March 04, 2007

The Decline of Pinoy Komiks & Slow Extinction of Traditional Filipino Games

Philippine Komiks Industry Collapses, Komiks Congress In Session

Our good friend, renowned comic artist, writer, and Komikero Gerry Alanguilan writes an insightful article about his thoughts on the Komiks Congress, in its attempt to revive the
local Pinoy Komiks industry after the decline and closing of one of the Philippines oldest Pinoy komiks publisher, Atlas Publishing.

Atlas Publishing General Manager and representative Mr. Deo Alvarez states the reasons why Atlas Publishing was the last komiks company to close its komiks division, sadly ending the continuous run of several legendary comic book titles which began in the late '40s.

His reasons are as follows:

Sales and gross profit have declined 30% during the all out war against the insurgents called Muslim National Liberation Front in the Mindanao region.
Sales and Gross Profit declined a further 30%.

Gerry Alanguilan brings us clear analysis of the current situation, and offers helpful strategies that could help revive the komiks industry that brought us such memorable comic book titles we all loved growing up.


Traditional Filipino Games Almost Extinct
By: BusinessWorld Health

Today, a child’s idea of fun is spending an entire day at the mall, engaging in role-playing games (RPG) for hours over the Internet or getting the newest video game console.

The words PlayStation, Game Boy and Time Zone are more familiar to children than traditional Filipino games like sipa, luksong-tinik or tumbang preso. Traditional Filipino games no longer spark the same light of interest in children’s eyes nowadays. What is lost is the opportunity to preserve our cultural heritage, which is inherent in the hobbies and games, as well as the physical, psychological leadership skills that children get from playing structured games.

These Filipino games have been the delight of children over the past century. Neighborhood kids, cousins and siblings would gather on lazy afternoons and would be kept busy and entertained with an engaging game of garter. These games are reflective of our country’s recreational culture. We are fun-loving and highly-creative people.

But through the years, we’ve seen waning interest in all things local and cultural. Statues, monuments and documents that are extracted from the past are restricted to special exhibits and museums. National pride has been kept inside stone-walled buildings and structures.

"Gaming preferences have always been a matter of choice. Kids choose what they want to play. But in the past decade, these choices have become limited. We have become largely influenced by Western culture and have embraced technological innovations wholeheartedly," said Dr. Raul Pertierra, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Mr. Pertierra added that there is inherent cultural value in our Filipino games. "In the next ten years, we can expect less than a thousand kids knowing the game mechanics of sipa."

Sipa is a local game involving the foot. "Sipa" means "kick" in the Philippine language.

It is a sad truth that Filipino games are becoming extinct. There is a call to action to inculcate interest in the children of today so that tradition will be passed on from this generation to the next.

Dean Hercules Callanta of the College of Human Kinetics in the University of the Philippines noted that nowadays kids spend more of their time for leisure and play inside their homes. "Outdoor play carries with it physical benefits, especially for children, whether they are toddlers or pre-teens. Muscular development is at its peek during these ages. Exercise and play help form healthy and strong bodies."

There is also significant research stating that outdoor play can increase and improve the respiration of children. Exercising outdoors is also a good source of Vitamin D for growing kids. "Filipino outdoor games like sipa, luksong tinik and garter are examples of games that develop muscular strength, flexibility and endurance," Dean Callanta said.

Outdoor play also encourages social interaction among children from different age groups. "Games help develop children’s gross and motor skills and promote healthy competition and challenge them to perform better not only in sports but in other future endeavors as well," said Melissa Fernadez-Abaya, child psychologist and co-owner of The Little Apprentice Pre-School.

Ms. Fernandez-Abaya said games are an effective educational tool for children. "Playing Filipino games will give them an idea of a nationalistic identity and will develop an appreciation for Filipino culture and traditions."

Reviving the love for local games revives the spirit of the Filipino and passes it on to the next generation who seeks what it means to be Filipino. "It is not too late," Dr. Pertierra added, "As parents and as Filipinos, the preservation of our culture starts with us and what we teach our children. We are in the position to shape the minds of the young and develop nationalistic, healthy, socially and mentally-sound next-generation Filipinos."

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Gerry Alanguilan said...

Hello NM.

You asked the question on my blog, but I'm answering here as well for the benefit of your readers.

It is unfortunate, but the collapse of the old komiks industry is all but complete. All the old komiks you used to know like Funny Komiks, Pilipino Komiks, Tagalog Klasiks, Hiwaga, Espesyal, etc... are now all gone. The companies that published them are either closed, or have closed their comics departments.

The only thing remaining is Liwayway, which as you know, is not really a comic book. Comic strips in newspapers are still very much around, however.

Nostalgia Manila said...


This is SHOCKING NEWS! I feel a great loss. I never thought I'd be around to hear of this sort of news. I am at a loss for words. Thank you so much for your work with the Komiks Congress, and doing your best to preserve the Pinoy Comic Industry. Something must be done to revive something we all loved.

Ian said...

Nakakalungkot isipin na hindi tumagal ang mga komiks na ito para abutan ng aking mga anak. Kahit ako hindi ko man lang lubos na nakabasa ng mga ganitong komiks pero naalala ko yung mga Funny Komiks na Ilokano na dinadala ng pinsan ko galing Isabela.

Gusto ko rin magkomento sa laganap na paglalaro ng kabataan gamit ang mga komputer lalo na ang internet online games at ang mga game consoles. Kahit mga batang kapos na sa pera natututo magnakaw para lang makapaglaro ng isang oras sa harap ng komputer. Mga mahihirap at wala masyadong kaya ang nakikita mong naglalaro sa mga lansangan mabuti na at hindi sila malulong sa ganitong paglalaro habang maaga pa.

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