Prosthetics guy from Laguna creates fearsome face masks for the new normal

Photo: Marianne Abelardo/FB
Photo: Marianne Abelardo/FB

A television prosthetics creator is now selling fearsome face masks to help Filipinos protect themselves from COVID-19 and look spooky at the same time.

A few weeks ago, Marianne Abelardo wrote about her father Rene Abelardo’s character masks, which come with wrinkles, a slightly pointed nose, and sharp teeth.

“These are all handmade and you can use them for the new normal,” she wrote in her viral post.

Coconuts Manila caught up with Rene and the San Pedro, Laguna resident said he has been creating prosthetics since he was a teen.

Read: Best Halloween party mask? It’s the face of President Rodrigo Duterte!

“I started making prosthetics since I was 17 and my mentor was [art director] Maurice Carvajal. Until now, I’m still working [as one],” he said.

Some of the television shows Rene had worked on are the fantasy programs Marina, Wansapanataym, Kampanerang Kuba (“The Hunchback Toller”), and the news program Bitoy’s World. He has also worked with comedian Willie Nepomoceno, who is known for quickly changing his looks into different characters while performing.

“I thought of making the mask because the new normal has occurred. I thought why not bring it to another level just for good vibes?” the 50-year-old artist said.

Rene spent three days working on the prototype masks using flexible plastic. Each costs PHP300 (US$6) and he’s now dealing with a deluge of orders including from potential resellers.

“We never thought my daughter’s post would go viral. At least we now know the scope of people who would actually buy our masks,” he said.

Rene has a few ideas up his sleeve and is designing another mask which he also intends to sell. He promises they will be “all hand-made and artistic-level.”

Looking forward to seeing them, Rene!

Will you buy these types of face masks? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

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