Meeting Roni Santiago: Living Legend in the Cartooning Industry
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity of meeting Roni Santiago. It begs the question, “How many living legends do you get to meet in a lifetime?”
When I was a kid, my uncle used to bring me Funny Comics, which I enjoyed immensely. I remember reading Planet Opdi Eyps in its first few pages. As my milk teeth grew out and I stopped wearing pigtails, I continued to read comic strips in newspapers. I came across Baltic & Co., among many others that I have grown to enjoy whenever I turned to the comics section of newspapers.
As chance would have it, I got to meet the creator of Planet Opdi Eyps, Kuyug, and Baltic & Co.: none other than Roni Santiago. He was more than happy to autograph my copy of Baltic & Co. 2, which I bought from the bookstore a few days back.
A man of his experience and caliber has a lot to say about being a cartoonist and about life in general. “Importante ang nag-eenjoy ka sa trabaho mo (Enjoying what you do is what matters),” he shared, his words holding more wisdom than meets the eye. The longevity of his career proves that he is a man who practices what he preaches.
Roni Santiago has built a niche for himself, creating a staggering volume of comic strips through the years. Also the editor of Manila Bulletin’s Comics Section, he has made his passion his lifetime achievement. And really, how many of us can say the same?
Meeting Roni Santiago, the man behind the comic strips I enjoyed when I was too little to realize what they meant, has brought me to crave for the same work ideals, challenge my choices in life – and aspire to do what I love until my body can no longer humor me and my almost-childish dreams.