Saturday, January 17, 2009


What does it take to make a good superhero story within a third world country? The superhero stories of the west, pioneered by the two biggest comic book publishers within the continental U.S. Marvel and DC made their stories reflected on the world today…where terrorism is abound and the world moves on such a rapid pace that technology is always changing going further from the high-tech, to the super-tech, but what about us? Those who live in the so-called Poorer Countries…

“We Filipinos have a different view and a different take on life kasi than our American brothers. First off, born and bred out of hardships and poverty tayong mga Pinoy. Each and every Filipino has this Pusong Masa, miski na gaano yan ka-sosyal or ka-kikay meron yan nun. I mean we all enjoy mangga at bagoong for crying out loud, how much more proof of a Pusong Masa could you get? This Pusong Masa came from the fact that we are from a 3rd world country, so in making a superhero story, you’ll have to take that into account.” says Ays De Guzman.

“Culture also is a key ingredient. Nasa kultura at dugo nating mga pinoy ang folklore... we understand more the mechanics of how an anting-anting works than how to operate a PDA. In writing or creating a superhero story you have to also take that into account, because culture is what will make your superhero be true as a Filipino who saves his own people. Except na lang siguro kung foreigner yan.” adds Ays.

Isang Lakas is a super team, composed of Pinoy superheroes. Pinoy is the operating word. “A good story, not just the superhero ones must reflect the things around you…so you can relate to it. But of course in a superhero story, there’s this momentary suspension of disbelief where the impossible happens. But even then, you cannot take your story as far and as extreme than what common knowledge and experience can permit, because if you do, you will take the people to something their not familiar with or to something they can’t relate to, and when that happens, it will be the end of your story and your superhero.”

“Third world superheroes are actually much more interesting to write because things are harder for them. When they investigate something, they just won’t get it by hacking into a computer then downloading things via satellite…I mean if we had that here in the Philippines we wouldn’t be third world. And hindi na kami mahihirapan magpalusot. Hahaha… ” jokes Ays.

“Being in the 3rd world is what made Kapitan Boom resonate with the audiences and the viewers…kasi totoo siya. I mean making costumes cost money…kaya nga Kapitan Boom’s 1st costume was this raggedy red thing with a handkerchief for a mask. Mahirap ang buhay noh!.”

We were going to ask that if Isang Lakas goes masa and very pinoy won’t it alienate the fans who love intricate, complex TV series like Lost, Heroes, 24 etc? But the creative team answered that before we can even ask it. “The story is very simple. You can actually say the premise of the show in six words. We made it simple because we need to cater to the mass market but that does not mean we can’t make a compromise. The story is simple but the structure and the pacing, well…gugulatin na lang namin kayo. The story would be like as if your were riding your bike enjoying the day then out of nowhere a 120mph 10 wheeler truck hits you at every corner you turn your bike.” says Ays

If this 10 wheeler truck named Isang Lakas would really deliver that kind of show on TV, well then I think, I won’t be the only one lining up to eagerly await it’s arrival. Astig maging 3rd world, kaya Isang Lakas tayo!


  1. I'm looking forward to "IsangLakas". This is the first time we are going to have an opportunity to experience a superhero TEAM series where UNITY is of utmost importance.

    And yes, I do agree that Filipino have a relatable perspective because the superheroic experience is filtered through the eyes of fellow Pinoys who find themselves in a unique set of circumstances.

    Ang worry ko lang kasi- may tendency ang mga writers to to focus on the whole "Mayaman vs. Mahirap" angle. Sure, it makes things more realistic and make them seem more heroic if they can persevere through incredible odds.

    But realizing the difference between good drama and "melodrama" is the key. Marvel Comics provides us all with a good example of how to balance the "drama of an avergage guy" with the superhero angle. Spider-Man/Peter Parker is shown to have problems with paying rent, impressing the girlfriend, and/or dealing with an S.O.B. boss...but the main story is never lost throughout it all. My wish is for IsangLakas to follow that approach and grip the audience with the important aspects of the story...Not the war between rich and poor. Lumang tugtugin na kasi iyon. Thanks for listening.