A PROFESSIONAL basketball player has become the face of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, a Filipino who will be proclaimed saint by Pope Benedict XVI in October.
Ronald Tubid from Iloilo province was used as a model for the image of Calungsod, said Jesuit Father Catalino Arevalo.
“If you look at the portrait carefully he was the one used as model,” said Father Arevalo during a seminar at the Loyola School of Theology on Wednesday.
He said Tubid is a Visayan like Calungsod and was only 17 years old when he posed as a model for the future saint.
“We asked everybody who knew him if he was a good candidate, of good moral character, and everybody said yes. So we used him as the official face of Calungsod,” Arevalo said.
Tubid plays professional basketball for the Barako Bull Energy team at the Philippine Basketball Association. He used to play for the University of the East and the Philippine Basketball League during his younger years.
Calungsod was a catechist who went with Spanish Jesuit missionaries to Ladrones Islands in the western Pacific in 1668 when he was martyred.
Because no one knows what the boy martyr looked like, at least eight various likenesses of him had made their appearance since the time he was proposed for the altar.
But the easy favorite among many likeable likenesses is the first oil painting of him (1999) by Rafael del Casal which was eventually chosen by the Archdiocese of Cebu as the official portrait.