Archive for July, 2012

Fundraising: Philippine Reps for the Global Graphic Novel Conference

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 31 - 2012

The 1st Global Conference: The Graphic Novel aims to “examine, explore and critically engage with issues in and around the production, creation and reading of all forms of comics and graphic novels.” The organizers have invited a team of Filipino professors from the University of the Philippines to talk about komiks at this global conference, but since it takes place in the United Kingdom, our representatives have turned to the public to raise the needed funds. Here’s an excerpt from the post of komiks aficionado and specfic author Carljoe Javier:

The session will be called A League of our Own: Cultural Appropriations in Contemporary Philippine Comics. Leading the panel is one of the pioneers of teaching and studying comic books in the Philippine academe, Prof. Emil Flores, PhD. (and a komiks creator himself). His paper is  “Up in the Sky, Feet on the Ground: Cultural Identity in Filipino Superhero Komiks.” Micaela Chua is a Summa cum Laude grad, Erasmus scholar, and is currently working on her MA thesis on comics. Her paper is “Enabling Mythologies: Specificity and Myth-making in TRESE” And there’s me, Carl Javier (you can also throw a Prof. in front of my name, though I am still not accustomed to it). I’ve written a few books on geekiness and I’ll be presenting a paper called “Filipino humor and the Filipinization of Foreign Tropes in Macoy’s ‘Taal Volcano Monster vs. Evil Space Paru-Paro’.”

The trio are exploring several fundraising avenues. First is Komiks Rox, a benefit concert that will also feature cosplay (rules pictured above) and an art auction (with pieces such as the Kikomachine Komix poster seen below).This is taking place on Friday, August 3, 7PM at the Route 196 bar.

For those who would rather send money directly, you can send donations via Paypal through Ana Micaela Chua [micaelachua{at}gmail{dot}com] or through BPI – the account is in the name of Carljoe Javier, acct# 9599 0397 56.

Now Available: Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 7

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 30 - 2012

The seventh volume of the annual Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology (edited by Kate and Alex Osias) is now available for purchase at Amazon and Flipreads (with others to follow). Yep, it’s digital only for the time being. You can see the full table of contents here - this volume includes my story “Oblation”, and I thought I’d post the first few paragraphs of the story here, as a preview of what you may find in this volume.

“Oblation” is a departure for me in that it’s my first superhero short story, and my first story told using only female POVs. Also, likely because I’ve been hanging out with Mia too much, I tried to say something with the form of the story, not just with the content, and I hope that comes through (God knows, I’m not very subtle.) Enjoy!


By Paolo Chikiamco

I’m wearing my hair in a tail today. That means I’m ready to go to war.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me. You look at me–and trust me, you’ll look–and all you know is that your day’s been made. Yes, I’m that pretty. No bragging, just fact. Mom’s genes are gooood. Not as good as Dad’s, but not everyone can be a superhero telepath.

‘Course, that doesn’t mean he can get in my head. He wishes. Brainwashing me is the only way I’d ever be okay with missing the prom. Sometimes, I wish that he could see into my head, so the great Kapitan Isip would realize just how little I care about his excuses. Like it’s the first time he’s ever been stationed in the Middle East, like it’s the first time he’s gotten threats, or that Mom and I have been “at risk”. Get real. No Kontra is brain-dead enough to go after a Klark’s family, not after what happened in Marikina when Bakunawa went berserk…

Seriously. They still show those horrible clips in history class. The boys loved it of course. Boys and violence. It’s why they get a thrill when they see my pony tail bobbing–but even guys know better than to come near me. The tail means “STAY AWAY”, all caps, and most of the school is smart enough to–

Is that… is that Sarah Novales waiting for me by the water fountain?



I saw Michelle’s eyes narrow at the sight of me, and couldn’t help but remember the first time I’d ever seen her. My first day at Barrameda, the guidance counselor had seemed upset that I didn’t seem too impressed by the Academy. I’d barely uttered an “ooh” or “aah” when the he had shown me the school’s top of the line gymnasium, or introduced me to the duo (actual Persons-With-Powers, he’d proudly proclaimed) who served as campus security.

All that changed when we stepped into the cafeteria. It took a while for the counselor to realize he was explaining the scintillating food choices to the empty air.

“Who’s that?”

The counselor didn’t even follow my gaze. “That is Michelle Felinas, Queen of the Hill. Be careful with that one.”

Michelle was holding court in the center of the cafeteria, asking everyone to support the school football team. I say “asking” only because she used phrases like “would you” and “will you”–her tone made it clear that support was expected. From the way everyone hung on to her every word, they’d have it no other way.

When it became obvious that Kapitan Isip’s daughter was not a PWP, the media had gone on a feeding frenzy. (They’d never liked the Kapitan, who was understandably tough to interview.) But the Kapitan was never anything but proud of his daughter, and it was easy to see why. After all, normal didn’t mean ordinary.

“I’m serious, Ms. Novales.” The counselor steered me firmly away from the cafeteria. “Her father may be a hero, but his daughter is bad news. Stay away from her.”

And now, two years later, here we were. I felt a smile grow on my face. I was anxious when I wasn’t at school, even for a day. But now everything’s all right.

Don’t worry ‘Chelle.

I’m here.

Aaaand, that’s it for the preview. If you’d like to read the rest of the story, do consider buying Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 7. Congrats to Kate & Alex and all the contributing authors, as well as the publishing team.

Sale: Alternative Alamat and High Society for $0.99

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 26 - 2012

To celebrate “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” being nominated in the 1st Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards (cast your ballot now!) we’re having a sale! Until the end of the month, both “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” are being discounted to $.0.99 or the peso equivalent. It’ll take some time for the reduction to be reflected in all distributors, but both books have been discounted on Amazon as of now.

So if you’ve liked the books and want to give them to others, or if you’re wondering if “Alternative Alamat” and “High Society” deserve your votes for the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, now’s the time to buy!

I received an email from Ateneo about an upcoming talk taking place this Friday that readers of  the site may find interesting!“Mythology meets Archaeology: The Old Kiyyangan Village of Ifugao.” Here’s the information:

Mythology meets Archaeology: The Old Kiyyangan Village of Ifugao, lecture by Stephen Acabado on July 27, 430 pm, Ateneo Press bookshop

In the Tuwali-Ifugao origin myth, as well as in the traditional chants the *Baltong* and the *Alim*, Kiyyangan is mentioned as the first Ifugao village.  Even though there are several versions of this origin myth, they all agree that Kiyyangan was the locale where Bugan and Wigan settled and raised the forebears of the Ifugao.

In the 2012 Field Season of the Ifugao Archaeological Project, excavations at the *Old Kiyyangan Village* provided an opportunity to look at early Ifugao village life.  Artifacts recovered suggest a thriving community actively hunting deer and probably cultivating rice, taro, and possibly sweet potato (currently believed to be a crop introduced by the Spanish). The team was also able to get a glimpse into their ritual life, with several pots providing information on their offerings to the spirit world.

The community-led excavation, in partnership with the Ifugao Archaeological Project, Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement, Inc., National Museum of the Philippines, Kiangan LGU, Archaeological Studies Program, Ifugao State University, and the University of Guam, marks the first intensive documentation of an early Ifugao settlement. Community involvement in this type of activity is very important since it has a direct mpact on heritage management and conservation.

Information obtained would help provide educational materials in discussing Ifugao history and culture.

Dr. Acabado’s lecture provides an overview of the investigations and hopes to shed light on the origins of rice cultivation and terracing tradition in Ifugao. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of the Philippines, and his MA and PhD, also in Anthropology, from the University of Hawai’i. He was Visiting Lecturer at the Ateneo Department of Sociology-Anthropology in 2003-2004, and now teaches at the University of Guam. His research and excavation activities have taken him to various sites in Cebu, Saipan, Southern Cambodia, and Thailand among other places.

Dr. Acabado’s talk begins the University Press’s Occasional Lecture series, and is supported by the Ateneo’s Department of Sociology-Anthropology. It will be held at the Press bookshop in Bellarmine Hall, Ateneo campus. Admission is free.

Cover Reveal: “A Bottle of Storm Clouds” by Eliza Victoria

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 24 - 2012

It’s with great pleasure that we learned that excellent author and friend of the site Eliza Victoria – who has contributed to Alternative Alamat, Usok, and Ruin and Resolve – will soon be releasing her first collection of short fiction. Entitled “A Bottle of Storm Clouds” (and if you’ve read her story from Alternative Alamat, you might know where that tile came from), it will be published by Visprint, and Eliza has released the cover image, with art and design by Karen Francisco, author of Naermyth. More details to follow!

Award-winning author Eliza Victoria mixes magic with the mundane in this special concoction of 16 short stories. A girl meets a young man with the legs of a chicken. A boy is employed by a goddess running a pawnshop. A group of teenagers are trapped in an enchanted forest for 900 days. A man finds himself in an MRT station beyond Taft, a station that was not supposed to exist. A student claims to have seen the last few digits of pi. Someone’s sister gets abducted by mermaids.

Includes stories that have appeared in the critically acclaimed anthologies Philippine Speculative Fiction and Alternative Alamat, and stories that have won prizes in the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards and the Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Literary Contest.

Published by Visprint.

209 pages, 6? x 9?

SRP PhP220

PSF7: Cover Reveal; Launch Reminder

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 23 - 2012

Here’s the cover of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 7, with art and colors by Les Banzuelo, art direction by Adam David. The volume will be launched this Saturday, July 28, 2012,  2:00pm at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf-Shangri-la Plaza, Edsa. You can see the table of contents here.

For the first time, this latest volume will launch as a digital book. For those who want to take home something tangible from the launch, however, rest assured that the good folk at Flipside Digital are preparing beautifully packaged CDs for the event:

PSF launches are always fun, as you can see from this video excerpt of last year’s PSF6 launch. Hope to see you all there!

YA Author Cage Match Mechanics for the Kwentillion YARC

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 18 - 2012

Cage Match Registration Sheet Sample


You already know the panelists for the 1st Kwentillion Young Adult Readers Carnival, this Saturday, July 21, so now it’s time to shed some light on that first event: the Young Adult Author Cage Match! *cue ominous music*

No, sadly, this doesn’t involve throwing J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and Stephenie Meyer into a steel octagon and watching them slug it out using only hardcover copies of their books (advantage to Rowling, obviously). What it is, is a chance for readers to sing the praises of their favorite authors, and in so doing, maybe introduce them to other readers as well. It’s also a chance that we’d like to give first to readers in high school or college – while the readership of young adult books encompasses all ages, we’d love to hear more from teen and near-teen readers. So here,s how it’ll go down:

Interested participants are encouraged to arrive at 1PM exactly – or better, a little earlier – in order to register. At the registration table, we’ll have sign-up sheets for the author candidates. Choose your favorite, the author you’re willing to go to bat for, and sign your name on the upper right.

Here are the authors you can “defend” during the Cage Match:

  • C.S. LEWIS

After we’ve given enough time for registration, we’ll select the four or five authors with the highest number of supporters, and those will serve as the “Teams” for the Cage Match. (If there are fewer than eight supporters in each team, we’ll give others an opportunity to shift allegiances from non-participating author candidates, in order to fill those slots).

The Cage Mage will occur in a series of rounds. Each round, the facilitator will name a contest category, and, after a one minute period to strategize, each Team’s representative will be given two minutes to explain why their author is the best in that category. At the end of each round, the judges will determine and award points to the winner, and the Team with the most points at the end of seven rounds will crown its author as the Best YA Author (of the Day). Winners get first pick of the Kwentillion proof pages we’re giving away.

Each Team’s Author will be evaluated on the basis of four major categories: Character; Plot; World; Life Influence. Being judged the winner in each of these categories gives the Team 2 points. Points can also be scored in three minor categories: Book Title; Opening Scene; Book Quote. Here’s a more detailed explanation of each category:

* Character: What do you love about the characters your Author has created? What about these characters inspires you, entertains you, speaks to you?

* Plot: What makes your Author’s stories such page turners? Is he/she a master of pacing, or of plot twists, or of well-deserved happy endings?

* World: What makes you want to step into the universes your Author has created? How does he/she make these settings come alive, become real, yet still be different from your world outside the book?

* Life Influence: How have your Author’s stories/characters/worlds inspired, entertained, or otherwise made a difference in your lives?

* Book Title: What do you love about the titles of your Author’s books? Which is your favorite title? Why that one?

* Opening Scene: Which is your favorite opening scene from your Author’s books? Why that one?

* Quotes: Choose a favorite quote from one of your Author’s books that best exemplifies why you love him/her. (You can read it out loud – no need to memorize it.) Explain why.

Free Alternative Alamat Story: “The Last Full Show”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 16 - 2012

One of the stories found in our anthology “Alternative Alamat” is now available for free online. That story is Budjette Tan’s “The Last Full Show”, a short story starring Alexandra Trese that sheds some light on the background of both our heroine and Dr. “Spunky” Hontiveros, and it is now available in its entirety at “Stories from the Diabolical.” If you like what you read, do check out “Alternative Alamat” for more stories that re-imagine Filipino myths and legends.

Here’s the introduction to the story, as found in the anthology.

The Last Full Show

Budjette Tan

Budjette Tan is the writer and co-creator of the graphic novel “Trese”. By day, he writes advertising copy for McCann Worldgroup. By night (or when his boss isn’t looking), he writes comic book stories.  He is one of the founding members of Alamat Comics.

Initially an independently published series of photocopied comics, the Trese series has gone on to win the Philippines’ National Book Award. Its heroine, Alexandra Trese,  has become one of the most popular Philippine comic book characters in recent memory, a no-nonsense heroine who stands apart from many of her peers in the urban fantasy genre. This story is a rare glimpse at the softer side of Trese.

It’s a big, big week for Alternative Alamat contributors! Eliza Victoria (“Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.”) and Raissa Falgui (“The Sorceress Queen”) both have new novellas out – only one is clearly speculative fiction, but both are worth checking out. Also out this week is the digital edition of Philippine Speculative Fiction 6, where “Offerings to Aman Sinaya” by Andrei Tupaz, first appeared. (Mia Tijam and I have also been doing a story-by-story review here.)

THE VIEWLESS DARK by Eliza Victoria

When Anthony found Flo dead, locked overnight in one of the reading rooms of the university library, he knew it must have something to do with Mary. Mary Prestosa, fourth year graduating Philosophy student, whom they had been investigating. Mary, who surprised her roommate one night by suddenly standing up from her bed, throwing the windows open, and jumping down, headfirst, to the dormitory grounds below. Mary, whose memory marked the trail of mysterious deaths and bizarre occurrences that followed her own fateful fall: the fifth-year Computer Engineering student who prowled the campus on all fours, thirsty for blood, believing he was a wolf; the revelation of an all-girls’ satanic cult; the demonic possession of a fourth-year student from the Department of Psychology; and now—Flo, dead.

The students traced it all to Mary. They believed Mary didn’t commit suicide. They believed Mary tapped into something dark, and released it, and was consumed.


WOMAN IN A FRAME by Raissa Falgui

In a darkened hall in a plain white box of a building was a portrait of a woman, a girl, really—an old-fashioned girl in a modern frame, leaning against the wall. Other paintings similarly arrayed surrounded her, waiting to take their places in the gallery.

Voices echoed in the room, a young man’s jeering and a young woman’s more tentative tones. Cool hands with long, delicate fingers lifted the portrait.

Perhaps what drew the young woman to this painting was the incongruity of a girl, grave and formal, set within the vibrant, flowing curves of the carved art nouveau frame. Perhaps it was the sense of kinship she felt. For the young woman, Ning, was the daughter of an artist, dreaming of becoming an artist. She knew nothing of the girl in the portrait, only that the intensity captured in the glimmer of its brush-stroked eyes reflected her own.

So begins Ning’s journey to her country’s colonial past to uncover the story behind the portrait—the story of Marcela.

It is 1896, and Marcela, of the renowned Simbulan artist family from Pino, Laguna, has fallen in love with Julio Benitez, a Spanish peninsular just come from Europe to woo the town’s belle: Raquel Riola, mestiza heiress. Torn between loyalties to family and nation, desire and social expectations, childhood and maturity, Marcela must learn to navigate dreams and deceptions to free her silenced love and stifled craft.


PHILIPPINE SPECULATIVE FICTION Volume 6 edited by Nikki Alfar and Kate Osias

  • The Big Man by Asterio Gutierrez
  • Alternative Histories by Ian Rosales Casocot
  • Ashland by Elyss G. Punsalan
  • Carpaccio (or, Repentance as a Meat Recipe) by Arlynn Despi
  • The Grim Malkin by Vincent Michael Simbulan
  • From the Book of Names My Mother Did Not Give Me by Christine V. Lao
  • Prisoner 2501 by Philip Corpuz
  • A Smell of Mothballs by Mailin Paterno
  • Villainoguing by Joseph Montecillo
  • On Wooden Wings by Paolo Chikiamco
  • Break in at Batay Street by Francis Gabriel Concepcion
  • The Kiddie Pool by Kenneth Yu
  • Eternal Winter by Maria Pia Vibar Benosa
  • Lament of the Counselor by Jay Anyong
  • The Bookshelves of Mrs. Go by Charles Tan
  • Offerings to Aman Sinaya by Andrei Tupaz
  • Resurrection by Victor Ocampo
  • Strange Adventures in Procreation by Andrew Drilon
  • Hollowbody by Crystal Koo
  • The Storyteller’s Curse by Eliza Victoria
  • The Impossible and the R.S.C. Gregorio del Pilar by Alex Osias
  • Simon’s Replica by Dean Alfar


Poster by Frantz Salvador


We’re only nine days away from the 1st Kwentillion Young Adult Readers Carnival, so it seemed an opportune time for a few things: first, the unveiling of the now official poster for the event – not too much has changed, but if you will notice that one additional line of text…

Yes, similar to what National Book Store does with graphic novels when there’s a big graphic novel launch, to coincide with the YARC, Bestsellers Robinsons Galleria will be having their first ever YA Books Only Sale, exclusively for registered participants in the YARC. Upon registration, participants will be given a coupon for 20% off on all imported Young Adult Titles, valid for a one-time purchase for that day at Bestsellers Robinsons Galleria.

Need more incentive to attend? How about this list of panelists!

For the Kwentillion Panel:

For the Philippine Young Adult Creators Panel:

All this plus, a Book Preview Wall, an Art Wall, and participants get a chance to win a part of Kwentillion history – some of the actual proofs used in the editing and production of Kwentillion #1 (we’ll be giving some away at Saturday’s Indieket as well!). So do mark your calendars – July 21, 1-5PM, Bestsellers, Robinsons Galleria. See you all there!



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.