Survivor’s prize

WHO is the person behind the logo of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC)?

Jayson Jaluag is a 21-year-old fine arts student majoring in advertising at the University of San Carlos. He also survived lymphoma.

He was 19 and on medication when he came up with 10 drafts before he picked a drawing he liked and entered it to the logo contest intended for the 51st IEC.

The logo has the holy cup with the letters IHS on it. On one side is the host or bread that also looks like the sun. The other side contains three human images in colors red, blue and green with hands raised while riding a boat.

The sun, according to Jaluag, symbolizes the hope of glory and the Philippines, while the seven rays are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The cup and bread are the sacred parts of the Holy Eucharist while the IHS signifies the holy name of Jesus: Iesus Hominum Salvator.

For Jaluag, the three human images symbolize the different races of youth gathered together to spread the word of God.

Jaluag, who is the youngest of three siblings, belongs to a family of artist.

All the paintings in their house in Cabancalan, Mandaue City were made by his father’s siblings.
His father Leopoldo is an artist, too.

Initially, Jaluag invited his two close friends and told them to join the logo-making contest after he saw a poster in their school’s bulletin.

The three were enticed by the P50,000-prize.

Kita tulo trabaho. Atong bahinon kung modaog ta (Let us work on this, I told them. We will divide the cash prize if we win),” he recounted.

Jaluag conducted research on past IEC events and came up with his own design during his vacant time.

Nagsalig ko tulo mi. Wa kay ko mag-serious (I thought my two other friends also made their own design. I did not take it seriously),” he said.

In the end, his friends were no longer interested in joining the contest.

As the deadline for the submission of the logo entries neared, Jaluag never thought he would win.

He submitted his entry through e-mail on the day of the deadline, two years ago.

Two months after, a priest called to inform him that he won the contest and that he should fly to Manila.

And how did his friends react?

Na-shock sila nakadaog ko (They were shocked when I told them I won),” Jaluag said, adding that they were proud of him.

Jaluag’s mother Aileen said they never expected him to win let alone enter the contest because he is shy.

When they were in Manila, it was then they found out that Jaluag’s entry was initially disqualified because he e-mailed it without his name and without any description.

“It was disqualified pero tan-aw nila sa uban mao ra may ilang ganahan. Bisag no description kasabot sila (but when they looked at the other entries, it was only my design that they liked. They said they understand the message of the logo without any description),” he said.

He said he didn’t feel any pressure when he was coming up with the design, adding that he could not even say what inspired him.

But what was certain was that he loved what he did and he only thought of it as a school project.

Life has not been easy for Jaluag.

In 2010, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer that starts in cells, which are part of the body’s immune system.

He was about to graduate in high school when he was diagnosed. He thought he could no longer finish his studies at the Mandaue Christian School, but the principal let him.

“I thank God for helping me. My classmates also prayed for me. Not only am I healed now, but I am also graduating from college plus I won the logo contest,” he said in Cebuano.

Jaluag and his family will be attending the IEC’s opening mass at the Plaza Independencia today.

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