Artist Tarantadong Kalbo thanks fellow Filipinos who joined ‘Tumindig’ online movement that expresses dissent

July 22, 2021 - 6:54 PM
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Side-by-side illustrations of Kevin Eric Raymundo or Tarantadong Kalbo (Facebook/Tarantadong Kalbo)

The Filipino artist who unexpectedly started an online protest through his illustration thanked those who joined in solidarity.

Kevin Eric Raymundo or Tarantadong Kalbo posted an illustration of himself and his “tumindig” avatar on Thursday, July 22.

He also wrote: “Hindi ko inasahan ito. Napakaraming sumali. Napakalakas ng sigaw. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng #tumindig (raised fist and smile emojis).”

It started with an illustration he shared on July 17. #Tumindig

He captioned it with “Tumindig” and a raised fist emoji, encouraging the public to take courage to dissent.

The poster showed rows of anthropomorphic fists bowing down in obedience or submission to someone. One white-colored fist, however, stood up in the middle of the crowd as a form of resistance.

The bowed-down fists referenced the common gesture of a fist bump that President Rodrigo Duterte and his supporters normally do in group photos.

It has since become an indicator if a personality or an official is pro-administration or not.

Raymundo’s illustration immediately sent waves of impromptu collaborations with other local artists, activists, progressive groups, journalists and other Filipinos who created their own fist-shaped avatars.

He later shared an updated version of this on July 21. This time, the rows of bowed down fists in monochrome color became a colorful, diverse crowd of raised fist avatars.

“Artista ng Bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban! #Tumindig,” Raymundo wrote with different-colored emojis of raised fists.

An ongoing movement

Filipino artists who immediately created their versions of the “tumindig” character included Cartoonist Zach, Mervin Malonzo and Julienne Dadivas of Hulyen Comics, thus inciting the online movement that sent some goosebumps online.

Even popular entertainment page FTTM, which normally only posts funny memes and videos, also jumped in and showed their similar stance.

Some of the progressive groups, meanwhile, that joined include Gabriela Women’s Party list and College Editors Guild of the Philippines. Environmental groups Greenpeace Philippines and Youth Advocates for Climate Action in the Philippines also shared their own colorful avatars.

Concerned Filipinos such as Ana Patricia Non who initiated the community pantry initiative later caught up and shared their own raised-fist posters.

One fan of Korean group BTS also shared raised fist versions of the septet through their BT21 characters. BT21 is the band’s merchandise in collaboration with Korea-based company Line Friends.

A Filipino priest who is also a popular TikTok content creator likewise joined the call.

Response from the other side

A Filipino artist named Steven Pabalinas shared illustrations that seemed to respond to the “tumindig” artworks circulating on social media.

Pabalinas initially shared a poster of rows of one-eyed creatures looking straight ahead except for one creature with a blindfold.

He captioned it with: “Ang 3% na bulag.”

Critics observed it has the same concept as Raymundo’s first artwork.

“Wala talagang originality and mga DDS,” a Twitter user said, referring to Duterte Diehard supporters.

How it started

In an interview with Spot.ph, Raymundo shared that he did not expect his work to take off the way it did.

“Nangyari na lang siya biglaan.’Yon kasing artwork is a finished piece in itself. Nagkusa lang talaga silang lahat,” he said.

The illustrator then admitted he felt sad because it means more people have become pessimistic and discontented with the country’s situation.

“Nakakaiyak. E kasi diba ang bigat ng mga nangyayari recently, ang bleak ng outlook ng mga tao. It’s like everyone is holding their breath sa kung ano ‘yong susunod na ‘bad news’ or headline,” Raymundo said.

“Nakaka-suffocate na. Kumbaga ‘yong artwork is like a shout sa void. Kahit ako lang mag-isa, basta lalaban ako. So nung madaming sumali, ayun na. It’s overwhelming. Literal na tumindig balahibo ko,” he added.