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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Larry Alcala

Lauro Zarate Alcala (b. August 18, 1926 - d. 2002), also known as Larry Alcala, was a well-known editorial cartoonist and illustrator in the Philippines.


He was born on August 18, 1926 to Ernesto Alcala and Elpidia Zarate in Daraga, Albay. Through a scholarship from Manila Times granted by the publisher Ramón Roces, he obtained a degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting at the University of the Philippines (UP) in 1950. He became a professor at the same university from 1951 to 1981. He also received the Australian Cultural Award accompanied by a travel study grant in 1975.

He started his cartooning career in 1946 while still attending school. After World War II, he created his very first comic strip, Siopawman, which was printed on the pages of the Filipino comic book, Halakhak (Laughter). In 1947, he created the comic strip Kalabog en Bosyo, using Taglish as the medium of communication of his characters. He pioneered animated cartoons for television commercials of products such as Darigold Milk in 1957 and Caltex in 1965. His campaign for the advancement of illustration and commercial art in the Philippines resulted to the establishment of the Visual Communication Department at the UP College of Fine Arts.

In 1997, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) granted him the title Dean of Filipino Cartoonists, an achievement award for his lifetime dedication to the art of capturing humor in the character and everyday life in the Philippines. In 1991, he promoted the formation of a group of young children's book illustrators called Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK).

All in all, he made over 500 cartoon characters, twenty comic strips, six movies, two murals, and 15,000 published pages in his 56 years of professional cartooning career. He believed in the far-reaching role of cartoons in education and value formation.

He died on June 24, 2002 when he was 75.

His Cartoons:

Slice of Life

His most popular cartoon series was Slice of Life, which is a reflection of the many unique aspects of everyday life in the Philippines. He captured the interest of his weekend patrons by giving them the task of looking for his image cleverly concealed within the weekend cartoon. He did the same with his other comic strip Kalabog and Bosyo. His cartoons had been tapped in advertising campaigns, such as corporate calendars, print ads, promotional t-shirts and in San Miguel Beer cans.

In 1988, his Slice of Life received the Best in Humor award and was also cited for helping to keep alive the Filipino's ability to laugh at himself, through the lively marriage of art and humor, and through commentaries that are at once critical and compassionate, evoking laughter and reflection.

Slice of Life appeared on the pages of the Weekend Magazine.

Mang Ambo

Mang Ambo is the personification of the Filipino according to Larry Alcala. Mang Ambo, the character, is an incorrigible cock-eyed innocent, possessing a small town charm amidst urban sophistication. Through Mang Ambo and the other characters of a fictional place called, Barrio Bulabog, Alcala exposed the follies and foibles of Philippine society in general and of cosmopolitan life in particular. In this cartoon strip’s characters, he also affirmed the Filipino's peculiar coping mechanism of laughing out at himself in the face of adversity but still absorbing life's vicissitudes with resilience. Mang Ambo made its debut in 1960 as a full-page feature in the Weekly Graphic. The cartoon series later became the first Alcala comic strip of to be compiled in book form.

Kalabog en Bosyo

Alcala's most enduring comic strip was Kalabog en Bosyo that first appeared on the pages of Pilipino Komiks in 1947. It eventually became the longest running cartoon series created by a Filipino.

Decades before Slice of Life, Alcala was already doing cameo roles in his Kalabog en Bosyo comic strips, but instead of portraying himself with a moustach, spectacles and side burns, he rendered himself in a crew-cut, younger and about 100-pounds thinner profile.

An onomatopoeic Tagalog word, the name of the character, Kalabog, refers to the thud sound produced after the impact of a falling object finally reaching solid ground. In Kalabog en Bosyo, Alcala pioneered in the blending of Tagalog and English or Taglish as the medium of communication among his characters. The comic misadventures of the two bungling detectives namely Kalabog and Bosyo had been transposed into films by Sampaguita Pictures in 1957, starring the Filipino actors-comedians, Dolphy and Panchito Alba.

Summary of Published Works:

  • International Cartoons, Athens, Greece (1980)
  • Salon of Cartoons, Montreal, Canada (1980)
  • Laugh and Live, Life Today (1981-2002)
  • Slice of Life, Weekend (1980-1986), Sunday Tribune (1986-1987), Sunday Times (1987-1995), Philstar (1995-2002)
  • Bing Bang Bung, Pilipino Funny Komiks (1978-1989)
  • Asiong Aksaya, Daily Express, Tagalog Klasiks (1976-1984)
  • Mod-Caps, Mod Magazine (1974-2002)
  • Snickerteens, TSS Magazine (1973-1984)
  • Smolbateribols, Darna Komiks (1972-1984)
  • Siopawman, Daily Express (1972-1983, 2002)
  • Kalambogesyons, Pinoy Komiks (1966-1972)
  • Congressman Kalog, Aliwan Komiks (1966-1972)
  • Barrio Pogspak, Holiday Komiks (1966-1972)
  • Project 13, Pioneer Komiks (1966-1972)
  • Loverboy, Redondo Komiks (1964-1969)
  • Cartoon Feature, Asia Magazine (1963)
  • Mang Ambo, Weekly Graphic (1963-1965), Weekly Nation (1965-1972) Manila Standard (1993-1998)
  • This Business of Living, Weekly Graphic (1951-1965), Weekly Nation (1965-1972)
  • Best Cartoons from Abroad, New York, USA (1955-1956)
  • Tipin, Hiwaga Komiks (1951-1965)
  • Kalabog en Bosyo, Pilipino Komiks (1949-1983), Manila times (1984-1995)
  • Islaw Palitaw (1946-1948)
  • A Cover for Asiaweek Magazine, February 10, 1984
  • A Cartoon Mural for the Philippine Village Hotel
  • A Mural for the Philippine Commission on Audit
  • Contributions for Duty Free
  • Contributions for Jollibee restaurant
  • Caricatures and Cartoons, Private collections
  • Cover designs, brochures and catalogs, University of the Philippines
  • San Miguel Corporation Calendar, 1983
  • SPIC Cartoonists Exhibit on Wheels, 1967 Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists (SPIC)
  • Asiong Aksaya TV show, Energy Conservation Movement of the Philippines, 1977

Contributions to Philippine Education:

  • Introduced the first college degree course on Commercial Design in the Philippines, 1953
  • Introduced the first 8 mm film production of animated cartoons in Visual Communications course, 1972
  • Chairman Department of Visual Communications, University of the Philippines, 1978-1981
  • Professor, College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, 1976-1979
  • Associate Professor, College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, 1971-1976
  • Assistant Professor, College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, 1962-1970
  • Instructor, College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, 1951-1962

Cartoon Exhibitions:

  • 1999 Larry Alcala & Friends: Cartoons and Caricatures Show, The Westin Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard,
  • 1998 Larry Alcala, Life and Times of a Cartoonist, Museo Pambata Foundation, Inc.
  • 1998 Cartoon Festival, Seoul, Korea
  • 1995 Asian Cartoonist Exhibition and Symposium, Japan
  • 1995 Slices of Larry’s Art, SM Megamall Art Center & Liongoren Art Gallery
  • 1993 Cartoons, Solo exhibit, San Jose & San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
  • 1991 Cartoons, Group exhibit, Japan
  • 1990 ASEAN Cartoonist Exhibit, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1989 Cartoon Exhibit, China
  • 1988 Slices of Life Part 2, Art Association of Bacolod Gallery
  • 1987 Slices of Life Here and Abroad, Hyatt Regency Manila
  • 1987 Cartoons, Group exhibit, Hiroshima, Japan
  • 1986 Cartoons, Solo exhibit, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
  • 1985 Cartoons, Group exhibit, Chicago, San Francisco & Los Angeles, U.S.A.
  • 1984 1st Asian Cartoonist Conference, Hiroshima, Japan
  • 1984 Larry Alcala’s First One-Man Exhibition, Heritage Art Center
  • 1982 SKP Exhibit in Australia

Professional and Journalistic Achievements:

  • Art Director, Weekly Nation, 1965-1972
  • Editorial Cartoonist and Illustrator, Weekly Graphic, 1961-1964
  • TV Art Consultant, Citizens Award for Television (CCMM) 1971-1972
  • TV Animated Cartoon Commercial for Darigold Milk, 1969
  • Art Consultant, U.P. Public Affairs TV, Channel 13, 1963-1964
  • Design artist, Mobil Philippines, 1961-1962
  • Supervising Animator, Universal Animated Productions, 1959-1960
  • Movie Consultant, Kalabog and Bosyo,1986
  • Movie Consultant, Asiong Aksaya, GP Productions, 1977
  • Movie Consultant, Kalabog and Bosyo, Sampaguita Pictures, 1957
  • Movie Consultant, Tipin, Sampaguita Pictures, 1956
  • Scriptwriter, Dos por Dos, Channel 2, 1974
  • Advertising Artist, Pan Pacific Advertising, 1948-1949

Clubs and Organizations:

  • Adviser, Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas (SKP), 1989-2002
  • President, Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas (SKP), 1979- 1989
  • President, Art Directors Club of the Philippines, 1963-1964
  • Vice President, Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists (SPIC) 1962-1963
  • Awards, Citations and Recognitions:

    He received recognition from the following entities:

    • U.P. College of Fine Arts
    • The Board of Directors of the U.P. Alumni Association,
    • The Office of the Mayor of the City of Manila, Philippines
    • The Philippine Board on Books for Young People ( PBBY )
    • The Archdiocese of Manila Catholic Press Awards
    • The Citizens' Council for Mass Media 1970 CAM Awards
    • The Komiks Operation Brotherhood, Inc. (Komopeb) (Life Achievement Award)
    • Samahan ng mga Manunulat, Artist, at Patnugot at mga Manggagawa sa Komiks
    • SPIC-NPC Annual Art Awards
    • The Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists
    • The Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists (3rd SPIC Annual Art Awards)
    • The Galleria Bernice L
    • The U.P. College of Fine Arts Alumni Foundation, Inc.
    • The University of the Philippines Alumni Association
    • The Philippine Council of Industrial Editors
    • The United Artists and Core Corporation, the Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc.
    • Operation Smile
    • The Bureau of Land Transportation
    • The Safety Organization of the Philippines, Inc.
    • The Veterans Memorial Medical Center Diabetes Association
    • The University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City
    • The Positive Artists Group (Pamana award)
    • The U.P. College of Fine Arts
    • The University of the Philippines (Service Award, 25 years of service)
    • Caltex and D.O.S.T
    • Philips -Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Parol Festïval 1986
    • The National Manpower and Youth Council Office of Vocational Preparation
    • The Department of Laboratories Veterans Memorial Medical Center
    • The Gawad CCP Para sa Telebisyon sa Taong 1988
    • St. Patrick Commercial Appreciation Award
    • The National Environmental Protection Council Awards
    • The City of Bacolod
    • Caltex-DECS-DOST Science Art Contest

    For more Larry Alcala information and artworks, visit the official Larry Alcala website

    Sunday, May 18, 2008

    Vhong Navarro

    Vhong Navarro (born Ferdinand Hipolito Navarro on January 4, 1977) is a Filipino actor, singer, and host. He is the son of Danilo Navarro and Imelda Hipolito.


    As part of the dance group Streetboys, Vhong was discovered by director Chito S. Roño who continues to manage him.

    Among the products he endorsed are Sprite (Obey your thirst Series -- "Sprite 101: How to add a little spice to your life" and "Sprite 101: Paano pumili ng wasto"), Pop-Cola (Sigaw ng uhaw Series -- "Pasingit, singit..." and "Ang tindi ng sikat ng araw..."), Jag Thug & Jag Jeans and Blu Tab.

    His launching movie was to be Gagamboy (2004) - the Regal/MAQ entry in Metro Manila Film Festival in December 2003 - but Star Cinema Production Inc. pulled a fast one and cast him in the lead role of Mr. Suave (2003) which was scheduled in November of 2003. The issue created a feud between the two production companies.

    Self-proclaimed 'Jim Carrey of the Philippines' amidst strong protest.


    Navarro appeared in the August 17, 2007 press conference of the television series "Lastikman". Besides Lastikman, Vhong will star in a forthcoming movie with a "superhero", Makisig Morales (the star of Super Inggo). Meanwhile, Vhong wants DNA test for his alleged daughter. At 12 years old, she would be older than Vhong's current eldest child, Vhong Navarro Jr.


    • In an interview Vhong stated that his favorite project is "Agent X44".
    • Vhong has worked with local actor Bayani Agbayani to combine their popular songs "Pamela" and "Otso Otso"
    • He is a Triskelion, a member of the Tau Gamma Phi.

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Jay Manalo

    Jay Manalo is an award-winning Filipino actor. He was born in Saigon, Vietnam in January 30, 1973. He was raised in Tondo, Manila.



    His film debut was through the action film Brat Pack in 1994 which starred Gary Estrada. He became a lead in his second film, Paracale Gang, which was released in 1996 and followed by the movie Urban Rangers. That same year, he did a switch from action to sexy roles when he starred in the movie Gayuma opposite Amanda Page. Possessing boyish looks and an oozing sex appeal, he became a staple of sexy movies in the Philippines, with the film Totoy Mola pushing him to sexy stardom. His character in that movie was that of a naive man endowed with a very huge, horse-like penis.

    After Totoy Mola, he played lead in different "bold flicks" like Kool Ka Lang, Kaliwat Kanan, Sakit sa Katawan, Bayad Puri, Bawal na Halik and Balahibong Pusa. By the turn of the century, his roles had become more serious and dramatic. His recent performances have been well-received by movie critics and he has won a number of acting awards from different award-giving bodies in the Philippines. Some of his noticeable portralyals are in the films Prosti, Bayaran, Ang Huling Birhen sa Lupa, Hubog, Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita and Mano Po 3. He has just ventured into other film genres, having starred recently in comedies such as I Will Survive and Ako Legal Wife and in fantasy/horror films such as Gagamboy, Feng Shui, and his latest film Barang.


    Jay Manalo has been part of the cast of various soap operas. His TV career started appearing in the top-rating soap in 1997, Mula sa Puso (ABS-CBN) which starred Claudine Barretto. He followed it up with other TV appearances in soaps like Pangako sa Yo (ABS-CBN) and Kung Mawawala Ka (GMA Network). His breakthrough role in television is his portrayal in the soap opera, Vietnam Rose in ABS-CBN in 2005. He plays Miguel, a Vietnamese businessman who was Carina's (played by Maricel Soriano) first love. Though the performances of the cast were well-cited by critics, the ratings were disappointing. After "Vietnam Rose", he was included in the cast of GMA's TV adaptation of Bakekang. He played Christoph, an actor and a love interest of the lead role, Bakekang, played by Sunshine Dizon and Valeria, played by Sheryl Cruz. Bakekang became one of the top-rating shows in the Philippines. He will be starring in his new action-adventure series on GMA entitled Pulis Pangkalawakan where he will be one of the main villains.

    Personal Life:

    By the time he was 30 years old, he already had 10 children, by 5 women: Jay Jr., 10; Sharmaine Joy, 10; Jaeandra Marie, 8; Jericho Martha, 7; Jayerianne Toni, 6; Ashely Nicole Zaine, 6; Jayenne Therese, 5; and Adrianne Riona Jaenylla, 1. He married Raizza, Adrianne's mother in January 2007. Manalo's father is a Vietnamese musician formerly based in the Philippines. After Manalo was born in Vietnam, the family moved to Manila and his parents eventually separated. When he was five, his father took him from his mother, with whom Manalo was reunited in 1995. His mother married a US Navy serviceman and his father continued with his music career.

    Manalo was released to the custody of his lawyer on Friday, July 6, 2007, a day after cracking a bomb joke while about to board a flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan the morning of July 5th. Prosecutor Ticyado ordered Atty. E. Teodoro to take him into custody. Manalo was removed from Philippine Air Lines (PAL) Flight PR185 minutes before the aircraft was to take off at 8 a.m. from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal. He told a flight attendant that there was a bomb in his backpack. The prosecutor found that Manalo was only cracking a joke and had no intention of carrying explosives nor harming any of the passengers in the Palawan-bound flight.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Charice Pempengco

    Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco, who is better known by her screen name Charice Pempengco (born May 10, 1993 in Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines, is a Filipina singer who became a singing sensation throughout the world through YouTube. She started joining singing contests at the age of seven but became widely known in her native Philippines when she placed third in Little Big Star.

    Little Big Star:

    Pempengco joined Little Big Star in 2005, when she was only 12 years old. She was eliminated right away but was later picked in a wild card round to re-enter the competition. She worked her way up to become a finalist. Although she was the consistent top scorer in the final rounds, she only finished in third place.

    YouTube Sensation:

    Pempengco first attracted attention in the cyberworld when the FalseVoice channel of YouTube posted her Little Big Star performance of Whitney Houston's hit, "I Will Always Love You." Many viewers thought her singing was fake, and that she was only lip synching because of her unbelievable vocals. Another popular video was a face-off between Pempengco and America's Got Talent winner, Bianca Ryan. These videos brought Pempengco to the attention of Ten Songs Productions, a record company based in Sweden. She then traveled to Stockholm in June 2007 and recorded seven songs, which inluded three cover songs, namely Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill," and the Shakespeare Sisters's "Stay" plus four original songs, "Amazing," "All The Money in the World," "It Can Only Get Better," and "Born to Love You Forever." There is no news about when an album will be released.

    A few months later, FalseVoice released a video of Pempengco singing the Dreamgirls anthem, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." This earned her an invitation from one of the biggest television networks in South Korea, Seoul Broadcasting System, in October 2007 to perform on a talent show called Star King. The Korean audience was wowed by her jaw-dropping rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." Many viewers reposted her Star King performance on YouTube, and Pempengco found her way into American television. TV network E!'s The Daily Ten featured her Star King performance with the headline, "A Star Is Born" on November 14, 2007 and then crowned her as the "Queen of the Week" on the Hollywood Royalty segment, this time with the headline, "A Queen Is Born" on November 16. Pempengco's performance on Star King was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on its November 28, 2007 episode, in which Ellen showed web videos of different people she would like to have as guests on the show. After showing the video, DeGeneres did a standing ovation and imitated Pempengco's gestures. She later personally invited the young singer to perform on the show.

    On December 19, 2007, Charice sang her already popular "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going" and "I Will Always Love You" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, leaving the audience, Ellen and all of America in awe.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    Mike Enriquez

    Miguel Castro Enríquez (born September 29, 1951 in Santa Ana, Manila) is a popular radio and television newscaster in the Philippines. He is also the Senior Vice-President for radio of GMA Network, and president of the network's regional and radio subsidiary, RGMA Network Inc.


    He started his career in broadcasting as a staff announcer at the Manila Broadcasting Company in 1969. It began when he visited a friend in that company and accidentally discovered his interest in radio. He has since worked in various positions, as a broadcast reporter, a news editor, program director, station manager, until he became manager of a medium sized radio network. He also had stints in other radio networks such as Freedom Broadcasting Radio Network and Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), where he became vice president for the company. He is the voice behind the MELLOW TOUCH 94.7 signature and introduction.

    He joined GMA Network in 1995, where he had his television break as one of the news anchors of the network's early evening newscast, Saksi; then he was transferred to the network's late-evening newscast, GMA Network News in 1999 and went back to Saksi after a few months. He left Saksi in March 2004 to host the network's new early-evening newscast together with Mel Tiangco, 24 Oras.

    He also hosts an investigative show, Imbestigador, Review Philippines, a television program aired on GMA Pinoy TV and Q and a radio program on the network's flagship radio station, DZBB entitled Saksi sa Dobol B, which airs every weekday mornings.

    He has been named as one of the most child-friendly personalities by the Southeast Asian Foundation for Children and thrice consecutively by the Anak TV Seal awards.

    Personal Life:

    Enriquez is the eldest of three children. He uses the term "destructive to a certain extent" to describe his curiosity-filled, active childhood. He had always been very active in church, and used to be as an altar boy with an ambition to be a Franciscan priest. However, his parents refused to sign a consent sheet that would allow him to stay at the seminary until he became a priest.

    Instead he was enrolled at the De La Salle College, taking up AB Liberal Arts in Commerce. Enriquez finished his degree in 1973 and now teaches in Broadcast Management. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of La Salle Green Hills and act as the Treasurer and Chairman of its Finance Committee.

    Mike has been married to Lizabeth "Baby" Yumping for twenty-nine years, but they have no children.

    He has battled illnesses such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension.


    • During his career as a disc jockey, he was known as "Baby Mike".
    • Mike Enriquez appeared on Andrew E's 1991 movie, Mahirap ang Maging Pogi(It's Not Easy Being Handsome), as a disc jockey.


    Year 1999 Awards:

    • Best Male Newscaster - Golden Dove Awards (KBP)
    • Ka Doroy Valencia Broadcaster of the Year - Golden Dove Awards (KBP)
    • Best Male Newscaster – Star Awards For Television (Philippine Movie Press Club)
    • Best Newscaster - Asian Television Awards (He is the only Filipino to win the said award)

    Year 2000 Awards:

    • Best Male Newscaster – Star Awards For Television (Philippine Movie Press Club)
    • Best Newscaster For Television – Golden Dove Awards (Kapisanan Ng Mga Brodkaster Sa Pilipinas)
    • Best Public Affairs Host for Radio – Golden Dove Awards (KBP)
    • Finalist (The only one from the Philippines) – Best News Presentor – Asian Television Awards on December 2000 in Singapore. He won the same award in 1999.

    Year 2001 Award:

  • Best Public Service Program Host for “Imbestigador” – Star Awards For Television (Philippine Movie Press Club)
  • Year 2002 Awards:

    • Best TV Newscaster Metro Manila – Golden Dove Awards (KBP)
    • Best Public Affairs Program Host – Radio Metro Manila - Golden Dove Awards (KBP)
    • Best News Commentary - Radio - “Saksi Sa Dobol B” - Catholic Mass Media Awards.

    Year 2003 Award:

    Best Newscaster Award – Consumers Union Of The Philippines 14th Annual National Consumers Award.

    Year 2004 Awards:

    • Outstanding Television Host – Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption
    • Outstanding Radio and Television Commentator – Consumers Union of the Philippines 15th Annual National Consumers Awards.
    • Anak TV-Seal awardee.
    • Ranked number eighty (80) Biznews Asia's 100 Most Influential Filipinos.

    Year 2005 Awards:

    • Anak TV-Seal awardee.
    • Ranked number eighty-eight (88) Biznews Asia's 100 Most Influential Filipinos.

    Year 2006 Awards:

    • Best Male Newscaster - USTV awards (University of Santo Tomas).
    • Best Public Affairs Host - PMPC Star Awards for Television.
    • Anak TV seal Awardee.
    • Ranked number fifty-four (54) Biznews Asia's 100 Most Influential Filipinos.

    Year 2007 Awards:

    2007 Most Outstanding Male News Presenter of the Year by COMGUILD Center for Journalism