Theater, tv and indie movie actor Arnold Reyes needed to develop into a priest when he was younger. He didn’t develop into one, nevertheless it has led him into a novel endeavor knowledgeable by his spiritual religion—making vestments for santos.
Reyes’ passion started in childhood, when as a teenager he would peek at a slim opening behind the statue of Virgen La Purisima in Concepcion, Malabon, the place devotees can contact the picture. He needed to determine how the Virgin’s magnificent vestments had been put collectively.
Reyes additionally belongs to a non secular household. Annual processions had been an enormous factor. His paternal grandmother, unable to stroll, would ask the stronger relations to hold her to church to attend mass.
When his father determined to maneuver the brood to Novaliches, Reyes grew to become a devotee of the neighborhood’s block rosary devoted to Our Lady of Antipolo.
His mom, Africa Reyes, was supportive of her son’s spiritual fervor. Years later, Mrs. Reyes fell sick to diabetes, underwent dialysis and finally wanted a brand new kidney. Everything was high quality till her physique rejected the alternative 10 years later.
By then, her son was practically completed together with his mass communication course however was compelled to cease to assist together with his mom’s medicines and different wants.
Reyes remembers his mom urging him to proceed his devotion to the Blessed Mother regardless of her situation. “Humaba ang buhay ko dahil sa faith mo kay Mama Mary,” she confused.
Innocent go to
Reyes’ foray into spiritual vestments began at about this time, starting with an harmless go to to a non secular store in Makati City. He made pals with the proprietor whereas admiring the products. The proprietor later requested whether or not Reyes knew somebody who might sew vestments.
“Ako po,” the younger man volunteered. Reyes requested for paper, pen and ruler and commenced measuring a Marian picture’s dimensions on the spot. What he didn’t inform the proprietor was that he had no clue how you can put a vestment collectively.
Reyes later obtained assist from Zeny Mataya, a classmate’s embroiderer mom and her sister Chi Base. The three sewed collectively a vestment that handed muster. New purchasers got here quickly after, however Reyes stated he didn’t understand the potential of creating new clothes for santos till a go to to Paris, the place he marveled on the structure and thought of translating the three-dimensional designs of buildings to garments worn by santos.
A well timed inquiry by famend ecclesiastical designer Rafael del Casal put issues in movement. The designer requested Reyes to execute a design for a vestment that will be displayed in Sto. Domingo Church.
“Rafael’s designs were exciting to interpret. I wanted to apply what I learned and observed (in Paris), in books and antique pieces. That was our first successful partnership,” he recollects.
Later on, a big-ticket order got here. Reyes was requested to assemble new vestments for Our Lady of La Naval proper after dressing a Sto. Niño de Pandacan that was despatched to the Vatican. At the identical time, he and his workforce of bordadoras had simply transferred to a brand new store whose hire he nonetheless frightened about.
“Na-realize ko, siguro kaya tayo nilipat ng Birhen, to prepare us for this big project,” he recollects.
La Naval’s vestment took 9 months to complete. There had been instances when Reyes would run out of supplies (Reyes’ store, Bordados de Manila, makes use of largely imported and costly gold-dipped threads and different equipment), or one of the bordadoras would have monetary points.
Reyes stated he would name on the Blessed Mother for assist. There had been moments when Reyes (who at the moment performs a personality within the teleserye “Wildflower”) would get a name for a venture and receives a commission instantly after a shoot, so “may pang-suweldo, pambili ng (sewing materials na) kulang.”
One time when he and the bordadoras had been battling La Naval’s garment, the scent of roses all of a sudden stuffed the workshop.
“Intense ang project, hindi kami natulog for five days. Pati ako nagbuburda na. I remember natusok pa ako. Nobody can prove there were roses anywhere. I uttered a silent prayer: Salamat po, sinamahan mo kami. Pagod na kami pero kaya namin ito.”
The Blessed Mother additionally made her presence felt throughout one other venture, when Bordados de Manila accepted an order for vestments for Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan.
Reyes recollects a storm submerged Metro Manila then. The order was due at 6 p.m., and the women had been nonetheless stitching items collectively at 11 a.m. Some opted to not work, pondering the storm wouldn’t make journey to Pangasinan potential anyway.
Reyes was adamant and the vestment was completed at 6:30 p.m. “Hindi ko rin alam paano nangyari pero tumigil ang bagyo, nawala ang baha sa Balintawak. Nakarating kami sa Manaoag before 10 p.m. Hindi ko ma-explain,” he says.
Reyes’ workshop helps not solely the bordadoras but in addition their dependents. Before finishing the vestments for La Naval and the Señora de Manaoag, Reyes and his workforce wrote down little prayers asking for Our Lady’s assist and sewed these into the vestments.
Reyes confesses he would generally cry silently when a vestment is completed as a result of his mom, now gone, is now not round to see his work.
“There are moments when, after we finish a vestment, I would offer a silent prayer to the Blessed Mother. ‘Bahala ka na sa mommy ko.’ I would not be this organized, this ‘OC’ with your vestments, if I didn’t take after my mom,” Reyes provides.
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