The Great Filipino Graphic Novel Contest Finalists
Story and Illustration by Mia Reyes
KKK known as Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan was founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892. Katipunan was initially made up of men, it was only later on that women joined Katipunan as Medic and support but never in combat. However there was a fierce woman they call Henerala Agueda. Nobody knows anything about the woman they call Henerala aside from the fact that she’s from Laguna. However, Henerala’s fighting prowess was legendary that General Miguel Malvar assigned her to lead a detachment of forces sometime in May 1897. Henerala and her troops arrived at Tay Bayo’s house, only to find him and his family dead except for a small boy who managed to survive. They suspect that it was Prayle Javier behind the crime. They took in the boy to their camp and nurse him back to health.
Few months later, one of their revolutionary supporter, Don Sebastian was arrested for being a treason was scheduled for garrotte. Henerala decides to act fast, she and her troops decides to rescue Don Sebastian. She gathered few of her men and prepared for the rescue operation.
Henerala and her men disguised as ordinary folks. As the executioner reads out Don Sebastian crimes. Henerala took out her revolver and shot the executioner and the soldiers. She places Don Sebastian on the horse and rode away. Deep in the forest, she entrusted Isidro to bring Don Sebastian to Hen Malvar’s Camp. She then took out her rifle. She went back into the battle field armed with bolo. She went into a frenzy. She took out the rifle and fired at the Spaniards. They were greatly outnumbered. They decided not to retreat and keep on fighting. Fortunately, General Ricaforte and his troops arrived on time and surrounded the Spanish troops.
Aftermath of the battle in the morning, Agueda goes through the ruins inspecting the damage in the area. Wounded enemies were rounded up. When Heneral Aguinaldo hears of Agueda’s bravery. He sent a letter informing her that she’s officially given the title Henerala. After receiving the title Heneral, she went away and was never seen again. Nobody knows what happened to her. All that remains is the memory that there was once a woman who valiantly fought a battle despite all the odds.
WRITER, PENCILLER, INKER & COLORIST
MIA REYES (Ethel Mae Reyes)
In a place where every morning one could hear bomb explosions instead of crowing roosters, where food rations from the government are distributed every other day, and where a father screams at night because of his nightmares from war, it is easy to just lose hope and give up. But Tupe chose otherwise, he decided to become the hope that everyone lost. He decided to become the person that pushes away the darkness to make way for the light. He decided to become a hero. But one fateful night, he felt it.
For the first time in his life, Tupe did not just felt fear. He saw it - dancing around the eyes of his mother held at gunpoint by two strangers – two humans. He heard it –in her pleas and her screams. He smelled it - from his father’s dead body, drowning in his own blood. And one gunshot later, he felt his mother’s final embrace.
In his moment of weakness and grief, he found himself staring into the eyes of what the humans call an “enemy”. For a moment he thought that he was staring straight into death’s eyes, but he was wrong. The Kapre pulled him in and wrapped his arms around him. He felt the darkness in him being pushed away. At that moment he realized, he found his hero.
Years after Tupe was adopted by the leader of the Kapres, Punho. He finally felt that he belonged, that he was part of a family again. At times when food was scarce he would give his share to Tupe. Punho would train him to fight every day. Sometimes, when he can’t sleep, Punho would read him stories. When he has nightmares, Punho would sleep beside him. He treated Tupe like he was his real son. And finally, after years of grieving for his lost family, Tupe can finally be happy again, or so he thought.
Ama ay tao, ama ay kapre
Lalaya ang liwanag, mula sa kadiliman.
Dugo ay tao, puso ay kapre,
Katagumpayan ay siyang makakamtan.
Tupe ran away from the Kapre’s lair after discovering that he was prophesied to kill his second father. All the trainings, all the food and the lullabies and all the things he thought were supposed to make him happy, was just a big strategy to make him strong enough to kill his second father. He ran farther away from his home and straight into the human’s trap. Tupe was kidnapped by the humans and was used as bait for Punho to surrender himself. They knew that if they used Tupe, Punho wouldn’t fight back.
But the humans are foolish, for they didn’t know about the prophecy; they just saw Tupe as a bait – Punho’s weakness. Tupe was just something that they could use to control the leader of the Kapres. But deep inside, Tupe knew, that the one who was truly in control was Punho.
The humans gave Tupe a knife and a choice – spare Punho’s life in exchange of all the Kapres they caught or and they spare the lives of the Kapres in exchange of Punho’s life. He knew how much Punho wanted to win the war, and how much he wanted the war to end. This was his chance to be the hero.
Tupe gathered up all his courage, gripped the knife with his small hands and ran towards his father. Punho’s arms were opened wide. Tupe pierced a cold blade through Punho’s chest and into his heart. He stepped back and pulled the knife out of his father’s chest.Humanity rejoiced.
The Kapres, fueled by Punho’s sacrifice, used this as a chance to counterattack. There was commotion, screaming, gunshots and bomb explosions everywhere. But Tupe was fighting a different battle inside his head. The prophecy said that if he killed his father the Kapres would win the war, but why did it felt like he lost it?
What does it mean to be a winner in a war?
Tupe felt something hot in his chest. Breathing suddenly became difficult and his knees started to weaken. Slowly, and with the littlestrength he had left, he walked towards his father’s corpse and lied down beside it. He used his last moments to look at the moon covering the sun. He stretched out his hand and tried to push the darkness of the moon away.
The humans and kapres fought the war with the main goal of winning it. And in the middle of the battlefield, family members, friends and loved ones died. The grief accumulated and transformed into anger. The fire of contempt and the rage in their hearts burnt their humanity, values,and morality into ashes. All they had left but the burning desire to win the war.
But, how do you win a war when you already lost so much?
Artist – Marion Gale Gaelon
Writer – Isa Marie Filio
Lumaki si Miraya (Den-den) sa isang Orphanage sa Cavite, siya ay naulila dahil parehong namatay ang magulang nito dahil sa aksidente sa karambola ng mga sasakyan. Wala na kahit isa sa mga kamag-anak nito ang gusto mag-ampon sa kanya, malungkot man ay naging mas maganda ang kalagayan niya kahit papaano sa ampunan mula ng dumating ang batang si jok-jok, silang ay parehong labing tatlong taong gulang. Si jok-jok ay matagal ng ulila sa ina, namatay ito nung dalawang taon siya, habang ang ama niya hindi niya kilala. Lumaki ito sa mga kamag-anak niya pero palagi itong minamaltrato, at hanggang dumating sa punto na naglayas ito at nagpalaboy-laboy sa maynila. Naging matalik na mag kaibigan ang dalawang batang ulila, nawala kahit papaano ang mga sakit at prolbema na nararamdaman nila. Ikatlong buwan na ni jok-jok sa bahay ampunan habang si miraya ay pitong taon na dito. October 10 na at saktong ikatlong buwan na ni jarry sa bahay ampunan, at birthday na din ni miraya. Nagpumilit si jarry na sumama sa pamamalengke ni sister Dana, isa sa mga madre sa bahay ampunan, sa palangke ay nagpabili si jarry ng isang kwintas na hugis letrang “X”. Ang sabi ng madre kay jarry ay maaringg ibig sabihin nuon ay letrang “X” o kaya naman ay sampu sa roman number. Nang makabalik sila ay nagluto ang mga madre at ibang tagapangasiwa duon ng konting handa para kay miraya, at dito binigay ni jarry ang kwintas na binili nila sa palangke, at natuwa si miraya sa regalo at nag-pasalamat. Dito sinabi ni jarry ang ibig sabihin ng regalo niya, sinabi niya na sampu ito sa roman number at sakto sa birthday nitong October 10, at pangsampung buwan ang October.
Makalipas pa ang tatlong buwan ay may umampon na kay jarry kasama pa ang ibang tatlong batang lalake, sa sobrang tuwa ay nakalimutan na ni jarry ang kaibigan niyang si miraya, hanggang sa araw ng pag-alis nito ay hindi na siya nakapag-paalam. Muling naging malungkutin si miraya dahil nawala na ang kaibigan nito, lumipas ang dalawang taon ay may umapon na din kay miraya, matapos lahat ng proseso ay agad na itong nakasama sa bagong pamilya nito. Inampon siya ng mag-asawang De Vera isang may kayang pamilya at meron na din isang anak na babae, naging maganda ang buhay ni miraya sa bago nitong pamilya, minahal siya ng parang tunay na anak. Naging valedictorian ito nung maka-graduate ito ng high school at Nag pulis, Naging mahigpit sa pagpapatupad ng batas si Miraya ng maging pulis sa rango niya na SPO3 ay kinakalaban niya ang mga tiwaling mga pulitiko at kapwa pulis. Matapang at Matuwid si Miraya sa tungkulin niya bilang pulis, pero ito din ang naging dahilan para makabangga niya si Cong. Gonzales, pinaghihinalaang may negosyong human trafficking, at hinihinalang kasabwat nito si mayor Rony lee, isang mayor sa isang siyudad sa Camanava area. Lagi itong nakakatanggap ng death-threat at lalo pang dumami ito mula ng na assign sakanya ang pag-iimbestiga sa dalawang ito, pinag-initan ng dalawang pulitiko si miraya, iba’t-ibang ambush ginawa dito, malakas man ang hinila ni miraya na sila cong.gonzales ang nasa likod ng pagtatangkang pag patay sakanya wala naman siyang ebidensya. Naging busy man at naging delikado ang buhay ni miraya ay nagkaroon ito ng karelasyon, si jarry may ari ng isang American surplus. Limang buwan na sila, at nagka-kilala sila sa isang geek event sa pasay city, agad ng kagustuhan ang dalawa dahil pareho sila ng hilig. Nang ika walo ng October ng umaga, nakatanggap ng tawag si miraya mula kay jarry, humingi ng pasenya sakanya dahil ilang araw na itong busy at wala ng time kay miraya.
Gusto makipag-kita ni jarry kay miraya sa birthday niya pagkatapos ng duty nito sa Milra building ng hapon at may sasabihing importante, pumasok agad sa isip nito na baka mag yayang magpakasal na si jarry pero alam din niyang five months palang sila, kaya hindi naman siguro ito ang dahilan ang sabi niya sa isip niya. Birthday na ni miraya at dumeretso ito sa meeting place nila ng boyfriend niya sa roof-top ng milra building, nang makaratingg ito duon ay wala pa si jarry, naglakad-lakad muna siya ng napansin niyang may sumusunod sakanya niya at pagharap niya ay nakita niya ang isang lalaking naka mask at naka bonnet. Binunot ni Miraya ang baril niya at tinutok sa lalake, agad nagtanong si amiraya sa lalake, at sumagot naman ito a sinabing siya ay nanduon para tumulong sa imbestigasyon laban kila cong. Gonzales. Ibibigay na sana ng lalake ang flash drive na nag lalaman ng mga imbedensya laban sa dalawang pulitiko ng may bumaril sakanya mula sa malayo. Tinamaan man ay tumalon ito mula kay miraya para ipunta sa likod ng isang sirang poste para makapagtago, nagulat din si miraya sa mga nangyayari at biglang nagsalita ang lalake at sinabi ang pangalan niya. Nang alisin ni miraya ang mask at bonnet ay nagulat ito, dahil si jarry ang lalake, hirap man ay agad na nagsalita si jarry at inamin na isa siya sa mga tagapatay ng dalawang pulitko na si Gonzales at rony lee sa mga kaaway nito sa pulitika. Inamin din niya na ang mga umampon sa kanila nuon ay mga tauhan ni Gonzales, pinalaki sila bilang private amry nito. Hanggang naging assignment niya na itumba din si miraya, ang pagkikita nila sa event nuon at kunwri’y negosyo nito ay planado din, pero mula ng nalaman nito ang katotohan na si miraya na kaibigan niya dati ay ang pulis din na si miraya na papatayin niya sana ay nagbago ang lahat, ginawa lahat ni jarry para patagong protektahan si miraya sa loob ng limang buwan.
Marami pa sanang gustong sabihin si jarry pero na ubusan na siya ng dugo, bago mamatay ay binigay ni jarry ang flash drive, at walang nagawa si miraya kung din umiyak sa sakit na nararamdaman niya. Ilang minuto lang ay may biglang umakyat na maka taga NBI , sila ang bumaril kay jarry sa pagkaka-akalang bubunot ito ng baril, pero ang totoo ay kukunin lang niya ang flash drive sa bulsa niya. Matagal na siyang minaman-manan ng mga taga NBI, dahil gusto din nilang mapa-kulong sila Gonzales. Ginamit nila ang mga ibensya na nakalagay sa flash drive para mapa kulong si cong. Gonazales at Mayor rony lee, inabot man ng halos isang taon ang pagdinig sa kaso nila ay nakulong na din sila. Hindi magawa ni miraya na magsaya dahil ang taong mahal niya ay wala na, pero nagawa pa din niya ang tungkulin niya at magbigay ng hustisya.
Art and Story by Mike L. Suarez
WALA NANG TAO SA MAYNILA
Ni Randy Valiente
Tatlong araw bago paliparin ng North Korea ang kanilang nuclear missile ay nag-alisan na ang mga tao sa Maynila ayon na rin sa babala ng gobyerno. Apat na araw pa lang din ang nakararaan ay naganap ang malaking pagsabog na ito sa Hawaii na ikinamatay ng milyong tao. At dahil pangalawa sa listahan ang Maynila ay nahintakutang nag-alisan na ang lahat sa buong Metro Manila at nagtakbuhan sa North at South provinces.
Naging literal na abandonadong lungsod ang Maynila.
Ngunit sa inaakalang ‘ghost city’ na ito ay may isang lalakeng palakad-lakad ang pinagmamasdan ang lahat ng gusali ng Maynila. Si Arman, nang magdatingan ang mga trak ng militar at pulis para bitbitin ang mga tao sa kanila-kanilang bahay ay nagtago siya. Mapayapang sumama ang lahat ng tao. Wala siyang planong umalis sa Maynila. Kahit alam niyang baka ito na ang kanyang katapusan.
Hindi siya takot mamatay. Kung tutuusin, gusto na nga talaga niyang mamatay.
Naging ka-live in niya si Lea sa loob ng apat na taon ngunit naghiwalay din sila. Walang anak. Noong una ay kaya pa niya ngunit habang lumalakad ang mga linggo at buwan ay nakaramdam na siya ng kakulangan sa buhay. Totoong mahal niya si Lea. Ngunit nabalitaan na lang niya na ikakasal na ito sa susunod na buwan.
Ang paglalakad ni Arman sa paligid ng Maynila ay ang paghahanap niya sa sarili at sa pag-ibig na kanyang pinakawalan, ngunit ang natagpuan niya ay ang pagkakatuklas sa siyudad na kanyang kinalakhan at ang kulturang hindi niya napagtutuunan ng pansin noon. Binabasa niya ang mga historical sites, pinag-aaralan ang mga lagusan at tirahan ng mga tao, mga tindahan, tulay at paaralan. Ang paglalakad na ito sa mga kalye ng Maynila ay isang malaking realization sa kanya. Napakaganda pala ng lungsod na ito. Ayon sa kanyang mga nabasa, ang Maynila ay malaking daungan ng mga kalakalan bago pa man dumating ang mga Kastila, mga galleon trades at dayuhang pabalik-balik dito. Nagsimula lamang maagnas ito pagkatapos ng Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig. Pangalawa sa Warsaw, Poland, ang Maynila ang isa sa pinaka-nasirang lungsod sa buong mundo dahil sa gera.
Deadline ng pagdating ng nuclear missile, nalaman ni Arman na ang Maynila ay isang gamot sa pusong nangungulila. Kung mauulit lamang ang lahat, maari niyang itama ang mga mali. At kasama na rito ang pagtuturing na ang Maynila ay isang napakagandang lungsod.
Natapos ang buong araw at walang pagsabog na nangyari. Lumabas sa balita na pinagtulungan ng Amerika at European Union na kondenahin ang North Korea at pabagsakin ang lider nito. Tapos na ang banta ng malaking digmaan.
Nang sumunod na araw ay nagbalikan na sa Maynila ang mga tao. Nalungkot si Arman, dahil umalis na payapa ang lahat, ngayong payapa na ang mundo ay siyang namang gulo ng mga tao pagbalik. May balita pa na may nagpatayan dahil nag-agawan sa mga ari-arian.
Para sa kanya, ang buhay ay binubuo ng love and hate. Ngunit tinanggap na niya, na ang kapayapaan ay hindi matatagpuan sa labas kundi sa sarili. Gumawa siya ng sulat at ipinadala kay Lea, ‘Mahal kita, Lea, at maligaya ako na natagpuan mo na rin ang iyong kaligayahan na hindi ko kayang ibigay sa iyo. Huwag kang mag-alala, katulad mo, hahanapin ko rin ang sarili kong kaligayahan.’
At nagpatuloy ang buhay ni Arman sa lungsod ng Maynila.
Randy Valiente - Story, Pencil, Ink, Colors and Letters
Story and Art by Raykosen (Ray Magbanua)
Mikko is a rising passionate Filipino painter and illustrator for story books. He is very determined and has a wonderful future for his career ahead of him but there is one thing that is really hindering his full potential— both of his arms were amputated because of an accident two year prior at the start of the story. He had to recover from shock and depression while physically recovering a well. He was devastated physically, emotionally and mentally. Thus, he had to undergo therapy, but he ended up facing the reality that he might have to pick another profession for his career. This is because artistry will become difficult for him now that his hands are gone. After battling his inner fears, doubts, shame, and negativity, he decided to pick his brushes and pen again. This time, using his mouth. He wants to pursue his artistry again, but he is back to zero. The good thing is he is willing to restart again. He relearned his art skills. Even though his knowledge about the discipline and art is there, his body cannot cooperate with his vision. This makes it purely difficult for him. He has seen his failure a lot of times through his output and it is making him so frustrated about what happened to him. He recalled the days when he was at the peak of his career and now, he can’t even shade the colors properly to his works. He had his moment of almost giving up. However, his persistent girlfriend made it easier for him and encouraged him to pursue his works. He began to work hard. Trained and picked himself up. As time passes by, he became better and better. He honed his skills and he reached the point where he thinks that he is more satisfied with his current work which was done by his mouth than his hands before. He was featured in magazines and in television shows. He was almost healed and almost there as the person who accepted his current self.
He is almost at his ‘salvation’ until things became complicated again when he met the person who caused his accident. The man who drove the car and caused him. He hid himself during the accident and now he showed himself in front of Mikko asking for forgiveness. Mikko has reminisced the nightmare once again and was triggered with hatred in him. The person kneeled asking for forgiveness but Mikko kicked the person. With the GF stopping him to hurt the person, Mikko collapsed. As he woke up, the GF explained that the man has to be heard. Mikko cried and realized that he must listen to that person. He decided to meet the man to his apartment. The man was surprised and didn’t know that Mikko was coming for a visit. His house was dirty and messed up. There is a family picture in the living room. The man started explaining his side. When he accidentally hit Mikko with his car, he was afraid for he has a family. So, he ran away. He was afraid because he has a son and wife too. But his son has died in a hit and run incident. And eventually, his wife left him. He realized karma already took the revenge for him. Eventually, Mikko has forgiven the man and encouraged him to be strong and to live again. The next day, Mikko has decided to continue his artwork again. Thus, leaving all the heavy baggage behind him and to try reaching further his dreams.
Story and Art by Raykosen (Ray Magbanua)
Written and Illustrated by Ryan Orosco
Renato Ortillan is a rugged old beggar who’s entire family died when their house went on fire one night on the year 2007. When a device mysteriously shows up in front of him which is actually a time machine, this enables him to travel back in time and given the chance to save his family. But again something went wrong, years later… his wife and two daughters got caught up in a car accident killing them in the process. Renato or “Nhatz” as his wife calls him, tries to find the same device that saved them, the only problem is… the device is already worn out and drained of what’s powering it. So, he tries his best knowledge to reverse engineer the device and learn how it works. It took him years in the process and by the time it worked, he travels back before the event took place. There he met with his former self and gave him the manual of the device and return to the time where he came from. Nhatz curious about what his future-self handed him tries to create three more devices from the manual and gave each to his wife Lei and his two daughters Louisse and Denisse. Fast forward to 2017, his two daughters now teenagers, and now with their youngest brother Darwin are time-travellers known as the Chrono-Siblings. Together they try to learn the truth behind the stories of the heroes of the past, meeting heroes such as Lapu-lapu,Tandang Sora and Dr. Jose Rizal. they’ve discovered that most of the stories told in history books were exaggeration of what really happened in the past. While on their adventures through time, a mysterious shady figure always follows them, always showing up in a distance everytime they return back to their timeline, who is this mysterious man and what are his plans.
Written and Illustrated by Ryan Orosco
Kon arrives home from school, sobbing and looking at his uniform. In its sorry state, it’s stained in all sorts of places, riddled with muck and grime – again. A stray dog that he named “Bumbum” is sitting in front of his path, welcoming with by waving his tail. To him, this dog was friendly compared to most of the other kids at school. He unlocks the back gate with his thin arms slipped through the gaps and persuades the dog not to follow him inside as he proceeds to wash his own clothes. He’s telling the dog on how his classmates made fun of him as if the dog can understand what he is saying. He didn’t notice his mother is already watching him from the stairs as he goes on. The dog pulled his head back and walked off making Kon look towards the stairs behind him where his mother is standing right at the doorway. Before he can say anything, his mother tells him to leave his dirty clothes in the bucket and get inside the house.
Inside, Kon’s father is in a sorrier state than the sullied uniform. His father suffering from Parkinson’s disease lies on the sofa with a canvas of an unfinished painting standing beside him. She told Kon to get inside his room and study. He peeps through the door as she hands his father some assistance with his painting but, she noticed and tells him how it’s supporting the entire family no matter what his classmates say and he can also help by doing good in school. His sister has arrived from the school, mother asked her where she’s been but she just walked pass her without a word. Kon’s sister is passing by his room; she stares at him with snobby eyes as he backed off from the door like a pup.
The next day, one of Kon’s school hurdles takes a terrible turn as he’s forced to join a rigged gambling match in the boys’ comfort room. Fortunately, Ms. Trinidad and her booming loud voice smashes through the bullies’ gambling plot and scares everyone away. Well, all except for Kon – who’s now caught in the teacher’s frenzied scolding. Having enough of Ms. Trinidad’s horrible berating, Kon makes a break for it and runs away with all his might, fitting his shoes inside his hands to run faster. As he makes the turn, he bumps violently into one of his classmates which ended up crying as the rest of the children starts to gather around. RJ, one of the kids, is blaming Kon for his clumsiness and demands that he should apologize but one of the kids smack him in the head and telling the others he deserves it. Kon stood up crying and grabs the kid by the shirt and pushing him aside in retaliation. Other kids went on him, pushing him around and calling him names long enough for him to cry out more loudly in tears before the teacher could manage to step in and stop them. The teacher finally comes to the rescue but is only able to see Kon as the troublemaker that he appears. She disperses the violent crowd of children and consoles the crying girl, completely ignoring Kon’s own tears. She even tells him to shut up because he has done enough trouble for one day. Kon can only bite his lip and bottle the bitterness building up inside.
After class, Kon silently walks home, keeping to himself and trying hard to avoid the crowd. His classmates found him and starts to tease him again, calling him names. But unfortunately, the same children who bullied him back then catches him in their sights and tries to tease him again, calling his father useless. Kon tries to fight back, he throws a plastic cup he picked at the sidewalk at them and spilling the juice at one of the kid’s shoes. They chase him down into an abandoned construction site, where a powerful engkantada named Adalunhaw lives in her 300 year old tree that is now threatened to be removed. The pupils restrained Kon; the gang removes his shoe and throws it to one of the tree’s branches. He starts climbing fence and into the branch to get his shoes back as Adalunhaw casts an enchantment to scare the kids off with a huge guard dog and to prevent any harm on her tree. The branch that Kon was climbing breaks to her surprise. She saw something in him and decides to stop the guard dog before it mauls him to a pulp.
Kon unknowingly enters a pact with Adalunhaw to save her tree from being cut down by the city’s government. He becomes her emissary to the corporeal world, the one who will be given the ability to uproot the tree and delivery it to a new sanctuary, for she alone can’t move the tree without mortal help because the city had lost its connection to the nature. She’s at peace knowing that it would go as planned but, things turned to the unexpected as Kon goes on a blind rage as a huge monster from having bad dreams in his sleep instead hauling the tree and fulfilling Adalunhaw’s bidding.
Every night, when the city sleeps, Kon transforms into his avatar by merging the junk & garbage scraps lying in his path as it transforms into a monster with him inside it. The first nights are just scaring off bystanders in dark alleyways but, the situation is worsening every day. The monster grows every time that Kon experiences something awful like the whole class labeling him as a bad apple and hearing his sister’s deep seated resentment towards him straight from her mouth after getting into trouble again. The last straw comes when Kon witnesses his only friend, Bumbum, being horribly abused by drunkards. Kon cries in his bed thinking that he may never see him ever again as he tries to sleep off the sadness over his friend’s plight. His nightmares becomes worst, his monster avatar is much bigger and more evident this time through the vehicles and small buildings it had crushed and devoured in his rage.
It has caught the attention of both the government and the media as the path of destruction from the manifestation of Kon’s troubled subconscious is undeniable. Her time is running out, Adalunhaw intervenes on Kon’s nightly rampage through the help of an aswang named Henry in exchange for banishing his desire for human flesh. He tries to guide Kon out of trouble and brought him to Adalunhaw for one last chance to get it right. Things are set but, they are not prepared for the militarized city that is ready for the threat they’re going to bring across its streets and into the nearest watershed, the new sanctuary that she so desired.
This time in broad daylight, the monster appears and towering over the buildings; there are mass evacuations as tanks and gunships rolled in for the defense from the monstrous threat. Kon in his avatar form was calm at first, until the military’s defensive actions made him relive his past nightmares. Kon’s dark emotions are too strong that it is slowly influencing and distorting Adalunhaw’s state of mind, she starts to see humans as selfish creatures that are disconnected from nature. Her rage manifests through the monster and become more aggressive; completely destroying everything in its path rather than just going through the city to their destination. This scares Kon a lot as he realizes that no matter how bad he has gone through, he doesn’t have the desire to exact absolute revenge and pleads her to stop; this made her snap out of her rage with regret. But as soon as they would continue to move, squadrons of fighter planes arrives and launch their arsenal hitting the monster at the center. The grotesque monster’s chest collapses and gives way to a figure on a glowing tree. And to everyone’s horror, they see Kon, a helpless child at the heart. By this time, Kon’s family is worried sick of the boy’s absence. But the media outlets reporting on the monster’s rampage is fast enough to televise its true identity. The shocking news reaches the family and the people who know Kon. But even with so much fear and anguish, Kon’s family decides to fight against the crisis, and they convince themselves that they will have to go towards the chaos to get Kon back.
Knowing where to hit next, the military officials are deciding on a hard choice of committing the drastic steps to end this by calling a highly coordinated and final attack. This involves a troop of Special Forces to extract Kon or take him out along with the tree when the air force has done its job. . Back in the city, the golem is caught in heavy fire from the military. It finally begins to slow down, but it still manages to disable all of its attackers and continue to tread slowly towards their destination. The squadron arrives with the monster on their sights and is ready to unleash their weapons at the huge target. The Special Forces on the ground quickly barked in the military’s communication lines as they are horrified to see what was crawling on the monster’s left leg. Kon’s family, along with Ms. Trinidad, attempts to extract Kon on their own by climbing towards the monster’s center. The family shouts out at the monster for Kon to stop as they feel his response. They shout for the boy to hear them, but that proves to be impossible. Unbeknownst to them, the jets are coming with their missiles. The Special Forces try to drastically rescue the family as well as to retrieve Kon. But time is running out. The jets are now visible from the sky. Confused, the jet pilots scramble to request to abort the mission after hearing about the people trapped in ground zero, especially the Special Forces who are communicating with them but are still preoccupied with saving Kon’s family and his teacher. However, the top brass decides against this and green lights the operation.
So with a heavy heart, the pilots let the missiles go...
Witnessing Kon’s desperate loved ones, Adalunhaw, in her last grace for humanity, uses all of her remaining strength to create a barrier out of the monster’s excess mass. Missiles hit with a deafening blast of blinding light. It’s like ten earthquakes coming together to destroy a single part of the world– and then silence. The air forces exhausted their resources and waiting for a confirmed hit amidst the thick smoke and the crumbling barrier while the Special Forces are on standby. People watching the news coverage feared for the worst. But a few moments later, the smoke finally clears. The soldiers in ground zero are stunned to see a huge tree emerging and shining in its splendor. The monster crumbles down. And they see Kon being embraced by the people who care for him. He finally opens his eyes, like waking up from a dream. He sees Adalunhaw. She is finally at peace. She smiles at him and waves goodbye as she fades away, a feeling of contentment on her face. Her tree lives on.
Months go by and Kon settles into normalcy again. A teacher calls Kon in class. One of his classmates attempts to tease him again. He is reprimanded. But for Kon… Kon wears a bright smile and says, “It’s okay”.
Tatong Jurolan: Writer, Penciler, Inker, Letterer
Grabiel Santos: Colorist
Walang Hustisya si Patricia
by Zoe Vida
The story is told from the point of view of Anita Binukot, daughter of Mario Binukot and Juanita Binukot. The first chapter begins when Anita’s older sister Patricia ‘Pat’ Binukot is killed with a buko (coconut)in front of their house in a mugging gone wrong. Fast-forward to the wake and Anita is irritated at the crowds who are whispering about the way her sister died. The neighborhood has been joking about the Binukot girl who got killed by a buko. (Binuko si Binukot) Anita is also frustrated with her family who seemed to have accepted the fact that Pat’s killer got away and the investigation is going poorly. In the middle of the eulogy while Pat’s father,Mario, is saying how the family has to move on, Pat wakes up from the coffin. She sits up; she is not a zombie or a ghost. She just stopped being dead. For a few seconds there is only silence as the crowd stares at Pat in horror. Then Pat asks the room at large: “Who killed me?” The story continues as media attention is focused on Patricia Binukot’s miraculous resurrection. The whole country is in an uproar and Pat is being hounded by the press and people with agendas.
Everybody is asking questions like “How did she do it? Is she a saint or a demon? Will they make a movie?” With pressure from her parents, Pat agrees to several interviews. Pat is not herself and only Anita notices. Anita sticks to her sister’s side all throughout and is disturbed by the fact that everyone is forgetting to pursue Pat’s investigation. The question of ‘Who killed Pat?” is set aside for other questions “Will you sign an autograph? Will you take selfies with us? Is there an afterlife? What happens when we die? Are you a zombie now? Do you still need to eat?” Pat keeps asking “Who killed me?” but everyone either laughs and dismisses it or changes the subject. Anita is sympathetic to her sister’s plight and badgers her parents to pursue the case but they refuse and grow angry with her. They accuse her of being a bad daughter and Anita reluctantly drops the argument. Pat is herded to different events one after another and is even asked to appear on several shows. Her family is eager to make her a celebrity, especially since the family’s income has improved. More and more, everyone forgets the fact that Pat was killed and that her killer is still free. Pat is approached by a journalist who tells them that Pat’s case is being forcibly dismissed by a Buko corporation who feels that her case is giving their product a bad name (Pat was killed by a buko to the head) Pat and Anita are outraged and the journalist offers them the opportunity to be heard.
Their plan is stopped short when Pat’s parents accept an offer from the same Buko corporation who wish to cast Pat as their main endorser. Pat initially refuses but her parents erupt in anger and accuse her of being selfish and stupid. Pat and Anita try to contact the journalist but discover that the journalist has been found dead in a dumpster (full of bukos) just that morning. Anita suspects the Buko corporation of the murder, especially after they again visit their family and advises them not to speak to any reporters or journalists about Pat’s case because it would give their buko company a bad image. Pat accepts their offer to become their endorser. The corporation also requests as a condition that Pat’s face scar (one she received from her murder) to be surgically removed. Pat also agrees to this, much to Anita’s shock. Anita is concerned that this will only cement the fact that people have forgotten about Pat’s murder but Pat brushes this aside and tells Anita that it is time to move on. The story ends with the Binukot family staring proudly at the huge billboard of Pat holding a buko. Anita is sad and when her younger brother Jun-Jun asks her “Didn’t Ate Pat die?” Anita replies “She didn’t just die, Jun-Jun. She was killed and her killer got away. Remember that.” Jun-Jun asks her why he should remember it when their parents don’t like talking about it. Anita answers : “I don’t know. I just know it’s important.”
Ysabella Vidal - writer, penciller, inker and colorist.
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