ANGONO, Rizal, July 30, 2012―For years, no one knew what the young martyr Blessed Pedro Calungsod looked like, but by September, highly-skilled Angono artists will interpret his likeness for posterity in some 50 to 70 paintings.
The face of Calungsod
Clarke Nebrao, who heads the promotions and merchandise team for Calungsod’s canonization, told the artists in a meeting yesterday at the Blanco Family Museum in Angono, “Walang mukha si Pedro Calungsod. Kaya kayo nandiyan para ipakita ang hitsura niya for the next centuries. [Pedro Calungsod has no face. That’s why you are there, to show his likeness for the next centuries.]”
Quoting Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, chairman of the National Commission of the Canonization of Pedro Calungsod, Nebrao asked the artists to portray Calungsod who died in 1672 as “very Filipino” and “always on the move.”
Explaining what the latter meant, Nebrao said that Cardinal Vidal imagined the missionary Calungsod as dynamic and always moving.
Definitely, Nebrao said, Calungsod will not be depicted as European-looking and even most probably be painted as being “pango” or flat-nosed as most Filipinos are.
He also encouraged the artists to show him wearing bakya (thick, wooden shoes) as the Marianas Islands, where Calungsod did much of his missionary work had rugged terrain.
Paintings on tour
Nebrao said that ten to twelve 2 x 3 feet paintings will accompany Bl. Pedro’s image from his canonization in Rome on October 21 to the “Duaw Nasud”, a pilgrimage visit of the image to several locations all over the Philippines.
The paintings will also be exhibited on November 30 during the National Thanksgiving in Cebu as its last stop.
The fifty to seventy 16 x 20 inch smaller paintings, aside from being published in a coffee table book on Calungsod like the bigger paintings, will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the artists.
Angono Department of Tourism cultural officer Patnubay Tiamzon estimated some fifty to a hundred artists will be involved in this collaboration between the National Commission and several Angono artists’ groups like the Angono Ateliers, Angono Artists’ Association, the University of Rizal System – Angono and the Neo Angono Artists. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]