I went to research the paintings in this seminary (please see previous story). There is this very old religious painting, nearly 150 years old, of St. Anthony, The Abbot. This painting is said to be the work of Mariano Asuncion, El Menor (that ‘Junior’ for you 21st century people!) ca. 1865. But the painter’s signature and date cannot easily be seen in this oil-work.
The story of this saint is very interesting, he was born in the 3rd century in Egypt. He decided to become a hermit to devote his time contemplating and praying for God. He gave away his inheritance and as an ascetic, he was tempted for 20 years by the Devil. He was tempted with different forms, afflicting him with diseases, boredom, laziness, even phantoms of women, elementals, scary shadows, poltergeist, etc. One day, as he was always successful with his resistance of all these trials and temptations thru prayers and his faith in God, the devil actually had him beaten by his minions. The poor saint was found nearly dead inside the cave he was living in. In the CIN website here was the story goes: “When he began to come to himself, though not yet able to stand, he cried out to the devils whilst he yet lay on the floor, “Behold! here I am; do all you are able against me: nothing shall ever separate me from Christ my Lord.” Hereupon the fiends appearing again, renewed the attack, and alarmed him with terrible clamors and a variety of specters, in hideous shapes of the most frightful wild beasts, which they assumed. to dismay and terrify him; till a ray of heavenly light breaking in upon him chased them away, and caused him to cry out, “Where wast thou, my Lord and my Master? Why wast thou not here, from the beginning of my conflict, to assuage my pains!” A voice answered: “Anthony, I was here the whole time; I stood by thee, and beheld thy combat: and because thou hast manfully withstood thy enemies, I will always protect thee, and will render thy name famous throughout the earth.” The devil then ceased to tempt he no more. He then established a monastery as his ‘devotees’ had increased. After establishing the monastery he went back to the wilderness. St. Anthony, the Abbot is said to be the Father of Christian Monasticism. (source: Catholic Information Network)
The painting I saw was partly restored yet more has to be done as the back of the canvas was nearly covered in molds. We placed the painting on a chair fronting an open window since we cannot take any photo with flash bulb. We first took a photo of the painting then the back part to document the condition of the canvas. I was interested of the parts where the restoration was done, we then took the photo of the painting with its back on the light-source: daylight.
Now here is the tickler, when we got home to my parents’ house, I showed the photos to my sister, while we were intently looking at the 2nd photo, we noticed that more images of evils, elementals have appeared. And this 2nd picture shows about, as of last count, there are 6 more ‘evil-looking’ entities on the painting. There is even 1 more that seemed to have appeared on the back of the canvas!! From the front the painter has painted 7 including the yellow crocodile and the blond woman. The ‘tikbalang’ is more like a shadow but the figure of a horse still appears. Anyway, we think there are 6 more in the ‘shadows’ plus the one at the back!!
One can only surmise what was going on to the painter while this painting was being painted! That question wasnt raised by me, but of the person very much familiar to the painting. I had the same thought, mind you. If you are not convinced about my ‘superstitious’ findings (and not scholarly, mind you! So I hope I am excused by all scholars and academicians, esp. by my professor) I hope you will indulge me. Its just the ‘gossipy’ side of me thinking of these things.
So judge for yourself! Happy Halloween!