Virgilio Redondo


A master storyteller could not have chosen a better way to mark his entry into the universe than being born in the fashion of a great odyssey across the depth and breadth of a fabled world which he could have written himself.

VIRGILIO REDONDO was born in a seaside town of San Esteban in Northern Luzon, on a Palm Sunday – commemorating the entry of Jesus Christ into Nazareth – via a primitive delivery, having had his placenta cut with a sliver of bamboo. And to think this happened while his parents were enjoying a week-end vacation. As a child, he traveled with his parents from north to south all over the country, except Mindanao.

Dazzled by the allegory, epic and myth of komiks, Redondo sought a job that had something to do with komiks.Starting as as staff artist for Silahis Magazine, he moved on to become an advertising artist for a small outfit. His first comic strip was for an advertisement promoting batteries. Later, he transferred to Bulaklak Magazine. Unable to manifest his talent at his mother firm, he submitted his first comic serial, Nick Roldan, to Bagong Sampaguita, a rival outfit. He had to employ subterfuge to get away with it, though. He wrote under the pseudonym, V. Ireneo Robles. With the acceptance of his novel by the latter’s editor, Teodorico (Ikong) Santos, the way had been paved for Redondo to become a “biggy” in comic serials.

Redondo credits, however, Catalino V. Flores, Liwayway Magazine editor who published his humorous strip, Isyo, with having given him his much-needed break. Under Tony Velasquez, Lina was later published by Liwayway.

In 1948, Redondo’s talent was finally recognized by Bulaklak and soon he dished out a komiks serial, Mahiwagang Bundok. For him, however, these were not compelling achievements as his serials were merely appeared as komiks supplement for prose magazine. His first “real comic book story” was Diwani, illustrated by his brother, Nestor P. Redondo, and later adapted into a movie by Sampaguita Pictures.

Hair-triggered, high explosive novels by a master craftsman would find many of his novels made into movies. Among them were Palos, Gagamba and Tin-edyer.

Having perfected his exquisitive art, Redondo was urged by Velasquez to dabble in his own illustrations. Tatlong Baraha was the product of his finely-honed talents. This, too, was made into a movie.

He passed away on April 13, 1997 due to lingering sickness. He was 71. [1]

Published Works