Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang

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Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang (Tagalog, literally "The Stories of Grandmother 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 as books, in comics, television, film, and published.


In 1925, Reyes wrote a series of short stories under the series title Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang for Liwayway, the Tagalog-language magazine.[1] Reyes, also known as "Don Binoy", adopted the persona of Lola Basyang, an elderly woman fond of telling stories to her grandchildren[2], a character similar in form and function to Mother Goose.

Tagalog Klasiks[edit]

In 1949, Reyes' son Pedrito Reyes, decided to revive the Lola Basyang stories in comic book form, locally known as komiks. It was a golden age for Philippine komiks, [3] and Pedrito used his father's original scripts to produce the comics that appeared in the earliest issues of Tagalog Klasiks. The illustrations were done by Maning De Leon, Jesus Ramos, and later on Ruben Yandoc.[4]

Movie adaptations[edit]

Sampaguita Pictures[edit]

From 1946 to 1972, the golden ages of komiks and movies in the Philippines coincided. Since komiks were a popular form of entertainment in the Philippines, movie producers created some of the greatest box-office blockbusters from them. Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang was produced by Sampaguita Pictures in 1958 as a double feature of two Lola Basyang stories:

Dolphy starred in Si Pedrong Walang Takot ("Fearless Peter"). The cowardly Pedro gains courage by means of an enchanted bell that he used to scare away a kapre (a hairy giant from Philippine Mythology).

The second was Ang Prinsesang Naging Pulubi ("The Princess Who Became a Pauper"). A Princess from a faraway land (portrayed by Gloria Romero) rejected all of her high-profile suitors, believing that material riches cannot provide genuine happiness. Her constantly spurning her suitors provoked the ire of her father, the King, who decreed that she be given in marriage to the first beggar who enters the royal garden. In that fortunate Beggar (played by Juancho Gutierrez), the Princess found true love.

Regal Films[edit]

In 1985, Regal Films produced Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang.[5] The trilogy's lovable Lola Basyang was portrayed by Chichay, with whom the role is still associated. Directed by Maryo J. delos Reyes, the three stories featured the most popular love teams of the era: Gabby Concepcion and Snooky Serna; William Martinez and Maricel Soriano; and Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III.

The first story is Nahíhimbing na Kagandahan ("Sleeping Beauty"), starring Gabby Concepción and Snooky Serna, with appearances by Lani Mercado, Nova Villa and Gretchen Barretto.

The second story, Zombie, had a horror-comedy slant, and starred Maricel Soriano and William Martinez, along with Manilyn Reynes. The three get lost while on a camping trip, and enter an eerie house manned by the creepy and funny Palito. While eating a stew filled with human entrails, they accept his offer to sleep at the decrepit house, and manage to stay alive.

The third episode is a semi-musical titled Kerubín ("Cherubim"). A group of child labourers work for three, mean old ladies led by Bella Flores. Kerubín (played by Chuckie Dreyfuss), an angel sent from heaven, frees the children from the clutches of the evil crones. Nora Aunor stars as the virtuous niece of the mean old hags, while Tirso Cruz III, Lou Veloso, Sheryl Cruz and Tina Paner also appear.

Unitel Pictures, 2012[edit]

In 2012, it recently made their remake movie which as a part of MMFF 2012.


Tahanan Books[edit]

In 1997, Tahanan Books published a collection of twelve Lola Basyang tales. Poet and literary critic Bienvenido Lumbera sifted through hundreds of manuscripts to select the best of Reyes' tales, while author and publisher Gilda Cordero-Fernando gave an original English translation. The series was illustrated by renowned children's book illustrator Albert Gamos, who produced over 30 drawings. The books won the Gintong Aklat ("Golden Book") for Children's Literature and the National Book Award for Best Anthology.

Anvil Publishing picture books[edit]

In 2006, Anvil Publishing, Inc. relaunched Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang as a series of picture books based on Reyes' material, retold by Christine Bellen. All books were illustrated by Frances C. Alcaráz, Albert Gamos, Elbert Or, Liza A. Flores and Ruben de Jesús.

The eleven picture books are:

  • Ang Alamat ng Lamok (The Legend of the Mosquito; originally titled Ang Parusa ng Higante, The Giant's Curse)
  • Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin (The Magical Violin)
  • Ang Sultan Saif (Saif the Sultan)
  • Parusa ng Duwende (The Dwarf's Curse)
  • Plautin ni Periking (Periking's Flute)
  • Rosa Mistica (Mystical Rose)
  • Ang Binibining Tumalo sa Hari (The Maiden Who Defeated a King)
  • Ang Prinsipe ng mga Ibon (The Prince of the Birds)
  • Ang Prinsipeng Duwag (The Cowardly Prince)
  • Si Pandakotyong (Pandakotyong)
  • Ang Prinsipeng Mahaba ang Ilong (The Prince with the Long Nose)

Television adaptation[edit]

GMA Network bought the rights for a TV serialization of Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang. It aired every Sunday night. The show is directed by Argel Joseph and Don Michael Perez.


  • Severino Reyes was 75 years old when he wrote the first Lola Basyang story, "Ang Plautin ni Periking", which was about a kindhearted boy who had a magical flute and flying carpet.
  • Manilyn Reynes, who plays Lola Basyang's granddaughter, Herbie, in the GMA television series, appeared in the second episode of the 1985 film. Her character's full name, Gervacia Zamora Reyes, is in homage to the real-life Gervacia Guzmán de Zamora or Tandang Basyang, who inspired Severino Reyes to create the "Lola Basyang" persona.
  • Unitel and Studio5 submitted Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang as their entry to 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival. Although it passed the screening, the producers pulled out. The entry should have been a twin bill of Mariang Alimango and Pedrong Walang Takot starring Alex Gonzaga and Edgar Allan Guzman, respectively.

External links[edit]