The Philippines should grab the opportunity to penetrate the global creative entertainment market. This opportunity was pushed by SIKAP, an association specifically for copyright owners/holders who create original content with the vision of global consumption in the creative sectors of animation, games, music, comics, and character.
PH can become a true creative producing hub for comics and original content in Asia
The association is comprised of individuals or studios from all over the Philippines to co-create a sustainable industry for the Filipino creators.
“We want to establish the Philippines as a true creative producing hub in Asia. We have that capacity. We have that opportunity. The time is now. The window of the world is looking at us (Southeast Asia, including the Philippines) but that window won’t be there forever,” said Magoo Del Mundo, President of Creative Content Creators’ Association of the Philippines (SIKAP).
“Let’s co-create a sustainable industry for the Filipino creators like you and me,” Del Mundo emphasized.
He was among the speakers of the Cebu Creative Entertainment Week (CEW) Original Content Forum held on Thursday, October 7, through Zoom and aired live on the Facebook page of the Cebu Business Month (CBM). The CBM is an annual event of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).
“Our stories and narratives are breaking into a global audience,” Del Mundo said. “We are looking at a very big industry that is untapped in the Philippines. We have the foot in the door, we’re not just getting through.”
He added that the country has a lot of folklore, a lot of stories that could be translated into different mediums of narrative.
Marla Rausch, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Animation Vertigo and Animation Vertigo Asia and the Managing Partner of Kampilan Productions, also stressed the importance of creating content that showcases Philippine culture.
“The Philippines has been part of the creative supply chain for decades but [the] development of our own content has not grown as fast – and we have a lot of unique stories that the world is waiting for,” Rausch noted.
She also highlighted that IP, if done correctly, can provide returns for a lifetime through various mediums, each of which has value. This is in contrast to the mindset that IP only generates earnings just once, like, say, a fee for service.
As of 2020, Rausch disclosed that the US market alone for intellectual property authorship-focused activities reached US$6.6 trillion. This does not include other big markets like China, Asia, and Europe, which means this is even higher.
On financing, Gin Kai Chan, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer of Silver Media Group explained that grants from film commissions and tourism agencies in the Philippines and other countries can provide funds for projects.
Other funding sources include loans, equity, and sweat investments as well as presales, Chan said. However, he warned that there could be potential pitfalls.
In the Philippines, the Film Development Council of the Philippines also provides various financing assistance for various creative entertainment projects, said Undersecretary Mary Liza Diño, FDCP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Diño noted that the creative industry in our country is a massive growth sector that contributes considerably to the national economy.
“With services aspects or original IP continually on the rise, we Filipinos are gaining ground and recognition in what our content creators are achieving and how far we can go with talent and industry connections,” she said.
Diño then stressed the importance of sustainability of the country’s arts by treating these as a business. “And I am confident that with partnerships like yours with the CCCI that route will be shorter, faster, and definitely more meaningful,” she added.
FDCP officials discussed various funding assistance for projects. Grace Paulino, Administrative Manager for FDCP Film Philippine Office, discussed the CreatePH Films funding program while Mil Alcain, Unit Manager for FDCP Incentive Unit- Film Philippine Office, focused on Film Location Engagement Desk (Flex).
Sophia Laurenne Agunat, Senior Program Officer of FDCP National Registry and Film Philippine Office also discussed the benefits of inclusion in the national registry.
After the FDCP presentations, Ms. Rausch, Lawrence Panganiban, Chairman of Enigma Kai, and novelist David Chan introduced their productions. These are The Kampilan by Ms. Rausch, Panganiban’s Solemn Vow, and Chan’s Kindred Chronicles.
Meanwhile, CCCI signed a memorandum of understanding with SIKAP represented by Del Mundo and the Cebu International Film Festival represented by its President Mel Allego to strengthen alliances for the promotion of the creative industry.
In another forum on Comics held Wednesday, October 6, 2021, Hugo ‘Boboy’ Yonzon, Executive Creative Director of Yonzon Associates Inc., disclosed that country’s comics began on a high note with national hero Jose Rizal had created a comic entitled The Monkey and the Turtle included in Trubner’s Oriental Record.
The golden age of the Comics industry occurred in the late 1940s when legendary comics creator Mars Ravelo came up with a superheroine called Varga, which is believed to be the forerunner of popular heroine Darna.
However, comics creators have to contend with high printing costs so the comics industry faced difficulties, recalled the multi-talented Yonzon, who is a publisher, writer, director, photographer, graphic designer, and cartoonist.
There were efforts to help revive the comics industry. Yonzon spearheaded the Philippine International Cartoon, Comics, and Animation (PICCA) festival to create and increase awareness of the Philippine comics sector. They held the festival in various venues like shopping malls and schools.
He then noted that the country’s comics industry has bright prospects. “Mahusay tayo sa story-telling. Marami tayong maikuwento. Marami tayong pwedeng ibato,” Yonzon said.
He suggested that cartoon content creators veer away from superheroes. “Daanin nalang natin sa iba’t-ibang paraan,” he added.
Yonzon noted that during recent competitions, there were no cartoon entries with superheroes as main characters.
For his part, Jeff Velayo, Co-Founder of Jump Jet Comics, said that he and other enthusiastic comics lovers were inspired to create a group in Cebu to give a chance to aspiring comics creators.
While they drew their inspiration mostly from western and Japanese manga, Velayo explained that they wanted to create comics that feature Cebuano culture and mythology.
They wanted to introduce to the new generation local mythology such as the Bakunawa, he said. Bakunawa is a serpent-like dragon in Philippine mythology.
“Maraming talented comics creators here in Cebu who are shy so we give them inspiration so they would not hide their talent in comics,” Velayo added.
He also noted that while comics in print form are almost non-existent, social media can still provide the platform for comics artists. “I hope the future of comics will be the same as in Japan.”
Comics artists are also given the chance to showcase their talents through the Philippine Komiks Convention (Komikon).
John Zamar, Creative Head of Komikon, and Sherry Zamar, Komikon Program Head, explained that the event aims to provide a venue for different comics creators and publishers.
The event focuses on Filipino comics, made by Filipino comics creators that are published independently or through a publisher using various styles of drawing and encompassing numerous genres.
“We would also like to bring to people’s awareness the current state of the Philippine comics industry,” they added.
The two forums are part of the CEW, an activity of the 2021 Cebu Business Month (CBM). The CBM is an annual activity of CCCI.
The CEW is in partnership with the Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. (ACPI), Cebu Creative Hub, and Creative Content Creators Association of the Philippines (SIKAP), and the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP).
Omnibus Platinum Sponsors are the following: Cebu Pacific Air, Converge ICT Solutions Inc., PLDT Enterprise, and Ride Hero.
Omnibus Gold Sponsors include Eastern Communications, Qualfon Philippines, and Vivant Energy Corporation.
Omnibus Silver Sponsors are Ayala Land Inc., Cebu Holdings Inc., Lazada Philippines, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., and Security Bank Corporation.
The Event Sponsors are Payoneer Philippines Branch, Inc., Wacom Philippines, Allego Media, Emottoons Animation Studio, IIFBA (International Institute Film and Broadcast Arts), Lilu Advertising & Marketing Solutions and Marie Ernestine School.
For more information, visit the CBM Facebook page.