Screen capture of the painting from Marian Rivera's Facebook page
Screen capture of the painting from Marian Rivera’s Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – An oil painting depicting Pope Francis  awaits the pontiff when he arrives in the Philippines this week. It is a gift from Filipino artist Dante Hipolito who was commissioned by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to do the  artwork as a way to welcome the visiting head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Titled ‘Salubong’ (to greet or meet), it shows the Pope in the midst of Filipino farm workers and laborers after a day’s harvest in a rural agricultural field.

But there is a problem.

The ‘ordinary’ people featured in the painting are not ordinary people. They are celebrities from the movie and political world. They include movie stars Vilma Santos, newly-wed Marian Rivera and DingDong Dantes, Coco Martin, Gary Valenciano and presidential sister Kris Aquino. Also included in the painting is Senator Grace Poe.

In refusing to accept the gift, Pope Francis said that while he greatly appreciates the gesture, he would rather be painted or photographed with real ordinary people, like the victims and families of last year’s typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). “The main reason for my visit to the Philippines is to be in the midst of these unfortunate Filipinos,” said Francis who is scheduled to meet with the typhoon victims in Tacloban City, one of the hardest hit areas of the devastating typhoon.

So what’s going to happen with the prized painting?

The Adobo Chronicles learned that it will be displayed at the rotunda of the Batangas provincial capitol in Batangas City, south of the Philippines’ capital. Santos, who is prominently featured in the painting, happens to be the elected governor of Batangas province. She is one of many Filipino movie stars who have chosen to pursue a political career.


  1. I only learned about this interesting Philippine news today the content of which, if true, is very disappointing.

    I am not an admirer of any Catholic pope, but I agree with the current Pope’s reason for refusing to accept the novelty painting. I can also understand why anyone with good taste would turn down the gesture. It’s a shameful painting. It only reflects the ‘Eat Bulaga’ mentality of the Catholic Church in the Philippines as well as that of the novelty artist.

    If you are going to make a sincere artistic gesture to the pope who resides in a place where he is surrounded by the works of da Vinci, Michelangelo, Bernini, and many other fine arts legends make sure that your work is at least at par with the works of Filipino greats like Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo.


  2. “It is a gift from Filipino artist Dante Hipolito who was commissioned by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to do the artwork”

    Hipolito was “commissioned” . . . is it the same as to say that Hipolito was paid or he was “asked” or he was “requested” by the CBCP?

    I’m kinda confused here.

    It was a gift by artist Hipolito. So, it must’ve been out of his own volition, wholehearted, it was his own idea to give a gift, didn’t need to be promted,all expenses incurred was shouldered by him, as in “out of his own pocket”


  3. Its’s actually ok that he refused it cuz why would he accept a painting where filipino artist’s look like they’re hard workers? he should’ve just painted ordinary filipino’s instead of artist


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