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Metro Manila Fan/Zine History (part 1)

A brief overview
From 1987 to 2004, it is estimated that over 140 fan/zines were published in Metro Manila. Although considered as the country’s capital region, fan/zines are also published in other parts of the Philippines such as Laguna, Cavite, Cebu, Davao, Bulacan, Tarlac, Bicol, Quexon etc. Due to the underground and ephemeral nature of fan/zines, documenting these publications is beset with difficulties. Majority of fan/zines last after their third or fourth issue. Some of them tend to change their names. Others have become inactive right after the release of their maiden print-run. However, there are a few fan/zines which have managed to survive and remain active even after several years. 

Factors affecting Philippine fan/zine production
There are two integral aspects that determine fan/zine production in the Philippines. These are the continuous increased of production costs and human constraints. In a country overflowing with talent, it is a bitter reality that scarce financial resources hurt zinesters the most. Majority of the expenses are solely shouldered by zine editors. Secondly, human factors such as time constraints, for example, prevent zine publishers from releasing copies regularly. Nevertheless, this is less likely to affect fan/zine production as compared to the former. 



Of becoming communal
Through the years, the Philippine fan/zine scene has progressed in terms of their form and content. The advent of technology paved way for desktop-published fan/zines. Likewise, the availability of blogging platforms enabled zine writers to pursue web publishing. Yet, it can be observed that many zinesters continue to employ the traditional cut and paste method of fan/zine production. This is of course, heavily influenced by the well-revered Do-It-Yourself ethic. In terms of dominant thematic content, other fan/zine genres or categories have emerged. Personal, literary, feminist, art, political, extreme sports and gender-bsaed fan/zines came into existence. Although it cannot be denied that music fan/zines still dominate the country’s fan/zine arena. Despite of theme differences, Filipino fan/zines operate under a common principle: SCENE SUPPORT, SCENE PROMOTION and SCENE PRESERVATION.



Regardless of its small readership and limited distribution outlets, Filipino fan/zines never failed to perform their function as an effective communication channel and information provider to its readers. Despite of being underground, these small-scale print media have created fora for discussion via creating a network or community of readers that possesses similar tastes, interests and preferences. It never ceased to address the needs of specific groups which are nonetheless ignored by the Philippine mainstream press. On certain occasions, zinesters tend to perform collaborative work, thus, forming a dynamic and vibrant marketplace of ideas that has developed a culture of its own. From this aspect, Filipino fan/zines were able to transcend from their individualistic nature and thus become communal.

Alternative press or underground press?
While Filipino fan/zines provide information that is not usually discussed in broadsheets and magazines, they cannot be considered as part of the alternative press. Instead, Pinoy fan/zines are new forms of the country’s underground press. The alternative seeks co-existence. The underground prefers dissent. The alternative is refined. The underground is raw. 

Fan/zines as new forms of the underground press
The emergence of underground publications such as Kalayaan in 1896 and Ang Bayan in 1969 readily reflects the historical changes and political experiences of the country. Through the years, Philippine fan/zines has never failed to emulate Kalayaan and Ang Bayan’s  passion and desire to challenge the governing system. However, this does not mean that the two are the forerunners of these publications. It is because, Punk’s arrival in the 80s did not only introduce music, but also the western underground press. The individualistic characteristics of the western underground press were adapted by Pinoy fan/zines and combined with the ideological thresholds of the Philippine underground press. The fusion of its western influence and the Filipino experience enabled these publications to SHOWCASE THEIR UNIQUE TRAITS THAT DIFFERENTIATE THEM FROM OTHER TYPES OF PHILIPPINE UNDERGROUND PUBLICATIONS.

As new forms of the Philippine underground press, Filipino fan/zines continue to resist the lures of commercialism and corporeal interests. As new forms of the Philippine underground press, Filipino fan/zines enjoy authentic and genuine freedom that even the most notable broadsheets and magazines cannot afford. 

Indeed, FILIPINO FAN/ZINES ARE THE EPITOMES OF A FREE PRESS IN THE TRUEST SENSE OF THE WORD.

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This site's main purpose is to somehow educate you about the Philippine fan/zine scene. I DO NOT DISTRIBUTE these fan/zines. If you want to have your own copy, the DIRECTORY is here and the LINKS are already provided so you can contact the zine editors directly. BAWAL ANG TAMAD. If you are too lazy to contact these zinesters, then you are giving me the impression that you are also too lazy to read. Enough of spoonfeeding. I don't have time for sluggish protozoans.

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