‘Panday’ creator Carlo J Caparas dies

Carlo J Caparas, the popular Filipino comic strip creator and film director, has passed away at the age of 80.

His daughter, Peach Caparas, confirmed his death on Facebook.

Caparas was a significant figure in the Philippine entertainment industry, celebrated for his creation of beloved Filipino superheroes and comic book characters such as Panday, Bakekang, and Gagambino. He also directed several “massacre films,” including Kuratong Baleleng.

Caparas’ contributions to Philippine arts were recognized on a national level in July 2009 when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo named him one of the National Artists of the Philippines. This prestigious title is the highest honor bestowed upon Filipino artists who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts.

However, Caparas’ proclamation as a National Artist was not without controversy. The nominating committee for the award, which included representatives from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), disclosed that Caparas and three other individuals were not originally recommended by the committee. Instead, their proclamations came as a result of Arroyo exercising her presidential prerogative.

This decision sparked protests from various artists, including previously proclaimed National Artists, who argued that Caparas and the NCCA executive director Cecilia Guidote-Alvarez, who also received the honor that year, were ineligible according to the National Artist guidelines.

In July 2013, the Supreme Court voided the controversial conferment of the award on Caparas and three others.

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