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Statue of Teodoro – a man made statue created by Victoriano Pineda in 1858 and named after the chief of tribe Panao located in the island of the Visayan region in the Philippines. The statue was made from the Narra tree found in the forest of Bohol in Visayas. Narra tree is also the country’s national tree.

Victoriano Pineda is a well known sculptor in the Philippines among Guillermo Tolentino, who’s best known for his Bonifacio monument who led the revolution against the Spaniards in 1896 and Napoleon Abueva whose famous work Fredesvinda was featured in the First ASEAN Sculpture Symposium in Singapore from March 27th to April 26th 1981.

According to Victoriano, the statue was created after he read about the history of the tribe Panao and learned about their chief, Teodoro. He was inspired with the strength and bravery Teodoro showed during the time he lead the tribe of Panao against the tribe of Lido in the early 1800’s. This region was claimed by Spain in 1543 and 1565 which converted the tribes to Christianity and adopted the Western culture.

According to the arts and museum director who interviewed Victoriano, even though he has never met the Chief, the statue looks just like Teodoro. The built, the size, the features of the face especially the nose, ears and eyes were very close to the Chief’s actual features. This was determined when an archeologist found Teodoro’s relic in the Visayan region and compared to Victoriano’s statue.

The famous statue is now owned privately after being auctioned at the Philippines Cultural and Arts Auction in 1980.

Jenny Vhee Asido