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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Pulumbarit

Remembering 'Slice of Life' cartoonist Larry Alcala

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

National Artist for Visual Arts Lauro "Larry" Zarate Alcala is one of the Philippines' foremost cartoonists, having created more than 500 cartoon characters and 20 comic strips.

Alcala was born on August 18, 1926 in Daraga, Albay. He passed away on June 24, 2002 in Bacolod, Negros Occidental. In 2018, he was declared a National Artist and the following year, his remains were transferred to the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

The Official Larry Alcala Facebook page says August 18, the artist's birthday, has been declared as Larry Alcala Day in Daraga, his birthplace.

Alcala obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Painting from the University of the Philippines in 1950. Alcala started cartooning four years earlier, in 1946. After graduating, he taught in UP for 30 years, from 1951 to 1981. He was chairman of UP's Department of Visual Communications, from 1978 to 1981.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts says Alcala's comic strips "spiced up the slices of Filipino lives with witty illustrations executed throughout his 56 years of cartooning."

The cartoon series "Slice of Life" is considered as Alcala's most iconic. Unlike other comic strips that are made up of a series of images, "Slice of Life" featured only a single image every weekend.

"Slice of Life," which ran from 1980 to 1986, captured everyday Filipino life in a humorous way. He also gave newspaper readers the challenge of finding a caricature of himself that he cleverly hides in each comic scene.

According to the NCCA, Alcala's other notable works include:

Asiong Aksaya (1976-1984)

Siopawman (1972-1983 and 2002)

Congressman Kalog (1966-1972)

Kalabog en Bosyo (1949-1983)

Islaw Palitaw (1946-1948)

For more info on the artist's works, visit the NCCA website.

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