Monday, October 12, 2009


          A Filipino fictional superhero in the tradition of giving “Captain” tags to a national superhero: Captain America, Captain Britain, etc. There are two known version of this character: The first was seen in the film Captain Philippines at Boy Pinoy (1965). In this version, he is portrayed as a Captain America look-alike, which according to an existing movie flyer was drawn by Alfredo P. Alcala and portrayed by Bob Soler. The second much later version (by unknown artist) showing him with cape and able to fly.

The film Captain Philippines at Boy Pinoy (1965) movie flyer.
Notice the name Alfredo P. Alcada written at the bottom of the drawing of Captain America
riding a motor bike, indicating that he is the artist that drew it.
          The character Captain Philippines shown in the 1965 film Captain Philippines at Boy Pinoy was no doubt a copycat of the superhero created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby – Captain America. The motorcycle-riding Captain Philippines, his head mask, costume and shield were a rip-off of Captain America. Whereas Captain America’s costume and shield showcased the “Star and Stripes” American flag, Captain Philippines’ costume and shield was illustrated to show the sun, three stars and the four colors of the Philippine flag. Even Captain Philippines’ sidekick – Boy Pinoy – was reminiscent of Bucky Barnes, which was Captain America’s sidekick in his earlier years.
          According to the movie flyer, the character was drawn by Alfredo P. Alcala. It is not known if he also wrote the story and screenplay of the film.
          The film was produced by Fernando Poe Jr (1939-2004) in 1965 under his outfit, D’lanor Productions. It starred Bob Soler (which also portrayed the first Captain Barbell on film) as Captain Philippines, and Lou Salvador Jr. as Boy Pinoy. It was directed by Paquito Toledo and also starring Nova Villa, Marion Douglas, Nello Nayo, Pablo Virtuoso, Jose Garcia, Mary Walter, Angelo Ventura, Resty Sandel, Vic Uematsu, Diego Guerrero, Marilou Murray and Leni Trinidad.


Front side of the Sugarland promotional play cards.
Notice that this 1990s version has the power of flight.
          During the 1990s, the Sugarland Company, maker of the “Eight O’clock” powdered juice drink, had made promotional play cards, which include among others a character named Captain Philippines. The superhero has a more original look than the 1965 version, but its creator is yet unknown. He has a blue front mask without top cover; a cape with blue outside color and red inside color; on his chess is a circle containing the sun with eight rays; and on his belt is the three stars. His costume theme, like that of the 1965 version, contained four colors – red, blue, white and yellow – and is symbolic of the Philippine flag.
          According to the given information in the card, Captain Philippines worked as a newsboy during his childhood days to help his parent. His real name is Rizal Bonifacio, obviously taken from the name of two Philippine National Heroes Jose Rizal (1861-1896) and Andres Bonifacio (1863-1897). He obtained his superpowers through a legendary myth.

Back side of the Sugarland promotional play cards.
Notice that the hero’s name is indicated as Rizal Bonifacio.

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