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Of course I went to the Komikon at Megamall Megatrade Hall 1 yesterday afternoon! It was a combination of business and pleasure because I was planning to go there anyway when the office asked me if I could do an article on the event as well. (Yes, Vibal Foundation has launched the full-length remastered copy of Coching's El Indio, and it's gorgeous! I know what I want to give myself for Christmas this year-- uh, boss, do I get an employee discount? XD)

Anyway, in between covering the El Indio launch and wandering around looking at the booths and exhibits and eavesdropping on, er, talking to, interesting people, I managed to snag copies of Trese 3: Mass Murders, and Skyworld Apocrypha and Skyworld Testament. Okay, at first I was mostly interested in Skyworld Testament because there's a Trese crossover in there *wink wink nudge nudge* but when I saw it I figured I might as well get Apocrypha. After that, I visibly restrained myself from buying any more komiks because I had just blown my allowance for luxuries for the next two weeks. LOL. Well, except for the absolutely cool Trese ring I simply had to have. I wanted to get all of the Trese accessories-- Alexandra and the kambal rings and necklaces-- but could have only one, so I figured I might as well choose Alexandra.

So... guess the kambal's true identities and what their real names are? *looks pointedly at the Noli Me Tangere* You'll have to read Trese 3 to find out! All I'll say is, my Php200 was money well-spent! Budgette and Kajo just keep getting better... and better... and better. Darn, I wish I hadn't read that so fast. Now I'll have to wait in an agony of anticipation for the next installment!

And yes, Skyworld. "Every legend hides a lie." Who said that the denizens of the Filipino otherworld have disappeared with the 21st century? Take one kick-ass tikbalang named Makabo, one abandoned god named Kaptan, and one evil-to-the-marrow aswang named Rianka. Add a healthy dose of Philippine history, folk literature, and pop culture... and you got Skyworld. And I want the next installment right now! XD

Trese and Skyworld are among the answers to my frequently asked question: Why can't there be more works drawing upon our rich folk heritage instead of upon foreign sources? Why can't there be more original literary and artistic works that delve into our culture instead of mirroring outside influences? Why write about elves, fairies and vampires instead of duwende, engkanto and aswang? Why go to the trouble of importing or creating a local version of telenovelas and Koreanovelas instead of doing shows about Lam-ang, Aliguyon, the ten Bornean datus, Indarapatra at Sulayman and Prince Bantugan? Why do spoofs of foreign comedy shows instead of getting inspired by Juan Tamad and Pilandok?

According to Budgette Tan, creator of Trese and editor of Skyworld, with a bow to Neil Gaiman, these komiks grew out of a single question: What happens to a people's gods when they get forgotten? As each of the 100+ tribes, excuse me, indigenous cultural groups, in the Philippines had its own pantheon of gods once upon a time before the Spaniards and the Christian God came, that question opens up a lot of interesting possibilities. Where, indeed, are those gods now? Skyworld offers a possibility.

More, please. More!

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