With his numerous tattoos and dyed hair, more so his aggressive playing style, it is not that easy to imagine Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Ronald Tubid as saintly.
But don't tell that to Father Catalino Arevalo, S.J.
The respected cleric, widely recognized as the Dean of Catholic Theologians in the Philippines, once sought out Tubid to pose for a painting of Saint Pedro Calungsod.
Tubid himself revealed this in a recent interview with "Unang Hirit," relating how he was asked to participate in the undertaking as a 17-year old University of the East Warrior.
"May game kami at the time against National University, natalo kami. Pinatawag ako ng president ng UE. Natakot ako. Sabi ko, maganda naman laro ko, bakit kaya?Pero the next morning, pagpunta ko sa office ng presidente namin, 'dun ko na pala ma-meet si Father Arevalo," he said.
Arevalo told Tubid that he was choosing him to be the model for a Calungsod painting being commissioned by Cardinal Sin upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
"Nag-go kaagad ako," recalled Tubid.
It was the start of Tubid's life-long devotion to the martyred saint, who was officially canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday.
"Sobrang saya, sobrang malaki ipinagbago ng buhay ko," said he acknowledging Calungsod as being instrumental for the career he is enjoying now as basketball player.
The painting, as done by Rafael del Casal, was the one brought to Rome for Calungsod's beatification.
In the same interview, Father Francis Lucas, Catholic Media Network President, explained that having a person pose as a saint in paintings or sculptors is nothing new given that most of the time there are no existing photos to base the creation upon.
"Lahat ay creation of the mind," he said adding, "pati nga si Kristo wala naman picture talaga."
"Ang pinakamahalaga dito ang devotion natin kay Pedro Calungsod at ang impact niya sa pang-araw-araw nating buhay."
By NR RAMOS