Welcome to a project that’s been segued by the CoViD19 pandemic. Tales from Tattoos is supposed to be a printed book, a regional anthology of mythic short stories, poems and illustrations that stems from folklore, retold and retooled with modern sensibilities. This should have been passed around, as a concept, an idea that would support cultural propagation specifically in the areas of folklore and mythology, but for the moment, I’ll place it here for everyone to read.
The idea for regional mythic stories came to mind when I was plotting the second book of my graphic novel Tales from the Kingdom of Tundo. Such efforts have been done so in the west particularly books by editor Paula Guran’s Mythic Journeys and the famous retelling of mythic lore in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. In the comic book literature, such myths are evident in the stories of Trese by Budjette Tan, and Kajo Baldisimo, and many others like Jon Zamar’s Digmaang Salinlahi. and Arnold Arre’s The Mythology Class. More recently, Ian Sta. Maria’s Salamangka has been making waves in Philippine folklore. What we are trying to achieve, however, is doing a regional sweep of Philippine folklore by first tapping into the myths of the Cordilleras and retelling such myths with modern day sensibilities – modern myth-crafting.
I would like to believe that if culture does not adapt to the changes in modern society, then culture will definitely die. Yet, in saying so, I believe heritage plays a key part in such an adaptation that cultural heritage must never be ignored or forgotten. So, in more ways than one, we can always engage olden culture to fit the changing world without destroying it. There are so many efforts going on as of the moment, even with this pandemic happening, that culture is explored in a modern era, as newer and diverse methods are used to propagate it to the next generation. What we are doing right now, telling modern myths using the internet to cultivate interest in local folklore, is one such feat that we hope would spread – and ideology that propagates local folklore amid the changing times.
I hope you enjoy our stories. We will be posting new stories once their done, and once the inhibitions of a social lockdown are lifted soon (if permitted by the literary gods) perhaps we can publish this in printed form. Thank you and be well.
M. A. Del Rosario
Locked down in Quezon City