Weekly Photo Challenge: {Hope}

I’ve always loved the paintings of the late Filipino artist Joey Velasco. He had touched the canvas with the brush of an artist who had seen the Hope anchored on a Personal Jesus, the Jesus who shares his last supper with street urchins in the poorest side of Metro Manila.

The Table of Hope (Hapag ng Pag-asa) is a 48×96 inch oil canvas of Jesus sharing his “last supper” with real streetkids from Manila. Painted by the late artist Joey Velasco.

The 12 children in the canvas are real children found by Mr. Velasco in the slums of our city.

After treating them to meals, Velasco took their pictures and retreated to his room to start working on the painting.

Velasco said, the children, aged 4-14, reveal a story of a greater hunger than a plate of rice could satisfy.

He said, ”It was they who touched my soul. Through them, God spoke to me and moved me to paint their stories and tell others about their lives.”

The young girl standing at the extreme left, where Judas appears in the da Vinci painting, is 10-year-old Nene.

Velasco met her at the Manila North Cemetery, where she and her family lived as squatters among the graves.

Onse, 9, sits at the table, his plate cleaned to the last crumb, he listens to Jesus to feed his other hungers.

The child, who scavenges with a push cart, has a father addicted to drugs and a mother who works as a strip dancer.

Itok, another scavenger who at 11 is the family breadwinner, sits at the right hand of Jesus.

According to Velasco, Itok spent time in jail after being caught in a number of robberies.

Another child in the painting does not live in Quezon City.

Velasco placed a small Sudanese boy under the table eating the fallen scraps with the cats.

The artist explained, “The skinny child is not one of the hungry kids who roam our busy streets at night. He is “an imaginary symbolic figure” who in the past “had satisfied himself with unnecessary food, (but) now finds himself under the table seeking spiritual crumbs.”

The children featured in the painting are no longer in the areas where Velasco originally found them.

Filipino artist Joey Velasco and the children whose lives were changed.

Through his partnership with Gawad Kalinga, an organization dedicated to sheltering the homeless, the 12 children and their families now have homes at Romeo Cabrera Village in Quezon City.

The children’s stories are  featured in the book “They Have Jesus: The Stories of the Children of the ‘Hapag ng Pag-asa (Table of Hope).”   (reprinted from a news article)

The artist at work.

It was a sad time when the artist passed away last July of 2011. Hubby was able to attend the memorial service since both he and Mr. Velasco were alumnae of Don Bosco Technical School.

Table of Love (Hapag ng Pag-ibig)

Hapag ng Pag-ibig is the sequel to the Table of Hope (Hapag ng Pag-asa). The same streetkids are now enjoying a bountiful feast.  The reward for never losing hope and faith.

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Categories: Art, Inspirational Musings, Philippines, Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: {Hope}

  1. Pingback: Gawad Kalinga… « FilipinoFestival.com

  2. Lovely paintings I had never seen before. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. a wonderful inspiring post …. thanks so much for sharing this painting and the story of the children 🙂

  4. Thank you for the kind words themofman. I agree that this guy is a talented artist and also a great human being.

    Have a peaceful week ahead!

  5. Extremely talented artist. Fantastic post.

  6. This is one painting that we can all learn from. It teaches us about humility, generosity, kindness, of the harsh realities of life, of hope, of faith, of a God that loves unconditionally, of an artist who is not afraid to speak for those who can’t. Just a moving post that touches the heart. Thank you. We all need to be aware that somewhere out there, a hungry child is trying to survive everyday…that they need our help and that we given the means to do it.

    • We do take a lot of things for granted when we have so much. It really takes effort and focus to see other people’s needs…and extra human strength to answer those needs.

      Thanks for the visit Island Traveler and have a great week!

  7. Very touching post, Magdalene! I have seen these paintings too, but it’s just now I read the story behind the painting. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Hi Nelson! Thanks for viewing! I’ve been a fan of the late Joey Velasco ever since I first saw his painting of the Table of Hope…I only hope that the next generation of artists will have the same vision that he had for these street kids.

  8. jakesprinter

    They are the true children of GOD nice post my friend 🙂

  9. Thanks for visiting! It is a very hard life for these street children. I am thankful and humbled by people like the artist Joey Velasco who uplifted the lives of these kids and changed the way we perceive art as just “art”.

  10. Some very fascinating artistic insights that promote the Christian ethos – I have seen the struggling families in Zimbabwe so I appreciate how hard it is out there. I’m just thankful that I only have to work for a living from 8 til 5 rather than the 24 hours a day for these people.

  11. Talented pinoys! Approved! Thanks for the share.

  12. Congratulations on your acceptance of the HUG Award. Should you decide to share it with others, please send them a copy of the Guidelines at http://ahopefortoday.com. Blessings, Connie at A Hope For Today.

  13. Beautiful tribute to HOPE. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Connie

  14. Those are some great paintings in deed. Well done!


  15. Beautiful thoughts by the artist.

  16. I am speachless. This is wonderful. I love it. This is the best hope post I have seen. The Hope that Jesus brings is the only hope we really need.

    • Hello Maggie! Thank you for those sweet words…I’ve found out in my journey that Jesus is the only anchor I need for the turmoils of life, the only light to illuminate my path, and my only hope for a joyful life!
      Have a great week…:o)

  17. Some really lovely pictures, well done and thanx..;)

Hearing from all of you made my day...@))-->>>------

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