Pat V. Reyes

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PAT V. REYES never dreamed of one day becoming a komiks scriptwriter. She had wanted to be a painter, or at least a komiks illustrator. She had also yearned to be a musician-composer, a film directress.

But as far back as she can remember, she has always been a komiks addict. During her elementary grades and well nigh unto her high school years, she had with her snacks a copy of two of the latest issues of her favorite komiks-magazines which she read during recess periods and sometimes even during class hours.

It was not surprising, therefore, that she knew by name practically all the top komiks scriptwriters and illustrators of that period –Tony S. Velasquez, Mars Ravelo, Jim M. Fernandez, Pablo S. Gomez, R.R. Marcelino, Greg Igna de Dios, Elena M. Patron, to name a few.

What launched her komiks writing career was, as she recalls with a grin, “curiosity”. She had wanted to know what Tony S. Velasquez looked like. She sent him a fan-letter concluded by the question: “Paano ho ba ang pagsulat sa komiks? Pwede ho kaya akong maging manunulat ding katulad n’yo?” (How does one write for the komiks? Could I be also a writer like you?)

She was not quite 17 then.

Velasquez, then general manager and editor-in-chief of the Graphic Arts Service, Inc. (GASI) responded with an autographed photo and advise on komiks scriptwriting with a sample komiks script to boot.

Greatly elated, Pat junked her dream of being a painter or illustrator or composer or film directress. She would be a komiks scriptwriter. She poured over the sample script assidiously, wrote her first story, and mailed it to Velasquez. (She was then living in Cabanatuan City and attending classes at the Araullo Lyceum).

The story was rejected. Her spirit dampened, she had wanted to quit that early but Velasquez’ accompanying letter bouyed her up. She wrote her second story, then the third. They both met the same fate as the first. The plots, said Velasquez’ comments on the stories, were “pangkaraniwan” (ordinary). But as in the first instance, the GASI general manager had words of encouragement for Pat: “Huwag kang titigil, sapagka’t hindi kita pag-aaksayahan ng panahon kung wala akong masisilip sa iyo. Malayo ang mararating mo.” (Don’t quit because I would not waste my time on you had I not seen something in you. You’ll go far.)

Once more fortified, Pat wrote her fourth story, “Kaming mga Dukha”. It was accepted and published. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history. And Velasquez’ prophecy that Pat would go far proved quite correct.

Pat’s first published story in the heavy drama genre: she was destined to shine as a comedy writer, however, as evidenced by her more popular works: Plapla (her very first serial), Butsoy, Kuwatog, Venus Ignoramus, Buhay-Misis, Urbano at Serafia, Mister Belekoy, Binatoy, Niknok, Anatola Calabasa, Bunso at Panganay, among others.

Several of her serials have been adapted for the motion picture – Buhay Misis, Kuwatog, Butsoy, Tikboy en Pamboy, Bokyo, Palengke Queen. She also treasured a couple of komiks scriptwriting awards from GASI, and one from the Komiks Operation Brotherhood (KOMOPEB) Awards for 1983.

Pat has also branched out to writing screenplays.

She is married to Renato Oniate to whom she has two children. [1]

Published Works