Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Brief Report on the 1st Philippine Komiks Congress

The 1st Philippine Komiks Congress has finally concluded yesterday, February 27, 2007 At NCCA Building , Leandro V. Locsin Auditorium ,Intramuros, Manila. And it got its first success—a creation of new awareness of an existing Komiks Industry in the past and in the present.

The event was considered now to be one of the biggest concerted effort staged by Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino, National Commision for the Culture and Arts and Filipino Institute for Komiks Arts and sciences and by various supporting key personalities in the industry. It brings new hope to everyone.

As far as it was remembered, Komiks Congress was been conceptualized since before or early year 2000 but it was been finally realized yesterday after consecutive 5 official meetings held since last month to gather support. This is in hard effort of the KWF Commisioner Joe Lad Santos, KWF Chairman Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco and NCCA Exec. Director Cecille Guidote- Alvarez with the support of volunteers from the Komiks people itself.

The Komiks Art Exhibit was been formally opened before going to Komiks Congress proper. The opening was done by cutting of ribbon attended by several key personalities In the Philippines including PCSO Director Manuel Morato, PUP President Dante Guevarra, former Senator Heherson and other Big names in the Philippine scene that are so many to mention. Director Caparas together with his wife Ms. Donna Villa has arrived a few minutes after the cutting of ribbon and their presence made the Media people in frenzy. All of the attention to the art exhibit has halt due to the presence of one of the successful local Komiks writer and creator—Carlo Caparas.

The event was not just been attended by several people, it was also attended by many art students and Komiks fans and ethusiasts in the past and in the present who happened to get impressed on the Komik artworks that existed a long ago and even today. This is the real showcase of Filipino Talent. Coching, Redondo, and Alcala’s works are also being exhibited there.

The opening of Komiks Art Exhibit was supposed to beheld last February 22 but they made it clear that it was postponed in order for the organizers to invite more key personalities and prepare more on the said event.

After the opening, everyone who was there proceeded to the Auditorium to formally open the First Philippine Komiks Congress at around 11:30 in the morning. KWF Commissioner Joe Lad Santos patiently entertains the audience and made effort to create important opening messages benefiting the Komiks Industry. NCCA Exec. Dir. Cecille Guidote- Alvarez made inspiring messages that also opened the eyes of everyone inciting Komiks as one of the powerful force of Education and Heritage and should not be abandoned. Director Carlo J. Caparaz together with his wife Ms. Dona V has also made the audience smiled and neutralized the emotional nostalgic atmosphere of the opening of the congress. Carlo J. Caparaz also made promise to fully support Komiks since he never forget that he came from Komiks and now he wanted to return the favor to it by sponsoring a Komiks Contest with cash prizes amounting more than 200, 000- 300, 000 pesos.

The ATLAS Publication Presence

The most intriguing part is the presence of Deo Alvares,, the general manager of Atlas Publication made speech upstage and made important messages. Atlas is the biggest and the only publication of the Philippine Comics Industry and everyone never forgot it.
Deo Alavarez has ironically considered himself as the “villain” of the Kongress since The Fall of Atlas Publication, it also temporarily put the Komiks Industry into halt for almost more than a decade. He explained the business side of Philippine Komiks and
its downfall. He enumerated some of the biggest factors why the Philippine Komiks
has declined:

1.ALL OUT WAR ON MNLF IN MINDANAO. It has declined the 30% of its Sales and gross profit during the all out war against the insurgents called Muslim National Liberation Front in the Mindanao region.
30% of its Sales and Gross Profit in which they still having problem
From recovery in Mindanao.

Deo Alvares has also made a brave decision to appear in the congress even on the wake of Atlas Controversy and he said ATLAS do their best and made several attempts but it failed eventually due to its lack of capacity to compete against the rise of new multimedia and globalization. He was also happy to see people from komiks and he still has the love for it that’s why he showed.

Philippine Komiks History, The Present and The Future

Randy Valiente, presented a much a larger history of Philippine Komiks Industry in a power point presentation and discussion. Randy’s presentation was been highly researched and it showed a clearer idea on what is komiks in the past and in the present and challenged the people who attended on handling its future.He cited how the Philippine Komiks Industry started and even stated that Jose Rizal, the National Hero was the first Komiks Cartoonist. He tried very beautiful reviews on how Coching has started a new artform in komiks that later made Redondo, Alcala, Alex Nino and the other Filipino Komiks Artist to arise on the scene. He pointed out the Filipino Komiks Artists Invasion in 1970’s that marked a global phenomenon before the Manga Equation. And he is also more visionary that there is a possible next wave of Invasion of Komiks Artists from the Philippines in a global scale due to the success of the present generation of Artists who made it in the US Comics Top Titles from giant companies such as DC and Marvel. He also emphasize that there is independent publishers and creators unknown to majority that existed after the fall of a Monopolized Komiks Industry. But unlike from the past, the present generation did not made it into a mass based consumption due to its limitation of scope specially on distribution. And this “indies” are growing in numbers and some of them developed a higher aspect of Komiks---the Graphic Novels. The same thing of that is happening in the US Comics Industry---they have now their so called “Rise of Grpahic Novels”. However, according to Randy , if we will look back at the rich history Of the Philippine Komiks, we are the first on the Graphic Novels if we try to compile all those “serialized novels.” And we are about to realized it. Randy has also cited some problems that occurred triggering the downfall of the Komiks Industry and some of them were being mentioned by Deo Alvares, the Atlas General Manager. He also pointed out A “gap” between this two generations and the only way to bridge it is by listening to each other’s need. He also pointed that before the Komiks Congress there were Internet effort in bringing back the awareness of some new generations about the history of Komiks, this includes the [link], The Philippine Komiks Board, [link] [link] PILIPINO Komiks Blogspot, and so many others. Randy Valiente together with Mario Macalindong and John Becaro were the representatives of a younger generations of Komiks Artists and Creators that also participated on the Komiks Exhibit.

The Forum

The Forum has started at around almost 3:00 p.m and has ended past 5:00 p.m…It was patterned from a traditional semi parliamentary form where everyone can standup, speak and question the member of panels and even everyone. Sad to say, the forum has started late and it ended in a very short time. A lot of questions were being raised including the participation of the publishers and the government. Few audiences have participated due to the shortage of time and it was cut off because NCCA is simply until 5:00 pm because it’s a government establishment. The audience made some very good questions and points while the panelist tried to answered it in an objective manner with an appeal to everyone to UNITE in the end. The panelists includes KWF Comissioner Joe Lad Santos, Exec. Dir. Cecille Guidote- Alvarez, Carlo Capraz and wife Donna Villa.

On Carlo Caparas, Politics and Komiks Congress

Aside from being one of the sponsors, Carlo is a prime factor in this advancement of public awareness due to it celebrity status that can bring the interest of media. His arrival has ended in TV News just last night and probably in Newspapers today. He has made hundreds of komiks novels already and shifted on becoming a well- known Film Director. Most of his works includes Panday that was being aired sometimes last 2005 in ABS CBN and Bakekang in GMA Network last year 2006. ATTENTION is what we need in bringing back the interest of the Filipino people on Komiks---and Carlo Capras can hit it in the media in very fast moments.

We smell the upcoming elections and it is inevitable at this very moment specially that this Komiks Congress has also got the attention of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.The proof of that will be concluded today, February 28, 2007 because the present Philippine President will honor Carlo Caparas, Coching, Alcala, Ravelo and many others in their achievement in Komiks as part of the celebration of the Arts Month. This move was the first time that Komiks was being recognized by a Philippine government and its
very positive since it is the duty of the government to recognized Komiks as one of the
most powerful tool that help spread the national language, art and heritage . This maybe naturally touched by politics but it is just but one of the key factor that the Komiks Industry needed today because it will be part of the government and Komiks can demand support on that. Again, Komiks needs attention and support until it can walk in its own feet again.

Komiks Congress is but just one of the move that Komiks needed the most today…but it does not just starts or ends there..it continue to us…to all of us, the Congress is but just one component and Historians will tell that someday. Though it may not be perfect due to some technical operation problems, still it has a big contribution in bringing back our own attention on our local Komiks industry.

On Faith Cuneta and Film Industry
Faith Cuneta was one among the most competitive singer/performer from our country, she honored all of us who attended because she sang the Philippine National Song. She also rendered a very beautiful song she dedicated to everyone. Her presence only shows
That she supports any Filipino endeavor. And NCCA will also conduct a similar congress
of film called Film summit tackling the issues concerning the local Industry. In this way,
NCCA will try to bridge the partnership of Komiks and Film. And this means another positive move for the Komiks industry.

Side Comments

In the case of my Komikero friend—Jonas Diego, the Congress needs focus on addressing certain issues by providing more and quality time to forum and deliberation the next time it will be conducted. He , together with some others were not given the chance, considering the fact that they attended because they wanted to share their important ideas. The first Congress overlooked some factors and only give more time on the past events instead of giving a more specific actions that we needed the most. Also, it is understandable that the effect of the Congress cannot be felt right now; it can be felt as good as in 3-5 years after. By giving more time, we can open more ideas beneficial to the Komiks Industry. We need Actions, enough on the past, lets concentrate on the present and the future. Let’s all face the challenge altogether.

More representation from the Present generation will spark the bigger support from the them which is essential in the trancession of Komiks Legacy and to show
The open arms of Komiks Congress to everyone.We could not just ignore them.

There are LOT of other artists who was not able to participate in the Komiks Exhibit.

The finalization of a Body/ Association that will definitely lead and sustain the Komiks Congress to its operations. A more definite action plans is what we need the most.

If most them cannot be delivered by this Congress, we will only got problems.

On Perseverance

One thing I can feel on KWF Joe Lad Santos is his patient and determination. The Komiks Congress cannot be simply realized with out him showing this perseverance in pushing this event to his government colleagues. If I cannot sense this, I would probably left him hanging. But how can you leave a man who showed these beautiful values to you? They need support and I feel his craving for it. When I was attending the early meetings, I felt their love on this medium, and how come I will not support it if we have the same feeling? We must remember that during the time of the Roces or the Monopolized Komiks Industry, we still didn’t have Komiks people in high strategic positions such as the case of this Commissioner on National Filipino Language that fortunately came from Komiks. It’s but just a big factor if Komiks got a good representation in our government and this is the time for them to show their love for this medium.

A New Era of Hope for Philippine Komiks

This event has a possibility to result into a new era of hope for Philippine Komiks Industry since it opened a new opportunity to all of us who involves in Komiks. It gathered new interest due to a fact that the government has tried to help this hibernating industry. Much more positive to all of us is that this opened a new windows For a new creative developments and bridge a gap that has blocked all of us to move on.

Mabuhay Tayo Lahing Pilipino.


Jon said...

The points you said in your report are well said.
Just keep us posted on new developments and the next venue and date of the next meeting. How was the luncheon in MalacaƱang? Thanks!

monsanto said...

Kaya ako tahimik na lang akong gumagawa ng paraan magisa. Publish lang ng publish hangga't kaya. Ano naman ang magagawa ko kung dadalo ako dun sa kongreso? Saka noon pa yan planado pati ang pagaward ng president kay Sir Carlo kasama iyan talaga sa program para sa celebration ng Art month. At hindi ito dahil sa napansin niya lang bigla ang komiks no?