Words by Kathlene Masilongan
Featured Image by Jem Bernaldez
It all started when an artist, Jem Bernaldez, posted an album containing rejected pitches for a Darna comic that would have been released alongside the movie. They were beautiful illustrations of a Darna we’ve never seen before—someone who is morena, has big curly hair, and donning a costume that fit a more modern audience and doesn’t pander to the male gaze.
People of the internet clamored around Bernaldez’ Darna, saying that it was a waste if creators of the commercial release didn’t use it.
Just a couple of Jem Bernadlez’ conceptual redesigns for Darna.
Soon, people started sharing their own fan art. It was eventually given a hashtag by Rob Cham and friends, and thus, #SigawDarna was born.
so @rianbowart and @cyanroll were suggesting a fanzine but we also figure hey we could just have it be online and just post art of their own takes on Darna
Jem kinda came up with the hashtag #SigawDarna for this and it works honestly
— ¿ɯɐɥɔ qoɹ (@robcham) March 28, 2019
“she should be white, there must be difference between Narda and darna etc”
Yes we know that, but that’s not what we want to pitch
“Then make different superhero then, don’t change what’s already established”
We were actually hired to do that , that’s why the pitch
— Commissions Open! // 1 Slots remaining (@yosilog) March 28, 2019
But Darna represents Filipino women. And not every Filipino has conventional Eurocentric beauty that we Pinoys glorify and look for in our “bidas”. Darna, despite her canon origins that have been retconned a couple of times, is still a Filipino superhero created by Filipinos for Filipinos, and if there’s anything we can all agree on, it’s that Filipinos are diverse.
So, without further ado, here are some #SigawDarna entries. The hashtag is new and people are still working on their art, so make sure to check it every now and then. You can contribute, as well, if you’d like! You can even create your own Darnasona, if you want to.
Ito na si ate gurl#SigawDarna #Darna pic.twitter.com/sji7VydclQ
— Jules (@rombutans) March 28, 2019
idc what other pinoys think, this design SLAYS ???
Fanart of @yosilog ‘s #Darna (re)design ?#artph pic.twitter.com/THgjpuqZIp
— LoUWU ? ? (@lou_quorice) March 27, 2019
Androgynous Darna. #SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/LlzLmbUTAx
— Mervin Malonzo (@mervinmalonzo) March 28, 2019
Post-apocalyptic Darnahttps://t.co/IFnGJoqbop#SigawDarna#ArtPH pic.twitter.com/KhUTyJy5ip
— notsogoodartist (@notsogoodjed) March 29, 2019
✨☄️✨ #SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/Tr3rQxPJ4i
— ash ?⛸ (@ashireei) March 29, 2019
— Toto @SummerKomikon (@librengkomiksph) March 29, 2019
What if #Darna is a #jojostand—a visual manifestation of Narda’s fighting spirit.
I know this doesn’t look anything like your beloved local super heroine Philippines, but what the hell, this is for #sigawdarna and for my friend @yosilog pic.twitter.com/gIZrqu6Cca
— Borg Sinaban (@borgdraws) March 29, 2019
My henshin-bae Darna (needed an excuse to draw the Balenciaga Triple S lol) #SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/2nQdmaIqtv
— 「?????」 (@nandoom_) March 29, 2019
— Jepren (@jeprensolis) March 29, 2019
(1/2) give homegirl the full epic Sailor Moon Treatment she deserves!
? let her have darker skin and curly hair!
? let her struggle with being both an ordinary girl and while also possessing the soul(?) of a badass alien warrior! pic.twitter.com/Hcob9UYJ17
— ali is on the tweeter now (@_artsy_alice) March 29, 2019
always wanted to draw a short-haired darna inspired by datus and pirates, i finally have my excuse #SigawDarna #artph pic.twitter.com/nGxxzwxPdk
— ♡ yrv @ commissions ♡ (@yrvinkim) March 29, 2019
Darnuuuh! @mimiyuuuh #SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/JNIIye6A7U
— john ed de vera (@kewlot) March 29, 2019
⭐? #SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/3fV3ZeWBY3
— ?Shn/ electromilk ? (@electromilc) March 29, 2019
Darna: Kampeon ng mga Aeta. art by sir ian sta maria (https://t.co/W80CUdOJKe)
R E P R E S E N T ! R E S P E C T !#SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/kBPxRoYSzo
— mikiboi (@mickeyatbp) March 29, 2019
DARNA: The Marte Invasion, where Darna was originally a space conquistador of an alien army from planet Marte that planned to invade and colonize earth.#SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/K05aIqjGPJ
— Jap Mikel (@japmkl) March 28, 2019
Sticking to Red & Gold ?
A more logical suite. Not in a bikini ?
Work in progress!!
First time sharing any of
my drawings here! ?? pic.twitter.com/Irb9P9C89r
— Ryan ☕️ (@ryngsw) March 28, 2019
makikisalo lang ako sa kaganapan ngayon. eto si lola darna at bibong ding.#SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/49dejSlYlA
— Pejie Abia ? (@itsmeanansi) March 28, 2019
#SigawDarna #artph really went for the warrior part // pic.twitter.com/1N0u7Blxw4
— Shai (@solannin_) March 28, 2019
I got really excited to do this so here’s a quick one of moto-girl Darna #SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/mc93NFKE90
— tired satvrncat (@satvrncat) March 28, 2019
My very “accurate” and “realistic” take on Liza Soberano as Darna based on really dumb comments from last year.
– did this a year ago and lost the original psd.
– pretty glad that this topic was up again lol pic.twitter.com/m09Rc8OjK0
— Eriko @Commissions (@Eko99nine) March 28, 2019
? High school Darna ?#SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/SyhtQlNe0a
— Tristan Yuvienco (@trisketched) March 28, 2019
some darna redesigns that i’m still v v much into :3 #sigawdarna pic.twitter.com/LM8ty6b8BM
— ??? ??? (@JERDEEEE) March 28, 2019
#SigawDarna i killed like three pens today pic.twitter.com/58259Is8NG
— tumbkeVEVO ?? (@tumbke) March 28, 2019
an athlete #SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/SMYMaxmHq0
— m a i k ⚡ (@maik_check) March 29, 2019
created this darna 2 years ago but willing to take another shot for this. pic.twitter.com/w9PTMCQxmP
— kolo?@ Summer Komikon (@kolokomiks) March 28, 2019
“even the best fall down sometimes”
Here’s my version of Mars Ravelo’s “Darna”, because why not?
Happy Women’s Month!
Cheers!#bastinuod #vintage #popart #darna #artcebu #artph pic.twitter.com/AqTwkuAlRV
— Bastinuod (@Bastinuod) March 26, 2019
Darna from my college thesis last year lol pic.twitter.com/4JqwnrCz8C
— NEKOKONUT (@nekokonut22) March 27, 2019
I shall call him… PANDARNA! #Pandasona #SigawDarna pic.twitter.com/01H5Yl8rXj
— Laclayrry (The clay is silent) (@hilarion) March 28, 2019
Which of these designs is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!