Monday, October 24, 2005

Vincent Kua, Jr.

Last night, while browsing through Gerry Alanguilan's pictures of the Komikon in his website, I was wondering why Vincent Kua, Jr., was not able to attend the event, since three days ago, he himself told me he would attend the event. I was not available for the Komikon so I asked Vincent to just say hi to our old pals there.

Then, in a few moments, I received a text message from Randy Valiente, telling me that Vincent Kua had died on the previous night, apparently of stroke. I literally had goosebumps since one moment, I was thinking about Vincent, and then the next, learning that he had died.

Like many komiks fans, I had been a follower of Vincent's works in komiks during his heyday as writer/illustrator in the 70s and 80s. My sister and I would usually spend a portion of our school allowance, renting komiks that contained many of Vincent's wonderful stories. I specially loved his horror stories, as well as his regular Pokwang strips, while my sis usually anticipated his love stories.

When I became older, I sought out Vincent to know him personally. Through some komiks friends, I was able to get Vincent's phone number. I called him up and we had a nice conversation, and he even invited me in his home in Pasig. This was in 1997. From then on, we had a regular "kumustahan" and he frequently visited my apartment in Cubao, after getting his salary in Atlas, which was just a few minutes' walk away. We usually dine at Nena's, the oldest restaurant in the Cubao area, where Vincent loved the Puto Bumbong. One time, he went over to visit me and he brought along his friend, Randy Valiente. I found that Randy was himself a writer and a talented illustrator, and one of Vincent's close friends, although he looked so young.

One time, in my house, Vincent noticed that I had an stethoscope and a blood pressure monitor. I was  then diagnosed with elevated blood pressure and had been regularly monitoring my BP. I asked him if he would like to check his BP, and he said: "Sige i-check mo magugulat ka" . His BP reading was, as I remember accurately, 180 over 110, which was very high for a normal person, so I asked him if he was feeling unwell. He smiled and said that he was fine, and that it was his normal BP, and that when it got lower than that he felt dizzy. He also mentioned that he always got a reading of 180 over 110 everytime he had his BP checked.
But then, being concerned about him, I told him to have a check-up. He said there was no need, it was just that there were people like him that had "normal" high BP reading.

I felt great regret of not having been able to convince him to go to the doctor then. I will miss him so much, his humor, his wisdom, his gentleness, and his humility. He is one of the truly great artists in our local komiks industry. I am very honored and priviledged that even for only a short period of time, I became his friend.

10 comments:

Randy P. Valiente said...

nakakalungkot talaga ang biglaan niyang pagkawala, hanggang ngayon nga di pa rin ako makapaniwala. hindi siya ang naging teacher ko pero feeling ko ang dami nyang naituro sa kin. mami-miss talaga natin siya :(

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Mamaru said...

Tama po. Sandigan na po si Kuya Vincent Kua Jr sa daigdig ng Komiks. Ma-mi-miss ko ang mga gawa niya. Sayang, maaga siyang nawala sa mundo. Pero hindi malilimutan ang mga characters niya, lalo na si Pokwang.

Rey said...

One of the best... and is now dearly missed.

jmacam a.k.a straum said...

its been like a few days ago, i remembered vince..in my mind i would say kumusta na kaya sha? ...its only now that i found out he has left the building.kuya vince, maraming salamat..
without knowing his drawings has inspired me to become an artist..

CristinaOcampo said...

I was watching the news about Manila Pen, when I suddenly felt like googling Vincent Kua, Jr. I was sadden to find out that he passed away. I have meant to track him down for awhile now as we were close back in the early 80s o'er Olivarez College where we both took Hotel Rest Management. I missed him then and now I just have to miss him forever

marvz said...

Dennis I'm also a komik reader during my high school days.
I don't usually took my lunch just to spend my one-hour comic reading session.
I'm an avid fan of diff. komik writers and illustrators which one of those were Mr. Vincent Kua Jr.
One of the great.
Saludo on him and thanks to you.

Anonymous said...

isa ako sa mga libu - libong tagahanga ni vincent benjamin kua jnr. at sa sa araw na ito nov. 1, 2008 na ngayon ko lang malaman na pumanaw na pala siya. nakakalungkot isipin na wala na pala siya. nabasa ko sa komiks an g mga novelette niyang ad infinitum (ang walang hanggang) at nandoon ang topic niya tungkol sa kamatayan at kung hindi ako nagkakamali sa isa pang pinamagatan niyang dalawang mansanas sa paraiso ni adan. gustong gusto ko ang pagkakadrawing niya sa mga main characters niyang babae na may mahahabang buhong at sa tingin ko ay tipong mga mahinhing mga babae o di kaya'y parang maria clara. sa katunayan ay binabakat ko pa ang mga drawing niya at inilalagay kong cover sa mga casette tapes ko

Anonymous said...

..nakakalungkot malaman na pumanaw na sya..nakakalungkot na hindi ko na sya makikitang muli..isa pa kong "musmos" nang huli syang dumalaw samin..sya ang naging inspirasyon ko sa larangan ng sining..kapag sinasabi sakin noon"ang galing mo naman magdrawing" ang sagot ko.."NINONG" ko kasi si Vincent Kua JR. bestfriend sya ng tatay ko..si Cesar Bedia "Silva" JR."buong pagmamalaki ko sinasabi..Meron ngang ginawang "komiks" si ninong ko para ke "tatay"..abangan nyo yun ha.."SILVA"!!

Jon said...

it's oct 12, 2009 today. for the past couple of days, i was wondering where these great people of my childhood days are now. i remember myself, my siblings and cousins all seated at the steps of stairs all busy with Komiks in our hands.

i particularly like Vincent Kua Jr., Larry Santiago and some others whom I forgot the names but can easily remember them when I see their artworks.

It's too sad Vincent Kua Jr. was long gone.

He was one of the masters of Komiks.