A Sip of Life with Larry Alcala
- 26 October 2021
National Artist Lauro ‘Larry’ Alcala provided generations of his followers with a widely circulated avenue for them to see themselves among ordinary individuals caught in a mise en scène or a typically Pinoy vignette. In the span of 56 years, Alcala created over 500 characters and 20 comic strips that garnered for him, in addition to the state’s highest honor, the Order of National Artists, a plethora of awards for his outstanding contribution to Philippine art, among these the Araw ng Maynila Award, the Pamana Award for Cartooning, the Press Award for Best in Humor, and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People Lifetime Achievement Award.
These traditional Pinoy cartoons amusingly reflect the daily life of Filipinos, and highlight the often humorous aspects of our culture. His most iconic series, A Slice of Life, was spread across the pages of various newspapers and magazines all over the country for decades. Further piquing the interest of his readers by cleverly hiding his own image within the weekend cartoon strips, Alcala’s witty illustrations captured the hearts and minds of generations who found joy in his spiced up slices of Filipino lives.
During the recently concluded The Well-Appointed Life auction, two original Larry Alcala illustrations caught the attention of several bidders. Road to Antipolo (Slice of life) and At the Kapihan (Manila Hotel) both depict vivid scenes bursting with a sense of familiarity, all put together with the National Artist’s signature striking black outline. Both of these works sold for over 500% of their initial auction estimates, proving that the following Alcala had established remains as strong as ever.
So it comes as no surprise then that San Miguel beer recently collaborated with Alcala’s estate in releasing its newest limited-edition ‘Iconican’ that features the National Artist’s classic and nostalgic cartoon characters side by side with the work of contemporary graphic novelist Rob Cham. The beer can art brings generations together through the appreciation of Filipino comics – an opportunity for delightful bonding over a drink or two!
If you’re looking to get your hands on one of Alcala’s increasingly rare and original cartoons illustrations, keep your eyes peeled for the catalogue of Salcedo’s forthcoming yearend auction *Under The Tree: The Wish List *and bid your way to owning important pieces of Philippine popular culture.