I always saw myself doing cartooning work when I was in High School when I started to do comics strips with my friend Myk as a writer, one of the most witty and Intelligent person I’ve met. We had dream of being publish on a major publication. The peg was Pugad Baboy. Back then my strips are titled Gio’s Desk, as my gags goes around school shenanigans and the desk is where I usually do the drawings while at class. We we’re lucky enough to be in our High School publication: Ginintuang Uhay, because of the Publication Adviser, Joel, is also a good friend and the Adviser of my class he pushes me to cartooning with strips, fillers and some games. We we’re the A-Team of the Publication’s roster and we we’re able to print I think 4 Newsletter (Magazine Type) for that School year 2002-03, even in summer class we’re to publish a newsletter.

In my early cartooning adventures, I got critics from my teachers and colleagues, some are good and some are bad. I put them (classmates and teachers) on strips or on some fillers in a comedic parody. Some people just don’t take jokes very well.

One of the highlights was when I was called upon the Discipline Coordinator (DC) because of a strip we made. Note that our first influence is Pugad Baboy by Pol Medina, which is a very social commentary comic strip, we dared to point out the rumors in a very funny way. And by that, the DC flinched and called us to his office. I think he was guilty. It’s not a direct accusation of him on the rumors or the strip itself  but  us being called to his office got us excited and even a little rebellious. We made another strip on the following issue (di na natuto) with a follow up on that previous gag. I felt the power of my cartoons back when I made a strip regarding the Canteen, by the following year (although we already graduated) the Canteen had a great improvement.

Those we’re the days.

I think by that time, I decided to pursue my creative career rather than a nursing career, which my whole family demanded me taking.

As we graduated, we parted ways, most of my High school friends and classmates enrolled to different colleges. Myk pursued a Psychology course and I pursued my Fine Arts course. I enrolled at Far Eastern University. At FEU, one of the first thing I looked for is the Student Publication, luckily, I found their office and known of the Arts exam, that was the last day of the registration and the exam was the following day. Exam day, I only know strips and have no experience on Editorial Cartooning. With a generic Gel Pen on my hand I battled on the Arts Exam, I even borrowed a pencil, eraser and ruler from the Exam watcher who’s also the Art Director. After a week, I got in.

I continue my strips Gio’s Desk and added The Mis-Adventures of LogicBoy strips, revamped the The Far East Side (a localized Far Side which was spearheaded by Erich Rafer) to a A.Lipin like situational cartoon. Learned a lot from The Advocate. From my Art Director Robald, Editors Jeje and Hellbound and friends and colleagues. Learned to do Layout and eventually became the official Layout Artist. We also started the Tambidas, a JusticeLeague type heroes, a collaboration of all artist staff. It’s our glory days.

I always thought of being easily hired as a cartoonist at a major publication once I graduated, because of my background. But life is hard. I got lucky to land a stable occupation but my passion is still in making comics strips, I tried to revive it in 2008.

but I got the biggest surprise of my life. I became a Father.

This is where it all changes, I man up and became a little bit matured. I became more responsible than before. The hardest and happiest moment so far is having my first born Makisig. After a year, got another surprise of my life, my little brave warrior Lakan was born. Challenges keep coming and I faced it with courage and humor. That’s when I decided to cook up a new comic strip where the characters will be the most important people in my life. Lakan at Makisig comics strips began in 2011 which started out on tumblr and later on wordpress.

Along the way, I got friends with Freely Abrigo, the super amazing pinoy artist behing Kapitan Tog, Kulas and Ga at GO in multiply. Meeting him inspires me to do my own comic and when I already cooked up Lakan at Makisig, I ask him for advise on how I can sell my work. Luckily, Indieket Registrations are being held by the Komikon guys. Where July 2012 my 1st Comic Convention in the form of the first Indieket (Indie Market) where I would sell a small self publish pamphlet like comics and after that I was able to join GTMACC and other event where I could sell my work (BGC ArtMart, BLTX). Motivated, I was able to post every day, a black and white comics which i post on my site (http://giosdesk.com). I got to do a daily for a year (2013) which I was able to compile in to a book, Lakan at Makisig – Make it Makulit. Then I’ve focused on my comics to be more of a webcomics, (I got motivated when I met Doc Carlo of callouscomics) I learned a lot from his site, interactions with him and in his talk last Indieket 2013. I made the strips in full colors and even had a Sunday special. I always say to my fellow colleagues that, if you love doing something, you’ll always find a way to do it. With my work schedules and my family time. I find ways to slip in some komiks time in the day or by night. Schedules is harder nowadays, because the strips are now in colored and I wanted the story to be more that just daily gags. But I never lost time and the motivation. Whenever I feel exhausted and making comics became a chore, I take a break to freshen up, a day, a week or even a month. And keep myself motivated and fresh.

photo by Doc Carlo

This year, another dream come true happened to me. Lakan at Makisig strips are now published at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the most prestige Newspaper in the country. Lakan at Makisig will run for the whole month of January 2014. And hopefully, it will have a regular slot on the paper, (please please). Please support me on this new venture in my life visiting my site, and feedback arts@inquirer.com.ph

I still have a day job, I make comics strip is a hobby or a past time, I still need to provided for my family. My office mate once told me that it’ll be nice that one the kids (Lakan at Makisig) grows up, they have a comics created from them and a website to see it from. And I visioned it that in the future (when I’m gone) that if ever they feel down, they can always look on to my site, or my works and take inspiration from them.