Davaoeño artists honored in the Vatican

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 Jan) – Davaoeño artists were honored in the Vatican for making the Nativity Scene displayed in Saint Peter Square during the last Christmas celebration.

The Nativity Scene, featuring nine Filipino statues that complement the traditional figures of the Holy Family, was made and conceptualized by Kublai Ponce Millan and executed together with architect Omar Payumo, fellow sculptor Lamberto Acyatan and Kublai’s trusted workers, namely,  John Legal, Rey Salvacion and Michael Saguid.

“It is with great honor to know and pride that an artist from Davao City has been given the distinct honor of making the Nativity Scene in the Vatican,” said Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre.

A Nativity Scene is a depiction of the birth of Jesus Christ as described in the gospels of Mathew and Luke.

Entitled “Native-ity,” the work of Kublai and company is an installation art that embodies the recreation of the birth of Jesus Christ with nine statues adorned with the lively colors of the native dresses of the Filipinos.

The Nativity Scene created by the Davaoeños was unveiled on December 24, in time for the Christmas.

The unveiling ceremony was organized by the Governorate of the Vatican City and was attended by the ecclesiastical authorities of the Holy See and Philippine Ambassador Mercedes Tuason.

Pope Benedict XVI visited the Vatican Nativity Scene on Dec. 31.

“The creation of Kublai and his group brought pride not only to the Philippines, but most especially to the City of  Davao,” Alejandre said.

According to Alejandre, this was the first time that the Vatican allowed a country outside Italy to participate in the preparations for its giant Nativity Scene, which occupies more than 3,200 feet of St. Peter Square.

Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first Nativity Scene in 1223.

“In proper time, I will be passing a resolution commending the group of Kublai,” the councilor said. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)

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