Deaf-mute carves styrofoam replica of Niño-A A +A
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
THE image of the Sto. Nino that will be featured in the grand finale dance this Sunday is said to be one of the closest a replica can get to the original image of the Holy Child.
It is carved out of styrofoam and painted by 27-year-old Norman Prias.
Prias also sewed the robe for the image and worked on its intricate beadwork himself.
It took him three weeks to finish the 2.7-meter high image and its accessories.
With the preciseness of his work, many would be surprised to know that Prias is deaf-mute and only gets instructions from his boss and the Sinulog organizers through writing.
Prias, who hails from Barangay Udlot in Bogo City, works for JSV Construction, the contractor in charge of the Sinulog stage and props for the grand finale for this Sunday’s grade parade.
He said it was easy to make the image and paint it, which was patterned from a miniature image of the Holy Child.
Prias, a devotee of the Sto. Nino, prays to him often. When he works on the image, he thinks of the Holy Child, he said.
Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros said they were impressed with Prias because he works with precision and does not need supervision, despite his disability.
“In the past, we would ask the contractor to change the image or make some changes because either the eyes were too wide or the lips twitch to one side. But this time, it’s perfect. Kuha gyud kaayo niya ang nawng ni Sto. Nino… Manimbawot imong balahibo magtan-aw,” Ballesteros said of Prias’ work.
Jules Villordon, the owner of JSV Construction, said he met Prias in Udlot three years ago while the latter was painting and repairing religious images in the church in Bogo.
Recognizing the boy’s talent, he asked Prias to come to Cebu City and offered him a job.
“He’s very hardworking and very talented, so I decided to help him and give him a break. Luoy sad because his father is jobless and his mother makes a living just by sewing clothes,” Villordon said.
Prias’ artwork will be featured in the grand finale at the Cebu City Sports Center this Sunday.
A diamond-shaped glass will be brought to the stage as some 1,000 dancers perform the grand finale dance. The glass will be opened during the later part of the performance to reveal the image of the Holy Child.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 16, 2013.