INK on Paper

Cover by Robert Alejandro

Our collaboration with Fedrigoni Asia arrived a couple of weeks ago. It’s an artbook / catalogue featuring the various special papers Fedrigoni offers.





All artworks contain or feature different paper elements.

Abi Goy
Art by Abi Goy
Frances Alvarez
Art by Frances Alvarez
Al Estrella
Art by Al Estrella
Aldy Aguirre
Art by Aldy Aguirre
Rex Aguilar
Art by Rex Aguilar
Rommel Joson
Art by Rommel Joson
Art by Sergio Bumatay III
Abi Dayacap
Art by Abi Dayacap

This collaboration was made possible through our friends from Fedrigoni Asia. You can visit their facebook page here. Fedrigoni papers are distributed in the Philippines by Prestige Paper Products.

Pictures and Words


My friends and I gave a talk at the Philippine Literary Festival held at Raffles Makati last August 30, 2015. With me in the panel were Liza Flores, Ray Sunga, and Sergio Bumatay III. We were a bit surprised by the turnout; we actually expected maybe ten attendees tops.


Liza Flores gave an introduction about our organization Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan and talked about her process for her recent book “My Big Sister Can See Dragons” written by Rocky Sanchez Tirona and published by Canvas. The book’s development underwent the usual process that a children’s book goes through in the Philippines, wherein a publisher commissions an illustrator to provide images for an existing story. Liza’s illustrations for the book were all large scale papercuts mounted on wood. During the book’s launch, the illustrations were exhibited at the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum.





Sergio Bumatay talked about out his process for his book “May Darating na Trak Bukas” (literally translated as “a truck will arrive tomorrow”) written by National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario and published by Adarna House. Serj’s experience on the book was a bit different since it didn’t originate from a previously written text. Instead, Serj was asked to develop several studies that can serve as inspiration for a new story. From the studies, Adarna House chose one image for Virgilio Almario to base his text on.




Ray Sunga narrated his personal experiences in being a children’s book illustrator, as well as his process, and his inspirations. He gave insights into what we as illustrators experience in the Philippines (notably how you can’t live on illustrating children’s books alone).



I talked about my research on word and picture interactions in picture books as well as my learnings from a writers and illustrators workshop I attended in Bintan, Indonesia (more about this in a coming blog post). The point of my presentation was underscore our role as co-storytellers in picture books, a fact that many in the local industry may have glossed over because of the preeminence of the purely written text as primary sources of stories.

The idea of teaching visual storytelling and visual literacy in general seems to be in its nascent stages in the Philippines. Personally, I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that parents shy away from stories that are purely pictorial or at least with very few words. I don’t have the facts as to how visual literacy is being taught in Philippine schools nowadays, but I hope illustrators will have a greater role in shaping the conversation in the future.



2014 ink application poster

Ang INK is now open for new members!

Poster by Borg Sinaban

Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan 2014 member applications


1. Five (5) sample illustrations from your portfolio.

  • Individual images should at least be 1000px on one side, and should NOT be more than 72dpi, jpg or png
  • Compile ALL 5 of your works in ONE pdf. Total file size of the pdf should NOT exceed 7mb.
  • PDF name should follow the format: INKAPP14-yourname-portfolio
  • Upload file in online application form.

2. Children’s book illustration spreads based on one of this year’s PBBY Salanga Prize

  • Honorable Mention winners, Gaano Ba Kalayo Patungong Paaralan? by Genaro R. Gojo Cruz. The story can be downloaded from the PBBY website:
  • -Follow this PBBY requirement: All entries must consist of three (3) illustrations that are of the same size and medium. Entries do not have to be based on consecutive spreads/parts of the text.
  • -You are not required to layout/include the text in your illustrations.
  • -Individual images should be 9in (h) x 14 inches (w), and should not be more than 72dpi, jpg or png
  • -Compile ALL 3 images in ONE pdf. Total file size of the pdf should NOT exceed 5mb.
  • -PDF name should follow the format: INKAPP14-yourname-pbby
  • -Upload file in online application form.

3. Accomplished online application form:

Deadline of submission is April 11, 2014, 11:59 PM

All applicants will be notified of the results through email by April 25, 2014.

Have a question? Email INK at 

Visit their website at or their blog at

3rd World Snow in Motion

Way back in 1991, the eruption of long dormant Mount Pinatubo spewed out enough debris and particulates into the air that it lowered global temperatures. Over a hundred kilometers away in Quezon City, where I live, the sky had begun to darken by around 3 or 4pm. The following morning, the city was covered in white ash. It was as if, for the first time, there was snow in the Philippines. I was 13 years old at the time.

Many years later, I made a silent comic inspired by that little moment in history. I entered it into the 2nd Fully Booked / Neil Gaiman Graphic Fiction Competition and it didn’t win anything. Didn’t even get into the shortlist. Too bad. Boo hoo.

Anyway, a couple of months ago during one of our regular INK (Ilustrador ng Kabataan) meetings, I presented the comic, but this time with a couple of transition effects.

It’s like a very primitive motion comic. Hope you enjoy it.

A Curious Buffet

Embroidered title by Wiji Lacsamana, additional poster illustrations and layout by Ang INK’s James Abalos and the Design Team

Ang INK just opened it’s latest exhibit at Post (formerly Pablo Gallery) in Cubao X. The exhibit will run until July 20, 2013.

A Curious Buffet is a celebration of everyday objects, using common kitchen items and utensils to create different art pieces.

Photo by Rex Aguilar
Photo by Rex Aguilar

The opening night was packed! The gallery owner had to regulate the flow of people to the second floor because it had gotten to a point where the foot traffic was teetering close to capacity.

Photo by Rex Aguilar
Photo by Rex Aguilar
Photo by Rex Aguilar
Photo by Rex Aguilar
Photo by Rex Aguilar
Photo by Rex Aguilar
Photo by Teters Enrique
Photo by Teters Enrique

Interestingly though, the exhibit almost didn’t push through. We had two scheduling changes months apart, the first one happened because the pieces wouldn’t be ready in time (we had to substitute a different exhibit on that one!) and the second change happened because the gallery we relocated to flaked out on us.

Photo by Rex Aguilar
Photo by Rex Aguilar
Photo by Rex Aguilar

The Post was our nth gallery option and quite frankly a godsend. I don’t think the opening would have been this successful if it were held anywhere else.

Photo by Justine Racho
Photo by Justine Racho

Here are my pieces for the exhibit, painted on old school chopping boards bought in a rural store in Laguna.