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Art on the go: This group of beep card collectors is on a mission to showcase Filipino creativity

By Arry Asiddao
February 29, 2024

The beep card has become a mainstay of the daily commute for millions of Filipinos. With this reloadable payment card, commuters can simply tap and go, avoiding the hassle of standing in long queues to buy single journey tickets. But did you know that, outside of their use value, beep cards also make good collectibles?

It was the shared passion for collecting special edition cards that brought together the members of Beep Card Collectors Philippines (BCCP). Founded by Ruzzel Gutierrez in 2017, BCCP is a group of collectors whose mission is to promote the use of the beep card and support its centralization in the country.

One of the community's initiatives is the release of limited edition co-branded beep cards with the designs of Filipino creatives. The first artist to be featured on the cards is Mariel Garcia, whose captivating artwork Resurrecion will be showcased on 200 cards priced at P350/card to be released from February 29 to the first week of March. Due to high demand, BCCP opened another 100 slots for Resurrecion. The group plans to unveil a new design by a different featured artist every quarter.


Photo courtesy of BCCP

In this project, BCCP joined forces with AF Payments, the company behind the beep card. AF Payments is no stranger to such collaborations, having successfully partnered with various renowned brands and institutions in the past. During Museums and Galleries Month last year, the National Museum of the Philippines launched a special edition of beep cards highlighting its four buildings. Beep card has also released other exclusive designs, including those that celebrated Pride Month and featured pop culture icons like Hello Kitty and Justice League.

However, bringing this project to life was not without challenges. BCCP Co-Admin and freelance designer Ryan Balanay first reached out to AF Payments, Inc. in 2020. Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the project, it did not push through due to logistical constraints.

“I just thought maybe there was a best time for it. But it was always there at the back of my mind. It would not let me sleep,” recalls Balanay, who considers the collaboration his passion project.

BCCP and AF Payments reconvened in 2022, but it was only last year that the wheels started turning for the co-branded beep card. “That’s also when AF Payments recognized BCCP as the first official group for beep card collectors, because of the size of our membership and our support for the beep card,” says Balanay.

Together with visual artist and painter Mariel Garcia, the team worked on the special edition card throughout January. Garcia has worked with brands such as Levi’s and Huawei and was also the one who brought to life the illustrated book Kain Na by Felice Prudente Sta. Maria and Bryan Koh.


Photo courtesy of BCCP

While creating the design for the beep card, Garcia took into account the project's timeline and built on the idea of “rising from the ashes with resilience and grace.”

“We originally planned to launch it in January, and January is all about New Year's resolutions, new life. So I thought of the theme Resurrecion, the idea of rising from the ashes and everyone having the chance to get back on their feet. As Filipinos, we are known for being resilient, for persevering,” Garcia shares.

Garcia also incorporated distinctively Filipino elements into her painting, including the butterfly A.p. nuydai, which is endemic to the Philippines, and sampaguita, the country’s national flower, symbolizing hope and purity.

Balanay considers the beep card a platform to promote and showcase emerging artists in the Philippines. "We want to contribute to the positive history of the BCCP Community and beep™ (AF Payments Inc.), as well as help young individuals with a passion for art and design in our country," he shares.

He also sees their special edition beep cards as a way to make art accessible to more people. “Instead of limiting art to walls, establishments, or brands, why not make it more accessible for everyone? Imagine if art was affordable enough to fit in your wallet or pocket. Over time, you could even build a collection of art that could also turn into memorabilia,” says Balanay.

“Sometimes people find it hard to access art and think, how can I support this artist? This is what this special edition beep card aims to answer,” he continues.

Garcia shares this sentiment, “We, in the art industry, really want to showcase our art to a large audience. I’m grateful to have this chance to share my art with people outside the art community. It’s great because, through this, the art industry gets to connect with the common people who use beep cards on a day-to-day basis.”

Following Resurrecion, BCCP will be releasing beep cards quarterly with the works of artists MJ Macasinag, Lei Melendres, and Brushpoint Academy.

To learn more about BCCP’s special edition beep cards, you may email them at [email protected] or join the Facebook community:

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