Faces of Cebu People and Ideas

FACES OF CEBU: Raven Carlisle Tabanera, 28, animator and music producer

Faces of Cebu: Raven Carlisle Tabanera, Animator; Music Producer

Raven Carlisle Tabanera, 28, animator and music producer

CEBU CITY, Philippines – During his spare time, Raven Carlisle Tabanera would tinker around with his animation software and let his creativity take over.

It was in between breaks from editing videos and producing music that he created his Game of Thrones-inspired take on the Sinulog Festival and Cebu’s rich history.

The video, released last January, immediately captured the attention of netizens not only here but also from other parts of the Philippines.

Just a few months after his Sinulog video became a viral hit, Carlisle once again proved the wonders a true Cebuano artist can do. 

The 28-year-old artist from Consolacion recently dropped a cinematic video of what looked like an apocalyptic video game. And like in his previous artwork, he made sure that Cebu would shine.

The game’s title, Anghel, depicted the aftermath of an alien invasion, and how a group of survivors tried to fight back against the intruders. 

The video opened with the title of the last mission, Katapusang Paglaum, which means Last Hope in English, before focusing on the fictional Cebuano characters, clad in futuristic suits, inspecting the devastating aftermath of the cataclysmic event. 


The protagonists themselves speak in Cebuano and bear common Filipino surnames like Captain Garcia and Lieutenant Diaz. 

The mission Katapusang Paglaum also leads players into the boss fight, where the extraterrestrial creatures emerged, eventually killing Captain Garcia. The video then cuts short following one of the character’s death, and the game’s main menu flashes – signaling that the player has paused the game. 

When his videos became instant hits on the internet, Carlisle commented in jest: “My first reaction gyud was I laughed in disbelief.”

“Nagkatawa ko kay wa ko nagtuo nga ingon ato (ang response sa internet). Nagtan-aw rakos akong screen, ang numbers sige lang ug go up,” he added.

(I was just laughing because I didn’t expect that the response would be like that. I was just looking at my screen, the numbers just kept going up.)

Nevertheless, Carlisle was grateful when people recognized his talents and creativity.


Carlisle currently works as a freelance 3D animator, video editor, and producer, a passion he recently pursued since 2021. 

But the 28-year-old from Consolacion town in northern Cebu is no stranger to the creative industry, as he first got involved in the local music scene. 

He worked as a music producer for almost seven years. He dropped out of college, where he was studying architecture after the opportunity to work in the music industry came up. 

“I cannot pass up an opportunity like that, and basin di na mubalik… And I love music,” Carlisle said. 

While admitting that it was a risk, Carlisle’s hard work, persistence, and love for music paid off. 

“And I’m really thankful for my family that they gave me their blessings,” he added. 

In his career as a music producer, Carlisle had worked with some of the country’s biggest names in entertainment in Cebu and in the Philippines. 

He even produced the official remixes for the Sinulog Festival in 2018, 2019, and 2023, which also helped him come up with his now viral, GoT-inspired video. 

While working as a music producer, Carlisle got curious about 3D animation when he observed a colleague doing it.

“So I said to myself: ‘He’s a music producer, and he can do (3D animation). I’m also a music producer, maybe I can do this. So, he inspired me to pursue pud 3D animation and arts,” he recalled. 

What started out as a simple interest, animation eventually grew as a passion for Carlisle. He began learning the basics, got the hang of it, and asked for tips and suggestions from experienced peers and co-workers. 

Last year, he decided to redirect his focus and energy from music to animation and video production. Aside from that the latter enabled him to earn more, Carlisle discovered that it allowed him to expand his creativity and skills more.

“What I learned in music production is that you only get to play around 12 notes. You can do whatever you can with them but there will be only 12 notes,” he explained. 

In December 2022, he decided to test his skills and everything he learned about animation by coming up with a Sinulog trailer, in GoT style. 

It took him at least three weeks to craft the video that ran more than a minute. The animation during the opening credits of the popular HBO television series inspired, challenged, and drove him to recreate it with Cebuano elements. 

Just weeks after his GoT and Sinulog video took off on the internet, Carlisle’s creativity once again led him in doing another video – one that would indulge his audiences on what Cebuano video game concept would look like. 

“I love video games. Ever since I was a kid, I spent my time playing video games,” he explained. 

Carlisle will be marking his second year in the animation and video production field this 2023. 

He may have already secured several projects, both big and small, from companies to esteemed institutions, but for him, the learning journey continues. 

“Definitely, I want to get better. Keep on improving, practicing, and honing my craft. Karun, mao sa na akong goal. The clients, the attention – bonus ra na. Right now, my goal is to become better gyud,” said Carlisle.

He also shared that he will keep producing animation and videos that showcase the best of Cebu in the coming weeks. 

And for aspiring animators, music and video producers, here’s what he has got to say: 

“I (may) not have the experience and authority to say these things. Noob pa gyud ko but I guess continue lang gyud ta ug improve. Continue lang gyud ta ug practice and hone our craft. And as long as we give it our best, ang opportunities ra gyud.”



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TAGS: art, artists, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, FACES OF CEBU
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