Kaliwa Art


Asia Blossoms

The Asia Blossom artwork displayed throughout Kaliwa’s restaurant is based on a design by decorative artist and illustrator C. Ashley Spencer of Casart Coverings LLC. The Asian Blossom wall coverings and many other beautiful works can be found at www.casartcoverings.com.


"Binukot sa banig"

Salvie Lou Makiling's batuk/patik, or ritually hand-tapped tattoos, are the result of over two years of tattooing by mambabatok, Lane Wilcken. All Salvie's designs are hand-tapped with traditional tattoo implements made from wood, horn, bone and thorn. The traditional symbols, placement and arrangement of the symbols on her body are from the central and western Visayan region of the Philippines. Each of the individual motifs convey different concepts, but most importantly, her relationship to her ancestors. Anciently the peoples of the Philippines believed that their ancestor spirits could appear in specifically recognized animal forms to make the descendant aware of their presence and remind them to open up their hearts and minds to be receptive to their spirit-to-spirit guidance. Many of these tattoos represent those animal forms recognizable to Salvie and her people. By agreeing to wear these stylized representations of her ancestors' animal forms on her skin, there is no need for her ancestors to manifest themselves in their omen animal forms because the reminder has been internalized within Salvie's skin. The circular designs represent the creation tradition and origins of the Visayan people.
Other designs convey spiritual protection for Salvie, her responsibilities, as well as an enhancement to her spiritual insight, health, and fertility. Lastly, the ancient peoples of the Philippines believed that tattoos were a token of passage into the afterlife. These tattoos mark Salvie so she may be easily recognized and embraced by her ancestors when she passes to the other side of the veil.



Kaliwa commissioned Kristian Kabuay the leading authority for the propagation and instruction of the Philippine script, Baybayin to create two pieces, MAHAL and LAKAS, translated in Tagalog, “Strong” and “Love”

His work explores pre- to post- Filipino culture in the diaspora. Using Baybayin, the nearly extinct indigenous Filipino writing system as a foundation, he incorporates and deconstruct calligraphy and graffiti methods. 

Currently based in San Francisco, Kristian has been tirelessly advocating a reawakening of the indigenous spirit through decolonization and Baybayin.