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Carlo Magno "Carlo" Jose Caparas (born December 15, 1958), widely known as Carlo J. Caparas, is a Filipino comic strip creator/writer-turned director and producer, who is best known for creating such Filipino superheroes and comic book characters as Panday, Bakekang, Totoy Bato, Joaquin Bordado, Kamagong, Kamandag, Elias Paniki, Tasya Fantasya, Gagambino, Pieta and Ang Babaeng Hinugot Sa Aking Tadyang, among others. He is also known as a director of numerous massacre movies such as Kuratong Baleleng and The Cory Quirino Kidnap: NBI Files.

Carlo J. Caparas
Carlo Magno Jose Caparas

(1958-12-15) December 15, 1958 (age 60)
OccupationComic strip creator/writer

Caparas was awarded the 2008 Sagisag Balagtas Award.[1]


Proclamation as National Artist of the Philippines and controversyEdit

National Artist of the PhilippinesEdit

In July 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo named Caparas as one of seven National Artist of the Philippines proclaimed for that year, under the new category of "Visual Arts and Film."[2]

The title National Artist of the Philippines is given to a Filipino who has been given the highest recognition for having made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts. Such Filipinos are pronounced by virtue of a Presidential Proclamation to be National Artists, having been conferred membership in the Order of National Artists. Aside from the prestige associated with the proclamation, benefits they enjoy from then on include a monthly pension, medical and life insurance, arrangements for a state funeral, a place of honor at national state functions, and recognition at cultural events.[3]


This led to controversy, however, when the nominating committee for the award, composed of representatives from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), revealed that Caparas and three other individuals that year had not originally been recommended by the committee for proclamation to the Order of National Artist, and had instead been proclaimed when Macapagal-Arroyo exercised her "presidential prerogative."[3][4] A number of artists, including a number of previously proclaimed National Artists,[5][6] protested. Protests specifically raised about the declaration of Caparas, and of NCCA executive director Cecilla Guidote-Alvarez, who heads the NCAA secretariat that receives nominations for national artists, was that he was supposed to be disqualified from being considered for the honor as per the National Artist guidelines.[3][4]

Complaints regarding Caparas' proclamation centered on the complaints that he did not illustrate the comic books he wrote and was therefore not qualified for the honor under visual arts,[4][7] and the assertion of protesting artists that his work in the category of Film is supposedly "sub-par", consisting largely of exploitation films such as "massacre films" whose focus was sensational crimes, and so-called "pito-pito" (literally, "seven-seven") films which are rush-produced in just seven days.[4][5][8][9]

National Artist for literature Bienvenido Lumbera who is chairman of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines and a member of the combined "final selection committee" of the NCAA and CCP, remarked that Caparas’ nomination was twice rejected by two NCAA panels. "[Caparas] was first proposed as a nominee for literature, but the committee rejected him. He was again proposed as nominee for visual artist but the panel again turned him down."[3] Film Academy of the Philippines director general Leo Martinez noted that "He was obviously added by Malacañang."[3][10] Caparas is known as a vocal supporter of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.[8]

Petitions and blog posts online have also proliferated against Caparas in light of his controversial National Artist Recognition.[11]

Lourd de Veyra, frontman for the band Radioactive Sago Project, also satirized the controversial director, and compared the director's work to fecal matter in a blog post about a sign that said "Bawal Tumae Dito." "The movies of National Artist Carlo J. Caparas are a fine example of Philippine excremental cinema," Lourd remarked[12]


By the Arroyo AdministrationEdit

The Arroyo administration was quick to defend its choices of individuals to be named to the Order of National Artists. Acting Executive Secretary and Presidential political adviser Gabriel Claudio told reporters that: "I think we can defend [their] track record and qualifications and reasons [for their selection]." He also said the administration would "stand by the qualifications, qualities, track record and reputation of those named as National Artists".[8]"

By CaparasEdit

Caparas defended his proclamation, saying that other aspirants to the honor ought to wait their turn.[13]

Kaya lang, ganyan talaga kung may something for grabs. E, iisa lang ang pipiliin. Sana, maghintay na lang sila ng tamang panahon sa gusto nilang manalo. Hindi naman ito palakasan. (That's the way it is whenever something is up for grabs. Only one person can be selected. They ought to wait for the right time for whoever they want to win. This is not a case of sucking up.)

Kaya wag mag-alala ang mga critics ko, may pagkakataon pa sila at ang mga manok nila na manalo in the future. (So my critics shouldn't worry. There's still a chance that whoever they're rooting for can win in the future.) They cannot take the award from me anymore.

Baka ang nasa isip nila ay bata pa ako. Pero hindi naman ‘yon ang basehan. Sino naman ang ko-contest sa decision ng Cultural Center, ng NCCA at ng Malacañang tungkol sa award na ito? Mabuti na nga at ngayon pa lang ay ibinibigay na ang ganitong award sa mga taong nandito. Ang akala kasi nila ay sa matatanda o sa beterano o sa mga patay na ibinibigay ang ganitong award. Pati sa mga sipsip ibinibigay rin. (They probably think I'm too young. But that's not the basis. Who would contest the decision of the Cultural Center, the NCCA, and Malacañang regarding this award? It's a good thing they're giving this award to someone who's still here. They think awards like this should only be given to the old, to veterans, or to the dead.)

Caparas said that instead of criticizing his award, entertainment people "should unite and work together to revive the ailing movie and komiks industry."[13] He attributed his win to the fact that he managed to cross over from comic books to film and television, and saying that his triumph was significant because he was a National Artist who came from the working class. He said this even though many other National Artists do not come from the privileged people. "I am a National Artist who came from the masses", the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying. "I work and struggle with them." He said it was time for a National Artist "who the masses can identify with—someone who walks beside them, someone who can inspire them." Noting that some Filipinos did not even know the National Artists he said "Hopefully, since I am still active in TV and in the movies, this will encourage our countrymen to learn more about our National Artists."[4]

Voiding by the Supreme CourtEdit

On 16 July 2013, the Supreme Court nullified the proclamation of Caparas and three others as National Artists.[14]



Year Title of Work
2013 Dugong Buhay - ABS-CBN Channel 2
2010 Agimat: Ang Mga Alamat ni Ramon Revilla presents Carlo J. Caparas' Elias Paniki (TV Series)
2009 Ang Panday (film)
2009 Totoy Bato (TV series) - GMA 7
2009 Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang - GMA 7
2008 Gagambino - GMA 7
2008 Carlo J. Caparas' Tasya Fantasya
2008 Carlo J. Caparas' Joaquin Bordado
2007 Carlo J. Caparas' Kamandag
2006 Bakekang (TV series) - GMA 7
2005 Panday (TV series) - ABS-CBN
2003 The Cory Quirino Kidnap: NBI Files
1998 Hiwaga ng Panday
1996 Salamat Sa Lotto
1995 Kuratong Baleleng (Wilson Sorronda: Leader Kuratong Baleleng Solid Group)
1995 The Lilian Velez Story
1995 The Marita Gonzaga Rape-Slay: In God We Trust
1994 The Untold Story: Vizconde Massacre 2 - God Have Mercy on Us
1994 The Lipa "Arandia" Massacre: Lord, Deliver Us From Evil
1994 The Maggie Dela Riva Story (God... Why Me?)
1994 The Cecilia Masagca Story: Antipolo Massacre (Jesus Save Us!)
1993 Dugo ng Panday (The Blacksmith's Legacy)
1993 The Vizconde Massacre: God, Help Us!
1990 Ayaw Matulog ng Gabi
1989 Ang Mahiwagang Daigdig ni Elias Paniki
1988 Sandakot na Bala
1988 Joaquin Bordado
1988 Celestina Sanchez A.K.A. Bubble
1987 Anak ng Lupa
1986 Panday TV series (1986)
1986 Lumuhod Ka Sa Lupa!
1986 Kamagong
1985 Jandro Nakpil: Halang Ang Kaluluwa (story and screenplay Carmelita Del Mundo)
1984 God Saves Me
1984 Somewhere
1984 Pieta, Ikalawang Aklat
1984 Ang Panday IV
1984 Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan
1983 Utol
1983 Pieta
1982 Ang Panday... Ikaltlong Yugto
1982 Alyas Palos II
1981 Ang Pagbabalik ng Panday
1981 Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang
1981 Indio
1981 Ang Maestro
1980 Ang Panday
1980 Angela Markado
1980 Andres de Saya
1980 Kung Tawagin Siya'y Bathala
1979 Durugin si Totoy Bato
1979 Mong
1978 Ang Huling Lalaki ng Baluarte
1978 Bakekang
1977 Totoy Bato


Year Award-Giving Body Category Recipient Result
1988 Metro Manila Film Festival[15] Best Story (with Tony Mortel) Celestina Sanchez, Alyas Bubbles/ Enforcer: Ativan Gang Won
Best Screenplay (with Tony Mortel) Won


  1. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, Carlo J. Caparas bags Sagisag Balagtas Award[1]
  2. ^ TJ Burgonio (29 July 2009). "Arroyo names 7 National Artists for '09". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 1 August 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e Annie Ruth C. Sabangan (2009-08-01). "Fury over Arroyo's choice of national artists". The Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs.
  4. ^ a b c d e Kristine L. Alave, Bayani San Diego Jr (1 August 2009). "Palace choices of 4 nat'l artists protested". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  5. ^ a b Bong Godinez (2009). "Artists to stage protest against PGMA's appointed National Artist awardees". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  6. ^ "Statement from BenCab on the National Artist Brouhaha". SPOT.PH: The Feed. SPOT.PH. Archived from the original on 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  7. ^ Gerry Alanguilan (2009). "Bottom Line: Carlo J. Caparas is NOT Qualified". Komikero Comics Journal. Komikero Comics Journal. Archived from the original on 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  8. ^ a b c GMA News TV (2009). "Palace defends Carlo J's inclusion in National Artist award". GMA News and Public Affairs. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  9. ^ Lourd Ernest de Veyra (2009). "Carlo J. All the Way". Archived from the original on 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  10. ^ Leo Martinez (2009). ""National Artist Award a Joke," says Leo Martinez, Film Academy Head". SPOT.PH: The Feed. SPOT.PH. Archived from the original on 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  11. ^ King del Rosario (2009). "Carlo J. Caparas, National Artist?". Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  12. ^ Lourd de Veyra (2009). "Meditations On A Sign". Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  13. ^ a b Boy Villasanta (2009). "Caparas airs side on Nat'l Artist Award". ABS-CBN News Online. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ "Metro Manila Film Festival:1988". IMDB. Retrieved 2014-04-09.