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Cebu artist shows appreciation for Berta through painting


Niccolie and her acrylic painting of Berta.

CEBU CITY, Philippines— An artist painted a portrait of Berta as her way of appreciating how the former homeless man here helped change her perspective on one of life’s important aspects— mental health.

Frances Niccolie Junsay, 26, a marketing specialist and a budding artist in Cebu, showed her acrylic painting of Berta and shared the story behind it.

“I chose Berta because he changed my perspective on persons with mental health illness living on the streets,” she said.

Before meeting Berta, she used to be so scared of street dwellers who have mental conditions, but she said Berta changed her perspective with these simple lines: “Magandang umaga sayo binibini. Sana darating pa ang umaga.”

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It was her turning point to start accepting and understanding these people and their conditions.

She then started giving Berta food once in a while if she visits the area where Berta frequents.

“However, when I saw his photo going viral, I knew I had to paint him because the photo was so powerful,” she added.

Junsay said she wants to meet Berta again. She even says that if Berta would like to have the painting, she would gladly give it to him as a reminder of his past and the way he helped Junsay understand people like him.


TAGS: Artist, Berta, homeless, painting
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