Trivia...rewind... year 1949
Mars Ravelo’s first attempt at comics work nearly ended in disaster. He presented another comics strip "RITA" to the major publications. And got promptly turned down (Remember that he was not a member of the club) Clodualdo Del Mundo (then the big man at Ramon Roces Publications) and company, wouldn’t even deign to look at it. The same fate befell the strip at Bulaklak Publications. While being turned down the second time at Bulaklak, Ravelo spotted the owner, Aling Bating (Beatriz Guballa). That venerable woman was having lice picked from her hair by a minion. Ravelo went to where she was and, voice quivering in sheer desperation, pleaded: “Please take a look at this,” while thrusting the strip at the woman.
“I”, said the woman imperiously, “have editors to do that. Show it to them.”
“I already have,” replied the flustered Ravelo,. “But they turned it down.”
“Why?” asked the woman, as she crushed a kuto.
“I do not know. They have not even read it. Please spare a minute of your time and read it. Please…”
Perhaps it was Ravelo’s bold approach. Or it could have been his whining plea. But at length the doubting woman reached for the strip.
The rest is history.
After reading a few panels of the strip the woman was by turns giggling, then chortling and later nearly rolling on the floor, choking with laughter. The strip, on command of Aling Bating was included in the first issue of Bulaklak Magazine.
It was an instant hit.
In 1947, the strip, Rita, which told of the antics of a smart-assed brat, struck a familiar chord in the Filipino reader for the situations portrayed in it were typically Filipino, with Filipino actions and reactions. Ravelo’s first strip, it was also his first bull’s eye against the then prevailing trend in comics writing, a derivative kind of writing that was patterned after American and other alien models.
At that time the leading vernacular magazine was Liwayway. Pretty soon it wasn’t leading anymore either in circulation or popularity. An apprehensive Don Ramon Roces ordered a survey and the awful truth was revealed: The reason for Bulaklak’s ascendancy, and Liwayway’s consequent loss of readership, was Ravelo’s Rita.
Source: Ravelo Iconoclast by Ros H. Matienzo
The Philippine Comics Review 1980
See Mars Ravelo's Darna
See Mars Ravelo's Captain Barbell
See Mars Ravelo's Lastikman
1. I Believe (1961)- Stars Zaldy Zshornack, Mina Aragon, Lauro Delgado, Carol Varga, Oscar Keesee, Teroy de Guzman/ Directed by Cesar Gallardo
2. Little Lucy (1961)- Stars Zaldy Zshornack, Aura Aurea, Lily Marquez, Naty Bernardo And Ludy San Juan in the title role/ Directed by Cesar Gallardo
3. Trudis Liit (1963)- Stars Lolita Rodriguez, Luis Gonzales, Bella Flores, Charlie Davao and Introducing Coonie Angeles and Vilma Santos in the title role/ Directed by Jose de Villa
4. Ging (1964)- Stars Jose Padilla, Jr. Olivia Cenizal, Carol Varga, Ramon D' Salva, Aruray and Vilma Santos in the title role/ Directed by Cirio H. Santiago and T.C. Santos
5. Isputnik vs. Darna (1963)- Stars Nida Blanaca, Liza Moreno, Tony Ferrer, Arnold Mendoza,Mila Montanez, Vicente Liwanag, Dencio Padilla, Danilo Jurado, Jay Ilagan/ Directed by Natoy Catindig
6. Si Darna at ang Impakta (1963)- Stars Jose Padilla, Jr., Carlos Salazar, Daisy Romualdez and Liza Moreno as Darna/ Introducing Gina Alonzo/ Directed by Danilo Santiago
7. Captain Barbell (1964)- Stars Dolphy, Bob Soler, Martin Marfil, Bert Olivar, Victor Bravo, Vic VarrionRebecca, Jay Ilagan/ Directed by Herminio 'Butch' Baustista
8. Captain Barbell Kontra Captain Bakal (1964)- Stars Wilie Sotelo, Nancy Roman and Carlos Padilla, Jr./ Directed by Ruben Rustia
9. Anak ni Dyesebel (1964)- Stars Jaime de la Rosa, Edna Luna, Carol Varga, Aruray, Eddie Fernandez, Jose Cris Soto and Eva Montes in the title role/ Directed by Gerardo de Leon
10. Lastikman (1965)- Stars Von Serna, Lyn D'Amour, Bella Flores, Matimtiman Cruz, Nancy Weber/ Directed by Richard Abelardo
11. Darna at ang Babaing Tuod (1965)- Stars Eva Montes, Gina Alonzo, Anita Linda, Ruben Rustia, Nancy Roman, Tito Galla, Georgie Quizon, Aruray/ Directed by Cirio Santiago
12. Ang Iniluluha Ko'y Dugo (1966)- Stars Lolita Rodriguez, Eddie Rodriguez, Van De Leon, Lou Salvador, Jr., Lito Anzures, Zeny Zabala and Eva Montes/ Directed by Teodorico C. Santos
13. Maruja (1967)- Stars Susan Roces, Romeo Vasquez, Luis Gonzales, Eddie Garcia, Nello nayo, Mary Walter and Perla Bautista/ Directed by Armando de Guzman
14. Kwatang (1967)- Stars Divina Valencia, Roger Calvin, Caridad Sanchez, Ray Marcos and Alicia Alonzo/ Directed by Tony Cayado
15. Galo Gimbal (1968)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Barbara Perez, Johnny Monteiro, Ruben Rustia/ Directed by Augusto Buenaventura
16. Bittersweet (1969)- Stars Rosemarie, Ricky Belmonte, Verna Gaston, Boy Alano, Matimtiman Cruz, Nenita Jana and Jose de Villa/ Directed by Tony Cayado
17. Jinkee (1969)- Stars Rosemarie, Ricky Belmonte, Bella Flores, Norma Blancaflor, Matimyiman Cruz/ Directed by Mar s. Torres
18. Rowena (1969)- Stars Amalia Fuentes, Romeo Vasquez, Dante Rivero, Boots Anson-Roa, Jose Padilla, Jr., Mary Walter, Vivian Lorrain, Eddie Mercado and Perla Bautista/ Directed by Armando de Guzman
19. Facifica Falayfay (1969)- Stars Dolphy, Pilar Pilapil, Panchito, Rod Navarro, Martin Marfil, Dely Atay Atayan, Teroy de Guzman/ Directed by Luciano B. Carlos
20. Si Darna at ang Planetman (1969)- Stars Vic Vargas, Gina Pareno, Boots Anson-Roa, Cesar Ramirez, Gina Alajar, Boy Alajar and Bella Flores/ Directed by Marcelino Navarro