Archive for October, 2010

Usok #2 Release Date: 3 November 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 29 - 2010

The wait is over. Be here on November 3, 2010 for the launch of the second issue of Usok, the webzine of Fantastic Filipino Fiction. Three all new stories, each with a custom piece of art by some of the best digital painters in the country, with a cover by CG Pintor founder K. Lapeña. Please spread the word!

Table of Contents:

100% of Me by Kate Aton-Osias

Elsewhere by Eliza Victoria

The Widow and the Princess of the Dwende by Elaine Cuyegkeng

Artwork by K. Lapeña, Mark Bulahao, MJ Pajaron, and VN Benedicto

PICCA Fest 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 22 - 2010

The 2010 Philippine International Cartoons, Comics, and Animation festival, affectionately known as the PICCA Fest, opened today at SM City North EDSA. You may have already heard of the festival because the organizers have visited your school, or because of the other pre-events they did to promote the event, but today marks the start of the festival proper, with an exhibit at the Block (2nd floor) and a tradeshow at the SM Annex (4th floor). (Since SM North is huge and it’s easy to get lost, a reminder:  the Block and the Annex are on opposite sides of SM North.)

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Tomorrow there will be a Cosplay parade, while industry talks will be going on at Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines, with UP also having a book launch while Ateneo hosts screenings of animated films from here, Japan, and Canada. Note, however that the talks are only open to PICCA Members. You can see the full day-to-day schedule here.

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I took a few pictures of the exhibit and the opening ceremonies, as well as the tradeshow.

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The indie komiks booths are grouped together for the most part — except that if you’re looking for Hazel Manzano, as of this morning her booth was at the front, next to the PICCA Secretariat. Others indie creators whose works I saw available at the trade show were Lady Storykeeper, Macoy Tang, Gio Paredes, Sacred Mountain Publications, Scratch Comics, Atomic Underground, Kai Castillo, Lyndon Gregorio and the Komikon crew. (Apologies if I missed anyone.) If you’re in the area, do stop by and support our indie komiks creators (note that while October 25 is a holiday, I think the tradeshow only lasts until Sunday).

[More pictures after the cut and at the Flickr page.]

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Teen Read Week 2010: My Top Ten Teen Reads

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 19 - 2010

Philippine Board on Books for Young People chair Zarah Gagatiga asked me if I’d like to help raise awareness for Teen Read Week by providing a list of “Top Ten Books I Read When I Was a Teenager” (so no, this isn’t a “Books With Beat” theme post).  I made an earlier post on my old blog about books I treasured early in my life as a reader, and it seems fitting to continue now with books from my teen-age years. Zarah will also be posting/linking to other answers on her blog.

These aren’t what you’d now call “young adult books” for the most part: for one thing, that genre didn’t really exists aside from the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys/Sweet Valley juggernauts; and for another,  I was already reading “adult” level genre fiction before I hit puberty. Given that these were some of my most productive years as a reader, it’ll be hard to create a list of ten, but I’ll give it a shot. So here’s my list, in no particular order:

JEDI DAWN (Star Wars Game Books) by Paul Cockburn: Simply reading stories was never enough for me – I wanted to be a part of those worlds, to enter them. Before I discovered that I could sit down and write my own adventures, and before video games reached the point where the world and the story were as important as the gameplay, choose your own adventure books were the closest I could get to that–and this book was the best one I ever read.  In 1993, I went to England as part of a summer exchange program, and I fear I might have left a bad impression with the foster family I was staying with, because after a visit to a London bookstore I had absolutely no interest in socializing with them.  This book is one of the reasons why that was the case.

ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE (and the Farseer Trilogy) by Robin Hobb: I’m sure that the Farseer trilogy wasn’t my first exposure to the first person POV, but it’s the first one I remember, and it certainly set the bar for all those that came after. Hobb was the first author I ever read who really, really didn’t shy away from having terrible things happen to her characters, and the fact that Fitzchivalry Farseer was–and still is, for me–one of the most grounded and sympathetic characters in fantasy fiction made his trials all the more heart wrenching.

NEVER DEAL WITH A DRAGON by Robert N. Charrette (and other Shadowrun novels):  In retrospect, the fact that I used to buy tabletop roleplaying game modules and construct adventures solely for myself to enjoy seems a bit pathetic. I was an only child whose few friends just weren’t interested in “playing pretend”–but really, I didn’t mind, not when making those stories was such a joyful process. Shadowrun was my first exposure to genre-bending and cyberpunk and the novels were always fun in and of themselves, and useful as resources for my own stories.

GOD TALES by Nil Guillemette: I’m not sure which one of these books I first read, but I know that after I finished the first book, I went back to the St. Paul store and bought all the other available volumes (only a few were available at the time–now of course there are more than thirty). Even in my youth I was never comfortable with the harshness, rigidity, and simple inconsistency of certain Catholic teachings. These books presented in their stories –many of them with speculative elements–a morality that I understood, one where the focus was on love and reasonableness and not punishment. I still remember vividly one story which had Mother Mary defending a sinner in a makeshift legal trial, and successfully proving that all it took was one selfless act in a lifetime to shield a soul from the fires of hell. The early books in this series played a huge part in my ethical development.

[More after the cut]

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Talecraft App (with Rocket Kapre access)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 18 - 2010

The good folks over at Nokia recently sent me my first smart phone (I have an iPod Touch, not its fancier sibling) in the form of a Nokia N8. Serendipitously, Ria Lu of Talecraft just finished creating an app for the Nokia Ovi store. The Talecraft App is a free application for Nokia phones which aims to be a resource for writers, serving as an RSS Feed/hub for Talecraft content, as well as Kenneth Yu’s Philippine Genre Stories blog, as well as Rocket Kapre. If you have access to the Ovi store, give it a go! Many thanks to Ria for adding Rocket Kapre access to the app.

I’m something of a late adopter when it comes to telecommunication tech (as opposed to, say, video game consoles), and I’m interested to see if having mobile access will change my relation to the social networks. What I’m really looking forward to, however, are attempts by Filipinos to use apps as a means to distribute stories, and maybe additional content. Transmedia development anyone?

Limbag: Early Impressions of the Philippines

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 14 - 2010

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Limbag: Early Impressions of the Philippines, a traveling exhibit from the Metropolitan Museum of Manila which features images and maps of colonial Philippines produced from the 1700s to the 1900s, is doing the rounds at the various SM Malls. For the writer interested in getting the details of costume and setting right, or anyone interested in Philippine history, seeing visual renderings from the late Spanish-early American periods can be very useful. I caught the exhibit at Megamall, but it’s moved on to the Block, SM City North Edsa, where it will remain until the end of October. Here are a few pictures, and  you can see the rest of the images I took on the Flickr stream- sorry that it wasn’t possible to get shots without a certain amount of reflection.

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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.

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