Let me tell you about Ikabod Bubwit..

by - February 27, 2009

To make use of the long hours I have to wait for a rendezvous, I decided to spend my time reading Filipino comics in the library. What I really had in mind at that time was to pick Kikomachine Komix by Manix Abrera. However, as I was surfing the catalog in the computer, I came across with a title that had already been intriguing me for quite a time.

IKABOD BUBWIT.

I first heard these two words some years ago from the best friend of my mom. He said, “Hindi mo kilala si Ikabod Bubwit?” and I got the impression that it is a character that used to be well known in the past, way before I was even born. But I never tried to research about it after that. However, those two words really hit something on me that triggered my curiosity over them.

And now, we finally met.

Ikabod Bubwit is a series of comic strips created by Nonoy Marcelo trying to ridicule mostly the political situations in the Philippines and also the influences of the Japanese and American occupation in the country in a comical way. Comics, that is.

Am not really sure about the timeframe of the duration of the series of comic strips, but the compilation of the strips I was able to access was published on 1980, so we can just assume how old it is already; though not really exactly. Well one thing’s for sure, it is way older than me.

So what really is Ikabod Bubwit?

We cannot assume for humans to be the main characters; though there are humans. What we are presented with with this comics are our nice, little friends in our house and over our backyards (if we have one).

An ultra-bully cat that has three mice minions and bullies a dog which is owned by a naughty Filipino boy who is the neighbor of an African American boy who loves cheese and happens to own the ultra-bully cat that, as I have said, three mice minions where one of them would run for mayor to be supported by ants and would eventually have eight bubwits (small mouse) where one of them would be named Ikabod who would only be introduced in the middle of the whole duration of the series of comic strips and is the basis of the title of the comics.

So, are we going to do a character names enumeration?
Okay, fine, let’s do it.

• Myawok: the ultra-bully cat
• Peter: mouse minion of Myawok who ran for mayor
• Inot and Kiko (or is it Kikoy? or is it not Kiko or Kikoy at all?): two other mice minion of Myawok
• Hammer (oh no, is it Hammer?): the dog bullied by Myawok
• Kinse: the African American owner of Myawok
• (I cannot remember the owner of Hammer. Oh no.)
• Ikabod: the favorite son of Peter
• And there are a lot of other names, and unfortunately I cannot remember all of them for they are not really that significant. But if you insist I can mention one.
• Hiklog: the homosexual brother of Ikabod which name is really supposed to be Iklog.


Ikabod is a perfect example of a son of a political official who tremendously abuses the power of his father and Peter is a perfect example of a political official who also tremendously abuses his power. For instance (sorry am not able to provide for a snapshot of this panel), there is one situation wherein the teacher will have to expel Ikabod for having his bodyguards salvage his classmate (I think its name is Kado, am not sure) and then Ikabod brought his father over and Peter warned the teacher of having her expelled from school instead. Then, in a fast and comical way, the teacher rephrased that the one to be expelled is Kado.

Of course, this situation is supposed to be funny while reading the comic strip but we can completely understand the underlying real-life situation it wants to convey. And, admit it, we all know these kinds of things really happen.

Anyway, here are just some of the panels that really made me laugh.



Panel 1:
Myawok: Hey dude, the only reason I cooperated with you is for you to be in good terms again with your owner and that he may finally feed you, right?
Hammer: Right.
Panel 2:
Hammer: Am already in good terms again with my owner that is why he gave me tons of food. And here…
Panel 3:
Hammer: am giving you half of it as a means of showing my gratitude to you.
Panel 4:
Myawok: How about I hit your head with all of these?! I told you to replace those with fish, asshole!



Panel 1:
Peter: If even one of you shouts asshole again while I am reciting my speech, I will not give you sugar.
Panel 2:
Peter: Ahurmn! As I was saying before I was rudely heckled… wait! May I remind you that not only the shouting of asshole is not allowed but also…
Panel 3:
Peter: the spelling out of the word! You [insert another form of bad word. Sorry I do not know how to translate it anymore.]!!



Panel 1:
Myawok: Moron! Don’t you know that it is holy week today, and that Peter is really…
Panel 2:
Myawok: having his tail clasped by a mouse trap as his penitence.
Inot/Kikoy: [the joke will not work in English anymore. Too bad. Huli=capture]



Myawok: Until now your pregnant wife still hasn’t eaten all up that green mango? No matter what, when I come back, that should be all finished up already.
Peter’s wife: It’s hard to eat it all up. There’s no bagoong [what’s the English for that? Is there even one? Fermented fish/shrimp? Anyway, green mango is good with bagoong.].



Panel 1:
Peter: Look at my son, Ikabod, he also already knows how to count from one to ten. C’mon, Iks, show them.
Panel 2:
Ikabod: Ace, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, jack, queen, king.



Dagalandia Pre-Nursery School Excuse Slip
Please excuse my son Ikabod for being late/absent on _______1980 because
Bullet 1: stayed up late in the casino
Bullet 2: got wasted in the beerhouse
Bullet 3: robbed a taxi
Bullet 4: [am not exactly sure what ‘nambubwit’ actually means]
Bullet 5: got struck by a bubonic plague



This panel would certainly not work if translated to English.



Since am also left-handed, I wanted to share this.



And yey! The amazing cover of Ikabod Bubwit. I love it.


Here are also some of the nice passages I got.

Magbiro ka sa lasing.
Huwag lang sa may hang-over.

(You can joke over a drunk man, but never with someone who has a hang-over.)

Ang liksi at tapang,
Conditioned reflex na,
Defense mechanism pa.

(Agility and bravery are not only conditioned reflexes but also a defense mechanism.)

Ang jogging ay nagpapaliit ng tiyan.
Pero nagpapalaki naman ng butas ng ilong.

(Jogging allows for your stomach to shrink, but also enlarges your nostrils.)

Ang buhay ay parang gulong ng jip,
Minsa’y nasa ibabaw, minsa’y napaplat.

(Life is like a jeepney’s wheel. Sometimes you’re above, sometimes you get flat.)

Ano ang softdrink ng palaka?
Kokak kola.

(What are frogs’ softdrink? Kokak kola.)

Kung saan ka nadapa,
Tanga ka.

(Where you tripped, you’re an idiot.)


Okay, so it is only now that I have decided to put up a disclaimer.
Sorry for the translations. Am not really good at it.


So there, I hope you all reached up to this point of what I am writing and that you all enjoyed reading what I have shared.

Yey!

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10 comments

  1. hey..
    tnx poh...
    its been a great help 4 me because ikabod is one of my topics 4 my presentation on my literature class..

    ReplyDelete
  2. yung "nambubwit" po yata, parang "nambabae" ??

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bubwit means baby mouse, so "nambubwit" means "made small mouse" or "did it to make a small mouse".

    Thank you for the wonderful article, rediscovered my Ikabod addiction from my teen years especially at UP Diliman in the 1980s.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very 80's indeed, I think we have 3 book of Nonoy Marcelo's Ikabod Bubwit. Noong maliit pa ako though some of the lines eh mejo pang matanda i find it funny :) meron pa nga kaming cassette tapes nyan before. Kudos for featuring Ikabod at sa pagbabalik tanaw ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do you if they still sell Ikabod books? Our copies are all worn out and dilapidated - the mark of a book well-loved. It would be great if we could still buy new copies of Nonoy Marcelo's books.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ooh.. sorry. I don't know about that. But I, too, do think it'll be great if they'll have a reprint of it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. "nambubwit" means "nambuwisit"

    ReplyDelete
  8. cool beans, LMAO. I was just telling my wife about the comics story and I found your posting on the net. It was great going back.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If i remember correctly, all of ikabod's siblings were gay. One name i remember is heclipse. So since you have hiklog, and then heclipse, we are now missing five more names.

    Sorry, i just waxed nostalgic and searched google for the characters, but wikipedia doesnt have complete details.

    ReplyDelete