Thursday, April 26, 2012


If I am going to follow the belief that he is Bhaerava, the son of Shiva, who travelled from India to Mudiipa (ancient Philippines) through a giant bamboo raft, he would probably look like this.

He's wearing the skin of a tiger and a cobra on his neck. He's holding a trident. These are the most common elements found in all Bhaerava's images.


This illustration is part of a bestiary of Bikolano mythology I'm doing. I have to research further on the details of the narratives so I'll be faithful to the text. 
Oryol is a very strong figure in the epic fragment of Ibalong. She is a giant serpent and the deity of the river who disguises herself as a beautiful maiden. Of the creatures mentioned in Ibalong, she was the only undefeated character that the hero Handiong decided to work with her instead of being an adversary. Just like the balyanas, she represents the strong feminine force in the ancient Bikol. 

In the story I'm writing, Oryol is continuously reincarnated in different generations in a cycle where she and Handiong would find each other as allies or enemies.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The Balyanas served as the priestesses of the ancient Bikol. Women have the capacity to connect to the Gugurangs or Bathala, through their rituals where they sing and enter into a trance to journey into the diferrent dimension so they can see what the gods want to show. They are powerful in the society, that when the Spanish conquistadores came they labeled the Balyanas as ghouls or aswangs.

I dedicate this illustration to my nanay Jo Bisuña, a modern balyana.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tsokolate Eh

Inspired by the famous line of Padri Salvi in Jose Rizal's novel "Noli Me tangere", Pan de Cielo brings you a taste of this Spanish drink. More than a century ago, the thick, hot and rich, Tsokolate Eh is served only to special guests that pleased the old colonial masters, while the diluted Tsokolate Ah is for those uninvited. Today, everyone is a welcomed guest to enjoy this treat, which beans are carefully picked and roasted at the foot of Mt. Isarog.