Mural honors Filipinos in Jacksonville, Florida

"The Roots That Ground Us," ithe first Filipino mural in the Jacksonville area, honors the city's 33,000 Filipino residents. SCREENSHOT

“The Roots That Ground Us,” ithe first Filipino mural in the Jacksonville area, honors the city’s 33,000 Filipino residents. SCREENSHOT

A public mural dedicated to Filipino Americans in Jacksonville, Florida now appears at the Jessie Ball duPont Center.

The mural titled “The Roots That Ground Us” is supported by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and commissioned by Filipino American Jacksonville residents Philipp Aldana and Carmina Montesa Aldana. It is the first Filipino mural in the Jacksonville area.

Artist Grace Bio painted the mural t the Jessie Ball duPont Center. SCREENSHOT

“We all belong to this beautiful city,” Montesa Aldana said Friday, April 22 at the mural’s official opening. “Thank you for coming out today to celebrate the Asian Americans and [their rich contribution] to the vibrant cultural fabric of Jacksonville.”

According to the Cultural Council, there are over 33,000 Filipino American residents in Jacksonville, constituting the city’s largest Asian population as well as its largest population of immigrants.

The Aldanas conceived the mural in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspired by the service of Filipino nurses on the pandemic’s front who were also targets of anti-Asian hate, they opened a mural idea competition, which was won by artist Grace Bio.

“The Roots That Ground Us” depicts members of Bio’s family and the Filipino immigrant experience.