Google Chrome Canvas Paint by Pinoy Artists

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Celdran, an artist-tour guide and now a controversial figure in the Philippines for interrupting a mass at the Manila Cathedral, is one of the 13 Filipinos chosen by Google to have their artworks used as web browser themes.

According to Google, the latest move is part of an effort to make the web "as relevant and useful to Filipinos as possible."

"It's a great way to personalize your browser," said Google Southeast Asia marketing head Derek Callow, whose favorite Filipino artist theme is the one created by graphic design studio Team Manila.

Also featured in Google Chrome's artist themes are works by local fashion house Aranaz bags, School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA) and social change organization Yabang Pinoy.

Bag designer Amina Aranaz-Alunan, co-founder of SoFA, hoped that the tie-up with Google will help showcase Filipino talent and promote their fashion school.

"We used the sewing machine (for the theme) because we wanted to use an image that would symbolize the fashion industry and the creative process," she said during the launch of the Google Chrome Filipino artist themes.

She continued, "The Internet has been the strongest marketing tool for us."

'Manananggal' in space

One of the web browser themes that stood out during the launch is Dan Matutina's Exploration, which featured a manananggal (a human-devouring monster capable of severing its upper torso to fly into the night with huge bat-like wings) in outer space.

"This best reflects what you do with Chrome (and the Internet) --exploring, researching, multitasking," Matutina explained.

For his part, comic book artist Arnold Arre based his creation on Maria Makiling, the most widely known diwata (fairy or forest nymph) in Philippine mythology.

"With this, I hope to be able to promote Filipino culture through our myths," he said.

Other Filipino works featured in Google Chrome's web browser themes are by design company Electrolychee, and illustrators AJ Dimarucot, Corey Cruz, Drew Europeo, Karen Gosingan and Paul Guadalupe.

The 13 artists were selected based on their contribution to Philippine art and culture, according to Google