Saturday, January 14, 2012



Photography and painting, what’s the difference? They are both medium of illustrative arts. While the photographer visualizes with the lens of his camera, the painter creates images with the strokes of his brush. There’s no denying that in both, the mind of the artists unfolds the idea, the medium forms its flesh, and the dedication gives its soul.

The examples posted here with brief notes, though self-explanatory, give the audience the idea of comparison.



Sunday, January 1, 2012

VALENTINA: The Most Well-known Supervillainess in Philippine Komiks

Valentina on the cover of
Pilipino Komiks #81 (July 8, 1951)
illustrated by Nestor Redondo
          In the history of Philippine komiks, among the aficionados, who would not know Valentina? She is the supervillainess that Darna fought in her first adventure. Based on the komiks novel written by Mars Ravelo and illustrated by Nestor Redondo for Pilipino Komiks, Valentina is the daughter of Miguel and Doray. Ravelo is a big fan of mythology, and he conceptualized a being with hairs of venomous snakes similar to the mythological gorgon Medusa but with a Filipino touch. She is mortal, born in a rural scene, and does not have the power to turn people into stones by the mere looking at her eyes like the character in Greek mythology.

          In the original story, she was influenced by an evil creature named Kobra, one with a head of an old hag and a body of huge python. Valentine can command all snakes to do his biddings, for which Kobra called her the “goddess of snakes.”

Two episodes of “Darna” in Pilipino Komiks #78 and #92 showcasing
the birth of Valentina (Episode 2, May 20, 1950), and
Valentina’s revelation to Edwardo of her plans of turning the world into a realm of snakes
(Episode 16, August 26, 1950)
The third of the three-issue
Mars Ravelo’s Darna (cover
illustrated by Gilbert Monsanto)
published by Mango Comics.
          Valentina was feared and hated by the town folks and by the only man she ever loved, Edwardo. These drove her to become evil. She murdered her parents, and wanted to kill all the people, and transform the world into a haven of reptiles, much like the days of the dinosaurs. Darna, battled her and her minions. In the end, an earthquake killed Valentina’s army of snakes. Valentina, on the other hand, disheartened and nowhere to go, committed suicide by jumping into a cliff where she threw the corpses of her parents.

          In the first film, which starred Rosa del Rosario as Darna in 1951, it was Cristina Aragon who portrayed the snake-haired villainess. The other actresses who portrayed Valentina in the big screen were Celia Rodriguez (Lipad, Darna, Lipad! 1973), Pilar Pilapil (Darna, 1991) and Pilita Corales (Darna: Ang Pagbabalik, 1994). For the television series produced by GMA-7, Alessandra de Rossi (2005) and Iwa Moto (2009-2010) played the role.

Alessandra de Rossi featured on the
cover of MOD July 8, 2005 issue:
“It pays to be TV’s glammest uber-villain.”
          In the GMA-7 television series Darna, which was based on the three-issue Mars Ravelo’s Darna published by Mango Comics in 2003, the role of Valentina was tailored made for the 5’-7” actress Alessandra de Rossi. But De Rossi almost didn’t accept the role of the snake-haired villainess when it was offered to her. She has ophidiophobia, the fear of snakes. She was, nevertheless, convinced by the production team after they explained to her the importance of her role. It is, in fact, the most sought after kontrabida (villain) role. She fought off her fear and was able to portray the role quite well. For her portrayal she was even called by journalists as the “Modern Valentina.” It was very noticeable (and quite laughable), however, that in many scenes black eels were used instead of snakes.