As some of you following this blog would recall, we started a drive to raise funds to benefit our fellow Filipino comics creators who were affected by the flooding due to Typhoon Ondoy. The devastation it caused on both life and property was just staggering.
The fundraising consisted of online auctions of original art, as well as live auctions conducted at the 5th annual Komikon, live caricature auctions by cartoonists at Podium, World Trade Center and Banchetto during PICCA (handled by Mr. and Mrs. Boboy Yonzon and the Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas or SKP), and through donations by private individuals.
All in all we raised One Hundred Ninety Five Thousand, and Two Hundred Fifty Six Pesos and 44 cents ( P 195,256.44 )!
I think that’s tremendous, and we want to thank everyone who supported the auction by buying something, to all those creators who donated artwork and other things, and to those who donated money directly to us. Special thanks to Marc Silvestri for his awesome artwork!
Ma’m Ofelia Concepcion gathered a list of comics creators affected by the flooding, with me adding a few names from the younger generation affected as well, and we came up with 26 individuals who would be the recipients of the donations.
I’ve been asked to take care of the accounting as well as disbursements of the funds. I’m happy to say that as of today, all the money has been equitably divided and disbursed to the individuals directly through their bank accounts.
This is by no means the end to the fundraising, not only for Ondoy victims but for other calamities that would adversely affect our follow comics creators. Whilce Portacio and Philip Tan are currently preparing another, much more massive fund raising campaign, which has sparked the seeds of what could become a local version of Heroes Initiative. More on this later.
If I may add a personal note…. it was all in all a staggering experience for me. No one expected this to happen, least of all the people who were affected. High and dry in San Pablo City, I couldn’t just sit by and not do something. In the end I wish I could have done more. There were more items that should have gone in the online auctions, but my credit card had unfortunately maxed out on Ebay fees, preventing me from holding further auctions online.
I’m already hearing from a few komiks veterans and others that it would be good to have emergency funds ready for instances like this, hoping that this would become an ongoing thing. There are expectations from a few people that perhaps I could handle it, seeing that I helped handle this one to a successful conclusion.
I think it’s a great idea to have something like this locally, ala Heroes Initiative in the US. As some of you may be aware, Heroes Initiative is a non-profit group in the US that raises funds to help comics creators in financial need.
However, I would just like to respectfully ask everyone to please not expect too much from me, and that I’m in the comics business because I love creating comics. It’s the job I want to do.
If the fundraisings will continue beyond Ondoy, I do respectfully suggest that the money generated be handled properly and legally. This would entail the establishment of a non-profit corporation with its own bank account, an accountant to take care of accounting, a lawyer to take care of the legal papers and so forth. It’s a hassle, but I think it’s how it ought to be done. This is actually something like an actual full time job. But I truly apologize, it’s a job that’s not for me. It’s not that I don’t want to help, but I believe everyone ought to serve according to their own talents. I can best serve as other artists, which is to contribute artwork to raise funds, and hopefully the artwork we create would be works that could inspire, works that would reflect our times and culture, and say who were were and what we were doing at this time.
Taking care of Ondoy business has taken me away from doing my comics job, which has somewhat affected my output. And I do want to honestly admit that it was nerve wracking and frightening having so much cash in my hands. Like most artists I hate handling money (except when it’s mine. he.he.). But I want to say that I don’t regret it. It was my honor to have done it, and it felt great knowing I’ve helped do something about it.
But now I have to go away and make double time at work, and make up for lost time. I truly apologize to those who are expecting pages from me. I promise that work shall be what I will concentrate on now.
Friends, I won’t be able to attend any meetings, or meet anyone personally for the time being. I most likely won’t be able to return emails unless it’s personal or work related. Some ELMER and BOLD STAR orders have been delayed in shipping and I apologize, but I will take care of that as well.
Since Komikero.com now points to this blog, I will be concentrating all my updates here, as well as on the Twitters. That would be pretty much it.
Oh yeah, before I forget, Jonas Diego and friends are hard at work organizing the 2nd San Pablo City Comics Festival set for December 6, 2009 here in San Pablo. Check out this site for updates to that festival. See you there if you’re coming.