Da U.N. Avenue Scandal!!! (with juicy pictures)

This is not a foodie post.

It all started when my friend priest, craving for tempura, called me up to spirit him away from the meeting of chancellors at a Catholic establishment at U.N. Ave.  We headed to the nearest Japanese fastfood that obviously carries tempura in its menu: Tempura Japanese Grill.   But since the restaurant doesn’t open until 11AM, we waited al fresco on the tables set outside the establishment.  We had 30 minutes to kill so we chatted away about his fellow priests’ botched plan of going to Corregidor.  Then I noticed something from where I sit.

On an art gallery near us is a nook, and on the wall of that nook is this:

Marian Icon

Marian Icon

It’s a painted replica of the icon of the Blessed Mother and the Infant Jesus.   A traditional Christian Orthodox religious art, this replica is well-rendered, surely done by someone knowledgeable with the aspects of Eastern Church’s iconography.  It’s a bit bothering, however, to see how this beautiful painting was vandalized by making long and deep scratches on the face of Mary and Jesus.  

scratched face

scratched face

It resulted to the peeling and breaking of the media.  It leaves an ominous feeling of hatred and violence to those who views it. 

Now for this story’s pay-off.

As I approached the painted wall, I was even more surprised to see yet another painting, done on an iron gate positioned at right angle with the Marian painting.  It is this.

Pantokrator on Iron Gate

Pantokrator on Iron Gate

Painted on the gate is the Pantokrator, a yet another classic Eastern Church icon.  Pantokrator literally means “All-Mighty” and is a title often ascribed to Jesus Christ.   The image of the Pantokrator often depicts Christ holding a book with his left hand while his right hand is raised in a seemingly admonishing and teacherly (may ganun bang word?) manner.  Here we can see the knowledge of the artist in Christian iconography by his attention to details:  hair parted at the middle, gold-leaf rendering of the halo, the signiture icon-style of body dimensions and facial symmetry.  Again, notice how the eyes of the Pantokrator was deliberately defaced by a vandalizer.

face of the pantokrator

face of the pantokrator

Notice too how on top of the Pantokrator, these portentious words were written.

inscription on the icon

inscription on the icon

Chilling, isn’t it?  What could the artist mean by that?  Is it a manipulative art that evokes guilt feelings from its beholders?  Is it a pop-art that only hopes to shock but really doesn’t mean anything?  Is it a cult art of some kind?

And then I noticed this:



the scandal

the scandal

Imagine the scandal this picture caused me.  Aba eh malala pa pala kay Jose Antonio Montoya ang gagong painter nito ah!  Nandun na ako, creative, artistic… Pero gawin bang deterrent ng mga  Shaider (shy umihi kaya humarap sa pader) ang icon ni Jesus at ni Mary!  Gusto kong magwala.  Gusto kong mag-amok.  It’s not amusing at all.  I made my own parodies of biblical characters and the teachings of the Church, pero I’ve got my limits.  Sobra na ito.  Truth to tell, Im not easily scandalized, pero with this picture, I’m still upset as of writing.

My priest-friend lost his craving for tempura.  We left even before the restaurant opened.


26 Responses

  1. Infuriating. Mocking to one’s religious sensibility, leaving the online viewer, me, a bitter taste over everything the rez could possibly serve. But i remain curious over the artist’s knowledge of icons, if there’s any way we can contact him/her for possible dialogue (or airing our disgust?).

    I think it belongs to an art gallery near Tempura Grill and Figaro, not to the restaurant itself. I forgot the name of the gallery eh. basta it’s along U.N. Ave. near Bocobo St., at Ermita area.

  2. i think i know that place… tempura grill with figaro beside it… hmmm… pero di ko nakita yan… pero frankly, brother, hindi ko naintindihan ang nakasulat except that NAKITA KITA… i have been staring at the monitor for quite some time na and i’m still clueless… nevertheless, if it’s scandalous, kakahiya yang artist na yan.

    it says: dito, bawal ihi kc putol ****.

  3. ifoundme, zooming out the pic might help you catch its vulgarity if you read page per page downward and connect some parted words. The artist tried to ape the Greek font but you have to disregard the two-sided extraneous strokes on both page. As is, the Pantokrator icon is obviously etched on a seemingly seldom-opened, brown-painted dusty gate and zooming it out revealed a portion of barbecue stick. This dross art could generate two types of reaction: disgust, or further religious disrespect from some religious bigots (vandalisms, perhaps even urinating the door,etc). The painting carries some social responsibility.

    i didn’t quite catch the barbeque stick the first time. Truth to tell, I do not mind placing the images there as deterrents for those urinating on walls. It was successfully done by the seminary fathers on the stairs of MRT Guadalupe station. But, putting words as “putol t***” on the Book of Life peeved me alot.

  4. hahahaha! so stupid of me! i was reading everything horizontally… yun pala! now that make sense… well… that’s quite irresponsible for the “artist” to do that.. mindless in fact…

    it really is irresponsible. sana di na rin lang nila isinulat yun. if it took you and me some time to figure it out, knowing naman na we’re both smart (naks!), paano pa kaya yung nasa daan? so what’s the point of writing those bad words pa, diba? haynako…

  5. For the sake of our non-theology students and in deference to our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Orthodox Church, i would still sell the idea that icons which are very important for them because they represent spiritual realities, have their proper place, ideally in places of worships. Putting those just anywhere is like putting anywhere the Sacred Host that for the Protestant believers represents the spiritual presence of Christ (for RCs – real, physical presence). A disagreeable proposal, i assume.

    i guess each of us has his own opinion. i’ve aired mine. enough that i’ve showed this outrage. to bring theology in is another matter for me. God bless.

  6. right you are, bro utoy… the disrespect for the beliefs of others displayed here is worrisome. if they feel free enough to do this now, who knows what they’ll attempt next?

    oo nga eh. wala nang sinasanto ang mga tao ngayon!

  7. no doubt done by some unfortunate lifeform whose ignorance washes over the obvious talent he has for the arts.

    sayang siya.

    my sentiments, exactly, bechay. wow, napansin ko sa post kong ito, inglisan ang lahat sa pagcomment! hehehe…

  8. hmm… weird art indeed. I once saw this artwork in CCP. God is holding a cross like a puppeteer does and a human is tied to it as if to say “sunod sunuran kayo sa panginoon ninyo” I forgot the name of the artist pero he’s pinoy.

    medyo nauuso na kasi ngayon ang mga art na may “shock effect.” haynako…

  9. nakakapanindig balahibo yong word na NAKITA KITA.

    ako rin, Mhar, kinilabutan dun sa words na iyon. akala ko kung anong malalim na meaning meron yung words na yun, yun pala, “NAKITA KITANG UMIHI SA PADER” lang ang message.

  10. I don’t think that the artist knows anything about the icon. Maybe he just copied it from some museum book or stampitas, i don’t know. But one thing is for sure– that guy is not catholic or has fallen from the flock. I can’t imagin that a catholic can do such a horrible travesty of a sacred iconography. Heck kahit siguro Christian denominations di gagawin yan… an atheist perhaps?

    anyhoo palagi ko sinasabi sa mga tinitira ko sa aking blog— Goodluck in Hell! They will realize that it exists pag namatay na sila and its too late to change.. ganun lang yun. Have all the vulgarity here on earth and laugh till they can because when they die, dun na ang katotohanan sa ayaw at sa gusto nya.

    I always promote religious tolerance on my blog. Actually nga dami ko mga kaibigan sa blog na iba iba ng kulto haha. And one rule to sensitivty is respect of religious figure. Kahit ang diyos ng ibang religion ay may ulo na baka o elepante respect them after all what is their to hate but your own expression of bigotry?

    Akala ng iba when we ex-sems or sems get angry with this parallel issues, they thought na palagi tayo one sided sa simbahan well in fact the point of our protest is, is the insensitivity and bigotry and not on church cover up brouhaha per se! Sabi ko nga dun sa isang anonymous commenter ko dati sa blog ko talking about “Scandalous Last Supper” — “walang pakielaman.. nanay mo kaya ang ipaint ko na nagooral service sa isang kargador sa pier?” haha

    alam mo tol kung ako lang nandyan sa manila, pinuntahan ko na yung owner at ininterbyu ko na. magandang investigative piece yan kapatid.

    good points, kapatid. come to think of it, baka kinopya lang nya sa artbooks ang mga icons. as for making it as an investigative piece, medyo duwag ang kapatid mo eh. hanggang rants lang muna ang kaya ko. and truth to tell, kundi lang talaga sa kaibigan kong pari na sabik sa tempura, I won’t be seen hanging around Bocobo st. hehehe…

  11. “We are ONE!” Bro, to quote Showbiz Central’S charming Pia Guanio. Ikaw na bahala kay SWEET…

    i replied to your e-mail na. God bless!

  12. bastos naman nun!

  13. awtz. no ba yan nibaboy nila ang images.
    wala na ba silang ibang magawa at pati images pinaglalaruan.
    my goodness.
    respeto naman…

    sayang ang talent nila ano? anyway…

  14. Why is everyone so Bitter??? Well almost everyone…

    You all should know by now that we are not all created equal plus we all have different beliefs plus others doesn’t have a clue of what they really believed in, hence vandalism…

    or they are just plain evil and are spawns of Satan that they just cant stop the urge to do that!!!

    Plus its the artist fault for taunting those who did that crime and desecrating the image them selves in the first place, why would you put up an such an image in a place where they know it wont be helpful at all…

    try putting your mom’s picture there in place of Jesus and see what I mean. God bless!

  15. genyan tlga ang walng mgawa sa layp nila



    elyens! sana may magawa na sila sa buhay nila, katulad ng pagba-blog. hehehe…

  16. kuya utoy quo vadis?=(

    nakakalungkot. basta may paglibangan ok lang at depensa “arts” lang yan…..

    grabe ano? ibang klase ang trip.

  17. at first, diko rin naintindhihan yung last image, ahahaha, innocence o ignorance? wahahaha… grabe naman!

    innocence yun, wifeybee. exempted ka from those who urinate on walls. hehe… God bless!

  18. Kapatid, nung una I was so disappointed at those people who vandalized the paintaings. I can’t imagine why they would do that. Mas na upset nga lang ako doon sa artist din. His humor and wit was really done in bad taste. Siya ang dapat putulan ng t**i (oops!).

    naku, leap! you took the words right from my mouth. sila dapat ang….. managot. hehe…

  19. Took me a while to figure out the “secret message” but hwen I did – I too was seriously bothered by it. Wala na ba talagang sinasanto mga tao ngayon?

    I’m sure kung ginawa nila ito doon sa “other famous religion” e malamang pugot na ang ulo ng artist (?) na yan!

    right, you are, pinky! kung sa iba talaga, hinahanting na siguro ang artist na ito. pero honestly, i can’t bring myself to confront the owner of the gate. hanggang rants lang ako. haay…

  20. i mirrored to u the emotions and scenario when christ was veri mad nong time na ginawang perya ang simbahan..

    our family is not (or no longer) a catholic but we were taught to respect images like these…something to do about spiritual is sacred so I dont know how people seemed so careless and respect-less sa mga ganito..

    or they intend to do it this way to attract a customers..
    similarly, in an accoustic bar in marikina, i was shocked to find out a related pics..

    meeting of the holies with beers and dating..:)

    regards bruder, this is a good reminder to people.

    aba, with beer? parang ok pa sa akin yun! hehe… kidding aside, the bottom line talaga is respect. sana naman marunong silang gumalang.

  21. grabe, this is way below the belt! (no pun intended 😦 )

    nontheless, your comment made me smile. 🙂

  22. uu nga kawawa naman yung santo… 😦

    mas kawawa ang artist kung sa muslim nila ginawa ito. haynako…

  23. huy kumusta na? paalis ka na ba papunta France– turuan mo ako ng pranses ha para naman di ako naeengot pag nagusap kayo ng pranses haha

    naku, kapag nandun na ako eh magiging tagalog na ang blog ko. hehehe… July 25 ang departure ko. God bless!

  24. respect beckons respect… try stepping down a notch from your level and see Reality for its true splendor!

    Safe journey, hope you don’t get LOST now…

  25. uh-oh…. why do we have to delve so deep into this topic and find each other erring about it? the point is it’s inappropriately done based on someone else’s belief. bro. utoy just found it offensive based on his belief. so what’s the hassle?

  26. […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by MariellaSmith on 2009-01-01 Da UN Avenue Scandal!!! (with juicy pictures) https://utoysaves.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/da-un-avenue-scandal-with-juicy-pictures/ – bookmarked […]

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