January 20, 2019.
After six long years, the eagerly anticipated Fourth San Pablo City Comics Festival finally opened its doors to the residents and visitors of San Pablo City. The event, billed as a “celebration of Philippine comics as a form of art, entertainment, education,” featured a number of new and established independent comic book creators and publishers.
In the afternoon, guest speakers Manix Abrera and Gioseppe Custodio (aka Loser Mangaka) each took their turn onstage and shared some of their adventures in producing independent comics. The Fourth San Pablo City Comics Festival was also not without its star value as it entertained a number of notable guest in the comic book field such as Leinil Francis Yu, Carlo Pagulayan, Stephen Jorge Segovia, Michael Jason Paz, Jeff Huet, and even legendary Filipino illustrator Doninador “Hal” Santiago–who just happened to be taking a walk with his wife along Sampaloc Lake that day when he came across a Comics Festival banner.[i]
The event also served as a birthday celebration of sorts for one of the Festival’s founders and chief organizer, Gerry Alanguilan, who turned 51.
Happy Birthday Sir Gerry!
As a first-timer to the Roño’s Place[ii] function hall, I found the venue to be quaint–yet at the same time–very intimate. The organizers and volunteers did a great job in spacing out the Artist Alley, Exhibit area, and Seminar area which I am very sure contributed to that “good vibe.”
Later on, I would discover that the venue also held a special significance for the Alanguilan’s which made it and even more ideal setting for the Comics Festival.
Overall it was a great day and I can’t wait to be a part of the next one.
[i] I heard that he stopped by for a quick “Hi-Hello.” It was just meant to be.
[ii] Later on, I discovered that it was actually part of the same compound that housed the Komikero Komiks Museum. Roño’s Place is located at #4 F. Mariño, Lakeside Park Subdivision, San Pablo City, Philippines.