Tarantadong Kalbo Knows All Your Secret Everyday Frustrations

"Bitch, pakiusap."

(SPOT.ph) Corruption, continuing poverty, and mishandling of resources are just some of the many national issues that upset Filipinos on a daily basis. There’s always a debate about whose fault these things are—the government or its citizens, and the trolling just never ends; leaving most people exasperated and left with nothing to do except throw their hands in the air out of frustration. But one web comic perfectly articulates every long sigh through fun caricatures: Tarantadong Kalbo, which started in July 2019 and has since earned 45,000 followers on Facebook.

Self-portrait of Tarantadong Kalbo creator Kevin Eric Raymundo
ILLUSTRATION Tarantadong Kalbo

ILLUSTRATION Tarantadong Kalbo
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"I created the page as a safe space for my thoughts. I was having the worst anxiety attacks last year, and I badly needed an outlet to deal with my depression other than playing games," says Cainta-based artist Kevin Eric Raymundo in an interview with SPOT.ph. The 34-year-old based the character on himself, who also sports a shaved head. "I draw inspiration from a lot of things: The news, memes, works of other artists that I like, random thoughts about life in general," he continues.

ILLUSTRATION Tarantadong Kalbo
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ILLUSTRATION Tarantadong Kalbo
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ILLUSTRATION Tarantadong Kalbo

Recent drawings of Tarantadong Kalbo feature commentaries on how the Philippines is "flattening the curve" amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the probe on Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas's mañanita, and the ongoing quarantine. Pop culture references and personalities in history are also sometimes used, such as the Jollibee mascot, Bioman, and General Antonio Luna.

ILLUSTRATION Tarantadong Kalbo
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ILLUSTRATION Tarantadong Kalbo

In one of the comics strips, a caricature of Jose Rizal is seen reading a post by an online troll: "Buti pa ['yong] mga tao dati, wala masyadong angal. Tahimik lang!" To which the Philippine hero replied in frustration: "Bitch, pakiusap." (a.k.a. "Bitch, please.") This panel couldn’t be more right, and Tarantadong Kalbo proves that we can make necessary noise through art.

For more, follow Tarantadong Kalbo on Facebook.

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