Last updated
Categories Magazine
Circulation 90,000
Publisher Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation
First issueNovember 18, 1922
Country Philippines
Language Tagalog / Filipino

Liwayway [1] (Tagalog word meaning "dawn") is a leading Tagalog weekly magazine published in the Philippines since 1922. It contains Tagalog serialized novels, short stories, poetry, serialized comics, essays, news features, entertainment news and articles, and many others. In fact, it is the oldest Tagalog magazine in the Philippines. Its sister publications are Bannawag , Bisaya Magasin , and Hiligaynon .



The magazine had its beginning back 1922 when Don Ramon Roces, the eldest son of Ramon Roces, introduced it after the ill-fated Photo News had declined in the market.

Don Ramon Roces, a prominent man in the publishing business, first conceived Photo News. It was a magazine with its own style, carrying three languages (Spanish, Tagalog and English). The idea to have three languages in one magazine was to allow it to cater to all types of readers (Spanish and Spanish-speaking readers, English, American, and English-speaking readers, and Tagalog language and Filipino readers.

Unfortunately, the trilingual magazine was not well-received because some readers did not want to waste their money reading something they did not understand.

The sales of the magazine gradually declined and this emotionally affected Don Ramon Roces, but he did not give up. When he returned to Manila from Mindanao, he introduced another magazine patterned after Photo News. Unlike Photo News, the magazine concentrated, however, on making Tagalog (now Filipino) its medium, and outpouring support from the reading public was felt when its maiden issue was finally launched in the market.

The magazine was named Liwayway, meaning dawn. It made significant contribution to the field of literature when it introduced the popular masterpieces of great Filipino poets and writers like Jose Corazon de Jesus, Florentino Collantes, Julian Cruz Balmaceda, Cecilio Apostol Borromeo, Lope K. Santos, Inigo Ed Regalado, Romualdo Ramos, Francisco Lacsamana, Fausto Galauran and Pedrito Reyes, the son of Severino Reyes who later succeeded him as the editor of Liwayway.

Liwayway became even more popular in the following years and Don Ramon Roces decided to launch sister magazines. This gave birth to other vernacular magazines like Bisaya in 1932, Hiligaynon, a Hiligaynon language-magazine for the Ilonggos and people of Western Visayas in 1934, Bikolano in 1935, and the Ilocano Bannawag in 1940. Liwayway Extra was also launched in 1936, a thicker monthly supplement of Liwayway.

In 1945 during the Liberation of Manila, the combined U.S. and Philippine Commonwealth ground troops to fought by the Japanese forces around the battles in the city, the Japanese Imperial Army took over the supervision of Liwayway and named it Manila Simbunsiya. The Japanese military had hidden agenda: to use the magazine in their military campaign after occupying the Philippines. Later following that period, the Liwayway publication and its management was returned to Don Ramos Roces.

The publication was later sold to Hanz Menzi when old Don Ramon Roces retired from publishing business in 1965, but the sudden change in the management of the magazine had a severe impact on the magazine. Its sales declined until Menzi decided to sell the magazine to Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation.

The management of the Manila Bulletin aimed to preserve the legacy of Liwayway while reformatting the magazine with its modern digital technology. Thus, a new image of Liwayway was born.


Liwayway’s mix of prose with illustration and their wide array of genres benefited not only the magazine itself but other comics and magazines that came after it. [2] After Liwayway began publishing their comic serials, the magazine as well as other comics that followed began to move from short strips to longer, episodic serials mirroring novels. [2] Its impact in molding the genre and the medium has led scholars such as Cynthia Roxas and Joaquin Arevalo Jr. to credit the magazine for essentially giving birth to the comic industry in the Philippines. [2]

In the 1950s, Liwayway began to attract the attention of then-renowned illustrators and writers whose works were continuously sought out by film executives, [2] a result of the close relationship between the comic industry and the film industry during the time. Throughout the decade, over nine films were produced based on stories featured in the magazine. [2] One of the most famous of these adaptations was Bernardo Carpio, which, like most comics within the magazine, featured both a prose version of the story and a serialized comic edition. [3] Written by Fausto Galauran, the serial ran from November 1950 to March 1951, consisting of over eighteen volumes. A film adaptation based specifically on the version featured in the magazine was released by Sampaguita Pictures in the same year, directed by Benjamin Resella and Artemio Tecson.

The impact of Liwayway on women’s writing shows through its authorship. A study conducted by Clarita Arellano reveals that the feminist authorship of Liwayway, though a minority, broke the narrative of ‘otherness’ and silence, giving female voices authority over elements of discourse, general focus, and characterization. [4] The publishing of these short fictions in Liwayway came with a promise of more radical feminist works to follow in its footsteps. [5] In addition to this, two films produced in the 1950s were also based upon these female-led comics published in the magazine, Aristokrata and Despatsadora, both dubbed as ‘women’s films’ by Joyce Arriola as they cater to women's concerns either in terms of female representation or female spectator-ship. [6]

The magazine also produced several important artists in the local scene, such as Severino Reyes, Vicente A. Dizon, and Antonio S. Velasquez. It had a specific impact upon artist Francisco Coching, who grew up with the magazine and its stories. [7] In the 1920s, Liwayway conducted a literary contest to find newer talents to feature in their magazine, one of which was Coching's father Gregorio Coching who won for his novel Sanggumay in 1925. [7] Coching began working as an apprentice for the magazine in 1936, working on photo-engraving and inking layouts for advertisements and later going on to illustrating covers for the magazine in 1937. [7] In 1946, Liwayway published his comic serial Hagibis , which was later adapted into a movie in 1950 starring Fernando Poe Sr. [7]

The magazine was home to several stories and narratives that are still known and loved to this day. In 1925, Severino Reyes, who also worked as an editor for the magazine, began writing short stories in the series ‘ Ang mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang ,’ using the ‘Basyang’ name as his own pseudonym. [8] Following its publication, the ‘Basyang’ stories were adapted for radio, television, and film. [9]


Liwayway is best known for popularizing the comic serial style, which combines visual material with prose to create novel-like narratives. [2] Illustrations featured heavily in both the magazine's content and some of its covers, especially older ones. Short prose without visual aids such as ‘Ang mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang’ were also featured in the magazine. Today, the magazine publishes novels, short stories, poetry, flash fiction, speculative fiction, and other similar genres. [10] Aside from comics and fiction, the magazine also features a number of editorial articles and pieces on lifestyle, culture, [11] and celebrity news.

New image

The magazine has a glossy colorful cover and pages were reduced down to 48; the size, however, is made bigger by 1 inch than the normal size of the old Liwayway.

The content was also improved with novels by veteran writers like Efren Abueg, Elena Patron, Gilda Olvidado, and Lualhati Bautista. It also carried work in different categories like Short Story (Maikling Kuwento), Children's Story (Kuwentong Pambata), Horror Story (Kuwentong Kababalaghan), and Feature Stories (Lathalain). The comics series have been revived and works of popular and veteran writers like Pablo Gomez and Rod Salandanan are the frontline, together with Sophia Esteban Resano whose horror stories are fast selling in the market.

Artworks of comic illustrators like Rico Rival, Jun Lofamia, Rod Lofamia, Rudy Villanueva, Abe Ocampo, Louie Celerio, and Alfred Manuel were revivals of their old comics series and their works have given a sense of nostalgia to modern Liwayway.

From July to December 2019, it published every fortnightly, then from January 2020 onwards it was a monthly magazine.

See also

Related Research Articles

Bannawag is a Philippine weekly magazine published in the Philippines by Liwayway Publications Inc. It contains serialized novels/comics, short stories, poetry, essays, news features, entertainment news and articles, among others, that are written in Ilokano, a language common in the northern regions of the Philippines.

Comics in the Philippines have been widespread and popular throughout the country from the 1920s to the present. Komiks were partially inspired by American mainstream comic strips and comic books during the early 20th century. Particularly after World War II, the medium became widely popular, though its mainstream appeal has subsided somewhat with the advent of other mass-media forms such as telenovelas. Webcomics produced by independent Filipino web-based artists have caught the attention of local and foreign readers.

Bisaya Magasin is a weekly Cebuano magazine now published by the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, Philippines. It has the record of being the oldest magazine in Cebuano which is still published, and "the most successful periodical in Cebuano".

Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang is an anthology of short stories written by "Lola Basyang," the nom de plume of Severino Reyes, founder and editor of the Tagalog magazine, Liwayway. The original magazine stories have since been adapted into books, comics, television, and film.

Zuma is a Filipino comic book character created by Jim Fernandez in 1974. The character first appeared in a serial written by Fernandez entitled Aztec. From 1976 to 1985, Zuma got his own series named Anak ni Zuma that was serialized in Aliwan Komiks published by Graphics Arts Service Inc. with illustration by Ben Maniclang. The comics series was the biggest best seller for Aliwan. Following this publication success, spin-offs and a 1990s reboot about the character were published and it was further expanded in other media including film and television.

Jim M. Fernandez is a Filipino comic book artist best known for his works on Aztec and Aliwan Komiks. He also popularized the fictional character, Zuma in his novels. Apart from being an editor, illustrator, cartoonist, and writer for Philippine comics, Fernandez was also a certified public accountant in the Philippines.

Hiligaynon is the leading Ilonggo weekly magazine published in the Philippines since 1934. It contains Ilonggo serialized novels, short stories, poetry, serialized comics, essays, news features, entertainment news and articles, and many others. Hiligaynon is named after one of the most predominantly spoken language amongst the people of Western Visayas and Soccsksargen region. Hiligaynon closed during the notorious Martial Law era, but was resurrected in 1989.

Severino Reyes was a Filipino writer, playwright, and director of plays. He used the pen name Lola Basyang. He was nicknamed "Don Binoy".

Hagibis is one of the first comic book heroes in the history of komiks in the Philippines. Hagibis was created in 1947 by Francisco V. Coching, a Filipino comic book artist and illustrator who is considered as the "father" or "grandfather" of Filipino comics. Tarzan-like in appearance, the form of Hagibis had also been based on another early Filipino comic book hero, Kulafu, who was created by Francisco Reyes. Hagibis featured in one of the longest-running serials in the history of Filipino comic books, which ran for fifteen years in Liwayway magazine. Hagibis was later featured in a film with Fernando Poe, Sr. as Hagibis.

Francisco Coching

Francisco V. Coching was a Filipino comic books illustrator and writer and is regarded as one of the “pillars of the Philippine Komiks Industry”. He served as both illustrator and writer for his comic book stories, Coching is referred to as the "King of Komiks", and as the "Dean of Philippine Comics". In 2014, he was posthumously conferred as a National Artist for Visual Arts, the highest honor for artists in the Philippines.

José Zabala-Santos, nicknamed as "Mang Pepe" by hometown neighbors and as "Zabala" by colleagues in the cartooning profession, was a successful cartoonist in the Philippines and was one of the pioneers of Philippine comics. He became one of the most popular cartoonists in the Philippines during the 1950s because of his cartoon characters such Popoy, Sianong Sano, and Lukas Malakas. Zabala is one of the "respected names" of artists in the Philippine cartoon and comics industry.

<i>Halakhak Komiks</i>

Halakhak Komiks is the first regularly published comics magazine in the Philippines. Its first publication was on November 15, 1946. It was founded by Filipino illustrator Isaac Tolentino and Filipino lawyer Jaime Lucas.

Antonio "Tony" Velasquez is a Filipino illustrator regarded as the Father of Tagalog comics and as the pioneer and founding father of the Philippine comics industry. He was the creator of Kenkoy, an “iconic Philippine comic strip character”.

Kenkoy Philippine comics character

Francisco "Kenkoy" Harabas is a Philippine comics character created by writer Romualdo Ramos and cartoonist and illustrator Tony Velasquez in 1929. Velazquez continued the strip for decades after Ramos' death in 1932. Kenkoy was seminal to Philippine comics and thus Velasquez is considered the founding father of the industry. The term kenkoy has entered the Filipino language to mean a joker, jester, or a hilarious person.

Died: February 21, 2021

Clodualdo del Mundo Sr. was a Filipino novelist, playwright, essayist, short story writer, journalist, screenwriter, teacher, critic. Many comics fans know him as the prolific writer of komiks through Liwayway and Ace Publications.

Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang was a withdrawn fantasy action-adventure film produced by Unitel Productions. The film is composed of two stories, "Pedrong Walang Takot" and "Mariang Alimango" derived from the short stories of Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang written by Severino Reyes. The film would have been directed by Mark Meilly, and Chris Martinez. The film also would have starred Richard Gomez, Paolo Contis, Sam Concepcion, Iza Calzado, Rufa Mae Quinto, Empress Schuck and Zsa Zsa Padilla. It was one of the 8 official entries for 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival but later on, the film sent a request letter to MMDA to pull out of the festival. On October 19, the film was replaced by Thy Womb.

<i>Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang</i> (TV program) 2007 Philippine television show

Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang is a 2007 Philippine television drama fantasy anthology broadcast by GMA Network. Starring Manilyn Reynes and Paul Salas, it premiered on February 4, 2007. The show concluded on August 12, 2007 with a total of 26 episodes.

Pepeng Kuryente: Man with a Thousand Volts is a 1988 Filipino science fiction action film written and directed by Jose Yandóc and starring Ramon Revilla as the titular character. Also starring are Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., Dante Rivero, Marissa Delgado, Ramon Zamora, Melissa Mendez, Gwen Avila, Alicia Alonzo, Cecille "Dabiana" Iñigo, and George Estregan Jr. Produced by Imus Productions, Pepeng Kuryente was released on November 16, 1988. Critic Lav Diaz gave the film a negative review, criticizing its lack of direction, slow pace, superfluous scenes, and constant product placement.


  1. Liwayway, Komiklopedia, The Philippine Komiks Encyclopedia,, April 2, 2007
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Arriola, Joyce (2018). "Pelikulang Komiks: Toward a Theory of Filipino Film Action". Kritika Kultura. 30.
  3. Arriola, Joyce (June 2014). "Korido-Komiks Into Film: Sourcing, Adapting, and Recycling the Bernardo Carpio Story". Humanities Diliman. 11.
  4. Arellano, Clarita. (1995) Contemporary images of Filipino women and men as depicted in Liwayway magazine from 1976-1991 (Published doctoral dissertation). University of the Philippines, Philippines.
  5. Dials, Jeanette (December 2017). "Feminism in Philippine Mainstream Short Stories in English". International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics. 3.
  6. Arriola, Joyce (April 2018). "The Prevalent Cinematic Adaptation in The Woman's Film of the 1950s". Kritika Kultura. 1.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Reyes, Soledad (2010). The Life and Art of Francisco Coching. Vibal Foundation Inc.
  8. News, ABS-CBN. "Who is Lola Basyang?". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  9. "Lola Basyang's legacy". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  10. "Always a new beginning". Manila Bulletin Newsbit. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  11. "Liwayway Magazine - Get your Digital Subscription". Magzter. Retrieved 2019-04-25.