CEBU, Philippines - Sculptors of religious images in Cebu City are now busy accepting orders of Beato Pedro Calungsod images as his canonization nears.
At Natalio Bacalso Avenue, sculptors are busy accepting mostly images of Calungsod for repair.
Their clients want their images to be just like the one approved by Cardinal Vidal.
One of the sculptors, Bartolome Alico Jr., worked particularly on the image of Calungsod sent by the Cantabaco Shrine in Toledo City.
Alico said the shrine particularly asked that the image of Calungsod be glossy. A rosary also hangs in his hand.
He is also holding the Doctrina Cristiana and the palm. A drop of red that symbolizes blood is also seen from Calungsod's left side of the chest down to his feet. Calungsod is also wearing an all-white kamiseta de chino.
“This is what they asked that Calungsod should wear all white and there should be blood near his heart to show his martyrdom,” said Alico.
He added that they have received several images of Calungsod for repair since September. Some of the images need to have Doctrina Cristiana with it, while others need to be repainted. Most of their clients come from Bogo City, Leyte, and abroad.
“We have a client who wanted to have an image he can bring to California. He made us work on a 3-feet tall image,” said Alico.
The price for repair ranges from P9,000 to P12,000 depending on the amount of work they need to do to have the image done in time before the canonization.
Meanwhile, another sculptor located in Basak, Pardo, Cebu City decided not to accept other orders of images except for Beato Pedro Calungsod. In less than a month, they received around 25 orders.
Gerber Caballero said that their image is the most accurate of all because their sample is an image given by Cardinal Vidal. Caballero’s grandfather, Francisco Dela Victoria is a good friend of Cardinal Vidal.
Caballero said that the cardinal gave the image to Dela Victoria last August 21 on his 94th birthday. But a month after, Dela Victoria was rushed to the hospital after he had a hypertension attack. He is still at the hospital today.
“The image was given by Cardinal Vidal as a gift and knowing the kind of work we do, he wants us to follow the image when we have clients who order the image of Beato Pedro Calungsod,” Caballero said.
Caballero also added that they have been praying for Calungsod since his grandfather was sent to the hospital.
“I guess in a way Calungsod has answered our prayers because the health of our grandfather is getting better given the age that he is now,” said Caballero.
The image of Calungsod that they have been doing is the one with black pants, holding a palm and Doctrina Cristiana.
“Actually, Calungsod can look a little like San Lorenzo Ruiz. The significant difference between San Lorenzo and Calungsod is their eyes. San Lorenzo has Chinese-looking eyes while Calungsod has bigger eyes,” said Caballero.