While preparing for the Holy Week, I was reminded of an annual joke in Camp Phillips:

“Who crucified Jesus Christ?

“”Damian Macatol”

This is an insider joke. Engr. Damian Macatol, a Del Monte supervisor was the best sculptor in town. And he carved the Crucified Christ that occupied the church altar in our town.

There were a few artists and artesans in Camp Phillips, at least in our time. I knew Tita Merlyn Paluga was a piano teacher. There were ballet lessons every summer taught by ballet dancers. But the most famous artist in our time was probably Engr. Macatol.

I am not so sure now whether he made a career out of his talent. He was an employee, so probably  sculpting was a hobby, and he specialized in religious icons, probably because he was such a deeply religious person. He is known for his faith as much as his craftmanship.

Later, Engr. Macatol also taught at the College of Engineering in Xavier Univeristy. XU students from Camp Phillips were always proud to claim that the St. Francis Xavier golden statue that greets the students at the gate is made by Engr. Macatol. He also crafted that beautiful Our Lady of the Poor, if I am not mistaken.

His name is carved at the bottom of this statue of St. Francis

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One response »

  1. Anaksa Pinya says:

    Long before…. there were the Butong’s who painted the best- were not much acclaimed then. Also whatever happened to Pedro Angus’s the “Sixth Note Band”?.
    What happened to Mr. Bugas (Phillip’s most acclaimed guitarist)? Phillips most famous bass player, Tibo Achas?

    Also Phillips’ landscape is richer in colors than anywhere else in the world—–much richer the Vincent van Gogh’s Provence (France). Indeed Phillips is an excellent place to nurture the arts….

    I enjoy your blog and please keep it up. Thanks.

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