Archive for August, 2010

Deadline Extension: Alternative Alamat

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 29 - 2010


After some thought, I’ve decided to extend the period of submission for Alternative Alamat by a little over two weeks – the new deadline is September 15. If you were interested in submitting, but felt like you didn’t have enough time to finish/polish a story, I hope that the new deadline will entice you to submit. Helping me spread the word would be much appreciated.

Also, be sure to read the guidelines. I’ve had to reject a few stories out of hand for failure to adhere to the guidelines. Please not the minumum and maximum wordcounts, as well as the fact that I’m looking for re-imagining of the old myths and legends, pre-Hispanic tales, or venerable legends such as the Bernardo Carpio story, etc.

If you have questions, please leave a comment here or at the original announcement and I’ll get back to you.

Video: Karl de Mesa at UST

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 25 - 2010

Karl de Mesa is a horrible man – and by that I mean he’s one of the more prolific purveyors of horror at the moment, coming fresh from his co-editing stint for Estranghero Press’ “Demons of the New Year” anthology, he’s all set to launch his collection of horror novellas, “News of the Shaman” at the Bookay Ukay bookstore, on August 28.

He also spoke at the recent “Literature From Shakespeare to Bob Ong: Bridging the Divide Between the Popular And the Canonical” conference, held at the UST on August 18, 2010. Here’s the video of the talk. (The Q and A will be uploaded in another post)

Parts 2 and 3 under the cut.

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Metro Comic Con 2010 Photos

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 24 - 2010

The 2nd annual Metro Comic Con was held last weekend at the SM Megamall, and by most accounts it seems to have improved on its predecessor, the smaller venue leading to a better organized layout, with the komiks creators front and center, as they should be.

Flickr is giving me some issues trying to share individual images, so have a slideshow instead!

Mockingjay Launch Party: Panel, LARP and More

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 23 - 2010

MockingJayLaunchPartyYoung adult novels these days are less books that don’t quite reach the level of craft and sophistication of “adult” novels, and more an indication of the ages of the lead characters. Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games novels are some of the very best to come out in recent years, and I’m happy that Scholastic has really been pushing the series. Fans of the series know that the final book in the trilogy, “Mockingjay”, will be released on August 25, and Scholastic, together with National Book Store, with help from the New Worlds Alliance and Flips Flipping Pages will be holding a launch event a few days after, on August 29, 2010, at 1:00p.m. at the National Book Store Bestsellers branch at the Robinson’s Galleria. There are a host of activities lined up for fans during the event, and I’ll be taking part in one of them:

  • Hunger Games Discussion Panel: Yep, I’ll be part of the discussion panel (to be moderated by Meann of New Worlds and SumintheBlue) at the event, which will cover the first two books of the series, so no need to be afraid to take part just because you haven’t bought/finished the third yet. Bea Tejano will also be on the panel, along with two other panelists.
  • “Catching Fire” Quarter Quell LARP: New Worlds Alliance will also be reprising their live action contest/RP – they’re looking for two more teams of 2 members to participate. You can sign up here or see how the last iteration of this contest went down here.
  • Cinna’s Corner: This is where participants can get temporary tattoos for free.
  • Haymitch’s Bar: A refreshment/snack/beverage station, but probably not one that Haymitch would frequent (I doubt they’ll serve alcohol).

There will also be a photo booth, and a viewing of the book trailer, so if you’re a Hunger Games fan, or just in the Robinson’s area on the 29th, make sure to drop by!

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Metro Comic Con 2010 Primer

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 20 - 2010


The Metro Comic Con is taking place this weekend (August 21-22) at the Megatrade Hall 2 of SM Megamall. Here’s some information and a few links to get everyone ready for the event.

  • Schedule of Activities – Saturday seems to have most of the panels (Game Developers, Kartunistas, Veterans) plus the Lifetime Achievement Awards, while the other contests/announcements of winners are on Sunday, along with the voice acting panel. Cosplay is encouraged for both days, but the cosplay contest is on Sunday.
  • Guest Artists - There’s also a breakdown of which artists will be available for sketches and signing here.

As far as what komiks will be available/groups will be present at the convention, here’s a partial list, with links.





1. Carlo Jose San Juan MD (Callous)
2. Freely Abrigo (Kulas; Kapitan Tog – here’s my review of issue 1)
3. Gio Paredes (Kalayaan)
4. Lady Storykeeper (Realm of Dreams; Dragon Kid – here’s my review of issue 1)
5. Meganon Comics (MAKTAN 1521)
6. Omeng Estanislao (Lipad)
7. Silent Sanctum Manga
8. Atomic Underground
9. Jerrico Barrios (Estrella)
10. Scratch Comics (Zombies in Manila – here’s my review of Issues 1 and 2)
11. Studio KAKOMIKS (Here’s my review of Supervillains, one of their offerings.)
12. Carlo Valenzuela
13. Kai Castillo (Patintero)
14. Greepo Comics Group (Curfew) (Here’s a feature on Gerald “Majic” Asbucan by Macoy Tang)
15. Ghetto Libretto Group
16. CORE Studios (No Parking Comics, Magiting – Raipo reviews both of these at his blog)
17. Decaf Club (Butter Sweet)
18. Kickbackers Group (Prageh Manga Anthology)
19. iNorth (Here’s my review of issues 1-3 of Samurai Scribe, one of the works of the group.)
20. Hazel Manzano (Callwork; Dra. Yap – Raipio has a review of the latter on his blog.)
21. Yo Bo! Komiks
22. MadGear Project
23. Wan Mananita (Ang Morion, Unos Mundos)
24. Rhoseller Quilantang (Goodbye Rubbit, Manila Man)
25. Project Chimera

Mervin Malonzo (Tabi Po) and DJ Legaspi (Baro Investigations) will also be roaming the Metro Comic Con giving away these stickers (in pink) to help promote the Quarterly Bathroom Companion Comics Compendium.

Philippine Horror Panel: Coronel, Hontiveros, Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 19 - 2010

Here’s the Horror Panel (featuring Budjette Tan (Trese), David Hontiveros (Penumbra novellas, Pelicula), Bart (G. M.) Coronel (Tragic Theater)) from the “Literature From Shakespeare to Bob Ong: Bridging the Divide Between the Popular And the Canonical” conference, held at the UST on August 18, 2010. (The Q and A will be uploaded in another post)

The first question, which I didn’t capture on video, is “What are you most afraid of?”

Part 2 and 3 under the cut.

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Literature from Shakespeare to Bob Ong: Video Hub

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 19 - 2010


Yesterday, I trooped down to UST to attend the second day of the  “Literature From Shakespeare to Bob Ong: Bridging the Divide Between the Popular And the Canonical” conference, by Visprint in collaboration with the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters: Dept. of Literature, Thomasian Writers Guild, The Literary Society and The Varsitarian. Many of the speakers were horror writers from Visprint’s stable, so it was a good opportunity to check the pulse of the genre here in the country, or at least to get the opinions of some of those at its vanguard. Komiks (in general, not horror komiks) were also represented, with Manix Abrera walking the audience through several of his strips.

I took a few videos of the talks and Question and Answer segments, and I’ll use this post as a hub as I slowly (yes I have slow a slow connection) upload the different videos. I’ll upload the talks first, and then lump the open forum segments in the last post. Siege Malvar, Alan Navarra, Nida Ramirez, and Eros Atalia were also on hand for some insightful talks, but my coverage here will focus on the komiks/spec fic content, although I’ll try to sneak in some videos of the others.

(Note that some of the links below are NSFW – many of these people specialize in horror, remember? ^_~)

Video 1: Horror Panel, featuring Budjette Tan (Trese), David Hontiveros (Penumbra novellas, Pelicula), Bart (G. M.) Coronel (Tragic Theater)

Video 2: Karl de Mesa (Damaged People, News of the Shaman)

Video 3: Manix Abrera (Kikomachine, 12)

Singapore Death Star?

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 14 - 2010

Rarely do I feature private trips on the blog, but then, rarely do I find something so spec fic to feature. My wife and I are back from our too-brief jaunt to Singapore, and while both of us are now paupers (but oh, the wealth in books I brought home with me), I did manage to sneak in a few pictures of the top secret Singapore Death Star Project,* at the risk of life and limb:


* Yes, I know they claim it’s just a lotus shaped museum, but if you were building a weapon of planetary destruction, would you admit it?

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Project Teaser: Kataastaasan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 7 - 2010

Do you like comics? Do you like steampunk? Do you like alternate history? Do you like mythological creatures? Well, you might be interested in my upcoming comic book project with the ridiculously talented Hannah Buena, to be published this year by Espresso Comics. It’s called “Kataastaasan” and here’s a little something to whet your appetites:


The Zarah Gagatiga interview: Part 3 – PBBY Chair

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 6 - 2010

In this third and final part of our interview with Zarah Gagatiga, she takes us through the storied (no pun intended) history of the PBBY, the organization which she now chairs, and the state of children’s literature in the Philippines.


What can you tell us about the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) and your work with it?

Oh my God… the PBBY has been in existence for 27 years! It has a long history. Luminaries in Philippine arts and culture founded the PBBY: Lucrecia Kasilag; Alfredo Salanga; Larry Alcala; Serafin Quiason; Virgilio Almario. Its past officers and board members included the late, great Rene Villanueva, Mailin Paterno-Locsin, Linda Nietes, Gloria Rodriguez, Angelica Cabanero, Bodjie Pascue, Beulah Taguiwalo. The CCP, the National Library and the Museo Pambata are member organizations. The current board is composed of people you don’t mess around with! It’s a formidable non-profit organization pursuing a very challenging advocacy: literacy for children and teens! Young people are a country’s greatest resource. They need looking after, or else someone like the Pied Piper might take them away.

PBBY is a pioneer in the growth and development of Philippine Children’s Literature. In the course of 27 years, PBBY has initiated literacy activities for young people and those who work and care for them: the Salanga and Alcala prizes, storytelling, workshops, exhibits, book fairs, shows and plays, etc. The first National Children’s Book Awards (NCBA), which was held just recently, is a project that expresses the PBBY mission. We have to know where the industry is, before we can move on. Being in PBBY is a dream come true.

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About Me

Rocket Kapre is an imprint of Eight Ray Sun Publishing Inc. (a new Philippine-based publisher), dedicated to bringing the very best of Philippine Speculative Fiction in English to a worldwide audience by means of digital distribution. More info can be found at our About section at the top of the page.