Cartoonist Larry Alcala, ‘Slice of Life’ featured on PHLPost stamps

‘Slice of Life’ Stamp The Philippine Postal Corp. pays tribute to National Visual Artist Larry Alcala and his popular cartoon ‘Slice of Life’ at the Philippine Post Office in Manila on Thursday, May 26, 2022. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

The Philippine Postal Corporation honored national visual artist Larry Alcala on Thursday by releasing commemorative stamps featuring artwork from his Slice of Life cartoon series.

In his speech at the launch of the commemorative stamps at the Manila Central Post Office Building in Liwasang Bonifacio, Postmaster General Norman Fulgencio said the Alcala comics gave a glimpse into the lives of Filipinos “in the most spiritual and most meaningful”.

“Comics (of Alcala) have become known for giving their readers the task of finding his hidden face in his illustrations,” Fulgencio said.

Alcala was born on August 18, 1926 in Daraga, Albay. On a Manila Times scholarship from his then-editor Ramon Roces, Alcala earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of the Philippines in 1950. He served as a professor at the same university from 1951 to 1981. Alcala’s most popular cartoon series was Slice of Life, which reflected the many unique aspects of daily life in the Philippines. His other famous cartoon series include Kalabog en Bosyo, Mang Ambo and Asiong Aksaya.

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In 1988, the cartoon series Slice of Life received the Best in Humor award and was cited for helping to keep alive Filipinos’ ability to laugh at themselves in the midst of adversity. Alcala was posthumously awarded the title of National Artist of Visual Arts and the Grand Collar of the Order of National Artists (Order ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) in 2018.

Fulgencio noted that through the lively marriage of art and humor, Alcala’s comments “which are both critical and compassionate evoked laughter and reflection in the daily lives of Filipinos”.

“With Larry Alcala hindi lang nagbigay saya sa ating mga kababayan (Larry Alcala’s cartoon not only made our compatriots happy), his art embodied Filipino culture, tradition and heritage in the most captivating and more relative. Tinulungan tayo ni Mr. Alcala na mas mapansin at maihayag ang mahahalagang aspeto ng buhay ng Filipino (Mr. Alcala has helped us better notice and reveal the important aspects of Filipino life,” the Postmaster General emphasized.

Alcala’s family was also present at the launch of the commemorative stamps.

“Instead of poster-sized frames hanging on the wall, these little one-inch square works of art will serve as daily reminders to us to never forget what it really means to be Filipino,” Ana said. Iris Baraga Alcala, granddaughter of the national artist.

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