Larry Alcala

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Lauro Zarate Alcala, also known as Larry Alcala (18 August 1926- 24 June 2002) was a Filipino editorial cartoonist and illustrator.

Early life and education

Larry was born on 18 August 1926 to Ernesto Alcala and Elpidia Zarate in Daraga, Albay. Publisher Ramón Roces of the Manila Times granted him a scholarship which helped him obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the University of the Philippines (UP) in 1950. After graduation, he worked as a professor at the same university until 1981. He was the Chairman of the Department of Visual Communications at UP from 1978 to 1981.

Alcala introduced the first college degree course on Commercial Design in the Philippines in 1953 and the first 8 mm film production of animated cartoons in Visual Communications course in 1972.

Clubs and organizations

  • Adviser, Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas (SKP), 1989-2002
  • President, Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas (SKP), 1979- 1989
  • President, Art Directors Club of the Philippines, 1963-1964
  • Vice President, Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists (SPIC) 1962-1963


Alcala was well aware of the role of cartoons in education and value formation. While still attending school in 1946, he started his cartooning career. After World War II, he created his first comic strip, “Siopawman”. It was printed on the pages of the Filipino comic book Halakhak. In 1947, he created the comic strip “Kalabog en Bosyo”. The said comic strip used Taglish as the medium of communication among his characters.

Alcala pioneered animated cartoons for television commercials of products like Darigold Milk in 1957 and Caltex in 1965.

In 1975, he received the Australian Cultural Award which was accompanied by a travel study grant in 1975.

He campaigned for the advancement of illustration and commercial art in the Philippines. It resulted to the establishment of the Visual Communication Department of the UP College of Fine Arts.

Alcala's most popular cartoon series was “Slice of Life”. It reflected many unique aspects of everyday life in the country. His followers also enjoyed the task of looking for his image hidden within his comic strips. His cartoons were tapped and used in advertising campaigns, such as corporate calendars, print ads, promotional t-shirts and in San Miguel Beer cans.

In 1988, “Slice of Life” received the Best in Humor Award and was cited for helping to keep alive the Filipino’s ability to laugh at himself.

In 1991, he promoted the formation of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK), a group of young children's book illustrator.

In 1997, he was granted the title “Dean of Filipino Cartoonists” by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY). It is an achievement award for his lifetime dedication to the art of capturing humor in the character and everyday life in the country.

In his 56 years of professional cartooning career, Alcala has made over 500 cartoon character, 20 comic strips, six movies, two murals, and 15,000 published pages.

Alcala died on 24 June 2002 at the age of 75.

Professional and journalistic achievements

  • Art Director, Weekly Nation, 1965-1972
  • Editorial Cartoonist and Illustrator, Weekly Graphic, 1961-1964
  • TV Art Consultant, Citizens Award for Television (CCMM) 1971-1972
  • TV Animated Cartoon Commercial for Darigold Milk, 1969
  • Art Consultant, U.P. Public Affairs TV, Channel 13, 1963-1964
  • Design artist, Mobil Philippines, 1961-1962
  • Supervising Animator, Universal Animated Productions, 1959-1960
  • Movie Consultant, Kalabog and Bosyo,1986
  • Movie Consultant, Asiong Aksaya, GP Productions, 1977
  • Movie Consultant, Kalabog and Bosyo, Sampaguita Pictures, 1957
  • Movie Consultant, Tipin, Sampaguita Pictures, 1956
  • Scriptwriter, Dos por Dos, Channel 2, 1974
  • Advertising Artist, Pan Pacific Advertising, 1948-1949

Summary of published works

  • International Cartoons, Athens, Greece (1980)
  • Salon of Cartoons, Montreal, Canada (1980)
  • “Laugh and Live”, Life Today (1981-2002)
  • “Slice of Life”, Weekend (1980-1986), Sunday Tribune (1986-1987), Sunday Times (1987-1995), Philstar (1995-2002)
  • “Bing Bang Bung”, Pilipino Funny Komiks (1978-1989)
  • “Asiong Aksaya”, Daily Express, Tagalog Klasiks (1976-1984)
  • “Mod-Caps”, Mod Magazine (1974-2002)
  • “Snickerteens”, TSS Magazine (1973-1984)
  • “Smolbateribols”, Darna Komiks (1972-1984)
  • “Siopawman”, Daily Express (1972-1983, 2002)
  • “Kalambogesyons”, Pinoy Komiks (1966-1972)
  • “Congressman Kalog”, Aliwan Komiks (1966-1972)
  • “Barrio Pogspak”, Holiday Komiks (1966-1972)
  • “Project 13”, Pioneer Komiks (1966-1972)
  • “Loverboy”, Redondo Komiks (1964-1969)
  • “Cartoon Feature”, Asia Magazine (1963)
  • “Mang Ambo”, Weekly Graphic (1963-1965), Weekly Nation (1965-1972) Manila Standard (1993-1998)
  • “This Business of Living”, Weekly Graphic (1951-1965), Weekly Nation (1965-1972)
  • “Best Cartoons from Abroad”, New York, USA (1955-1956)
  • “Tipin”, Hiwaga Komiks (1951-1965)
  • “Kalabog en Bosyo”, Pilipino Komiks (1949-1983), Manila times (1984-1995)
  • “Islaw Palitaw (1946-1948)
  • The Latest of Larry Alcala's Mang Ambo
  • The Best of Larry Alcalas Mang Ambo Book 2
  • A Cover for Asiaweek Magazine, February 10 1984
  • A Cartoon Mural for the Philippine Village Hotel
  • A Mural for the Philippine Commission on Audit
  • Contributions for Duty Free
  • Contributions for Jollibee restaurant
  • Caricatures and Cartoons, Private collections
  • Cover designs, brochures and catalogs, University of the Philippines
  • San Miguel Corporation Calendar, 1983
  • SPIC Cartoonists Exhibit on Wheels, 1967 Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists (SPIC)
  • Asiong Aksaya TV show, Energy Conservation Movement of the Philippines, 1977

See Larry Alcala's available e-books at Vibe Bookstore.

Cartoon exhibitions

  • 1999 Larry Alcala & Friends: Cartoons and Caricatures Show, The Westin Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard,
  • 1998 Larry Alcala, Life and Times of a Cartoonist, Museo Pambata Foundation, Inc.
  • 1998 Cartoon Festival, Seoul, Korea
  • 1995 Asian Cartoonist Exhibition and Symposium, Japan
  • 1995 Slices of Larry’s Art, SM Megamall Art Center & Liongoren Art Gallery
  • 1993 Cartoons, Solo exhibit, San Jose & San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
  • 1991 Cartoons, Group exhibit, Japan
  • 1990 ASEAN Cartoonist Exhibit, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1989 Cartoon Exhibit, China
  • 1988 Slices of Life Part 2, Art Association of Bacolod Gallery
  • 1987 Slices of Life Here and Abroad, Hyatt Regency Manila
  • 1987 Cartoons, Group exhibit, Hiroshima, Japan
  • 1986 Cartoons, Solo exhibit, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
  • 1985 Cartoons, Group exhibit, Chicago, San Francisco & Los Angeles, U.S.A.
  • 1984 1st Asian Cartoonist Conference, Hiroshima, Japan
  • 1984 Larry Alcala’s First One-Man Exhibition, Heritage Art Center
  • 1982 SKP Exhibit in Australia

Awards, citations and recognitions

He received recognition from the following institutions:

  • U.P. College of Fine Arts
  • The Board of Directors of the U.P. Alumni Association,
  • The Office of the Mayor of the City of Manila, Philippines
  • The Philippine Board on Books for Young People ( PBBY )
  • The Archdiocese of Manila Catholic Press Awards
  • The Citizens' Council for Mass Media 1970 CAM Awards
  • The Komiks Operation Brotherhood, Inc. (Komopeb) (Life Achievement Award)
  • Samahan ng mga Manunulat, Artist, at Patnugot at mga Manggagawa sa Komiks
  • SPIC-NPC Annual Art Awards
  • The Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists
  • The Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists (3rd SPIC Annual Art Awards)
  • The Galleria Bernice L
  • The U.P. College of Fine Arts Alumni Foundation, Inc.
  • The University of the Philippines Alumni Association
  • The Philippine Council of Industrial Editors
  • The United Artists and Core Corporation, the Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc.
  • Operation Smile
  • The Bureau of Land Transportation
  • The Safety Organization of the Philippines, Inc.
  • The Veterans Memorial Medical Center Diabetes Association
  • The University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City
  • The Positive Artists Group (Pamana award)
  • The U.P. College of Fine Arts
  • The University of the Philippines (Service Award, 25 years of service)
  • Caltex and D.O.S.T
  • Philips -Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Parol Festïval 1986
  • The National Manpower and Youth Council Office of Vocational Preparation
  • The Department of Laboratories Veterans Memorial Medical Center
  • The Gawad CCP Para sa Telebisyon sa Taong 1988
  • St. Patrick Commercial Appreciation Award
  • The National Environmental Protection Council Awards
  • The City of Bacolod
  • Caltex-DECS-DOST Science Art Contest

External links