Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ANG PANDAY - Long Live Da King

On the 6th death anniversary of the King of Philippine Movies, the late great Fernando Poe, Jr., here's a little tribute to one of his most famous roles...

Image from Video 48

Created by the self-proclaimed "komiks king," the controversial Carlo J. Caparas, and the Colossal Artist Steve Gan, Ang Panday ("The Blacksmith") tells the story of Flavio, the heroic blacksmith who forges a dagger from a crashed meteor. The dagger can transform into a magic sword, which he uses to fight the forces of darkness, led by the diabolical Lizardo.

The legendary series began in the pages of Pilipino Komiks in 1979. You can read the first 2 chapters of Ang Panday here and its 14th chapter here.

The video below is an overview of the series, including a dramatization of Panday's origin featuring the original comics' artwork. The first part of the video sort of gushes on co-creator Caparas, so CJC-haters may want to skip to the 2:24 mark.

Ang Panday was first adapted to the screen in 1980. The original film topbilled Fernando Poe, Jr., who also directed it under the name Ronwaldo Reyes. He would go on to helm and star in a total of 4 Panday films, each one a blockbuster in the annual Metro Manila Film Festival held every December. The other entries in the series are Pagbabalik ng Panday ("Return of the Blacksmith," 1981), Ang Panday... Ikatlong Yugto ("The Blacksmith... Third Chapter," 1982) and Ang Panday IV Ika-apat na Aklat ("The Blacksmith IV The Fourth Book," 1984).

Image from Simon Santos' FPJ site

Many of FPJ's classic films are currently available on DVD, including his earlier black-and-white pictures, but oddly enough, his Panday quadrology, to many his most popular series of films, remains unreleased (not legally, anyway, if you know what I mean), which is a shame. Sure, they're still shown on television every once in a while, but that just won't be enough for fans, I think.

Right now, the only other Panday movies out there on video are the 2009 remake starring Bong Revilla (which is okay), Joey De Leon's 1993 spoof Pandoy, Ang Alalay ng Panday ("Pandoy, The Blacksmith's Apprentice") and the TERRIBLE CJC-directed Jinggoy Estrada-starrer Hiwaga ng Panday ("Mystery of the Blacksmith," which is so bad, the Joey De Leon spoof is actually the better film).

Ah, well. Thank God for You Tube. Enjoy Flavio's greatest hits...


  1. You actually forgot to include that Bong Revilla starred in 2 Panday movies; the first one titled "Dugo ng Panday" directed by Peque Gallaga (which was a really good panday IMHO) aside from the 2009 take on the film.

  2. No, I only mentioned the Panday movies that are currently available on DVD. I don't think Dugo ng Panday has been released on video either. It should be, I kinda liked it as well.

  3. You forgot to mention ABS-CBN's Panday series.

    By the way, would you care to explain all the hate surrounding CJC? I never really understood why some people don't like him, probably 'cause I don't follow the comic book industry that much.

  4. I was mainly talking about the movies and the ones currently available on DVD, but if we include television, there was also the animated series that came out in the late-1980's. And recently, there was that Panday Kids show, which had Jomari Yllana appear as Flavio (still not used to that one).

    Ah, the CJC hate, where to start? Well, the current animosty mainly started with the controversy behind his proclamation as National Artist back in 2009. Basically, ex-president GMA bypassed the awards committee and proclaimed him and a few others even though they had never been nominated. The fact that he's a GMA supporter doesn't help his case. Recently, he's been charged with tax evasion.

    Other than that, he made all those crappy massacre movies back in the 1990's. Oh, and have you ever seen that Kroko TV show he made for channel 13? Hilarious. He's also been criticized for how he allegedly wrote his komiks scripts; supposedly, he'd just write "bahala na ang artist," and leave the artist to finish the story all by himself.

    I think a lot of local comics creators resent the fact that he'd recently set hmself up as the savior of the Philippine komiks industry even though he hadn't even touched comics for years. Even though the industry as we knew it had pretty much fallen, it's not as if people stopped making comics altogether. There were still Philippine-made comics after CJC went on to make movies. And since his recent stalled attempt to re-launch local comics, he hasn't done much else to follow up on it. Meanwhile, the truly-dedicated comics creators are the ones who are really keeping the medium alive.

  5. (By the way, this is a great blog!)Caparas is overrated,plain and simple. I admire him for the creepy atmosphere he made in some of his films but in komiks, Vic Poblete alone would give him a run for his money. As for the Panday movies, the FPJ versions will remain the best. The 2009 remake is decent with all the CGI effects but it doesn't have any ORIGINAL ideas in it and mostly borrows from Da King's movies. You have to give it to FPJ, even without the help of CGI, he still managed to make the four original Panday films exciting and memorable, long live the Da King!

  6. Lately I've been watching some of Caparas' old action films from the 80's, and the thing is, he was an okay director for that time. But he just sorta lost it by the time he was making those massacre movies in the 90's.

    I've only seen the original Panday movies on television, but there's a scene from one of those films that really struck me. It was of this gigantic ball of fire rolling on the ground. No CGI there, just good old-fashioned practical effects. When I saw it, I just thought, "that must have looked awesome on the big screen!"

  7. hi! I'm doing a semiotic reading of Panday. Your blog has been very helpful and a big chunk of my work is based from it. But I have some questions.

    Is the comics version entirely different from the movie version in terms of the plot? Correct me if I'm wrong but in the comics version, Panday only fights with goons and small-time criminals unlike in the movie version where he fights with supernatural beings. Is the movie version based from any issue of Ang Panday comics? Did they just adapt the fictional character of Panday and not the plot of the comics? Did any of the issue of Ang Panday comics feature a meteor falling from the sky? In Panday comics, does Panday fight with any syndicate or gang or big time enemies? What drives Panday to fight the goons?

    Sorry if I have a lot of questions. I just really really need the clarifications for my paper. I would appreciate if you will answer all these as soon as possible. Thank you very much.

    1. Sorry for the very very very very very loooong delay. Computer problems. Anyway, the story goes that the original Panday komiks series wasn't initially a fantasy. It seemed to me to be more like those old Pinoy westerns that were popular at the time. Supposedly, when FPJ bought the film rights, it was his idea to turn it into a fantasy. As seen in the first video above, the fantasy touches with the magic meteor-forged dagger did indeed become part of the comics.

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