Need a Halloween costume? Duterte masks becoming a hit

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2016 05:06 PM | Updated as of Oct 12 2016 08:56 AM

MANILA - Want to look like President Rodrigo Duterte for a day? You may consider him as your next Halloween costume as Duterte masks are now available online just in time for Trick or Treat. 

John Tan, who is an industrial designer by profession, is responsible for the creation of Duterte masks. He said he has been making masks since 2011 as part of his Halloween tradition.

"Every year, my team and I decide which face to make. Last year, we made Tyrion Lanister masks, and this year, Duterte was just the obvious choice," Tan said.

"It's purely economic because the choice is based on the face's popularity," Tan explained, referring to the demand for the fake face.

Sold for P700 each, the Duterte masks have been a hit with over 200 orders placed only two days after it was made available to the public, Tan told ABS-CBN News.

The team behind the Duterte masks is eyeing to produce 500 more pieces as demand tends to increase towards the Halloween weekend.

Aside from the president's face, Tan has also translated the faces of movie characters and boxing icon-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao into masks over the years.

"We sold 1,500 pieces of Pacquiao masks and even shipped some to the U.S.," he said.

Tan said several weeks are spent just to sculpt the pattern and put the right texture and facial details in clay. But once the mold is done, it will only take several minutes to mass-produce the masks with the use of a vacuum forming machine.

"Vacuum forming is an industrial manufacturing technique that I teach my students in the University of the Philippines," Tan said.

Though Tan has built a more portable, desktop version of the mask-making machine called Vaquform that is about to be launched on Kickstarter, he clarified that producing masks is just his hobby.

"This is just for fun. We do not do this all-year round. It's just fun to have our masks out there," he said.