BACOLOD

Jojo Vito: From masks to pots

THE Covid-19 pandemic has brought havoc to people's health while communities were forced to reduce physical movement in hope of flattening the curve of infection thereby badly weakening the economy.

Ordinary citizens, workers, and entrepreneurs encompassing various classes of people and their respective source of livelihood are badly hit by the impact of Covid-19 scare.

It even canceled the staging of festivals and celebrations, particularly the staging of this year's world renowned MassKara festival in the City of Bacolod which affected local artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses, among others.

This has propelled prominent local artist Jojo Vito who is recognized for making multicolored Masskara masks to reinvent his art from mask-making to creating colorful pots and jars while Bacolod's major festival is temporarily relaxed.

Why pots and jars? Vito said that since Covid-19 has curtailed the physical movement of people due to quarantine regulations, a lot of people embarked on planting where the demand for pots and jars spiked in the market.

"It all started with my unused lampshades which were made of fiberglass. We embellished it to make it into plant pots and the result was elegant. Since we have mastered the production of fiberglass, we decided to make various styles of colored pots that have stimulated the interest of the so-called 'Plantitos and Plantitas' in our community and outside. So that was the beginning of my colorful pots," he shared.

Jojo Vito's MassKara masks through Jojo Vito Designs Gallery have been featured by prominent artists and personalities such as GMA's Jessica Sojo, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, actress Alice Dixon, and ABS-CBN's Kuya Kim, among others, that earned him a moniker as the "most popular mask maker in town."

His MassKara masks have traveled to New York when the Filipino community in Manhattan held their own edition of the MassKara festival. It also reached the countries of China, Taipei, Taiwan, and other places with soaring tourism.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, he was surprised by the turn of events as the Lord Almighty has brought the opportunity for them to switch their choice of art and likewise their economic direction.

"I now urge my patrons to start learning from their plants. God will never cease in helping us survive the trials of Covid-19. I believe that for every difficulty, there is a corresponding opportunity attached to it. It is a matter of praying to God Almighty for His guidance, protection, and provision," he said.


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