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Comics with a ‘K’, please

FOREIGN and western publishing companies such as Detective Comics (DC) and Marvel usually come into our minds when the subject of comics is brought up.

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FOREIGN and western publishing companies such as Detective Comics (DC) and Marvel usually come into our minds when the subject of comics is brought up. The Asian alternative, dubbed as manga (manwha or manhua in the case of Korean or Chinese origin), is also considered and usually accompanied by terms such as “cosplay” and doujinshi. But what about komiks? When it comes to the locally made art form, most people would only be aware of either Pol Medina’s “Pugad Baboy” or Manix Abrera’s “Kikomachine Komix.”

Hidden at the back of Eton Centris in Quezon City, the Komiket (not to be confused with Comiket) seemed a bit nondescript and humble compared to the loud and garish Ozine Fests and other anime conventions usually held in SM Megamall. Modestly furnished booths in neat rows and columns filled the venue, but it still buzzes of curious first-timers, old fans looking out for their favorite writers or artists who may or may not be present for signing or free doodling, and aspiring comic creators themselves.

Perhaps for those who are well-versed in the comic industry might find it odd to see not much mainstream comics or artists, as well as the absence of cosplayers roaming the area. Ultimately, it leads to some leaving the place prematurely, grumbling over a wasted P50, while some stay to give the local indie and small-time comics creators a chance to have a new patron.

So what makes Komiket special?

A whole new world

Komiket, in the easiest definition, is the Filipino Komiks Market, and it’s the first of its kind. Unlike Ozine Fest that caters to the Japanese animanga community, and Comic Con being a mix of both western and eastern comics and other entertainment media, Komiket offers only local publishers, comic creators, and businesses in the arts.

Independent comic publishing companies such as Zero Point, Alamat Comics, Anino Comics, Meganon Comics, and Pelikomiks, just to name a few, were present at the event last April 5 to attract more readers and hopefully garner patrons to help publish more indie comics.

Paolo Herrars, a writer from Meganon Comics and one of the event organizers, shared that he wanted to help make the comics community grow into an industry by setting out to discover new comics creators and helping them meet mainstream publishers.

“We wanted to create another event to give comic creators a chance to meet new readers because this is a different location,” Herras said, commenting on the lack of opportunities these creators have on selling their works.

“And because we’re discovering new writers and new artists, hopefully their friends will also come along as new readers and encourage also people to start reading (Filipino) comics,” he added.

Komiket also hosted contests that can help indie comics creators or ideas be discovered and attract potential publishers, as well as give duly recognition to new comics (categories are: Best Komiks, Best Komiks Artist, Best Komiks Writer, Best Komiks Cover, Best Student Komiks, and a special prize, the Yabang Pinoy Award).

Something new, something old

In commemoration of being heralded as National Artist for the Visual Arts last year, a booth was specially set up for the late Francisco V. Coching, the father of Filipino Comics who had penned more than 50 comics. His son Arnel and wife Filomina were present and gave a short speech on Coching and the comic industry.

Komiket was also a house for signings, excerpt-readings, launching, and sneak peeks into the new and fresh-off-the-press comics and books. Among the esteemed local comic creators present were Manix Abrera, Budjette Tan (“Trese”), and Lyndon Gregorio (“Beerkada”). Rob Cham, one of the younger generations of comic artists who took their trade to the digital level, was also present to launch his new comic, “Light.”

“We have a lot of great writers and artists for everyone else who haven’t tried the local stuff. Just give it a try,” Budjette Tan said. ”It’s not just superheroes unlike what you see in the West so I’m sure they’ll find something interesting for them. They’ll find something they’ll like.”

Meanwhile, Manix Abrera shares that it was “nakakataba ng puso” to see the comics community grow.

”Kung ano talaga ‘yung mahal n’yong gawin, hanggang sa dulo ng mundo, gawin n’yo talaga [‘yun],” Abrera said. “Ang mahirap lang, ‘yung pagsimula. So magsimula ka na; kahit pangit ang gawa, basta masimulan mo na para lumabas na ‘yung mga magagandang magagawa mo.”

“The moment I entered, I felt happy,” Alexandra Reloj, a recent art student graduate said. “It’s not as crowded as Comic Con so it gives me the opportunity to talk to the artists. Seeing these artists in the flesh and willing to talk about their experiences had been inspiring and fun.”

Interested? The second Komiket event, as well as the release of the April 5 launches and other activities, will be on October 3 at Elements in Centris Mall.

 

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Stories Told From MIBF

I am only a mere spectator of the worlds these books would like to offer. I’m willing to be captured by these words if it would mean that I would learn and understand more than I do now.

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Photo by Brin Raizulli Isaac

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon when I visited the annual Manila International Book Fair. It was 1:30 p.m. when I reached the place. The trike stopped at the drop-off area, where many were also being dropped off. In an attempt to avoid puddles, people around me leapt at small distances, making a small splash that stained dry jeans. “This is not my day,” I thought to myself as I gleamed at the skies while firmly holding my umbrella.

The goal today were to rummage through shelves to find a new universe. But from the looks of it, the day would only seem like an exhausting walk in a hall filled with heat from the crowd. I entered SMX and saw what I expected: a crowd filled with teenagers in line for what I assume is for a book signing event. I was not able to see what the title was because I had to keep moving through the congested hallway. Despite the amount of teens I encountered, I cannot help but notice the diversity of people that came in the book fair. I thought I’d predominantly see millennials and Gen Z’s. People from all ages were there to visit the fair. Upon entering the hall, I was greeted by shelves and shelves of books that are unfamiliar to my tastes. I mindlessly wandered around the hall, with a quest in mind to find pieces of my heart in pages. Will I be able to find it? That, I wasn’t sure of but I knew I’d find home again somewhere in here.

I only visited the university publishing houses because my interests in books as of now are piqued by various authors from the biggest universities in the country. A few of these names are Caroline Hau, Conchitina Cruz, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, and Ned Parfan. I found their books to be very interesting but much to my dismay, some of them do not fit my budget. As a college student, I don’t always have enough funds for my leisure as most of my money goes to food, readings, and other academic activities. I resorted to the cheaper titles, most of which, I am sure, are hidden gems people neglected for some time. I shall tell you what I bought from the book fair:

  1. Kaluluwa – J. Neil C. Garcia
  2. Pag-uli, Pag-uwi Homecoming: Poetry in Three Tongues – Merlinda Bobis
  3. Return Flight and other essays – Tito Alquizola
  4. The Second World: Poems – Rafael Antonio C. San Diego

These books particularly interested me due to the fact that they talked about the contemporary world and other topics I resonate with. The topic of home was walked about in the third book I bought and well, the others, I simply liked them for their genre. I felt guilty after purchasing these as I said that I would only go out of here with one book on hand. I said that two is too much but I was hesitant. I went for 4 because my heart sang to the synopsis of the books that I bought. Oh, the things you do for love. 

While most went to the famous book stores, I went to the unknown areas of the exhibit. There were publishing houses that produces different kinds of books, apt to the needs of the readers today. I didn’t really do this in the previous fairs – I was a young reader and I did not know as much. This is my first time discovering books on my own in MIBF. I ended up visiting Instituto Cervantes’s booth. The Spanish culture has fascinated me, mostly because of their history and also that I take Spanish this year. 

I gazed at the books that Instituto Cervantes had to offer. With my limited working proficiency, I attempted to grasp what the synopsis of the books would like to say. “It’s only been a few months of Spanish class,” I thought to myself. While I was looking at the books, there were two people conversing in the same booth, both of which interested me. If my memory serves me right, they talked about the intricacies of the language. I later joined their conversation and shared some experiences and knowledge that I have acquired over the past few months from my classes. There I met a young woman, somewhere around my age named Zarena Hermogeno.

Zarena declares herself to be an avid reader especially of mystery and thriller. Over our short-lived dialogue, we instantly connected the moment she shared her experiences in studying Spanish. She also told me the books that she is interested in. A few of the titles she mentioned are the Nancy Drew series and Sherlock Holmes, both of which I have admired in my childhood. I remember being a teen at the ages of twelve or thirteen, clinging to the pages of these books, eager to find out what happens next. I shared my childhood with these stories, and upon hearing her admiration towards those series, I can’t help but recall my deep love for reading ever since as a kid.

Zarena happens to be a year younger than I am. It’s not really a long time ago since we were 10-years-old. We retold how our love for reading was birthed. She told me that she read books at a young age because she was exposed to an abundance of it; her aunt used to be a librarian which offered her world full of adventures through the pages that she reads. We share the same in my case, however, my parents have opened myself up for reading. It opened up different worlds for us. It was an escape from reality. For each book we read, it opens us the opportunity to put ourselves in the shoes of other people. Zarena said that she not only reads for entertainment but because it also serves as an escape for the world that we live in. I could say the same thing too – reading is the solace that welcomes me in its arms, no matter what the situation is.

I went out of MIBF with 4 books on hand. The stories were born out of the love of storytelling. I am only a mere spectator of the worlds these books would like to offer. I’m willing to be captured by these words if it would mean that I would learn and understand more than I do now. 

It was no longer raining when I got out of the venue. I looked up at the skies. It wasn’t gloomy anymore, as compared to the past few hours. I closed my umbrella. I smiled at the skies and at the space before me. Here I am, ready to delve into worlds I have yet to experience.

 

 

 

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Celebrate 100 Years of PH Cinema with Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino

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Photo taken from Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Facebook page

In the last two years, the Pista ng Pelikang Pilipino (PPP) held its week-long celebration of Filipino film in the month of August. This year, PPP celebrates its third year which perfectly coincides with the celebration of 100 years in Philippine Cinema.

As the festival gathers the interest of movie goers and film enthusiasts, it showcases films of different genres and unique characteristics that will surely hype up the local film scene once again. On its third year, PPP features ten films with three of them under Sandaan showcase: 

PPP’S FEATURE ENTRIES

Cuddle Weather by Rod Marmol

  Image may contain: 2 people, text

When the paths of Adela Johnson, an experienced prostitute and Ram, a newbie call boy entangles, one of them begins to realize that there is more to the act of lovemaking when you begin to catch feelings for someone. Will feelings be in the way of their field of work or will it change them completely?

G! by Dondon Santos

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling

As soon as a terminally-ill teenager realizes that his time is running out, he embarks on a trip together with his best friends as he tries to tick off everything in his bucket list. In their trip, they realize the importance of life, love, and friendship.

I’m Ellenya L by Boy 2 Quizon

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, text

In the digital world where everyone aspires to be known, Ellenya creates a different version of herself online in an attempt to be in the limelight. During the process, will she be able to stay true to herself or suffer the consequences knowing that karma is digital?

LSS (Last Song Syndrome) by Jade Castro

Image may contain: 2 people, text

Sara, a young woman who is pursuing her passion for music despite all odds, finds herself in a rhythmic adventure with Zack as they string along with an indie band. As they embark on a new chapter in their life, could they set aside the fear of falling for their growing feelings for each other?


Open by Andoy Ranay

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Will you do everything just to save a love that is dying? Open follows the story of long-term couple who begins to navigate the idea of going in an open relationship in order to keep each other close.

The Panti Sisters by Jun Robles Lana

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, text

Three gay sons have to give their terminally-ill father a grandchild in order to have their P300 million inheritance while also triyng to gain their father’s acceptance for who they really are. 

Watch Me Kill by Tyrone Acierto

Image may contain: 2 people, text and outdoor

Who is the real enemy? A heartless contract-killer finds herself at risk as she saves a victim and faces her demons at the same time. 

 

PPP’S SANDAAN SHOWCASE

Circa by Adolfo Alix, Jr.

Image may contain: text

Circa revolves around a once-famous movie producer, Doña Atang, who wishes to reunite with the people she’s worked with in the past. Aside from a star-studded cast featuring Gina Alajar, Anita Linda, and Jacklyn Jose among others, the late actor Eddie Garcia also takes a “special participation” in the film.

Lola Igna by Eduardo Roy, Jr.

Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, text

After receiving the title as “The Oldest Living Grandmother in the World”, Lola Igna grows impatient and eager to die as she is running out of reasons to live her life. When her grandson reunites with her to document every moment with his grandmother, will she finally find a reason to live life to the fullest?

Pagbalik by Hubert Tibi and Maria Ranillo

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text

The only Visayan entry in this year’s festival, Pagbalik revolves around the life of an OFW who goes back home. As soon as the feeling of returning home finally sinks in, she begins to question everything she has sacrificed for when she left her mother and her son for a work abroad years ago. 

Will you be going alone or watching with your friends and loved ones? No worries because PPP2019 offers STUDENT DISCOUNTS to students in all levels. Just make sure that you’ll bring your school ID or your registration form with you in order to avail the student discount (P180 in theatres in Metro Manila and P130 in theatres outside Metro Manila starting September 13) However, the ticket prices depend on your nearest cinema’s ticket rate. 

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino will screen in cinemas nationwide starting from September 13 until September 19, 2019! For more details regarding the films and its screening schedules, don’t hesitate to check the cinema websites!

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KWENTONG DORM: Ano ang dapat meron ka sa iyong dorm?

FYI: Mag-isa man o may kasama, mahalaga na itatak mo sa utak mo ang mga bagay na ito para naman maging magaan at komportable ang iyong karanasan habang nananatili ka sa tinutuluyan mo malapit sa Unibersidad.

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Dibuho ni Aldrich Aquino

Muli na namang nagsimula ang bagong kabanata sa pagbubukas ng panibagong school year! Gigising na naman tayo nang maaga kahit na puyat tayo sa dami ng mga ginagawa. Magmamadali muli sa pagpasok sa klase kahit na gustong-gusto na natin magpahinga kahit saglit lang. At sa wakas, uuwi na sa mga tambak ng mga gawain para sa kinabukasan. Ilan lang ito sa mga bagay na nararanasan ng isang estudyante, pero sa pangarap na nais nating abutin, kailangan nating isakripisyo ang ilang mga bagay dahil sa huli, magiging matamis ang bunga nito.

Sa pagpasok sa panibagong school year, maaaring ikaw ay isa sa mga estudyanteng gigising nang sobrang aga para mag-commute habang mayroon namang mawawalay sa kanilang mga pamilya at mahal sa buhay para makapag-aral sa UST.

Kung binabasa mo ito ngayon, ikaw ay isa sa mga mag-aaral na nararanasan ang buhay ng isang “dormer”. Mag-isa man o may kasama, mahalaga na itatak mo sa utak mo ang mga bagay na ito para naman maging magaan at komportable ang iyong karanasan habang nananatili ka sa tinutuluyan mo malapit sa Unibersidad:

1. Damit (maraming damit!)

Mahalaga na magdala ng maraming damit (pangpasok, pambahay, at panlabas) dahil ito ang iyong pansamantalang tahanan sa mga susunod na araw. 

2. Rice cooker

Lalabas ka na naman ba para kumain kung pwede ka namang magluto? Ang perang maaring magastos sa pagbili ng pagkain sa labas ay pwede mong matipid. Kanin, noodles, at iba pang mga putahe ay pwedeng maluto sa rice cooker. Ngunit, kung makapagdadala ka ng mas maraming kagamitan sa pangluto o kaya’y hindi ka ipinagbabawal ang pagluto sa iyong tinutuluyan, mas maganda ito. Tandaan na huwag kalimutan mapanatili ang inyong kalusugan! Dapat na kumain pa rin nang tama kahit ikaw ay nagtitipid ng iyong allowance.

3. Pang-meryenda

Mas mabuti rin na magdala ng mga snacks (tsitsirya, mga biskwit, atpb.) dahil bukod sa mas nakakatipid ka rito, kailangan mo rin ng iba pang mga pagkain upang ganahan sa pag-aaral at sa iba pang mga bagay.

4. Payong

Ito ang isa sa mga bagay na hindi mo dapat kalimutan! Mainit man o maaraw, mahalaga na magdala ng payong lalo na’t madalas na ang pabugso-bugsong ulan dito sa Maynila. Manatiling handa!

5. Alkansya

Ang pagiging magastos ay maiiwasan. Mahalaga na magkaroon ng alkansya o paglalagyan ng iyong pera. Bukod sa tinuturuan mo ang iyong sarili na magtipid, ang perang maiipon mo sa ilang buwan mong pamamalagi ay maaari mong magamit para sa iyong kinabukasan.

6. Storage Kits/Organizers

Ang mga storage kits o organizers ay importante upang hindi maging makalat ang iyong tinutuluyan. Maaari mo ritong ilagay ang iyong mga damit, mga mahahalagang kagamitan sa paaralan, mga kagamitan sa banyo, at iba pa. Ito ay magtuturo sa iyo na maging masinop at organisado sa iyong mga kagamitan. May kasama ka man o wala, dapat panatilihing malinis ang iyong tinutuluyan upang hindi ito maging tahanan ng iba’t ibang uri ng insekto.

7. Walis (at iba pang panlinis)

Sa usaping kalinisan, mas mapapanatili ang kaayusan ng iyong dorm kung mayroon kang mga kagamitan para dito. Sa paglilinis, tinuturuan mo ang iyong sarili na maging mas responsable at maayos sa iyong kapaligiran.

8. Mga gamot

Katulad ng panahon, hindi rin natin mahuhulaan kung anuman ang mangyayari. Lalo na’t haharapin na naman natin ang mga araw na tayo’y maraming responsibilidad bilang isang estudyante, mahalaga na may mga gamot at supplements kang nakatago sa iyong tinutuluyan para mapanatili mo pa rin ang magandang kalusugan. Tandaan na kahit marami kang responsibilidad sa paaralan, kailangan mo pa ring alagaan ang iyong sarili!

9. Emergency Kit

Sa oras ng sakuna tulad ng lindol o kaya bagyo, importante na mayroon tayong emergency kit na naglalaman ng pagkain, tubig, baterya, toiletries, at iba pa. Okay nang maging handa at sigurado sa mga oras na ito.

 

EXTRAS:

  1. Vision Board 

Mahalaga na mayroon kang board or espasyo sa iyong pader kung saan pwedeng ilista ang mga gawaing kailangan mong matapos, lagyan ng mga litrato o mga notes na naglalaman ng mga salitang nagbibigay-sigla at inspirasyon para mas ganahan ka sa iyong pag-aaral. 

  1. Mga Litrato (Sentimental items)

Sa iyong pamamalagi, mahalaga na may mga bagay ka na magbibigay sa’yo ng motibasyon para mag-aral at makamit ang iyong mga pangarap. Kahit malayo ka man, may mga bagay na magpapaalala sa’yo na maging mas matatag sa kabila ng mga hirap at pagsubok na iyong nararanasan.

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