On our 100th post, and anticipating the 8th death anniversary of Fernando Poe, Jr., here's a blow-by-blow account of another one of his famous larger-than-life characters...
Totoy Bato (which can literally be translated as either "Kid Rock" or (according to Google Translate) "Sonny Stone") first fought his way into the pages of Modern Romances & True Confessions Magazine (published by Adventures Illustrated Magazines, Inc.) in the late-1970's. A creation of prolific komiks writer Carlo J. Caparas, Totoy was a tough bare-knuckle fighter who eventually goes on to become a champion boxer. Later adapted into a 1977 film starring no less than legendary Pinoy Action King Fernando Poe, Jr., the character would become one of FPJ's signature roles next to Ang Panday.
A sequel series, Durugin si Totoy Bato ("Crush Totoy Bato") ran in Modern Romances from 1979 to 1980, written by Caparas and illustrated by Ading G. Gonzales. It was also made into a film in 1979.
Click here to read a chapter from this serial.
Another serial, Lumaban Ka... Totoy Bato ("Fight... Totoy Bato"), illustrated by Mar T. Santana, appeared in Aguila Qualikomiks (published by Graphic Arts Service, Inc.) in 1986.
Totoy returned for one more match in Hinahamon Kita... Totoy Bato ("I Challenge You... Totoy Bato"). Again by Caparas and Santana, the serial ran in Thunder Illustrated Magasin (published by Counterpoint Komiks & Magazine, Inc.) from 1987 to 1988.
When Caparas launched his short-lived komiks line with Sterling Publishing in 2007, he teamed-up with artist Nestor "Thor" Infante to revive the character in Lumaban Ka, Totoy Bato? (Apparently, there's a question mark at the end of the title, which would awkwardly translate it as "You Fought, Totoy Bato?") Appearing in Gwapo Komiks, the new series brought Totoy back to his street-fighting roots.
It should be noted that this incarnation of Totoy was drawn to resemble actor Robin Padilla. Sure enough, the so-called Bad Boy of Philippine Movies would indeed get cast in the GMA Network's 2009 Totoy Bato television series.
Also starring singer-actress Regine Velasquez, with appearances by boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, Padilla portrayed the title role of Totoy Bato, the sword-wielding, demon-slaying gladiator who...
That's right. At some point in the show, Totoy went from knocking out opponents in the ring to battling the Anti-Christ.
Forget rolling in his grave, FPJ should bust out of the Afterlife and deliver his patented machine-gun punches to everyone who was involved in this dreck.
The TV series was actually released on DVD some time ago, so you could check those out if you're curious enough to witness the sordid details for yourself. If you don't think it's worth your money (and it most probably isn't), you can find episodes online if you look hard enough. And if you want to see Robin Padilla in an actual boxing role, you're better off watching his 2001 movie Buhay Kamao. It's got a cool theme song, too.