Monday, September 22, 2008

Cartoon Strips

I did a lot of cartoon strips before but I have not drawn cartoon strips consistently lately due to payment issue. Cartoon strips serve as extension to my editorial cartoons especially when there are issues needing follow-up or when I want to inject more humor on an issue. I used to draw two-panel daily cartoon strip. This one was one of the cartoon strips I did for a book on corn production years ago. The dialogues are as follows:

Fat man: That's so true, credit facilities are a great help to small farmers.

Farmer: Help me, please!
Fat Man: My polo shirt, don't tear it!

The strip tried to emphasize the desperation of the small farmers to get full farm production support from the government.

Another cartoon strip I did for a community-based health magazine years ago. The dialogues reflect the health situation of the remote villages of Tribal Filipinos.

First Man: The health condition of our indigenous peoples in the hinterlands is very pathetic. They are badly wanting services and assistance. (Second panel) Medicines are not enough.. no medical doctor... no hospital to run to... so that when they are sick they would die instead!
Second Man: What if this is what we will do...
First Man: What's it?

Second Man: We'll move the hinterlands to the city!
First Man: Ayeee!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bisaya Rap, Obscenity, etc.

From youtube, I came across this post of kids rapping by Jon Joaquin. If I am not mistaken, the poster is the same guy who regularly writes a column in one of the local papers in Davao City. The kids come from Times Beach, one of the poorest coastal areas in Davao City.

Times Beach hogged the local headlines because of the controversial reclamation area operation by a motel here. The controversy stemmed from the failure of the management of a motel here to get necessary papers from the city government for their operation. And despite warnings from the local chief executive, the management remained, it would, unperturbed. I joined the "fray" through my editorial cartoons. My latest drawing had criticized the suggestion of some local councilors for the motel management to pay for the rent instead. Other legislators disagreed with the proposal. In my drawing (which will be posted later) depicted some local legislators saying this line: "Wow, cute, magrent ka nalang kaya? (why not pay a rent instead?)."

This is the same motel that constructed a statue of David (Florence, Italy). When it was constructed, many quarters reacted to it saying that it was a display of obsecinity. For me, it is obscene only for one thing that it is a mockery to the art of Michelangelo as a poor copy of his statue. The park became well-known to promenaders as "Otinpark" (the prefix is vernacular's male genetalia).

Anyway, rap is a hit in the local music scene today. Obviously, many kids love it as part of the favorite expressions as shown in the video I imported from Mr. Joaquin's channel. Perhaps, the influence of rap on the children was due to the mushrooming home-grown rap artists with their brands of Bisaya rap music more often packed with funny stories. Some of their works are slowly gaining commercial success or popularity with local radios playing them very often as a show of full support to the local music scene.

During my elementary days (forget when it was), rap was not popular yet among us kids. What we had was this manner of speaking or talking that could be likened
rapping because of its rhyme. The mechanic was to insert additional expressions to all words in the sentence or phrase. Let me see if I still remember it. So instead of the regular sentence: "Nag-unsa ka dinha? (What are you doing there?)" becomes "Nag-unga-dinsa i-nga-di-ka dinangadinha?" Hmmm. something like that. And perhaps the answer would be: "Wangaladila!" (from "wala - which means "nothing"). It sounded nice to our ears then because of the "music" it created.

Anyways, enjoy the Bisaya rap of the kids.

(Florence statue is left, right is the poor copy)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mr. Kabore Emails Me

An email I received from Mr. Kabore (this is his photo. He is a man with a croc head, LOL) offering me and maybe you too the opportunity to get large some of money from the transaction he mentioned in his email. He is a banker from nowhere. Read on:

Dear Friend, I am Mr. ERIC KABORE A manager auditing in accounting department of my Bank. I am contacting you in order to ask for your assistance on this confidential business with full financial benefit for both of us.In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of US$12.5M, (Twelve Million, and Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) reply me Via- This email address for more information. Yours faithfully. Mr Eric Kabore.
Thanks but no thanks, Mr. Kabore. I am not interested in your scam.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Break. I was walking-though my links and I found from Jeff’s blog a post on tofu claiming that it may increase the risk of dementia - a progressive decline in cognitive function resulting from brain damage or disease at a rate higher than normally caused by aging, the post claimed. Is this the reason why yogist is sharping their cognitive function via meditation? Just asking :-). The culprit is, according to a study, the soya. If this is truth gospel, science is indeed making new discoveries.

I love tofu as alternative to meat. In the past I made sure that we had stock of tofu in our refrigerator. Our yogist friends during the 90s would regularly provide us our favorite vegetarian recipes that we always love to have for our lunch at the office. In various occasions, I would visit their feasts in one of their places in Davao City. I befriended a yogist Madu who taught me “Baba Nam Kebalam…” (I don’t know if I spelled the chant correctly and I forgot the nationality of my friend) while doing the meditation Lotus position.

We or I, for that matter, patronized their food aside from their peanut products, etc. In fact, for a year, I cut consumption on pork and chicken meat convinced that it would do great to my health. I still do believe in it. I believed that my mental alertness and reflexes were working just fine. I even thought I could quickly escape from an attack of a raging wild bull. LOL.

I am a vegetarian but in a sense that I love to eat vegetables side-by-side with pork. Truth is that we get lots of health problems from eating too much meat. That is sad about meat as does the study on tofu's impact on the mental process when it said that high tofu consumption - at least once a day - was linked to worse memory, particularly among the over-68s.” Well, visit his blog for other details.

The photo is lifted from same blog.

Hydro Plant

The environmental group in Davao City is against the Aboitiz Power Corporation’s Php6-billion-worth 30MW hydro power plant which is scheduled to be completed by 2010. In their statement, the group said:

“The tapping of Tamugan rivers for hydro power also violates the Davao City Watershed Code which has declared Tamugan as Conservation Area where any form of commercial activity is banned.”

“Therefore, we urge you to consider our need and that of the coming generations for drinking water as more important that using the Tamugan River as energy source.”

If we view it through our need to tap environment-friendly energy sources. the project is a laudable effort although it definitely for a business interest. But the group claimed it runs in contrast to the essence of protecting the environment or the watershed in Tamugan. Personally, I am not ready to say whether this is really an issue or that the project will harm the environment. Definitely I respect the stance of the environmental group on this matter and I guess the concern should be deliberated exhaustively. For instance, the corporation should have consulted everyone on this matter including the environmental group in the city. Any plan or project cannot be done without involving the people in the process in order to level off on intention and objectives.

My editorial cartoon simply reechoed the position of the group to draw attention from the proponent that the observation of other sector on any project should be considered as a valid issue. That is the essence of democracy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Peso vs. Dollar

Here we are again. There was so much jubilation about our currency performing better against the dollar these previous months. Economic experts attributed the strength of the peso to the dollar remittances of overseas contract workers. Ironically, it had backlash on the income of the OFWs when they exchanged their dollar to peso. The export sector also expressed concern over the performance of peso. Remember that they pay in dollars for their exports. But recently, news have it that the dollar is springing up against the peso. OFWs and export sector will definitely benefit from this. But for the majority of the Filipino people, the increase in the value of dollar against the peso is an additional economic burden. That means, more mouths will go hungry, more Filipinos will have no homes to call, unemployment will be severe, more youth out of school, health condition of the people to worsen, etc.

The cartoon was drawn years back but shows relevance to the current state of affairs of our economy.

Young Campus Writers

These past days, all I did was stared at my blog as I was busy eking out for a living. When I supposedly had a time to work on new posts during the evening, I felt tiredness overcoming me. I would naturally hit the hay instead. That kept my friends maybe wondering what was happening to my blog which showed no movement for days since I posted the issue on the controversial Bangsamoro Juridical Entity. Updates that I should have caught up with. When skirmishes started off between government soldiers in North Cotabato, many things transpired up including the continued military operations against the Lanao del Norte raiders led by MILF ground commanders Bravo and Umbra Kato.

During this time too, Mindanao saw the reemergence of Ilaga, a vigilante group that first fought against the moro rebellion in the 70s. The first time I heard about the group was in the late 70s when I was told that two distant relatives who lived in Zamboanga City were members of the dreaded “Ilongo Landgrabbers Association.” I was innocent then and I did not know what it meant. Only recently that I know both already died long time ago when they were hijacked in sea of Zamboanga. Details were sketchy. I am not really sure if that was the real name behind the acronym that means “rat or rodent.” They were dreaded because, I was told, that they would eat the ears of their fallen enemies. A convicted priest killer Norberto Manero, an ilaga member of leader (?), was widely believed to have eaten the “brains” of his victim Fr. Tulio Favali after killing him during the 80s. Manero had already fully served his sentence. In an interview by a tv network, an ilaga leader vouched that they still do this grisly practice eating the thigh of their enemy. “You want to eat?” he asked the news reporter who probably felt the morbidness of the practice.

The reemergence of the vigilante group that had vowed to fight against the MILF is simply fueling the tension in Mindanao. But I don’t know if we can blame the civilians for arming themselves after what had happened to the helpless civilians in Kolambugan (Lanao del Norte). I don't know if I would do the same if I am in their shoes.

Anyway, I was away from blogging or posting for the past few days. And one of the important events I engaged into these past days was a brief orientation on press work for a group of student writers from a public secondary school - the F. Bangoy National Highschool along Sasa this city. That was last Saturday, August 30. I discussed the basics on news gathering, writing, layout, editorial cartooning and actual printing production. This is my turf and my forte. The group decided to lay down the production target with their maiden issue to come out by October 2008 in time for a national event... I forgot what was it. The young campus writers are under the tutelage of Ms. Josephine Marcos (one who is standing in the third photo). I was happy to mingle with the kids and shared with them what I know about newspapering. Start them young, I could hear one motto (who says it?) and that was it - these kids will soon become journalists in our midst. Kids, no AC/DC huh?! AC/DC is attack and collect, defend and collect. LOL.

(The photos were taken by Ritzmond Cubian, a budding young photographer from the group, using my phone.)