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How this ‘viral painter’ from Iloilo City touched the hearts of the online community

“Do not bury your talents, the gift that God has given you. Do not be afraid to dream of great things!”

These words from our beloved Pope Francis have never failed to inspire us. It is no secret that the Santo Papa is a firm believer of pursuing one’s talents and passions, and whenever he’s given the chance, he encourages his listeners to do whatever brings their hearts true fulfilment and joy. 

This is exactly what 53-year-old Larry Casinao did when he unexpectedly became an online favorite over the weekend.

Larry is a painter from Iloilo City who creates art for a living. He says that for the past 25 years, he was able to provide for his family by selling his pieces. However, when his wife recently fell ill and had to undergo dialysis treatments twice a week, Larry needed to get creative and find ways to increase his income.

In order to expand his market and earn more from his art, Larry thought of displaying his work on the sidewalks of the Jaro district. At first, he felt hesitant and embarrassed, but with much convincing from his loved ones, Larry realized that there was no harm in trying.

A Good Heart

Larry’s plight to save his wife eventually reached the Internet––thanks to college student Sal Molinos who took notice of his sidewalk gallery and shared his touching story on social media.

“I hope we could really help him by supporting his art because I had a small talk with him and he said that his wife is undergoing dialysis twice a week,” Sal wrote on Facebook.

Sal’s Facebook post spread like wildfire. With more than 2,000 shares on Facebook and 3,000 plus reactions, inquiries about Larry’s work started pouring in––one of which was even from renowned Filipina actress and fashion icon Heart Evangelista, who also happens to be a fellow painter!

Overwhelming Support

In an update posted on June 30, Sal said that following much attention from Philippine media and the online community, Larry’s artwork has since been moved from the sidewalks of Jaro district to an actual gallery in Festive Walk Iloilo.

Sal also shared that after health insurance corporation PhilHealth heard of Larry’s story, they offered to provide assistance for the dialysis treatment of Larry’s wife. But that’s not all: With Larry’s inspirational story of pursuing his passion despite the odds, offers to support his art started to come in––and he was even invited to serve as an art workshop instructor in one event!

More power to you and your family, Larry! Indeed, your story is one that inspires us to never give up on our God-given gifts that fuel our passion!


Text by Aizel Dolom.

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