Posts Tagged ‘jline publishing’

Will you read manga in Filipino?

Imagine Hana Yori Dango Manga in Tagalog

Will you read manga in Filipino?

April 18, 2012 |  by  |  22 Comments

It’s been a long dream of mine to see manga widely distributed in the Philippines. In fact, if people asked what I would do if I won the lottery, I will say that I will establish a manga publishing firm in the Philippines.

Not that I have issues in seeing manga in English (I’ve been thankful that this is available to me), but see, I’m a little envious that our Southeast Asian neighbors have easy access to manga.

Meeting people online as well as traveling to places has shown me how late the Philippines is in the manga game. Almost every major Southeast Asian nation has a manga industry. Ten years ago, I managed to go around the region thanks to my father and back then, localized manga from Thailand and Malaysia were thin tankoubon formats printed in newsprint. The Chinese editions were a little different, with paper closer to a thicker version of parchment.

In my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, I took a shot in buying manga from a 7-11 store. It was the Malay version of Gokudou Twins and I cannot vouch for quality of the translations but I can share that the publishing quality is quite good. It even mimicks Japan’s double cover! The best part yet was it was sold for RM7, just a little over PHP 98, or $3.50.

Upon seeing that edition, I return to what I had reflected on about the five years that came and went since I started this blog. In it, I had high hopes that manga is on an upswing in the Philippines however, can it be as widespread as it is in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia?

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It’s been a year…

September 4, 2007 |  by  |  5 Comments

… and I missed my celebration! ??????(?????????) ?????????????!! I honestly wasn’t able to keep track of when I actually actively started this blog and it turned out that my site went in motion on August 23 and I forgot to celebrate. lol. I’ve been busy during the past few days as well due to the bookfair so the date just slipped away. Gomen ne. ^^;;

A lot has happened back when I started. Back then, I was on student allowance and now I’m fortunate to at least have something to sustain the hobby. lol. More so, there’s been a lot of developments in terms of manga in the Philippines.

In the past year since I started, there’s been a surge of English translated manga in the Philippines. Booksellers have become sophisticated in their choice of mangas and have started to bring in a lot of more popular titles as well as some to cater for those who have eclectic tastes (but trust me, just like in the US, finding them can be a total pain. -_-;;) . Another interesting thing to note is the resurgence of Japanese mangas in the Philippines through Manga Kissa 10 and the JFMO library. Although you won’t be able to buy the manga, at least you would have access to the weekly magazines and the likes.

Doraemon cover But perhaps the most interesting development this year was the discovery of my friend while going through their local Japanese grocery. In this said grocery, they started selling tagalog translated volumes of Doraemon. The book is not as well printed as its American counterparts. If I have something to compare it with, it’s closer to the Malaysian manga releases. Not so sure if it’s the same for Indonesian prints. The paper’s closer to newsprint and the print was closer to that of the weekly magazines than it is that of a tankoubons. For the cheap price of P60 ($1.20) , it’s the best kind of print they can do.

Doraemon stares In terms of translation, the manga turned out quite well. The conversations were casual and some things were appropriately contextualized. Mochi was turned to Bibingka1 and the translators were not afraid to use colloquial terms over those that would deem to be more proper in literature. Sound effects and variations thereof were also translated which made it all the more fun. In short, the translators made an effort to keep the spirit of Doraemon by sticking towards a translation that is closer to home. I hope that this characteristic and its cheap cheap price could spiral a new industry in the Philippines.

Doraemon Spread I just realized this morning that this was not the first tagalog translated manga in the Philippines. (Sorry about that Ed. ^^;;) Barefoot Gen was also published in the Philippines for a short while before the 80s. In fact there was a big effort after the war to distribute Barefoot Gen to the Filipinos to show the impact of the war to the Japanese, but I’m not so sure what happened afterwards. The choice to translate Barefoot Gen was more of a political effort than a commercial effort. What makes this Doraemon release special is the fact that it’s being released commercially. As I told Ed this morning, there are around 4 volumes available and this could be the start of something new for mangas in the Philippines. Many countries in South East Asia makes a big effort in translating Japanese manga to the local dialect. Indonesians has a bustling translated manga industry. The same goes for Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. These countries have been ahead in the game, and it should be time for Philippines to follow suit. Hopefully… HOPEFULLY, this publisher could get more licenses with more titles and start publishing them here.

  1. a local rice cake, not the same texture but both are ‘essentially’ rice cakes []