A passion for animation has led Lawrence Panganiban to what he is today, an animation producer.
Born in 1990, Lawrence’s fascination began in his childhood with his love for comics and video games, watching a lot of anime like Digimon and Gurren Lagann, and playing games like Super Robot Wars and Yu-Gi-Oh.
Today, he still watches a lot of anime and cartoons, and still plays a lot of games, not just for entertainment but as a tool for what he has become, an animation producer.
Lawrence founded the Cebu-based creative studio Enigma Kai, which specializes in developing original stories and concepts for animation, comics and games. Back in 2014, he produced a comic book entitled “Strange Years.” These days, he is busy developing his new project which he hopes to produce, “Solemn Vow,” an original anime project which is an action-adventure fantasy series. It’s a project that started way back as a high school fan-fiction in 2009. It was when he was in college that he knew that his life work would be in animation.
To achieve this dream, he said it was really trial and error, watching animation, studying entertainment, doing online research, and getting help from industry mentors and experts. As an animation producer, he oversees the development of a story, production, release of the product and its marketing. To stay in this business, he says one must have an open mind, determination and a good attitude.
Because Lawrence has been involved in the development of the entertainment industry in Cebu, specifically animation service work and original content, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) partnered with him in an industry event in 2019: “Sugbo Entertainment Expo Cebu.” Soon after this, he was appointed as one of the Cebu Chamber’s champions for the Creative Entertainment Industry, which CCCI has committed to support. This year, he was also appointed as the Visayas Chapter head of the Creative Content Creators Association of the Philippines, a national industry association that supports the creation and development of original content and stories.
Recently, he participated in two of the biggest animation markets in the world: the Annecy Animation Film Festival in Annecy, France, and the Kre8tif Conference hosted in Malaysia. He went to these events to represent Cebu as well as to search for funding and partners for his anime project “Solemn Vow.”
These days, he is very busy as CCCI creative entertainment industry champion, as part of Cebu Business Month which is actually almost all-year round. He has been assigned to head the Creative Entertainment Week, Sept. 27 to Oct. 9, arranging a seminar that will touch on film, theater, music, animation, video games, komiks, original content, government and school support for the entertainment industry.
There will also be an investor’s primer to attract investors to the entertainment industry which, according to Lawrence, grew around 60 percent during the pandemic. He and CCCI have invited local, national and international specialists for this event which will be conducted via webinar but will also be available on Facebook, via the official Cebu Business Month page.
To de-stress, Lawrence indulges himself by eating his favorite food or by listening to Japanese music, preferably anime music, or goes back to his other interests: dinosaurs, reptiles, nature and mythology, which somehow seem to be appropriate subjects for different types of animation and entertainment.