They were named lewenri by the people of Romblon.
For those who have claimed to have met or seen a lewenri, they were described as tall, handsome men with fair skin. These creatures make frightful, shrill-like sounds, but also play sad or joyful music. They’ve also been known to help the humble and punish the proud. This was the description given by Maximo D. Ramos in his book “The Creatures of Midnight”.
In 2008, Mark Torres invited me to collaborate with him on a comic book anthology based on Ramos’ book. Editor Miggy Escano asked the contributors to pick one of the creatures from the book and speculate where would these characters be now found in modern society; where can we find them in this busy, bustling city.
At first, I was at a lost on what to do with the lewenri. I just kept re-reading its description: tall, handsome, fair skinned, and can sing. And it just suddenly occurred to me that if one had all these qualities, then the next best thing to do would be to form a rock band and enter Philippine showbiz. (Well, that’s what I’d do!)
And so, next time you tune into one of the music channels on TV, be careful who you send your request to. They might just come true.
SONGS OF THE LEWENRI
Story by Budjette Tan
Art by Mark Torres