The Dark Knight Philippines (TDKPH) is a non-profit organization aimed to bridge the gap between the different fandoms—comics, toys, statues, movies, TV shows, and other collectibles. It is a shared community of enthusiasts that actively participates in building knowledge regarding Batman mythos and other related characters through content and other activities.
Not only do they share information about the Dark Knight, though; they also promote the values of the characters through their charity events and other activities. (They have a particularly soft spot for up-and-coming local artists who need an avenue to showcase their talents.)
How did it start? Paolo Ollero and Choi Petrache were longtime fans of Batman, who just happened to be at the right place at the right time. They first met at a comic book event, where one of them noticed that the other was carrying loads of Batman comics; and the rest, as they say, is history.
TDKPh is the brainchild of Paolo Ollero, who just happened to come across like-minded comic fans to make his vision a reality. Thereafter, the family got bigger as Michael Reyes, Miguel Gabionza, James Gomez, Brent Are, Rachel Aquino, Heubert Khan Michael, and Tim Villasor came on board. TDKPh wasn’t the first nor was it the only Batman group in the local community. Hence, they decided to start a new trend and show everyone that through comics, we can be responsible members of society.
TDKPh has organized a lot of successful events so far, but their proudest achievement is the launch of their charity wing within the group: the AL.F.R.E.D. Initiative (ALliance For Reaching Everyone’s Dreams). Since Alfred Pennyworth has always been there for both Bruce Wayne and Batman, especially in times of need, they wanted to emulate the same and be there for the members of our community who are in need.
One of the earliest projects of AL.F.R.E.D. Initiative was to help out new artists who want to break-in in the industry, so they sponsored tables at local conventions like Toycon, Komikon, and Komiket. After some time, they started opening doors for members seeking financial assistance for their medications and medical procedures.
Their very first beneficiary was baby Johann (surname is omitted for privacy) who was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a rare life-threatening disease of the liver. They sold art prints and helped them organize a Batman v. Superman (BvS) screening event where the proceeds of the event were used for his liver transplant operation.
Another beneficiary was Eloisa (surname omitted for privacy), who battled Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura. They organized an inter-group basketball tournament with the leading groups in the comic book industry and proceeds of the event were donated for her medication and maintenance.
They also helped out Berry, a 2 year-old baby girl who was diagnosed with Acute Lumphocytic Leukemia. TDKPh was able to pay for one of her chemotherapy sessions. They also helped Sabel buy her medicine for Lupus, and had a series of 5 differently colored shirts with an awareness ribbon for cancer on its sleeve. All the funds donated for the above mentioned persons were pooled from the community through different activities spearheaded by TDKPh.
BatCon, the inaugural Batman convention in the country, also donated funds to Haribon Foundation for their tree-planting project. Ever since they launched AL.F.R.E.D. Initiative, they made sure that all of their projects and events are aimed to help the community, as 90% of all income goes to those who are in need, and 10% goes to their rotation fund for future projects.
The TDKPh major admins filter potential beneficiaries by doing their research and doing a little background check on the members requesting for assistance. “We prioritize the requests from members who are active and are constant contributors to group discussion,” explains Choi Petrache, one of the TDKPh admins. “From time to time, we get requests for financial assistance; but most of them are unsubstantiated or are probably fictitious. This is why we go through rigorous research before committing to help out.”
For TDKPh events, on the other hand, they always look for a community-level beneficiary to partner with for the planned event. Since TDKPh is mostly comprised of lawyers and law students, they try to address the growing needs of the community and then look for foundations and charitable institutions that are aligned to alleviate the addressed issue.
If you want to get in touch with TDKPh and/or become part of their community, here’s how you can get in touch with them:
The Dark Knight Philippines (TDKPh)