Sunday, March 27, 2011

57. The Saintmakers: DOMINGO TEOTICO

Domingo Teotuico was born in Sta. Cruz, Manila in 1853, which already had a fledgling carving industry at that time. An artistic child, he enrolled at the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura when he came of age, training under Lorenzo Rocha. Under the accomplished saintmaker Leoncio Asuncion, he learned how to make figural models.

After eight years of study, Domingo felt that he was ready to make it on his own. He opened a shop along Palma St., in Quiapo, and became a member of the “Gremio de los Escultores”. He quickly gained a reputation as a sculptor of note by winning 2nd prize in the Open Competition sponsored by the Sociedad de Escultores de Sta. Cruz in 1880. In 1882, he won a Silver Medal for a bust of Pope Gregory XV, at the tercentenary celebration of Sta. Teresa de Jesus.

The next few years, he won more accolades: Bronze Medal for genre sculptor at the 1887 Exposicion Regional de Filipinas (Madrid, Spain), Honorable Mention for Sculpture at the Exposicion General (Barcelona, 1888), 2nd Prize at the Tercentenary Celebration of St. John of the Cross (Manila, 1892), Silver Medal for a carved set of furniture at the 1895 Exposicion Regional de Filipinas.

Teotico was also elected as a ‘cabeza de barangay’ (town head) and his nationalist fervor found expression during the 1896 Philippine Revolution. He became the Communications Chief and Commandant of the military in his district. Teotico even did administrative work for the newspaper “La Solidaridad” in 1899.

During the American Regime, Teotico continued with his sculpture business, winning a Bronze Medal at the Saint Louis Exposition of 1904. Most of his works are religious statues commissioned by individuals such as the santos used for the private devotion of the family of Don Martin Ocampo.

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