First Philippine International Cartoons and Comics and Animation Festival

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 30 October, 2009 - 18:25

The First Philippine International Cartoons, Comics, and Animation (PICCA) Festival was successfully held on October 15-18, 2009 in the Ortigas Business and Commercial District of Pasig City. This was preceded by several pre-event exhibits or separate shows of cartoonists and comics artists in several venues in Metro Manila, the major metropolis of the Philippines consisting of 17 cities and municipalities and populated by more than 20 million.

The First PICCA Fest was marked by exhibits, drawing workshops for children, drawing contests for high school and college undergraduate students, software demos, animation showings, talks, book launching, and caricature sessions.

The event was attended by students, teachers, comics creators, mall shoppers, and filmmakers. Foreign guests included Dr. John A. Lent of the USA, Liuyi Wang of China, Trevor Bentley and Mauro Caselese of Canada, Deng Coy Miel of Singapore, and Edd Aragon of Australia.

The Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas, the 32 year old organization of newspaper and magazine cartoonists, had a show titled "SKP and Friends" at the classy Podium Mall from October 15-18.
The Contest Exhibit, on the other hand, was held at the Showcase Area on the Second Floor of SM Megamall also for the four-day duration. This was composed of more than forty (40) screened entries of the art contests

Two art contests were held for high school and college students. One was the Larry Alcala Awards for cartoon comics creation where the students were asked to design their characters, make scripts for two pages and draw them either in black and white or color. The other was the Hugo Yonzon Jr. Awards for caricature where students were asked to draw celebrities from the field of entertainment, sports or politics. Alcala and Yonzon Jr. were co-founders of the SKP and were classmates at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts.

Animation showings were held on Oct. 16 at Poveda College., also within the Ortigas Commercial and Business District. "Urduja", the country's first feature length film was shown. Mimbi Eloriaga, executive producer and Reggie Entienza, creative director, gave a talk about the production. Short film animation from Philippines, Canada, India, and China were also scheduled to be shown but, due to lack of material time because of the ensuing open forum, such was cancelled.

Talks on cartoons and comics were held on October 15 at 2PM at the book store Powerbooks, SM Megamall. Topics were "Editorial Cartooning in Sydney and Singapore" with Edd Aragon of Sydney Morning Herald, and Deng Coy Miel of Singapore Straits Times; "Comics Publishing" by Gerry Alanguilan of Komikero Publishing, Gilbert Monsanto of Sacred Mountain, and Guia Yonzon of Mango Comics.
On October 16 at 2PM, there were more discussions, this time at the nearby Development Academy of the Philippines. Topics and speakers included "The Protection and Promotion of the Intellectual Rights Content Creators in the Philippines" by Intellectual Property Office official Carmen G. Peralta , "Global Comics Overview" with Dr. John A. Lent of Temple University, "The Role of Asian-Pacific Animation and Comics Association" with Liuyi Wang, and "Why Canada Animation Outsource in the Philippines" with Trevor Bentley and Mauro Caselese of Atomic Animation.

One of the highlights of the festival is the lifetime achievement award Parangal sa Mga Tagapaglikha ng Komiks (Honoring of Comic Creators) on October 15 in the evening at the Podium Mall. In the Academy fashion, comics creators honored peers for their contribution to the craft. Honorees were comics writer Mars Ravelo, illustrators Nestor Redondo, Alfredo Alcala, Francisco Coching, writer Pablo Gomez, cartoonists Larry Alcala, and Nonoy Marcelo. Except for writer Pablo Gomez who attended, the rest were posthumous awards. The families of Redondo, A. Alcala, Coching, and L. Alcala came to receive the honors.

A landmark book The First One Hundred Years of Philippine Komiks and Cartoons was launched on October 16 at 6 PM at the Powerbooks, SM Megamall. Written by Dr. John A. Lent and published by Yonzon Associates, it was an instant hit. Our guest Liuyi Wang announced on the spot that a Chinese version of the book will be published as soon as possible.

Several exhibits preceded the main PICCA Festival, as early a month earlier. One was the Komiks Yaring Pinoy (Comics Philippine Made) exhibit of contemporary comics art by Filipinos which opened on September 21 at SM Mall Fairview, in Quezon City. A week later, this was moved to the south at SM Hypermart Pasig City. In spite of the disruption and destruction caused by typhoons, participants came by huge numbers. The exhibit was complemented with workshops for all ages conducted by Mango Comics. The ages of the workshop participants ranged from 8 to 43 years old.

There was also Slice of Life, the One Man Exhibit of Larry Alcala at the Yuchengco Museum in Makati City on Sept. 24. Alcala is considered the dean of Philippine cartoonists. He has created more than 500 characters, 20 comics strips, 6 movies, 2 murals, and 15,000 published pages in his 56 years of professional cartooning career. The exhibit will run up to November 15.

PICCA also presented Expats Express the Two-Man Exhibit of editorial cartoons by Edd Aragon and Deng Coy Miel at the GSIS Museum in Pasay City on Oct 2 to 31. Aragon and Miel are two Filipinos who now live and work in other countries. Aragon works for the Sydney Morning Herald while Miel works for Singapore Straits Times. Each has garnered numerous journalistic arts awards in their adopted countries and from international award winning bodies. Aragon, for instance, has won four Stanley Award while Miel has received the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Illustration Award.
PICCA also held "The History of Comics and Cartoons in the Philippines" exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila on October 7-14. This consisted of 40 panels affording a glimpse of works of the national hero Jose Rizal to today's comics illustrators.

PICCA co-presented the KOMIKON or the comics convention at the SM MegaTrade Hall. Komikon featured comic book sellers, indie and veteran artists, game designers, publishers, and more.

The Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas scrapped a picnic/party and instead held caricature sessions for mall goers. For a minimum donation of 500 pesos (US$10), a person could have his/her caricature done by any of the eight chosen cartoonists. The proceeds went to the victims of the typhoon, especially to affected comics artists and writers, a number of whom had houses submerged in flood waters.

The First Philippine International Cartoons, Comics, and Animation Festival was presented by Mango Comics, with the Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas and the Creative Media Professionals Guild of Asia and the Pacific as the proponents.

Cooperators of PICCA are SM Malls, Podium Mall, the Intellectual Property Office, the Development Academy of the Philippines, Poveda College, the National Press Club, Jack TV, Microcadd Institute, Yuchengco Museum, and the GSIS Museum. Other supporters are Seventoons Animation Studios, and Epson Philippines.

Interested parties can get more updates from The landlines are 529-8178 and 8929421. PICCA was co-founded by Boboy Yonzon with comics artists Gerry Alanguilan, Gilbert Monsanto, Sherry Baet, animation producer Mimbi Eloriaga, writer Orvy Jundis, lawyer Victor Cruz, publisher Guia Yonzon, and Lulu Jundis.

Right now, plans are being laid out for the Second Philippine International Cartoons, Comics, and Animation Festival. There wlll be a contest for animation, and bigger and wider contests in comics creation. More guests from different countries will be invited. PICCA2 Main Event will most probably move to a different city, as part of its program is to be mobile and be exposed to more people.