Frequently asked questions on DILIMAN

What is DILIMAN?
DILIMAN is Tobie Abad's dream project .
It is an indie comic book that shall allow him to explore his ability to both sequentially illustrate and tell a story. The project is finally almost at its end.

Why is it called DILIMAN?
It was called DILIMAN due to the wordplay the word captures.
Tobie likes the fact that DILIMAN:

  • easily signifies the place to be in the Philippines,
  • contains the word DILIM or "Dark."
  • is short enough to be easy to read,
  • sounds cool.

Sadly, Tobie regrets that the book will neither focus on DILIMAN as a place or location in the story, nor on its historical aspect which others would have wanted to read.

Where is DILIMAN?
If by where, you mean where in the Philiippines, its best you ask others. I'm a Paranaque boy, I'm afraid.

When did this project start?
This project was first conceptualized way back in the late 1990s. Originally envisioned as a short film, the idea then progressed into a low-budget tele-movie, then a mini-series, until finally, it moved back into a graphic novel.

There were plans to publish this and have it released as my contribution to the local comic scene, but then funding arose as a problem, hence defaulting this now to what you see.

Who knows, maybe, just maybe, we'll have this path of development move back and someday release a film, eh?

DILIMAN celebrated it first year online October, 2003.
It had two earlier incarnations of a website, once in geocities.com and another under design.ph, however both websites have long since folded.

It was born much earlier though, with initial concepts and ideas being penned sometime in 1997.

What sort of research did you do DILIMAN? Or is this pure fiction?
DILIMAN is a fictional story.

But many elements in DILIMAN are based on real-life experiences, childhood stories, tales as well as from certain books. To follow is a small list of my sources. Thank you very much for serving as both inspiration and resource!

  • Yaya Bebie
  • Spirit Questors
  • History of the Filipino People - 8th edition
  • Teodoro A. Agoncillo
  • Realms of Myth and Reality
  • Dr. Maximo D. Ramos
  • Folk Architecture
  • Rodrigo Perez III, Rosario Encarnacion, Julian Dacanay, Jr.
  • Joseph Fortin, John Chua
  • Friends of mine: Bambi, Rich, Moose, Lou
  • And more: Marco, Sam, Aldwin, Matthew, John, Seth, and Fero.
  • And more: Carl, Elbert, Michael, Seth, Whilce, James, and Isha.
  • Thanks to Kervin and to Jordan.
  • And last, but not the least, my egg and partner for life, Rocky.

Is there an English version of DILIMAN? We noticed some parts are in Filipino and we don't know how to read Filipino.
Actually, some parts are in Filipino and some parts are in Alibata. Alibata is a far older version of writing used in the Philippines back during the pre-Spanish colonization.   I plan to someday re-release this book completely in English to accomodate a larger international audience.

Here is a basic lexicon for DILIMAN. Know that not all terms given here are accurate and might be disproven in the course of the story. This lexicon is not intended to educate the reader on the definition of terms of Filipino mythology, rather it is a guide to understanding the comic's world and terms.

Flesh-eating monsters that have a hidden form and a human form. They stalk the streets, invisible to all save those who are like them, or practice salamangka.
A commonly used term to refer to a person who practices Panghuhula and no other form of Salamangka.
The ability to divine the future with the use of various tools. Common tools are tawas (tawas crystals), playing cards (as well as tarot cards), tea leaves and pendulums.
Magic. The Craft. The ability to cause things, events or occurances to happen which are deemed difficult if not impossible in real life. Various crafts exist: Black Magick, Chaos Magick, Kulam, Hilot, Panghuhula and the like. Practicioners of Salamangka can be called many things.
A commonly used term to refer to a practicioner of Salamangka.
A half-man, half-horse monstrosity of immense strength and speed. Is said to be able to give people the feeling of sickness and illness, as well as cause people to get lost. Some tales speak of tikbalangs having a golden strand of hair on their back whick, if found, gives the finder a wish the tikbalang must grant.

Has DILIMAN even been sold/seen printed release?Diliman was once sold during Komikon 2006 as a collected Volume One CD, with the first six issues contained inside.

There was also a short story released as part of Love&Heartbreak which was kinda set in the Diliman universe.  You can find comic online here.

There was another short story, part of an ashcan called WAN: Tatlong Kuwento (One: Three stories) which had a Salamangkero vibe to it.  I'll see if I can find that comic to repost it online.

Lastly, the full first issue of DILIMAN is available as an extra in the DVD release of Aswang: A Journey Into Myth, a documentary/movie by Jordan Clark.  Artwork from the comic are also going to be used in the film!  Read the very informative blog on the film here.

Will DILIMAN ever be available in a printed format?
I hope so.
Does anyone out there want to finance and publish it?
Just drop me a line:  tobito_abad AT yahoo DOT com