Thursday, August 18, 2016

buwan ng mga akdang pinoy: hukbong sandatahan ng kahagardan! by manix abrera

I am not sure if every Filipino knows this, but August is Buwan ng Kasaysayan, and while history in this country is now muddled with lies and denial, with many people easily falling for online memes and fabrications, there are remedies to keep the truth from slipping away into obscurity. One of them is the literary arts. Through the imagination of Filipino writers, we cull the insights and the universal truth this nation desperately needs. But for a country with a writer as its national hero, it is ironic that only a few of the populace know about Filipino works of literature. Sad, but it is not the end. There's hope. That's why we have Buwan ng mga Akdang Pinoy, a celebration to bring the spotlight back to our talented, hard working artists. And I'll begin it with this...

I have been following Manix Abrera's comics in the early 2000's through the pages of Philippine Daily Inquirer. So imagine the joy I had when finally, in college, I got his very first compilation titled Mga Tagpong Mukhang Ewan At Kung Anu-ano Pang Kababalaghan. Abrera's humor is not for the faint of heart. It is direct, unapologetic, and although it sometimes border on the metaphysical, it remains sharp that it slices through you, making you ask yourself instead if it is indeed funny or painful because it hits you right on the spot. I've once worked for the student publication for three years back in college, and we juggled our tasks like mad to meet the required weekly (yes, weekly) output, so this particular edition, Hukbong Sandatahan ng Kahagardan!, is a gem because it accurately details the comedy and pains of working as a journalist. It is dark at times, yes, it is brimming with piping hot sarcasm, but it is signature Abrera to put you off for a moment but bring you back in to its uncomfortable embrace. There's a lot more to say about Manix Abrera and his works, but I suggest you guys go see them for yourselves. You'll get a good laugh. That's what we need these days, right?


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