How UP Los Banos’ Graphic Literature Guild Is Keeping Local Comics Alive
The Graphic Literature Guild (GLG) of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) is a student organization that caters to young artists, writers, and comic enthusiasts. It aims to promote Philippine graphic literature and its creators within the UPLB community, as well as improve the skills of its members in the creative process. It organizes a lot of activities and events to achieve its mission, and here are some of them.
Inktober, happening every October, is a month-long challenge where members create one drawing a day. The works are then promoted on GLG’s social media pages to highlight the skills and creativity of the artists. The prompts are based on the Inktober list of illustrator Jake Parker; these are just one-word ideas, and it’s up to the GLG artists to interpret them.
This year, for the prompt “dragon,” Mauro Lubin Alinea, a biology major, drew a detailed dragon that looks like it’s about to attack or eat a person. Last year, for “shielded,” he drew a dynamic image of a character battling a creature, and the word “Go!” implies he’s doing that so his friends could safely escape. The hero uses a shield to block the monster, and he himself is a shield to his friends.
“It fills me with joy and pride,” Mauro says of Elbikon. “I like seeing people admire the works of these local artists, who deserve to be acknowledged and praised for their contributions to the comic industry.” Paulo Tamondong, GLG’s guild master, loves Elbikon because it lets him meet many local artists. “Knowing they live in the same community as you makes their work much more exciting to read.”
GLG members participate at Komikon. Some sell the org’s merch, while some offer manpower for the entire event by being ushers and registrars. This gives them a better perspective of the Philippine comic scene and trains them to manage people and stressful situations. Zenith Loque, an agricultural economics major, shares, “I like volunteering. Not only because of the experience, privilege, and the perks, but also because I get to interact with some of the well-known local artists and content creators, as well as the art staff of big publishing companies.”
4. Volunteering at Lopez Elementary School
To incite interest in graphic literature and create a wider market for it, GLG exposes the students of Lopez Elementary School to comics. This year, the kids learned how to create unique superheroes based on their given personalities. The activity also sought to inspire a hopeful and positive outlook—like how the creation of superheroes and comic books in the 1930s uplifted people’s spirits during the Great Depression. Zenith points out, “Although kids like to base their drawings on well-known Marvel and DC heroes, they’re still proud of what they’ve made. Taking their work home brings a smile to their faces.”
5. Merchandise creation
To help ensure that the works of the members are marketable, GLG holds various workshops for the different aspects of comic making, like writing, storyboarding, drawing, coloring, and paneling. It also has a merchandise making workshop, where members learn to conceptualize different kinds of merch. Approved concepts are printed and sold at events like Komikon, Komiket, Elbikon, Summerkon, and Indieket. “I contributed some works that added to the lineup of merchandise,” says Zenith. “My favorite is a muscular Gudetama sticker—but members hate it because it’s excruciating to cut out.”
Today, the works of GLG members can be found on stickers, pins, cards, zines, and comic books. The comic books retail for P300, while the rest are often priced at P20. “I do profit from the merchandise I submit,” Zenith shares. “What I get, of course, depends on what I submit and how many pieces were sold. We depend on a standardized system of payment for the royalties.” The org invests its money in future merch and in production materials, such as rotary paper cutters and pin making machines.
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"Today, I Won"
I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.
When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.
For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.
After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.
It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.
To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.
Why our high school barkada is the best?
Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.
Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:
1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.
2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.
3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.
4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.
5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.
6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.
7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.
You're gonna bend and break and then at some point in your life, you feel like you don't want to fall in love again.
Not because you're no longer capable of loving but because you're so afraid to get hurt again that you don't want to take a risk anymore. And you're gonna wake up one day and realize that you're not the same person as you were yesterday. The heart aches, heartbreaks, frustration, you'll see, those will transform your whole being into something better.
Honey, move forward. Let go off all the things that are not meant for you. Let go of all the people who hurt you and take you for granted. Don't be stuck feeling miserable.
And don't turn that love into hate when you resent someone for hurting you or for breaking your heart. Just wish them well and let them go. Welcome the possibility of a beautiful love that will come your way. You're worthy of love that you keep on giving to other people. Keep that in mind.
I wish you well and all the happiness. You deserve it.
Here we are — with rough hands entwined, damned hearts at peace, broken souls resting with ease —savoring each passing moment before we part ways...hoping things will turn out to be okay. Here we are — standing still, keeping our earnest desire and ardent passion for each other at bay — hoping the Universe will finally grant us of the day that we no longer have to pretend... that things will no longer have to end.
Here we are — with crooked smiles, lingering touch that will last for a while -- gathering all the remaining courage to set each other free. Wishing for the day that our hearts will no longer have to worry. Here we are letting each other go. Even though we both know that the future is uncertain. Even though we're unsure if our paths will cross once again.