PHOTOGRAPHS documenting Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal’s life as seen by Sun.Star Cebu lensmen were turned over to the prelate yesterday, the eve of his 79th birthday.

In an informal turnover, chief of photographers Alex Badayos presented to Cardinal Vidal a collection of pictures of the Cebu prelate taken during his younger days.

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“It was Sun.Star Cebu’s modest homage to (Vidal) as a respected and well-loved spiritual leader who has been also known as a man of peace,” said Pachico A. Seares, Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita editor-in-chief, in a letter to the cardinal.

The turnover was held at the Archbishop’s Palace on D. Jakosalem St., Cebu City.

The compilation includes 32 pictures that were featured in the photo exhibit titled “La Vida Vidal.”

It was first held in SM City Cebu from Nov. 14 to 19, 2003. The second one was held at Ayala Center Cebu from Nov. 21 to 26 in the same year.

The pictures show glimpses of Vidal’s 29-year career as archbishop of Cebu, including one with the late Julio Cardinal Rosales.

The other photographs show Vidal with different political leaders like President Gloria Arroyo, the late president Corazon Aquino, deposed president Joseph “Erap” Estrada, and one with former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

There are also photos of Vidal in unguarded moments with priests, the religious women and his flock.

It was in 2003 when Sun.Star Cebu conceived the idea of giving Vidal a tribute through an exhibit, as the prelate is one of the most-photographed local figures.

Sun.Star Cebu chose the archbishop’s birthday as a day to give Vidal copies of the photographs as a gift.

“And when I heard that Vidal’s memorabilia are being kept in a museum at the Archbishop’s Palace, Atty. Seares and I took the opportunity to turn over the pictures to Cardinal Vidal for the museum,” said Badayos.