LAOAG CITY, Apr. 29 – The popular Ilocos Norte sand dunes is turning fast into the destination of select Philippine cinema’s finest and iconic characters. After Nora Aunor’s ‘Elsa’ sculpture from the internationally-acclaimed movie ‘Himala’ (Miracle), another image of a film character, ‘Flavio’ in the fantasy film series ‘Ang Panday’ will rise amidst Ilocos Norte’s rolling sand dunes here. Both films were shot on the same sand dunes which have become the site of the annual sand dune festival locally known as “Himala sa Buhangin” (Miracle in the sand).
The sculpture of Flavio, portrayed by Fernando Poe, Jr, will be unveiled during the festival’s opening on May 1. Carved by visual artist Raphael David, the Panday image depicts a scene where the iconic character hurls his magical sword against a supernatural enemy.
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 serialized in the popular format “komiks” in the 1970s.
The film became a hit and spawned three more movies, Ang Pagbabalik ng Panday in 1981, Ang Panday Ikatlong Yugto in 1982 and Ang Panday Ika-apat na Aklat in 1984. In the film, 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.
The main sculpture is done using fiberglass. For the sword, the same material as the sculpture will be used but with stainless steel features,” according to visual artist Rafael David. The artist specialize in hyper-realist figurative sculptures, using materials such as silicone rubber, resin and actual human hair. 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. (PIA – Cherry Joy C. Garma)