When I was in grade school, I loved thinking of the Philippine countryside especially during summer. I loved watching TV programs or old movies on TV that featured life in the province. I remember getting so excited watching Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin, Kalabog en Bosyo, Si Tatang Kasi, Mananaggal Bersus Mangkukulam, Mahiwagang Bakya, and others. I often enjoyed them with my neighborhhood and childhood friend, Pablo.
When my grandmother got stricter with our frequent TV watching (at the time she owned the TV), I started getting fond of Tagalog comics instead, especially those with stories featuring life in the province, even cartoons like Smolbateribols, Kalabog en Bosyo, Siopaoman, Ping at Pong, and Buhay Pilipino in Liwayway Magazine. My uncle who worked in Liwayway supplied us with lots of Tagalog comics every weekend that we sometimes became popular with them in the neighborhood–a comics depot.
When I was in grade 5 and especially in first year high school, I started creating my own Tagalog comics. I knew a bit about cartooning and I would produce makeshift comic books out of folded bond papers. My friends and cousins who spent vacations with us would read and enjoy them. But somehow, as I grew up, I lost the copies. But I still continued drawing cartoons, making posters for different promotions which a lot of people enjoyed and laughed at.
One of the comics strips I created was called Barrio Tamad, often spelled Baryo Tamad (Lazy Village). It was about a small village in the province where most of the folks lived life that mostly never went beyond what was common and traditionally accepted. They were too lazy to think about or try progress. The story revolved around that theme. Here were some of the characters:
- Pang – the lead role who also thought of ways to make laziness work for him through his smart ideas.
- Ba – not so smart but he sometimes tried to live a good life.
- Boy – an errand boy for Pang and Ba.
- Mr. Wong – the Chinese businessman and action star.
Today, I try to re-do that in Pete and Pat which has a page on Facebook. It has a simpler theme and really a collection of random jokes featuring everyday life and instances. It’s actually my stress reliever when I have too many articles to finish and I need a break. I go to some clean joke website and read some items and then derive my own jokes from them and feature that on Pete and Pat. Some are produced from scratch.
Well, my childhood was far from being lazy. Perhaps I need to feature it in one of my articles here.
By the way, I now have a blog that is something like Barrio Tamad. It’s about funny stories in Project 8.