gma is a skrull, and other “balut eggs”


Photo from Filipino Voices.

Comment: They spelled saguisag wrong, though. It should be sagisag (symbol). Unless it’s someone’s surname.

I believe I’ve already shared this picture at my Multiply account.

Budjette Tan invented the term. “Balut eggs”: those moments when Filipinos (or something Pinoy) suddenly pops up in foreign movies, TV shows, novels, and comic books.

He writes, More and more frequently, Balut Eggs have been popping up in the panels of American comic books. Read more here.

In Marvel’s “Black Panther,” one of Mephisto’s minions says, “Kumusta ka na?” (How have you been?) What’s up with these Tagalog-speaking demons?

In “The Copybook Tales,” written by Fil-Canadian J. Torres, the lead character gets a call from his young brother who refers to him as “Kuya (older brother).” Torres’ upcoming graphic novel is called “Lola (Grandma)” (also published by Oni Press) and it’s about stories told to him by his own lola; stories about supernatural creatures in the Philippines.

Lynda Barry’s “One Hundred!Demons!” has an entire chapter devoted to her Filipino speaking-grandmother, where she spells out the dialogue phonetically. You’ve got to read it out loud to understand what they’re talking about. She’s even got a chapter where she compares her boyfriend to “kuto (louse).”

In the DC Comics epic “Kingdom Come,” Superman crashes into the United Nations building, sending people into a panic, with someone in the crowd blurting out: “NANDIYAN NA ANG SIVA ULO! PAPATAYIN NIYA ULO! (Here comes the madman! He’ll kill us all!)” Now that was either a typo or some Filipino dialect that we’re not aware of … Or the guy was so shocked and surprised that he forgot how to speak Filipino properly.

One of the earliest Balut Eggs I can remember is that spotted in an issue of “Uncanny X-Men,” drawn by Filipino comic artist Whilce Portacio. In that story, we see Colossus wearing a jacket with the word “MAKULIT” written on the back, as well as the Philippine flag. This, of course, got all the Pinoy fanboys excited. It was Whilce winking at us, telling everyone that there’s a Pinoy in the Marvel bullpen.

We were all hoping that he’d introduce a Filipino mutant in the team, but that didn’t happen. He did, however, place a Pinoy, front and center, on the “Wetworks” team. That guy is Grail, one of the team’s top assassins, a martial artist and an expert in Escrima, Arnis de Mano, and Kali. His real name is Joel Alonday (named after a friend of Whilce).

Years later, Whilce introduced the world to more characters and creatures from the Philippines through the comic book “Stone,” which stars the amulet-wielding Gerry Alan (named after Filipino comic book artist Gerry Alanguilan).. Thanks to “Stone,” the Western audience got their tongues all in a twist trying to pronounce words like manananggal, duwende and tikbalang (Filipino ghouls and goblins). The story is even set in the Philippines and shows familiar landmarks like Megamall.

Around the time Whilce and Gerry were drawing “Stone,” Leinil Francis Yu and Edgar Tadeo started drawing “Wolverine.” In one scene, Yu snuck in a bottle of White Castle Whisky, being drunk by one of Wolverine’s enemies.

In an “X-Men Annual,” also drawn by Yu, we got to see our favorite mutants munching on Chow King take-out food. (Which is weird, because the X-Men were supposedly in Hong Kong. Maybe Chow King had a mutant delivery guy who could teleport!)

Most recently, in “Secret Invasion,” Yu drew President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as one of the people who welcomed the invading Skrulls to our planet. We also got to see Captain Marvel and Marvel Boy fight in the parking lot of Ali Mall. It would’ve been interesting to see the MMDA try to arrest them for traffic obstruction.

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