Philippine-Korea Creative Industry Cooperation Forum

19 02 2020


     We were invited by The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry – Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) to attend a Business Matching Mission together with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center –Seoul, Korea and ASEAN-Korea Center (AKC). The forum entitled: Philippine-Korea Creative Industry Cooperation Forum, was held last February 6, 2020, from 9AM to 5PM at the Ballroom 1 Fairmont Hotel, Makati. Before the event, we were given a list of companies that will be participating and the B2B schedule sheet where we can schedule a meeting with them for 30 minutes. Since the B2B will start at 1:30 PM until 5:00 PM, we can only schedule 7 meetings from a total of 16 companies. (Originally there were 18 companies, but 2 begged off due to the corona-virus scare.)

The companies were from 3 industries, Animation, Game Development, and Web-toons.

We were able to set meetings with 5 animation companies, 1 game development company, and 1 web-toon company.

I brought along Jap Tolentino, our Game Designer, and Baron Dimaranan, IT expert, just in case technical questions are asked.

Jap, Baron, and Alstaire

     During the event, Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman, DTI Philippines gave the welcome remarks. Plus there were some congratulatory remarks from the different ambassadors of both the Philippines and Korea. Then there was an official Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing between the Korea Animation Producers Association (KAPA) headed by Mr. Jn-kyu Nam, President and the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI) headed by Mr. Juan Miguel Del Rosario, President.

Alstaire with Mr. Juan Miguel del Rosario, President of ACPI, Mr. Rene de Guzman, Toon City and Mr. Rene Misa, Executive Director of ACPI.

     MOA SigningAfter this there were 3 presentations, first entitled The Philippine Creative Economy by Mr. Senen M. Perlada, Director of DTI-EMB, he showed some infographics of the Philippine Creative Industry. The 2nd presentation was by Mr. Juan Miguel Del Rosario, President of ACPI about the Business Opportunities in the Philippine Industry, more infographics and videos about the different studios here.

Alvin Juban GDAP Presentation

     Presentation 3 was from Mr. Alvin Juban, President of the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP), instead of showing more infographics, he told everyone on how Ubisoft, a AAA Game Company from France, put up an office here in the Philippines. It was the liveliest of the presentations. The last presentation was from Mr. Miguel Matthew “Magoo” del Mundo, OIC and Acting President of SIKAP – Creative Content Creators Association of the Philippines, who talked about Doing Business in the Creative Content Industry.

Baron and Alstaire with Migs del Mundo, former Top Peg artist, and Magoo del Mundo’s brother.

     The closing remarks were from Undersecretary Rowel S. Barba of the Department of Trade and Industry Philippines.

Alstaire with Lawrence Panganiban

     A Networking Luncheon soon followed, I was able to talk to a guy named Lawrence Panganiban, who was representing the Cebu Chamber of Commerce. He was surprised that there was a creative industry in the Philippines, and he was so enthusiastic to be invited.

     Next was the highlight of the event, the One on One Business Meetings. The Korean Companies were arranged in the function room with a table and provided an interpreter. We were able to add to our meetings because of some of our scheduled meetings were short, so we had time to talk to other companies that we did not schedule for.

Below are the companies we met with and the summary of each meeting.

For Animation:

Company Name: DPS

Representative: Jin-Kyu Nam

Position: President


Current Project:   Hold on tight! –

About Company: They needed help on an animation series, which look very much like Japanese Anime,  they had 8 Episodes at 22 minutes each that were outsourced to China. I think they had to pull it out from China because of some misunderstandings. Their target deadline though was for the end of 2020. Out of all the meetings we had, he was the only one who was interested in visiting our studio. Which the representative of DTI said, was a positive note, it meant he was interested in us.

Company Name: Tak Toon Enterprises

Representative: Han Tae Sik

Position: Producer


Current Project:   The Curious World of Linda 36 episodes x 7 mins each – , The Forks with Spiky Hands –

About Company: They have both 2D and 3D animation projects that need outsourcing. The different art styles, some were like cut out characters and some were full 3D, but their target audience were younger kids.

Jap, Alstaire and Mr. Nick Jo of Pictionary Art Factory

Company Name: Pictionary Art Factory

Representative: Nick Jo

Position: Director / CFO


Current Project: Aerover –

About Company: They needed help on Episodes of Aerover, a 2D action animation with 3D drone animation. They were willing to outsource from pre-production to post-production.

Company Name: RedRover Co., Ltd.

Representative: Won Chuil Hwang

Position: Head of Animation Business / Producer


Current Project:

About Company: They are developing a Nut Job 2D animation TV Series based on the 3D Animated movie that came out in 2014. They said the movie was a hit, with a budget of 43 million USD, they made 120 million USD in the box office, but the sequel though was a flop though, maybe due to marketing. I told them that I was able to see the first movie, but I did not know there was a sequel. They wanted to do something with their IP so they are planning to make a 2D animated series like Tangled and Big Hero Six, which also started as 3D Animated movies.

Company Name: ANYZAC

Representative: Byungjun Lee

Position: CEO


About Company: More of a 3D Animation studio, but has some 2D projects for outsourcing. Interested to outsource pre-production and 2D animation.

For Game Development:

Company Name: CSI Studio Co., Ltd.

Representative: Jack SHin (Jong-Soo)

Position: President


About the Company: A Game and Software company, has a personal project that he wants to outsource. He has an IP for a game that was created back in 2003. He said it was a good concept about the Animal Kingdom, but the game mechanics were poor. He wanted it to be updated and be relevant again. Baron was interested in giving him a proposal for the redesign.

For Web-Toons:

Company Name: D&C Media

Representative: Sunjoo Oh

Position: Rights Division / Division Manager


About the Company: Produces webcomics. Looking for collaboration but don’t know what kind.

Baron was able to talk to them last year in the Asia-Eu Cartoon Connection 2019. Baron proposed to do a Portal here in the Philippines but he never heard back. Ms. Sunjoo Oh was surprised to hear of this, so she had Baron to send the proposal again, although she said that it wasn’t a top priority for their company.

Baron with Mr. Blue Company

     Baron was also able to talk to Mr. Blue, a webtoon company. But he could not understand what they needed.  They needed companies with cooperation experience with Korean companies. We believe they were looking for co-producers on some projects.

In my opinion, this was a great opportunity to showcase what our industry had to offer, unlike before when we had B2B meetings in Japan and Korea, this time we had an opportunity to invite them to our studios. Although, I can sense that most of the companies that attended, did not have a clue about what and how they will do business with us. Like what Mr. Alvin Juban said about Ubisoft, they don’t need us. They have people, backing by their government and many modern facilities and equipment. They were curious though on what we had to offer, they were also impressed by the products we showed, particularly our work on The Crop Circle Warriors game. But like Ubisoft, they saw a potential for collaboration, maybe if they need more manpower since they outsource to China. I also felt Korean animation looks close to Anime but was more targeted to the Western market, so I think we would be able to business with them in the future.

Text and Photos by: AlstaireA. Sarthou


E-Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS)

4 11 2016



      Last October 28-30, 2016 the E-Sports and Gaming Summit (ECGS) was held at the SMX Convention Center in Manila. I was able to attend the event on October 29 from around 10:30 am to 11:45 am to take a look at the Top Peg Animation booth with our our mobile game poster, display and sample play game. The booth was shared by Top Peg Anime School, Top Peg Animation Studio and Miracle Animation Studios Inc.

      I arrived around 15 minutes before the 10 am opening and was guided to purchase my entrance ticket before I was instructed to fall in line to wait for the opening. There was already long line of around 150 meters back from the entrance, so it took me about 30 minutes to enter the hall; despite all of us having the entrance tickets in our hands already. This was the first time for me to attend such an event and I felt a bit awkward as I was a lot older than most of the attendees.

     The place was not yet full, especially in the Game Developers Association of Philippines (GDAP) section where there were some schools and independent game/ animation studios showing their latest mobile or desktop games. After a few minutes of talking with Alstaire and Anthro (game artist/designer) and looking at the work-in-progress of our mobile game –  see Crop Circle Warriors Facebook; I walked around the hall again and took some more photos before I left the place.




  Below is the essay of Alstaire:

     The GDAP Gamefest 2016 is now a part of the E-Sports and Games Summit 2016. The GDAP Gamefest is the equivalent of the Animahenasyon for the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI). This event showcased the member studios, their services and games, these include school affiliates and independent developers. They also held a GameOn competition where different games from both students and studios competed. The ESGS meanwhile is the biggest game convention in the country, it holds competition of the most popular games today, like NBA 2K17, Call of Duty, DOTA and a lot more. Game developers, foreign and local, big companies and independents, showcased their games, whether released or still in demo version.  The entrance to the event was cheap compared to the Toy and Comic Conventions this year. Friday was only at P140, and both Saturdays and Sundays were priced at P165. There was also a seminar/talk by different developers but this was priced separately at P500 per day. There were great speakers and good topics that I was excited to register for.

     Because our studio does game art, we were invited last 2014, to be part of GDAP.  This year also marks the first time Top Peg Animation Studio has joined the Gamefest, both as an exhibitor and also as part of the GameOn competition. Microsoft and RedFox were sponsors of the GameOn and computers and tablets were lent to the contestants. We were given a RedFOx Wizbook, a notebook computer that converts to a tablet to showcase our game.

     During the ingress last Oct 27, we setup our booth and we saw the large stage, LED screens and booths, equipment, and I can say this event was our country’s version of the Tokyo Game Show (TGS). Although only 1/3 of the TGS size, the big show had some big sponsors, PLDT and MSI and some big name game developers like Sony and Ubisoft; some great foreign greats like Koji Igarashi (Assistant Director for the famous console game – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night), and David Reichelt (the creator of Color Switch, a very successful mobile game that garnered 900 million downloads) as speakers and exhibitors. Local game developers that are part of the some of the biggest games in the market; as well as independent developers had awesome games too.

     Sad to say I missed the first day, because we had a TESDA Assessor’s Conference that lasted from 8am to 2pm. I sent our Art Director – Anthro and our visual coder – Jap to be our point people for the GameOn, and Jose to be our guy at our booth. Together with some co-workers, we were able to arrive at the ESGS by 4pm, and I was glad that we got a lot of feedback for our game that day. I was also greeted with a problem, our game didn’t work on the Wizbook that was lent to us; we really didn’t know why but we didn’t have time to fix. So Anthro just installed it on his 5-inch Smart phone. Anthro was a bit worried that we were at the shorthand as the other contestants were PC games, and others brought big tablets to show their games.  We saw some developers that had their tablets connected to a TV, and we thought we could do that too. So Anthro and I went to the Cyberzone area of Mall of Aisa to search for a cable to connect his Smart phone to a TV or laptop. To our disappointment, we didn’t find any, we tried to ask other exhibitors on what they were using and where did they get it, but they said it was from their company. So I had to research in the Internet and we just used an app to connect the phone to a laptop. The video was not very clear though but it was useful in attracting more people to try our game.



      There were lots of people and it was really grand and very loud. I was thinking where the talks would be held since it was so noisy.  Our boys reported that Senator Bam Aquino visited, as well as some media. I was able to go around a little but I was really excited for our game that I kinda held off on going around. I got to see the games that we were up against, and I was thrilled that we were part of this event. The Gamefest was really only up to 5pm, but a number of people were still there,  so we stayed until about 7 pm. Both Anthro and Jap were already very sleepy because they had to adjust some game mechanics the night before.

     Saturday (October 29), was my first full day at ESGS. I brought my daughter along, who was also a newbie gamer. I stayed almost the whole time at our GameOn booth because I was still excited that we had a game to show. I was able to speak with some gamers who play tested, and some might have been judges for the GameOn competition. We were told that the judges would not reveal themselves but act as regular gamers. I would let Anthro and Jap take over when the questions went to the mechanics of the game. I remembered the talk that I wanted to attend, but while navigating through the crowds, I didn’t find any place for the seminar. There was also no posters or info that were posted. After awhile I forgot about it because I had to man our booth. A girl had a sign and she was walking around the exhibitors at the GDAP area, it read “GDAP Gamefest meeting Free, halls 7,8,9”. I asked what was it, and she said there was a GDAP meeting at the 2nd floor. I forgot about it, and then, while I was checking Facebook I saw that the talks were Free. Maybe because only a few people knew about it or there wasn’t enough marketing to promote the talk. I was really disappointed that I wasn’t able to attend, even so now that it became free from an initial P500 fee! I got to see Koji Igarashi, but there were a lot of people who were having selfies taken with him. I learned that he developed a game using crowd sourcing, Kickstarter. He posted his plans, artwork and a video of a sample of the gameplay. His goal was to get a pledge of $500.000 to finish his game and he got more than 5 million dollars. It was one of the most successful projects in Kickstarter. He agreed to come to ESGS, have his own booth plus do a talk about his success. There were also a lot more cosplayers than the first day. And I saw a lot of competitions on the different games, long lines though on the most popular ones. I also got to see 2 developers that we consulted for our game – Ms. Gwendolyn Foster and Mr. Carl Martin Jimenez. I also saw Dr. Bea Lapa, a game developer and also one of the voice talents of the original Jobert TV series. I got to talk some of our interns before, who were now part of some indie group. Everyone was busy though with their own game marketing that we weren’t able to showcase our games with each other. I had to go home by 7 pm again, since I had my family with me. We were invited by PLDT to an After Event party, but it would be held at 9pm; so I told our guys to attend. Only one of them attended because we were all tired already; Jap said that there was a buffet and drinks until 1 am.

     During the last day (October 30), since we needed to go to church in the morning and I had to do some other stuff at home, I was able to arrive at the event at 3pm. I learned we got 40 play testers and we even got some good feedback from a programmer from the College of St. Benilde, who was also one of the panelists for our students’ thesis. The place was still crowded, also some games that held competitions during the past 2 days, held the finals at this day. The finalists played at the stage and their game was shown on the large LED screen to the enjoyment of the crowd. As a fan of the basketball video game, NBA 2K17, I watched the finals a bit and I enjoyed the commentary of the hosts. After that I was able to look around more and surveyed the different booths. I noticed some booths had gimmicks to have more people play their games. They placed bean bags, consoles, tablets, computer and other stuff, people would hangout and play for a number of hours. This gamefest gave me some ideas, so if we would be invited again to an event such as this I can use some of those ideas. I also learned that we really needed to market our game for the people choice award, some contestants had calling cards with the link of the voting site, as well as their Facebook page. In fact during the 2nd day, I printed some cards to giveaway using this idea. It was really a great experience, the event taught us more about the industry, the people who follows all these games, we were even able to see on how they think and play, and it the event felt like it was preparing us, to make our game more competitive and also on how to market it. The organizers said that this was the biggest and most successful event of the year, in fact they reserved 4 HALLS in SMX for next years’ ESGS 2017. I am already looking forward joining next year’s event.


























Main Article by Alstaire A. Sarthou

Photos by Edward L. Tan

United Crop Circle Warriors (UCCW) Issue #1 E-Comic

25 01 2016

     UCCW cover page 1

   United Crop Circle Warriors: The Front Line #1

eISBN#  978-971-94765-1-1

     The United Crop Circle Warriors© (UCCW) – The Front Line  Volume 1 Issue # 1 as of March 9, 2016 is available at Flipreads, Amazon, iTunes and Kobo. Barnes & Noble to follow. The said comic has 44 pages with about 4 pages with 2 pages combined to accommodate the drawings – if counted per page it will total 48 pages. The UCCW is an extension of the Jobert and the Crop Circle Warriors® property. The UCCW will have 3 issues;  issue 2 may come out in August and issue 3 later in the year, both issues will only have 36 pages each. 

Intro United isbn

UCCW Issue #1 Introduction

      At the early part of January 2016, Alstaire suggested to Paolo (writer) to make a summary of the UCCW issue #2. After a few days, Paolo emailed the summary but he wrote United Crop Circle Warriors© instead of the Ultimate Crop Circle Warriors in the summary. After two days, I decided to change the title to United Crop Circle Warriors© since it fits the concept and storyline better than the original title.

     Since UCCW issue #1 was undergoing some conversion for the various e-book platforms in early January, we were able to make the changes to the name inside the e-comic before the final conversion and release to the market.

    The comic took a long time to make as the artist is the penciller and inker at the same time. Sometime during the middle of last year I asked him about hiring an inker, but he said the style would be different from the ones he made earlier, so I had no choice but to wait until he finished every page.  The artist had to conceptualize the other main characters, minor characters, backgrounds and ships. Aside from his other job contracts, he had some personal or family problems that he has to attend to as well during the creation of the comic. But overall, he did a very good job with the drawings. Below are some of the study drawings for the comic. 

Draft of Cover

Draft of Cover

UCCW cover page







Faizah New


Faizah Design

Faizah Transformed as a UCCW by Alstaire

crystal lady






Naja Design

Naja – Alstaire’s Suggestion



large head alien

Minor Character

six arm alien

Minor Characters

Untitled-1 copy

Two Choices for a Character


Page Draft