by Rose Churma
The character Pendro Penduko first appeared in Liwayway Magazine in 1954. Created by 2014 National Artist for Visual Arts Francisco V. Coching, Pedro Penduko is a widely known icon in the Philippines and had been adapted into film and television several times with different actors portraying the character. This publication is a graphic novel created by a team of artists under the umbrella of EPIK Studios.
This graphic novel’s lead character is a Filipino American named Peter Harris who lived all of his life in the U.S. where he grew up being bullied. When his adoptive father passes away of unexplained causes when he was 20 years old, he goes back to the Philippines to look for his mother whom he has not seen since he was an infant. He finds out that his mother has been a victim of a curse. As he seeks a cure, he learns that he may not be an ordinary human but the prophesied “Chosen One” and takes on the role of the new Pedro Penduko.
The illustrations are action-filled and visually stunning. The colors have dark undertones to match the fast-paced storyline, with its twists and turns. Reviving an iconic character like Pedro Penduko is a risky undertaking, but the EPIK Studios creative team headed by Paul Alexei Basinillo pulled it off successfully.Francisco V. Coching, the original creator of Pedro Penduko is regarded as one of key figures in the Philippines “Komiks Industry” and is sometimes referred to as the King of Komiks and Dean of Philippine Comics. He served as writer and illustrator of all his 53 graphic novels including such classics as Hogbis, Bing Bigtilyo, Marabini and Sabas ang Barabro.
ROSE CRUZ CHURMA is a retired architect who now has the time to do the things she always wanted to do: read books, write about them and encourage others to write. Her online bookstore, Kalamansi Books and Things (facebook.com/kalamansibooks), promotes Filipiniana books and publications by Filipino-Americans. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.