Kwentillion: Premiere Issue

published by Summit Media

The superb cover art by Chester Ocampo can easily square off with any artist of the adult-oriented Heavy Metal magazine in the US but it's important to emphasize this early that this premiere issue is very much suitable for general patronage now known as the YA generation. The short story by Budjette and KaJo is once again a good work (and another quality young heroine of Trese tradition) while Poso Maximo by Robert Magnuson is highly enjoyable. I can only wonder if the young heir of Datu is directly related to the world of Alexandra Trese but this remains to be verified. High Society by Chikiamco & Buena is a noteworthy read.  Andrew Drilon's The Secret Origin of Spin-Man is a memorable short parody of the superhero genre.

Dimacali & Bumanglag's Sky Gypsies reminded me of the recent clash involving illegal Chinese fishermen and the Philippine Navy in the Scarborough Shoal but this story does not involve anything about territorial disputes and the role between the bully and the harassed is in complete reverse here. Upcoming and current stars in the world of graphic illustration can be helpful especially in knowing their influences.

Philippine Folk Magic compiled by Chikiamco and drawn by Mervin Malonzo is for me, the best feature of the whole magazine and I hope that they continue this feature for the next issues under the category of Myth-troduction. It's a good eye-opener for the uninitiated and a refresher for old followers of Philippine Mythology.

My wish so far is to finally see a good collection of mythology from our brothers in the south---the Mindanao Epic. It may be republished in a book form and not necessarily in a magazine format, as long as it follow the original narrative structure of the oral tradition. I want to read more about Prinsipe Bantugan's fall and how his friends recapture his spirit by outsmarting the Gods of the underworld. I want to see him reborn and kick his foes to oblivion with his magical Kampilan just in the nick of time. I don't mind seeing Tikbalang in a distant galaxy or a Tamawo guarding a forgotten colony ship but what I do mind is the original story. It's easy to reinvent, readapt, or retell a story in the current setting, but the challenge lies in making the mythology relevant to the young generation without sacrificing the original story and the reason why myths are being told  by our grand folks. Philippine Mythology exist to teach the Filipino a lesson, they exist to provide value not to the material, but to the unseen things like justice, honor, brotherhood, and humility.

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