Lipang Kalabaw (magazine)

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A Typical Cover of Lipang Kalabaw from 1924. Dennis Villegas collection

Lipang Kalabaw is a satirical-political entertainment weekly Tagalog magazine that circulated in the Philippines in three different periods: 1907-1909, 1922-24, and 1947-48.



Owned and edited by Lope K. Santos, the Lipang Kalabaw of 1907-09 tackled the relevant issues of politics, society, and culture of the day. The caricatures of the famous personalities of the era made it a very controversial magazine. According to art historians, this early Lipang Kalabaw caricatures were drawn by Jorge Pineda. The magazine folded in 1909, as a result of pressure from the government.

In 1922, Santos revived the magazine, calling it Bagong Lipang Kalabaw, and with the byline "Gamot sa Magagalitin at Nalulungkot", a possible attempt by Santos not to let the ghost of the first Lipang Kalabaw haunt the new one. It may also be a ploy to hide the true intent of the magazine: to once again attack the bureaucracy.


A Cartoon from the Lipang Kalabaw. Dennis Villegas collection

Indeed, biting satires against Governor Leonard Wood were featured in the later issues of the magazine. Unlike his predecessor Governor Harrisson, Governor Wood was unpopular with Filipinos due to his military background and apparent mistrust of Filipino leaders like Quezon and Osmena.

Caricatures of Governor Wood (some portray him as a disciplinarian mother, complete with feminine dress), became regular features of the magazine, so that one may suspect that the magazine was being sponsored by his Filipino opponents, particularly Quezon and Osmena. The magazine also attacked those Filipinos who allied themselves with the Governor, most notably Eulogio Rodriguez.

The cry for Philippine independence was also a recurring theme in the magazine, with the independence missions of Osmena and Quezon gaining front pages. The Cabinet Crisis of 1923 was a high point of the magazine's battle against Governor Wood.

In 1924, Bagong Lipang Kalabaw was closed down due to a libel suit filed against it in relation to the Philippine National Bank scandal.

In 1947, Lipang Kalabaw was once again resurrected, albeit briefly. Sadly, this Lipang Kalabaw series lacked the humor of the original series. It also lacked the artists who made the Lipang Kalabaw one of the best illustrated weeklies in the Philippines.


  • McCoy Alfred and Roces Alfredo "Philippine Cartoons" 1983 Manila Philippines
  • Arevalo, Cynthia et al "A History of Komiks in the Philippines" Quezon City: Islas Filipinas Publishing Co., 1985



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