Books weren’t really my personal companion growing up. I did enjoy some colorful illustrations from my fairy tale books or school readings. Pictures spoke more to me than words did. Maybe because I was still learning my letters, but still this was me until that “magical” moment came. A time that made my twice a month fascination with the local comic books.
Who would have thought that there were treasures hidden along the crowded piles of paper on the book stand just a few minutes away from home? No one else except my father. 😀
Unlike my parents who grew up with many Filipino comic books available around them, I had to search for my copies. It was difficult for an elementary student to do that then. 😦 It was in the late 1990s to early 2000 when I walked around the house and annoyed my father to get me one. When he brought home these komiks, I cheered up and found myself on the floor reading through the pages, excited! The characters introduced me to funny, intellectual dialogues, with some strange set-ups in between. Some supernatural scenarios and even superheroes that are closer to me because of the Philippine style added to them. The quirky faces came alive and made the stories more interesting though those moments were short-lived. Because the publication of local komiks was on the decline. Many children preferred getting stuck with their TV sets on or read through the more expensive, foreign comic books.
I also became more concerned with the children shows or dramas, and I forgot about the local comics slowly. There were other stories to read and spend time with. My friends expanded to include Casper, Richie Rich, Archie, and Disney stories. Others came from friends’ old collection while the rest were bought from book stands or bookstores. Though there came another spark. 😉 The comic strips from the Sunday newspapers sufficed some of the longing I had for stories.
There were intellectual statements from memorable characters which opened another door for my curiosity with storytelling. One of them was Pugad Baboy. A family and a whole town with witty, frank, and hilarious dialogues that were both entertaining and enlightening. The strips with some political dialogues voiced by the “big” members of the gang. They shared most of my Sundays as a Grade 5 student.
Even though I didn’t have a collection myself (bummer!) I still searched the newspaper for some signs of relief from this wonderful title. They left a great impact on my reading choices and pick of genres these days.
When I found my love for books in high school, I sought novels with well-rounded characters, relatable but complex, dark yet full of wisdom and knowledge. Scary at times, but yes, I like those now. However, it didn’t just end there because of the first supernatural comics I read and the unusual superheroes who grazed those pages, I found interest and comfort in fantasy and sci-fi. That was how I got enchanted by my favorite writers now. Hello, Gabo and Bradbury 🙂
It would be surprising to look back to my ten-year old self who was scanning plain-colored sketches with balloon heads and heard different voices accompanying her through the day. I shall give her a tap on the shoulder or even a hug, and thank her for her curiosity. Crazy choices at times, but worth reading. Storytelling lives on even through different forms. It grows and spreads just like my comics to book adventure. Unexpected yet wonderful experiences are up ahead.
How I wish I could go back with my comics and read them to the younger people of today. How about you? Have you ever had that childhood story or book you wish to re-read today? 🙂