Saturday, May 2, 2009


I have a sketch of one of the characters from my first story, dedicated to my friend Alex, in my old sketchpad. It is a female being called Engkanto. They are man-like beings with white skin and hair , and their realms are found within large trees such as the balete. They show themselves to humans if the people are kind to them. And sometimes the Engkantos invite them to their kingdom inside some tree. It is said to be a very bright place, where all is white except their special food, black rice. Once a human eats black rice, he or she can never come out of their realm. Accounts go that children often found themselves invited by a strange, new playmate over to their place. After going inside a tree, they are greeted by the sight of a feast. Strangely, none of the food is seasoned with salt. If visitors refused to eat, the beings let them go back to their houses. If not, nothing else is heard of them.

I got the idea of these beings from our local myths, though I altered its appearance by adding armor to its attire as a symbolof authority, rather than the usual white clothes.

Local folktales fascinated me since I was a child, and sometimes I liked to hear their stories and origins.When I was a child,my dad sometimes told me unusual stories and legends from their village far away from our present home, and it is during the rainy June,when there usually were brownouts. I remembered when he told me about a certain husband and wife who lived in a nipa hut in their village. I the middle of the night the wife was about to gave birth to a child and her husband was helping her. All of a sudden, the house started to shake, and the floor tilted towards the door. When the door opened, a hairy giant called Kapre was waiting for the child to came out so that he could eat it.

I recently remembered it so I decided to draw it using pencil in my new sketchpad that the squishy bunny gave my on January 2008. It is based on what the event might looked like. This kind of story was popular in my father's remote and creepy villageduring his childhood.

One of the things he also told me was the story of a boy, one of my father's friends during his childhood, who was walking with his father in a narrow bridge in the evening. They came from the rice field and they are about to go home when suddenly, the boy heard some growling noise behind him, as if someone's breathing heavily. When he looked at it, a big black dog, almost as tall as him, with red eyes, staring at them. To his suprise, he ran quickly as fast as he can, pushing his father away from the dog.

Another thing was that my father's older sister Aunt Beth, sometimes could see unusual beings, some kind of a person with a third eye, within their place. One of them was a small man, almost three to four inches tall, with very dark skin and curly hair beneath their house staring at her. She shouted at her suprise and the small man started to hide in the dark but she can still see his eyes, staring at her.

It is quite good to hear these stories from my father, whether they are true or not. And this stories were inspired some of my ideas from the firststory that I made, in which I included mythical beings and their stories.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've just sort of stumbled upon your blog and am so impresed by everything I see here! Your artwork is so unique and strong, and I spotted many of my favourite artists sitting on the side. One of my favourite illustrators is Charles Keeping - have you ever come across him? He illustrated a lot of historical fiction novels in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

All the best!