At the entrance of the Major Seminary of the University of Santo Tomas, in Manila, you will see a painting. It is the “Last Supper” of Joey A. Velasco. It portrays poor children from Metro Manila, all between the ages of 4 and 14, at the Last Supper with Christ Our Lord. He has called it “Hapag ng Pag-asa”, the table of hope.
To start with, it is not really a table. It is a big delivery box, knocked apart and nailed together again as a table. Joey Velasco himself has said: “This painting reveals a story of greater hunger than a plate of rice could satisfy. What these children are starved for is love.”
Realizing that his little models were real persons, he investigated the life of each of them, and wrote a book, telling their stories. The title of the book came from a young woman who was mentally handicapped. She studied the painting and said: “You know, these children are not really poor. They have Jesus.”