Nonoy Marcelo

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Severino “Nonoy” Marcelo (22 January 1939- 22 October 2002) was a Filipino cartoonist best known for creating the character “Ikabod Bubwit” (“Ikabod the Small Rodent”).

Marcelo was a voracious reader, trivia collector, and news addict. His studio at Quezon City was overflowing with newspapers, books, and magazines.

Early life and education

He was born on 22 January 1939 in Malabon to David Marcelo and Rita Santos. His mother was a school teacher who became a widow during the war. At the age of nine, he had a published book to his credit, the comic book Likmuan ng mga Pighati sa Paligid-ligid (Seat of Sorrows All Around).

In an interview with the Diliman Review, Marcelo said that drawing was already in his veins since he was a child. He said that he knew how to draw even if he was still too young to know how to count. His uncle, Malang Santos, taught him how to draw. Santos allowed him to ink his sketches. He was even brought along to the houses of Larry Alcala, Tony Velasquez, and Yugo Honzon, who soon became his idols and

He graduated from the Institute of Arts and Sciences of the Far Eastern University (FEU), where he worked as a cartoonist of The Advocate, the university's official student publication.

In 1971, he tucked a course in advanced animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a filmmaking course from the New School for Social Research in 1972.


Marcelo created the character “Ikabod Bubwit” in the comic strip Ikabod. The strip, which humorously depicted the socio-political woes of ordinary Filipinos, ran from the late 1970s to 2002. The strip featured caricatures of political figures like Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon C. Aquino, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, re-imagining them as mice.

He also created Plain Folks, which appeared in the Daily Mirror during the early 1960s and Tisoy on the Manila Times in 1963. The latter tells about the lifestyle of young Filipinos. The strip's characters: Tisoy, Aling Otik, Maribubut, Caligula, Tatang, Tikyo, and Kinse, soon became established in the Philippine pop culture.

Tisoy became a film in 1977. Directed by Ishmael Bernal, it starred Christopher de Leon and Charo Santos.

From 21 June 1982 to 31 May 1984, Marcelo was a Senior Lecturer of Film Animation at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Fine Arts. As he has the passion and commitment to share what he knew with his students, he got the UPCFA into a cooperative venture with Channel 4. Students enrolled in his class would be able to use the sophisticated facilities of the TV station.

The industry, which was led at that time by Hanna-Barbera, was impressed with the products of the students enrolled in Marcelo's class. Hanna-Barbera began to employ students of the UPCFA. ToonCity and PhilCartoons also allowed student artists to be engaged in the industry.

He also worked for I magazine where he drew portraits of personalities in the news.

As he was into Philippine history, his last major work was an illustrated cartoon history of Malabon.

Awards and recognition


Marcelo died on 22 October 2002 at the age of 63 due to sepsis from complications of his diabetes.