Ilocos Norte’s Himala sa Buhangin Festival to pay tribute to Da King

LAOAG CITY – After unveiling the sculpture of Elsa from the internationally-acclaimed and iconic Filipino film, Himala last summer, Himala sa Buhangin returns this May 1, 2015 at the Sand Dunes to pay tribute to another royalty in Philippine pop culture – Flavio, the blacksmith, of the classic film series, Panday.

Flavio, whose character was portrayed by National Artist and action king Fernando Poe, Jr., will be immortalized through a sculpture by visual artist Raphael David. The sculpture depicts a scene where the iconic character is hurling his magical sword against a supernatural enemy which was created by the contemporary artist, Leeroy New.

“Filipinos love fantasy and adventure thus, Panday captured this distinct Filipino sensibility. Personally as a kid, I used to watch superhero cartoons and Panday was sort of a live action take on the superhero genre,” David said said in an interview.

He admitted that he felt “very honored and lucky” when he was offered a collaborative project to make a Panday sculptural piece as the Panday himself, was played by FPJ.

“FPJ eventually became an icon of Philippine cinema. When you think of action movies, the name FPJ always comes to mind,” he added.

The 1980 film, Ang Panday (blacksmith in Filipino), is originally a fictional Philippine comics character created by writer Carlo J. Caparas and artist Steve Gan and serialized in the 1970s. The tremendous positive reception of the first film spawned three others, Ang Pagbabalik ng Panday in 1981, Ang Panday Ikatlong Yugto in 1982 and Ang Panday Ika-apat na Aklat in 1984—all of which featured major scenes shot in the famous Paoay Sand Dunes.

Flavio is an ordinary human who is known for his superb swordsmanship. After a meteorite crashes to the ground, he forges its ore into a dagger, which magically turns into a sword whenever he raises it. Its blade hums when danger is near and can cut through anything without resistance. He uses this sword to fight his archenemy Lizardo and his minions who are oppressing his townsfolk.

On occasion, he uses a shield which is also forged from the said meteorite. Flavio’s trademark costume is a red vest and dark pants.

“The main sculpture is done using fiberglass. For the sword, the same material as the sculpture will be used but with stainless steel features,” David explained.

“It is challenging to sculpt a large scale figure but I can say that I really savored the opportunity,” he added.

Raphael Daniel David hails from the Province of Pangasinan and is currently based in Quezon City. He studied Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. In 2009, he won the grand prize in the 42nd Shell National Student Art Competition for the sculpture category.

Specializing in hyper-realist figurative sculptures, he utilizes materials such as silicone rubber, resin and actual human hair. His works are mostly life-like experiments or re-interpretations human and animal physiognomy oftentimes combining both to create unsettling characters.#