We went to the south last Friday to check out Munzinelupa (yes, the south south) at Picked Café & Gallery. Aside from plenty of zines and art from independent and up and coming artists, they also got live performances, talks, and films, so heading down from the where the usual events are in the Metro all the way down to Muntinlupa was pretty worth it.
Why is Munzinelupa so special? It’s just cool browsing through all the zines, prints, and stickers, and going home with a good haul without taking an hour or two each to go to the venue and come back home.
But that’s just us. We talked to some of the artists and people behind Munzinelupa about zines and zine fairs for the people in the south.
Asshulz, Crispy Panda, Martie Rosales; the folks behind Munzinelupa
Why was Munzinelupa started?
Asshulz: So ‘yung Munzinelupa nagderive siya from our previous events. ‘Yung isa ‘yung “Uy! May Ganap sa San Pedro!” which happened last year. We wanted to provide avenues basically for artists. Sa San Pedro alam mong merong artists and zinemakers doon pero walang avenue for them. We have to go to QC if we want to sell our work.
Kami rin ‘yung nag-oorganize ng Zine Orgy sa Los Banos. We wanted to explore and branch out. Alam kong maraming artists dito. Alam kong maraming schools na malapit. So bakit walang ganap? Bakit walang zine fairs? Bakit walang gigs masiyado? So we partnered with Caterwauls; they’re gig producers. Basically ‘yung goal nila ay bring south acts.
“Alam kong maraming schools na malapit. So bakit walang ganap? Bakit walang zine fairs? bakit walang gigs masyado?”
Crispy Panda: Musical acts naman sila. Laging nandoon [QC] ‘yung ganap, eh.
Asshulz: Yeah, it’s really just to provide avenues for artists sa south and bring local talents na rin. We also have film screenings. Most of the filmmakers here [in the South] are from Laguna. Also we wanted to share knowledge. ‘Yung Magpies they gave a workshop on building an art collective. Since partner namin yung Picked Cafe and Gallery, they decided to share their knowledge on coffee so they had a workshop on appreciating specialty coffee.
What’s the process/reasons on how you guys chose the lineup?
Crispy Panda: For the artists, si Mac (Asshulz) kasi naghandle noon. For the performers, part ako ‘nung people na naghanap for today.
Asshulz: So the process for the artists was ‘yung mga kilala namin na zine makers. We just invited them here and we also made sure na may mga south artists na pupunta rito.
Crispy Panda: Kasi parang booming pa lang ‘yung zine scene, eh. Kasi we know na sa LB [Los Banos] madami na and then sa Manila [rin] ‘di ba… but here ‘di pa. It’s just starting out.
“Sa LB [Los Banos] madami na and then sa Manila [rin] ‘di ba… but here ‘di pa. It’s just starting out.”
Asshulz: It’s really a mix of… hindi lang siya pure south people. Para ma-experience rin ng mga taga-Manila ‘yung taste of [the] south and having to commute here. Kasi for us, kami yung pumupunta doon.
So what were your expectations before the event started?
Asshulz: We kind of expected na maraming tao because of the event page. Like, 1000 people were interested and 300 [clicked] ‘going’. So ang dami. That’s what we were anxious about before the event. Lagi namang expectation ‘yung “Does anyone even know where Muntinlupa is? “Is that a foreign country? Do I need to bring my passport?”
What are the challenges you guys faced when planning the event?
Asshulz: ‘Yung biggest problem is we’re just independent people, you know? Wala kaming resources. That was our biggest challenge kasi wala kaming resources. We didn’t do this for profit.
Martie Rosales: ‘Nung naghahanap kami ng venue talagang dapat cino-consider namin na, first of all, dapat free namin makuha ,yung venue. Thankfully yung Picked [Café & Gallery] pumayag naman sila.
Asshulz: It’s really a collaboration kasi without them, ‘di magiging possible yung event.
Do you guys have plans for future installments of Munzinelupa?
Crispy Panda: Gusto niyo ba ng annual event? Char!
Asshulz: Cinoconsider namin na gawing regular thing. We also wanna explore other places din to mark na parang “Okay, nagkaevent na dito.” because sana doon sa process din of building a community meron na ring mga people na willing mag-organize on their own. ‘Di naman namin ina-aspire na maging gatekeepers.
“…sana doon sa process din of building a community meron na ring mga people na willing mag-organize on their own. ‘Di naman namin ina-aspire na maging gatekeepers.”
Crispy Panda: Parang kami lang ‘yung nagspearhead. So, in the future, we want to inspire others to do the same.
Czar Kristoff, photographer and artist (@czarkristoff)
How did you get invited to be in Munzinelupa?
I know Mac Arboleda (Asshulz). He started this.
In the past years, what are the changes you’ve noticed?
There are more zines recently. Ang daming releases, which is nice, I think. I think mas active na ‘yung students ngayon and young artists. I think the current political and social climate triggers emotion and ideas in young artists. I think it comes naturally. Parang they have access to these information they see online and parang sila ‘yung mga nagrerespond to it kasi sila yung nakakakita ng information compared to older people. May mas malaking responsbilities ‘yung younger artists and publishers [and] that’s why lumalabas na ganoon ‘yung work nila.
“I think the current political and social climate triggers emotion and ideas in young artists.”
So what are you looking forward to for the next zine events?
It’s nice to have zine fairs outside Manila. That’s really nice for Mac to organize fairs outside the center. It’s nice, ‘yung events in Manila. But the voices outside the capital matter also. It’s nice: to have a venue and initiatives to encourage them to speak and to express themselves.
Loser Mangaka, artist (@losermangaka)
How did you get invited to be in Munzinelupa?
I’m friends with one of the organizers and since I’m frequent in going to conventions, he recognized me. And also since I’m within the south area.
“Dati puro xerox and ink-jet printing. Now, there are other ways in producing a zine with other modes of printing and with different styles.”
Throughout the past, what are the changes you’ve seen in the past zine events? Are there any changes in trends and artists?
I can only say that there is more experimenting in producing a zine. Dati puro xerox and ink-jet printing. Now, there are other ways in producing a zine with other modes of printing and with different styles. Most of the changes I see is within the work itself. It’s more diverse and different than other events.
What are you expecting or hoping to see in future events?
I expect a lot of new readers dwelling into the art. That’s all.
Find out more about Munzinelupa at the Facebook event page.
Story by JP Sanchez
Photos by JP Sanchez and Pauline Roy