有利的位置俯瞰，还能看到更多的画。“这些墙绘在洛卡尔之前都没有，” Don 一边说，一边向周围的建筑挥动手臂。“如果没有街头艺术的话，那么这个社区就缺乏个性和色彩。和这些艺术家一起工作的企业应该牢牢记住，倘若没有他们的才能，一堵墙就只是一堵墙。”