Comic Strip / Comics

What Is the First Comic Strip by a Filipino?

The history of comic strips in the Philippines is a long and rich one, dating back to the early 1900s. One of the earliest known examples of a Filipino comic strip was created by none other than Tony Velasquez, a pioneer in Philippine comics.

The First Filipino Comic Strip

Tony Velasquez is widely regarded as the father of Philippine comics, having created some of the most iconic characters in local comic book history. But before he became famous for his works such as “Kenkoy” and “Noli Me Tangere,” Velasquez first made his mark on the industry with his debut comic strip, “Mukhang Pera.”

The Origin Story

“Mukhang Pera” was published in 1929 by Liwayway Magazine, which at that time was one of the most popular weekly magazines in the country. The strip featured a character named Don Galo who was always on the lookout for ways to make money quickly and easily. Velasquez’s witty writing combined with his signature drawing style made “Mukhang Pera” an instant hit with readers.

Breaking Barriers

Velasquez’s success with “Mukhang Pera” did not go unnoticed, and soon he was offered a job at Manila Bulletin where he continued to create more comic strips such as “Kulafu” and “Hiwaga sa Bahay na Bato.” His works were not only popular among Filipinos but also gained recognition abroad, breaking barriers for Philippine comics internationally.


In conclusion, Tony Velasquez’s “Mukhang Pera” is considered as the first Filipino comic strip that paved the way for many other great works to come. It showed that Filipinos had a talent for creating their own brand of humor and storytelling that could stand alongside the best in the world. Velasquez’s contributions to the Philippine comics industry will always be remembered and celebrated by future generations of comic book fans.