Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I removed the pictures I posted just recently. I decided to create a photoblog separate from this one so it won't get bogged down with too many large pics. The photoblog is already up and can be accessed here:


Please visit! Comments enabled! :)

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Goodbye TIMAWA

The email address I have had since 1997, timawa@laguna.net, has finally been retired. So if that address is still in your addressbooks, better delete it now. It was a hard decision to close that address since it's been with me for such a long time, but I find myself with little choice. With 1000+ emails a week, 99% of which is fucking spam, dealing with all that just to keep the address has become more trouble than it was worth. Sure I can open the address again, maybe a year from now if I liked, but not before I take down all the links to that email online so the robots wouldn't be able to harvest it anymore. After a year hopefully it will be all cleaned out.

Thursday, October 23, 2003


Last Saturday night, I was in a casino for the first time in my life. We were winding up our UAP National Conference with a Fellowship night hosted by Boysen at the Casino Filipino in Tagaytay. I wanted to get out as soon as I got in. For some reason, it felt like 1984 in there. 1984 as in the novel by George Orwell written in 1948, speculating what the future will be like. This is the book where phrases like "Big Brother is Watching" was coined. And man, I felt like Big Brother was watching me all the time everwhere in there. Cameras, cellphones with cameras, and even HATS for God's sake weren't allowed inside. And Ilyn had a hat with her. I knew beforehand cameras weren't allowed so I didn't bring mine. It's too bad because Fellowship night was really fun and we met a lot of really nice people. It was kind of restricting, and you felt like you were being watched all the time. We were searched coming in, but it was downright insulting when we were searched going out. What the fuck did they think we were going to steal? Forks? Spoons? OUR spoons and forks are WAAAAAY lot nicer than the scrap metal you call utensils, Casino Filipino. We're ARCHITECTS. We don't steal fucking spoons and forks because we can afford fucking hundreds of those. Aside from the Fellowship program itself which was really fun, everything else about that casino disgusted me. And I'm not going to step into one ever again.


When I was searching the web this morning, I stumbled on a couple of things that nearly drove me crazy. TWO new releases from Bruce Springsteen...and they're both coming out next month! I can't believe I didn't hear any news at all before. I called my DVD and Audio CD pushers right away to order copies for me. he.he.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Just arrived late yesterday from our UAP National Conference of Architects in Tagaytay. Lots of really cool things to talk about like places we've been, people we met, things that happened, and I will write them all down, complete with pictures later this week. In the meantime, check out the website of our UAP CHAPTER here for a 3-page collection of pictures from the trip.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Working Vacation

We rented a jeep to bring our dog Eugene to Ilyn's house until the weekend. Me and Ilyn will be leaving for Tagaytay tomorrow at 5:30 in the morning for the UAP National Conference of Architects. We'll be there until Sunday. It looks like I will be bringing some work with me to the conference. We still haven't finished the Birthright issue we're working on and by tomorrow Leinil will be finished with all his pages. It will be up to me to finish the book from here on in. I had wanted to finish the book before I left, but now it's apparent that it's not going to happen, I'll need to bring pages with me. It hasn't occured to me at all not to go to the conference. After missing it for TWO consecutive years because of work, I swore that I won't miss this one, specially now that I've took on the job of documenting all the Chapter's activities for archiving on the website. I've been playing around with the camera on and off for a couple of days. Here's what our rented house looks like from the outside. The lighting looks really strange for some reason. But I like it. Sort of surreal. I love the chickens. :)

Everybody's talking about this Friendster thing. My friend Maggie invited me to it last May and I sorta just passed on it. Just another time sink I felt. But now a lot of people are talking about it and more and more of my friends are getting on it and so I thought, what the hell. I thought I'd try it out. If you're single this is a really GOOD way of finding people to meet. If you're married like me, well, the best thing about it is finding out an old friend of yours is a friend of a friend. Something like that. It would be allright I guess if the damned server wasn't too FUCKING SLOW. And I'm on DSL so that's saying something. Well I'll try and hang on to it for a while and see what happens.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Finally got myself a digital camera! I've always wanted a camera that took really good pictures...that's because I've always wanted to take pictures. I've been dreaming of getting an SLR back when I was high school. When I started out working on Architecture, I was saving up to finally buy myself one. But it sorta got pushed back and back and back, specially when I thought how much I would be spending not only on the camera itself, but on the film and having it developed. I thought it best to get a digital camera instead recently, when I met people who have shown me the benefits of having one. You can take pictures all the time and see the results instantly. Here's a pic of my dog Eugene:

Friday, October 10, 2003


Some of you probably thought it was a video game eh? :) But no, I'm talking about James Clavell's SHOGUN, starring Richard Chamberlain, Toshiro Mifune and Yoko Shimada. It was shown in Philippine television in the early 80's as a huge TWELVE part series. Is anyone reading this old enough to have seen this and liked it? It just came out on DVD and I grabbed a copy immediately. I'ts been more than 20 years and this series has lost none of it's power.

A lot of people may not realize it, but Shogun had a huge impact on people and culture, specially in America. Certainly books, comics and other films (more notably by Akira Kurosawa and Hiroshi Inagaki) have been around a long time before, but none of them have made such a hard and long lasting impact as Shogun had. And for many Americans, Shogun was their very first exposure to Japanese culture. It has been reported that movie and restaurant sales went down during the time Shogun had been showing on TV. And a huge number of Japanese restaurants opened and a lot of American men took Japanese brides. You come away from watching this series knowing how to speak some Japanese. Even I learned a few useful words and phrases here and there.

Chris Claremont was so inspired by Shogun that he brought the X-men to Japan and introduced a Japanese character named Mariko (the name of the lead character in Shogun), whom Wolverine fell in love with. Before this, Wolverine was a ticking time bomb, crude and berserker. In the Wolverine limited series written by Claremont and drawn by Frank Miller, Wolverine went through basically the same journey that the hero of Shogun, John Blackthorn (Anjin-san), did. Wolverine and Blackthorn were at first looked down upon because they were foreigners. Gaining the respect of the Japanese, each earned their respective names Gaijin-san and Anjin-san. Each went through hell and emerged through the other side.....as samurai.

Some of that probably rubbed off on Miller that Ninjas started appearing in Daredevil, and he eventually did RONIN. Pretty soon a lot of other comic books were having ninjas or samurais and all sorts of other Japanese things in their comics. Miller continues right to the present with MIHO on Sin City. Shogun is one of the reasons why manga and anime are so accepted and welcomed in the western world, and to us as well.

Sapphire and Steel!

One of my most favorite Sci-Fi series is finally coming out on DVD! Like Shogun, very few of you may not remember this or even heard of it, but during its time (1979), Sapphire and Steel was phenomenal. Sapphire and Steel wasn't that high profile even during its time. But it WAS way ahead of its time. It had stories, concepts and characters that were so strange, so fantastic that it probably turned off a lot of viewers. But it thrilled quite a few...including ME. It was like X-Files with super powers. Sapphire (Joanna Lumley) was beautiful and mysterious, Steel (David McCallum) was quite and cool and in control. Silver (David Collings) was awesome as a guy who could replicate any object just by touching it. It was a series that had one of the most disturbing and unforgettable endings. I can't wait to see it again.

Apparently, the call from Malacanang was legit. I was called once again yesterday by the Office of the Presidential Commission on the Alleviation of Poverty and I was made clear about what they needed from me. They needed someone to lead in the effort to bring art to the people to uplift them culturally and hopefully, financially. Needless to say, it's quite an admirable objective and it's something I totally support. I just happen to think I'm the wrong guy for it. I don't have the tools necessary in my character to be able to do this job properly. I had a job that took a lot of time from me and I was afraid that I may not have the time to devote myself fully to it, to be of service enough to make it effective. I recommened that they approach Gilbert Monsanto, who I believe to have the necessary drive and enthusiasm that could do nothing but benefit the effort. Best of luck man. This is quite an honor and I'm sure you'll do a terrific job.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Anyone else get a strange phone call from Malacanang lately? A woman who says she's calling from the Commission on the Alleviation of Poverty in Malacanang called me up yesterday and said that the meeting I will be having with their head will be postponed from 9:30am on Friday to Lunchtime same day. Needless to say, I was flabbergasted. This is the first call I got from them. I made no arrangements to meet with anyone on Friday, this week or any other week in the near future. And why would I? I'm in another one of my tight deadlines and I need to finish this issue of Birthright before I leave for Tagaytay next week. Doing the comic book takes up nearly all my time and I have little time to do anything else. Still, I was really puzzled why I'm being called. They seem to have assumed that I had already talked to them before. But I haven't. And If I did, I would not have been available to meet with them anyway, not this week or next week.

It turns out my brother got the same call as well. And he was the one who gave them my number. Strange. Anyone else get any such calls?

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

I'm thinking that the Inquirer thing is probably the last interview I'm gonna do. And the Shangrila thing I'll be going to this weekend is the last such similar event I'll be a guest to. Believe it or not, I just like to work and just let all the other guys have the attention. I've actually been feeling quite uneasy about this kind of thing ever since the publicity surrounding Stone, way back 1998. I needed to help promote the book of course, and that's why I did it. But at some point it just became too much. Being asked to pose and act like a superhero is quite silly to me, really. And to be honest, I really hate doing it. It all started to distract me from working, and it seemed to inspire a lot of kids who wanted to be in comics, not because of the art, but because they want to be on TV and on the newspaper too. But that isn't what it was about to me. It's probably difficult for some people to believe, but I don't like the attention at all. I don't like being treated better than other people. Because my dad had worked in the local bank, I could always go up to the teller and have my business done first even if there's a line. I don't do that. I don't feel right doing that. I always fall in line, no matter how long it may be. I just like to write and draw comics, that's all. But working in comics, specially American comics, recognition and attention are part of the thing. I don't want it, but its there. I'll just do my best not to get involved in that, that's all.

My reluctance to do talks and seminars have got to do with the fact that I'm not really a public speaker. I can teach one or two people I meet here in San Pablo, but to do it in front of a large group of people (I consider 10 large) I feel I will not be as effective. I'm not a public speaker and I never will. I'm an artist and despite of my talkative nature here in my blog, I'm basically withdrawn and I don't have that many close friends. There are many times when I'd rather be alone. I'm much more of a writer. And I just love to write. People seem to be confused when they meet me, specially when I start talking. Me talking is very different from me writing. One could swear that those are two different persons.

My career is writing and drawing comic books. I feel that's one thing I'm good at. Why get me, or hire me to things that require skills outside of that? If you want to hire me, hire me to DO COMIC BOOKS. I can do that for you. But I can't speak to an audience for you. I can't go out there and be sociable for you. I can't go out there and lead other people, organize things, manage things and stuff like that. I didn't train for that. And I have no personal urge to do any of that.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

The interview came out in the Inquirer today. :) It had this picture of the four of us doing the superhero thing. From left that's Leinil Francis Yu, me (Superman Birthright), Philip Tan (Uncanny X-men), and Wilson Tortosa (Battle of the Planets). Thank goodness I didn't have to do the Wolverine thing (they asked Leinil to do that he.he.). All I had to do was look mean. Which wasn't difficult. Still, big BIG thanks goes to Ruey De Vera for his amazing support throughout the years. This is the 2nd article he has done on Leinil, the 2nd on me, and he did a really nice Wasted review a long time ago. Thanks Ruey! You can find an online version of the interview here:


Lan Medina was supposed to join us for the interview but deadlines kept him home. It was nice of Ruey to mention him and his work nevertheless.

I was supposed to meet Leinil in Sto. Tomas, Batangas today. We're really putting out all the stops and trying really hard to finish the current issue we're drawing as soon as we can. It's no longer enough that Leinil couriers the pages to me. That means a delay of one day the pages getting to me. We need to meet now at least 2-3 times a week so he can hand me those pages faster. We had agreed to meet sort of halfway between our homes. Sto. Tomas is still closer to my house than his, but at least he's got a car and I gotta commute.

I was at Jollibee Sto Tomas at the appointed time, but Leinil was unfortunte enough to have gotten stuck in one of the most terrible traffic jams in recent history on the expressway out of Metro Manila. A sudden furious downpour flooded parts of the highway and it stalled vehicles all along it. He called to say we should meet the following day instead and he would be turning back. If the traffic is bad as it is, he may well still be there. Unfortunately, my mom got caught in this monster jam herself. I gotta call home to see if she's back.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

My head is SWOLLEN today. Please forgive my momentary urge to toot my own horn today. Aw what the hell. I'ts my blog baby and I'll toot if I want to!! :)

Here's a review of the work I did for the Graphic Classics: Bram Stoker from Feomante's Horror Homepage, a review by Christos N. Gage:

"Stoker also drew on other denizens of the supernatural for his villains, like the wrathful ghost in THE JUDGE'S HOUSE. I'd seen this short story adapted before in Warren's classic CREEPY magazine; but this version, by X-MEN and SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT inker Gerry Alanguilan, is even more chilling, and that's high praise indeed considering the Warren version was drawn by the legendary Reed Crandall."

Read the entire review here:

Wow, if that doesn't make any artist feel like a million bucks I don't know what will.

But man....Reed fucking Crandall! I'm a BIG fan. If I had known that Crandall did an adaption of The Judges House I sure would have been intimidated...and it might have affected the way I drew the story severely. But still...I don't need to see Crandall's work to know that it would surely have been better drawn than mine. No false modesty here I assure you. Just an acceptance of what I can do. But I'm sure I can do better than what I can do now.


Sunday was another BIG day. I spent the entire day at Sampalok lake with my artist buddies, as I usually do every last Sunday of the month. Rene Enriquez, a new member of the group all the way from Cebu, brought his nifty digital camera and shot some really cool pics. I put up a site of his pics of us here:

It started to rain really hard just as the last picture there was taken. I had to go home at 4 so I can prepare for a UAP thing that night. On the way home I got nearly hit by lightning. Really! It hit something close by and it made an exploding sound. I looked around and I didn't see anything.

At the UAP induction, I had an awareness of my real purpose in that organization. I mean, I wasn't a practicing architect, and yet, there I was a member of an organization of architects. What makes me stay? I can't explain it....I just want to. I like the people in the group and I like belonging to it. But with everyone having his or her specific role...I had been searching for just what I use I can be. After being made chairperson of Web Promotions, it all became clear. I had volunteered to make a website for the group years ago, but only now did I resolve to put my all into it and make it the best UAP site there is. I still don't know HTML, but I do try to make the best of it.

United Architects of the Philippines San Pablo Chapter