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The last time I was in Iloilo was around ten years ago for an Architect\’s conference. I was really pleasantly surprised to see that a lot has changed. I\’ve always wanted to come back because my stay the first time was such an enjoyable one. I\’m glad to say that I enjoyed myself even more this time around even if my stay was such a short one.

I was invited to give a talk about comics by the University of the Philippines, Visayas via Auggie Surtida and his daugher Ella, who studies at the University. That\’s me and Auggie underneath this giant chicken in one of the malls, a chicken that Auggie and Ella felt absolutely compelled to show me because they knew I would like it. And I did. That thing is huge!

I arrived in Iloilo late in day on February 21, where I was met by Auggie, Ella and her friend (?). We grabbed a quick bite to eat (the local Batchoy) at SM and we went to another mall to see the chicken. They then checked me into a hotel that was a short walking distance away from the venue of the lecture.

After going over my lecture in preparation for the following day, I turned in early. Good thing I did because around 6:30 in the morning I got a call from Professor Jonathan Jurilla telling me that he\’ll be picking me up at the hotel in twenty minutes for breakfast… with Benjie Marasigan who he had picked up from the airport. (That\’s me and Benjie in the photo.)

Of all the places that me and Benjie to meet next, it would be in Iloilo. He\’s the professor who had invited me to teach at the College of St. Benilde and I\’d like to think that he\’s become sort of a friend in all the time I was in the school.

After breakfast, we went to the venue on foot (which was just a short walk away) where we were introduced to the office staff. I went around the campus taking photos for personal reference.

For more photos of the trip, check out my Multiply page.

The talk I gave is similar to the one I gave at the Lopez Museum and the Pasko ng Komiks at the UP Diliman, but I adjusted it a bit so my discussion about the state of the local industry isn\’t so disheartening. I tried to be as honest with my talk as I could, but I also tried to be optimistic as well. My presentation of a lot of classic artwork from Philippine comics was I hope inspiring to those who have seen it, and I hope it inspires the young artists there to have a deeper appreciation for the art of comics in general.

Some of the questions I got were quite technical, which I thought was pretty good because the artists there were thinking about aspects of comic book creating that I feel need more attention like storytelling and pacing.

After Benjie\’s talk about Philippine animation, we were whisked off to a seaside restaurant for a fantastic seafood lunch. All the talaba I could eat! Whew! We then headed back to the venue for a further 2 hour question and answer forum, and just as things were heating up (as Prof Jurilla mentioned), I had to head back to the airport so I could catch my flight back to Manila, and then eventually, home to San Pablo.

In my entire stay, I wish to wholeheartedly thank Auggie Surtida and his daugher Ella (and her friend) for escorting me in and around Iloilo. It\’s always refreshing to talk with someone like Auggie about comics and a lot of other things. Thanks also to Prof Jonathan Jurilla, the University staff and the UPV for inviting me. I\’ll gladly come back anytime, just say the word.

And to all the artists I met there who I may or may not have the chance to converse with directly, good luck to all of you, and I hope that my talk was able to help you in some small way in your quest to be better artists.


17 Responses to “Trip To Iloilo”

  1. Rod Samonte on February 23rd, 2008 4:55 pm

    Nice pictures. However, ang pinakamaliit yata e yung sa inyo ni Auggie. Hindi ko makita ang mukha ni Auggie, whom I’ve been emailing with and sure would like to see a clear picture of him. Hehehehe. Can you put a bigger picture in Multiply? There’s no picture of him there either. Thanks. Wow, mayroon din palang “Oblation” sa UP Iloilo. Sayang talaga ano, ang dali ng stay mo doon. Hmmmmmm, sarap ng LaPaz Batsoy.

  2. Gerry Alanguilan on February 23rd, 2008 5:23 pm

    Hello Rod!

    Maliit yung photo namin ni Auggie kasi blurred sya. It just occurred to me while viewing my photos that Auggie and I don’t have a proper photo together. Sayang talaga! There was plenty of opportunity but some weird reason we just never got around to it. Hopefully when Auggie comes to Luzon next week we could have a good photo together. :D

  3. Jonas Diego on February 23rd, 2008 6:46 pm

    Talaba! Yum! :D

  4. Ed on February 23rd, 2008 10:09 pm

    That’s a huge cock. :P

  5. Jonathan Jurilla on February 23rd, 2008 10:23 pm

    Hi Gerry,

    Madamo gid nga salamat, thanks a lot for coming over and for being too generous with your words of wisdom. Tapos na ang lecture pero high pa rin ang mga umatend ng lecture-series. Sana hindi ka na-traumatize sa kakulitan naming mga Ilonggos, hehe. sa uulitin.

    Sa mga bumabasa ng comment na to, alam nyo, 1 hour and 30 minutes lang sana ang exposure ni Gerry sa lecture-series namin, pero he allowed to sit for another two hours in the afternoon to answer additional questions. Nabusog talaga kami sa mga answers ni Gerry. Galing nya!

    Optimistic ako na matutuloy ang comics and convention namin sa August!

    Thanks gerry.


  6. Rod Samonte on February 24th, 2008 12:22 am

    The great thing is Gerry is willing and I’m sure loves to talk about comics, and with his international and local experience, and expertise in the Golden Age, Silver Age and New Age of Philippine Comics, he would indeed have plenty to talk about. One could talk endlessly about the subject in a Q&A forum, three and half hours is nothing and probably went by so fast. Wouldn’t it be great if somebody from the Golden Age of Pinoy Komiks would have as open an attitude as Gerry about discussing komiks, Javinal say, who’s still alive, or even Alex Nino. Wow ang dami palang nangyayaring comics events diyan sa Pinas and a convention coming up in Iloilo too. If there’s so many Ilonggo’s interested in komiks, do you have an outlet or venue to express your work if you are an artist or writer? Is there an Ilonggo Komiks aside from Hiligaynon?

  7. Balbona on February 24th, 2008 9:47 am

    naunahan ako ni ed, pero…oh man, that’s a HUGE COCK indeed! oooohhh….

  8. Jonathan Jurilla on February 24th, 2008 4:20 pm


    First of all, it is an honor to meet you here @ Gerry’s site.

    I agree with all that you said about Gerry and the golden age artists.

    There is no Ilonggo Komiks aside from those featured in the Hiligaynon magazine. Komik works here are all underground and unrecognized although Museo Iloilo and the the UPV Art Gallery are willing to host komiks exhibits.

    This is where we would like to come in. We would like to create public awareness and in the forums and conventions that we host, we hope that the West Visayan public would pick up and get to notice comics and animation as legitimate art forms that also have the power to shape West Visayan history and culture.


  9. dennis on February 24th, 2008 7:55 pm

    Is there anyone who knows of past komiks masters who were Ilonggos? I know theat Fred Carrillo was from Aklan, but I’m not sure if Aklanons could also be considered Ilonggos.

  10. Rod Samonte on February 25th, 2008 2:14 am

    As far as I know, Carrillo may be the closest comic artist to the Ilonggos, but he would not be considered Ilonggo as they speak another dialect there. Philippine National Artist, painter and scultor J. Elizalde Navarro is also from Aklan. Ilonggo artists seem to gravitate more to the Fine Arts: printmakers Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi, Nelfa Querubin, Adiel Arevalo, and sculptor Lamberto Hechanova are all from Iloilo and there are quite a number of visual artists of Ilonggo decent. By the way, I viewed your blog and I must say, you have the deepest, most extensive collection and knowledge of Pilipino Komiks and Philippine Comics history. That Hoy Komiks are gems, the Philippine’s Mad Magazine, with, and I was pleasantly surprised, excellent illustrations by Vicatan parodying the Marcos regime as the Barcoses. Hahaha. I wonder if they’re available anywhere? I’ll have to check Ebay. Have you done or have you considered doing a lecture on komiks ala-Alanguilan?

    Likewise, good meeting you too. You actually meet the most interesting people here at Gerry’s site.
    It’s my favorite go-to blog site. I open it about five times a day just to see what’s going on, and there’s always something interesting, be it comments or Gerry’s input. Interesante kaayu. By the way, I once had a group exhibit of my prints at the Museo Iloilo. That is a great place for artists.

    No, I actually don’t know who Ram Cabrera is. But then I can’t trust my memory either, hehehe.


  11. Fermin Salvador on February 25th, 2008 7:26 am

    People from Aklan (Akeanons) are also Ilonggos in the general sense like Capiznon, Antiquenos, and those from Iloilo. These are the 4 provinces that divide Panay Island (the center of Region 6) with Iloilo City as the regional capital. They have one common language (Hiligaynon) and differs only in dialects. Lahat malalambing magsalita. Ilonggos refers to people who originate from Panay Island whether they are now residing in Bacolod (although also called Negrenses, because Bacolod is situated in Negros Island) or Cotabato provinces in Mindanao or enywhere else. Oh, how I miss those days when I was a solitary wanderer in the streets of Iloilo City. Long before I will meet auggie in the net.

  12. dennis on February 25th, 2008 11:02 am

    Hi Rod,
    Thanks for the kind comments, but no I don’t really do lecture series in komiks. My blog is just to share in the internet whatever collection or knowledge I have about Philippine comics.

  13. Jonathan Jurilla on February 25th, 2008 11:08 am

    It’s true. Ilonggo is a loose term referring to the inhabitants of the Panay Island, the Guimaras island and Negros Occidental. Maybe because the ‘dominant’ language used here is Hiligaynon or also loosely called ‘Ilonggo’.But Aklanon and Antiqueño scholars are now challenging this dominance and conceptions. For instance, they refuse to consider their languages, Akeanon ( Aklanon ) and Kinaray-a ( Antiqueño ) as dialects because they are major languages that did not simply evolve from Hiligaynon. Historically, it was Hiligaynon that evolved from Kinaray-a.

    Gerry, thanks for this site! I enjoy the discussions here. ; )

  14. ronelo ladiao of kuris animators on February 25th, 2008 12:29 pm

    Sir Gerry,

    I was glad you visited us and meet some of the prolific artists from Iloilo. We, the kuris animators are very much thankful for your presence along with Prof. Marasigan and the UPV staff, Sir Jurilla and the rest who invited us. we were enlightened about a lot of things espcially in comicbooks… you were great inspiration for young artists to achieve our passion and goals in life.
    we hope you can come back again someday and be involve in some of our projects.
    you can check our animated works at youtube.com…just type kuris animators.


    Ron of Kuris animators

  15. auggie on February 25th, 2008 12:42 pm

    The way I understand it, KINA-RAY-A was the dominant language of Panay, dating back to the purchase of Panay by the 12 Bornean Datus from Ati head honcho Marikudo. Hiligaynon was more of an urban language, mainly, the language of Iloilo City and Bacolod City. Correct me if I’m wrong Prof.Jonathan…..


    Why don’t you go to PKMB ? mas hard-hitting ang rap-sessions doon, with more contributors from around the world. Nandoon si Super-Kapre, JoeMari, KC, RobbyVil, Fermin etc….

  16. Rod Samonte on February 26th, 2008 12:19 am

    Nag-register ako sa PKMB. Just waiting for approval.
    Maraming reketitos ang pag-join, kaya urong-sulong ang pagsali ko na nauuwi sa pag-urong. Ngayon pinagtiyagaan ko na, hehehe. Pero hindi pa rin, waiting for approval naman ngayon.

  17. Rod Samonte on February 26th, 2008 1:50 am

    Pasok na ako sa PKMB. Thanks Gerry. Sa iyo rin pala itong site na ito. Akala ko iba na nakakabit lang sa site mo. Anyway, mas matindi nga dito and a lot of new images I haven’t seen before.