Elmer Padilla, 30, makes a figure of President Donald Trump at his workshop in Manila, Philippines, Nov. 8, 2017.
Romeo Ranoco—Reuters
By Laignee Barron
November 9, 2017

As President Donald Trump continues powering through his marathon Asia tour, he has been received with hearty hamburgers, rounds of golf, and a rare invitation to dine in China’s Forbidden City. But one tribute to the U.S. leader stood out among the rest: an action figure bearing his likeness, artfully carved out of old flip flops.

Filipino artist Elmer Padilla has made a name for himself fashioning figurines out of tsinelas, Tagalog for flip flops. His latest project is the spitting image of Donald Trump donning his signature suit, arm raised to greet a crowd.

Trump is set to arrive in Manila on Sunday, the last stop on his whirlwind Asia itinerary packing five countries into 12 days.

Padilla was propelled to fame last month, when his rendering of the Incredible Hulk caught the attention and praise of actor Mark Ruffalo. Photographs of Padilla’s quirky creations quickly went viral.

Childhood poverty drove Padilla to start making his own toys at the age of nine, using scrap materials like rubber and used slippers, he told local media ABS-CBN.

After struggling to find work to support his family, the hobbyist decided to try selling his figurines and became a local sensation.

Padilla, who normally sells his action figures for around $25, told Reuters that he has no intention of selling the Trump doll, but he hopes to give it to the U.S. leader during his upcoming state visit.

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