Friday, March 21, 2003



Darna for President!
By Larry V. Sipin
Manila Times / March 3, 2003

http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2003/mar/03/opinion/20030303opi4.html


It’s been five hours since terrorists seized a high rise at the business district. Early on, they demanded a P50-million ransom, pronto!

Just so the authorities negotiating with them—who obviously have been buying time instead of producing cash—would realize they mean business, the ruffians decide to waste a hostage.
The designated executioner is about to pull the trigger on the hapless would-be fatality when….

CRASH !!!

A blur breaks through the stories-high window. The hitman is immediately neutralized with a roundhouse kick. The thugs pepper the intruder with their automatics, but the surprise presence evades the hail of bullets, dodging the deadly staccato until the villains are all out of ammo.
The hand-to-hand combat that follows sees the spoilsport swiftly putting the bad guys to sleep.

Who’s the hero?
Superman? Nah. The “Man of Steel” is wheelchair-bound, as if ya didn’t know.
Batman? Nope. Bruce never ventures out of Gotham City.
Spidey? Not him. The wall crawler can’t sling his web as far as here.
Daredevil? Guess again. The “Man Without Fear” obviously has his hands full in New York City.

The hero is…

…our very own…

DARNA!

‘YEAR OF DARNA.’ Mars Ravelo’s Darna is back in a golden anniversary comic book launched last Friday at Eastwood City. And I mean a world-class comic book at par with DC, Marvel and Image, which is not surprising because the art rooms of the world’s great comics companies teem with Pinoy talents. Young as they are, Darna illustrators Gilbert Monsanto, Ryan Orosco and Lan Medina are marquee names in international comics.

Add to the artists’ talents the fertile imagination of my friend, prize winning writer and cartoonist Hugo “Buboy” Yonzon III—head honcho of Mango Comics which holds the Darna franchise—and, you can only exclaim, “Wow!” You gotta see the comic book to believe it.

This year—billed as “Year of Darna” to celebrate the icon’s 50th year—three installments of the saga will be published. Buy ‘em, enjoy ‘em and keep ‘em all.

NOW GENERATION DARNA. Darna is a cultural icon born at a time when the Philippines was struggling to come out of the devastation of World War II. She served as a salve to a country looking for a champion.

In the very first edition of Darna comics, she faced the asp-haired Valentina, a Medusa-like arch villainness with an army of snakes. The first episode was such a hit that Darna instantly became part of Philippine lore. Fans couldn’t get enough of Darna even though the comics came out weekly.

Darna’s film debut came soon enough—less than a year after the comics hit the streets. Down the road, at least 15 Darna movies have been made, starring top actresses.

Sadly, however, Darna faded away.

Last time I saw her, she wasn’t fighting crime but endorsing a utility vehicle.

Hooray, Darna is back fighting crime, and how!

Little Narda, who transforms to Darna on swallowing a magic stone, is now a coed in Manila. Criminals in the big city, beware!

The Ravelos and the Yonzons were neighbors in PhilAm Homes, QC. Buboy and the Darna creator’s eldest son, Richard, were best friends. Having grown up where Darna was created,
Buboy is best equipped to retell the story.

Let’s hear it from Buboy, who drew the plot and wrote the script for the new generation Darna comics:

“The Darna golden anniversary issue retells how the beautiful, strong heroine came to be. It also brings back to life her most classic nemesis, Valentina. The allusion to Greek Mythology and the Egyptian lore of serpentine powers and temples are excellent opportunities for story telling and illustration. The extra-terrestrial progeny of Darna, as distilled in the stone that Narda swallowed, is another angle that is developed.”

The sad part of the exercise is that Darna isn’t real.

How I wish Darna wasn’t fiction. I mean, if she was for real, GMA wouldn’t be giving the military 90 days to finally wipe out the Abus, which they can’t do, not in 90 years. Darna can do that without the Abus knowing what hit them.

Imagine, if Darna were for real, we could elect her President and this country could live happily ever after.

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