An unexplored side to the young martyr Blessed Pedro Calungsod is his passion for the arts.
Another aspect of Calungsod
Many know him as a catechist, sacristan, missionary, migrant and martyr, but few know that he dabbled into painting and drawing.
Research shows that from circa 1666 to 1668, a young Calungsod stayed at the St. John the Baptist parish in Taytay, Rizal where he cultivated his passion for the arts as he learned how to draw and paint.
Clarke Nebrao, the head for promotions and merchandise for Calungsod’s canonization, also shared that this historical blip is the basis for specifically requesting Angono artists to do some fifty to seventy paintings of Calungsod.
During the 15th century, he explained, the areas now known as Angono and Taytay were part of the larger Politico Militar Distrito de Morong, which also included Manila, Makati, Cainta and Pasig.
Angono Mayor Gerardo Calderon also added during a meeting with the Angono artists yesterday that in those days, Angono and Taytay were connected by a huge river and people traveling to Taytay from the other parts of the Distrito de Morong had to go through Angono on boat.
Blessed and honored
Veteran painter Jan Blanco of the famous Blanco family of artists said he felt “honored” and “blessed” to learn that he has something in common with Calungsod.
A lay minister at St. Clement parish in Angono and a devout Catholic, Blanco shared that his initial concept for his Calungsod painting is to capture the soon to be saint in the last moments before his martyrdom, preaching to a group of locals.
Like the rest of the Blanco family, Blanco is trained in the artistic style of realism.
In collaboration with the National Commission for the canonization of Pedro Calungsod, some fifty to a hundred Angono artists will be coming out with fifty to seventy paintings of Calungsod by the first week of September, showing him in life and death. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]