Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Call for Submissions: Diaspora Ad Astra

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 5 - 2010


Estranghero Press has released a call for submissions for their newest anthology, and, as expected, this time the genre is science fiction–specifically science fiction featuring Filipino characters or the Filipino race (note that this criteria was not present in either their horror or secondary world fantasy anthologies). The title of the new anthology is Diaspora Ad Astra, and you can check the submission guidelines here.

Webkomik Launch: Tabi Po by Mervin Malonzo

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 3 - 2010


Over at indie komplex, Mervin Malonzo has announced that his new webcomic, “Tabi Po” has officially launched as of today, with the first six pages having been posted online. Now, this komik is not for minors, nor for people who have weak stomachs (so you can tell it’s also NSFW), but if you don’t fall under either of those categories, the art alone makes it worth a visit, as you can see from the teaser page below (with the NSFW bits cut out).


“Tabi Po” will feature, in Malonzo’s words, “mga tauhang tiyak na iyong kagigiliwan – mga aswang, maligno, lamang-lupa at iba pang kagiliw-giliw na mga nilalang” so I’m sure it will interest readers of Rocket Kapre. From the looks of it, the posting schedule appears to be once a week, every Monday, so check back after voting next Monday for some new pages. Good to see more Filipino artists putting out webcomics, which I think are a great way to build an audience.

Pinoy Pop Launch

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 1 - 2010


Guess who has a new day job? With Carljoe taking over the reigns at Metakritiko, the Philippine Online Chronicles decided to give me an entirely new section to edit, which just launched today. It’s called Pinoy Pop, and while I could try to explain what that means here (or what I’ve decided it means at least), that’d be a waste of the handy introductory column I made. Suffice it to say it’ll be covering a lot of stuff that Rocket Kapre readers will find interesting – for instance,would you like a rundown of the promotions and freebies for today’s Free Comic Book Day? You can find that here.

Also, with the release of Iron Man 2 yesterday, Free Comic Book Day today, and I-will-be-your-hero-if-you-vote-for-me Day next week, we’ll be doing a lot of superhero focused articles in the coming week (let’s call it Spandex Week), with articles about their origins, rationale, and how Filipinos relate to them. We’ve also got some thoughts on the use of armor in science fiction and fantasy, as well as a review of superhero komik Bayan Knights.

I’ve got a few familiar Spec Fic writers on the team as well -  Eliza Victoria will be contributing an article on her introduction (initiation?) into tabletop gaming, Carljoe will be contributing articles on comics and an Iron Man 2 review, and Adam David will be doing komiks reviews. Speaking of komiks, I’ll also have an interview with the much respected Mr. Gerry Alanguilan, on the need for komiks criticism, while komiks creator Macoy gives us a perspective of life at the indie tables during the Summer Komikon.

I’m excited to be working with these wonderful individuals, and covering the fantastic, fun, geeky stuff we all know and love. I hope you can make us a part of your daily reading habit. ^_^ And please, if you have a story you think we should be covering, do let us know!

Robotars First Custom Show

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 29 - 2010

Passed by Megamall the other day, and had the pleasure of stumbling upon the Jomike Tejido’s Robotars First Custom Show at the Art Asia Gallery. The show lasts until May 16, and I encourage everyone to check it out–especially those of you brave souls who will be there for the Mega Sale this weekend. You can find more coverage of the exhibit at Spanky Stokes, and ToysREvil. I did promise some pics over twitter, so here they are:

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Didn’t have enough time to get the names of each of the creators, but I know that the one my wife and I loved the most was PandaZ by Rotobox. Alas it was also one of the most expensive, and while a percentage of the proceeds will go to Haribon Foundation, I just don’t have the dough @_@

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Jomike also has some of his beautifully-cute paintings on display as well. Our favorite was the sasquatch/kapre looking thing:

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More pictures (and a strangely appropriate Yoda-tar) after the cut, and in the morbidly disorganized Rocket Kapre Flickr photostream.

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Philippine Speculative Fiction 5 Launch: Videos (Batch 1)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 26 - 2010

The launch of Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 5 took place last Saturday, April 24, 2010, at Fully Booked Bonifacio Hight Street, and this is my first batch of videos from the event, for the benefit of those unlucky enough to be elsewhere while we were laughing it up (usually at the expense of Kenneth Yu, or Andrew Drilon, or any author who was absent from the launch :P ). Please excuse the rather shaky footage, low volume, and occasional passer-by – we were way at the back of the U-View Theater.

These are the introductory remarks of Dean Alfar, speaking on behalf of his publishing house, Kestrel DDM, which has put out the annual Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology for the past five years.

Dean marvels at the fact that this is the fifth volume of the anthology, and talks about the thrill of finding new, young, spec fic writers in the course of putting together each anthology. At the end, he introduces the two co-editors, Vincen Michael Simbulan and Nikki Alfar. (All in the process of gamely resisting the urge to give a political speech ~_^)

The PSF launches are always good fun – the audio isn’t too clear alas, but Kenneth Yu’s expert pronunciation of Eyjafjallajökull alone was enough to provide laughs for the rest of the afternoon. Dean is a marvelous (glorious?) host, and he uses the understandable absence of the foreign contributors as a constant source of good-natured humor that helped make everyone feel at home (I speak from experience, having attended the previous launch as a mere spectator).

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Reminder: PSF Volume 5 Launches Tomorrow

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 23 - 2010


This Saturday (that’s tomorrow!), April 24, 2010, at 3 p.m. Philippine Speculative Fiction V (edited by Nikki Alfar and Vin Simbulan) launches at the U-View Theater of Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street (it’s in the basement). Check out the cover above (from Dean Alfar’s site), which manages to look great even without going with my suggested Voltes V theme. If last year’s volume IV launch is any indication, expect a lot of fun, and a lot of jokes made at Kenneth Yu’s expense. Most of the author-contributors should be there as well (myself included), so do drop by if you want to say hi, or want your copy signed. You can see a list of all the contributors over at Dean’s site.

See you all there!

Summer Komikon 2010 Photo Roundup

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 20 - 2010

Komikon 2010

This year’s Summer Komikon de Avance has come and gone, leaving komiks lovers in financial ruin that they will fail to notice until they’ve finished reading the last of their haul. Here are a few pictures from the event, as well as links to others who captured the event on… well I can’t really say film anymore nowadays can I? Sadly, “captured the event on bytes” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

First up, here are a few of my favorites from the Cover Recreation Contest:

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Cover Recreation Contest 4

Cover Recreation Contest 2

Cover Recreation Contest 1

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Call for Submissions: Alternative Alamat

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 19 - 2010

[EDIT: "Alternative Alamat" has already been published. We are no longer accepting submissions.]

[Note: If you want to head straight to the story guidelines, head here. If you'd like a bit of a background as to why I'm looking for this particular type of story, read on.]

The Philippines is blessed with a multitude of mythologies and legends, yet too few of these tales are known and read today. While it is understandable that the modern reader might find it difficult to relate to ancient oral tradition, we’ve all seen how the gods/goddesses and heroes/heroines of other cultures have remained relevant (or at least well-known) because of writers who incorporate the old myths and legends in modern tales. (See: The Percy Jackson series, or the many re-imaginings of the King Arthur myth.)

mythology_class_1(Image from Komiklopedia)

My first encounter with our mythic heritage, outside of school (which tends to suck the joy out of many a topic), was one such re-imagining: Arnold Arre’s “The Mythology Class” (the original four issue version, not the collected graphic novel).  I loved that story to pieces (it was the first time a local work ever moved me to indulge in fan art and fan fic) and it remains dear to me as an example of how a well told story in the present can lead to an appreciation–even a hunger–for the foundational tales of our ancestors. A more recent example is Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s Hi Bugan yi Hi Kinggawan over at Fantasy Magazine.

I think we need more Filipino tales in that vein–and with that in mind, I’d like to announce a call for submissions for Rocket Kapre’s first commercial anthology: Alternative Alamat.


But Mr. Editor, you say, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t know many of our myths and legends. I’ve anticipated this, dear writer–after all, I wouldn’t be trying to raise awareness about our mythic heritage if I felt it was already common knowledge–so what I’ve done is I’ve gone through my collection of books and done a bit of research online and in libraries, and I’ll be putting up the resulting list of myths and legends sometime this week. Somewhere down the line, I’ll also put up a similar list of Philippine deities.

So I’ll be doing my part, and I hope you’ll do yours. Submission guidelines are after the cut.

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Chained Links: 7 April 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 7 - 2010


Back from Tokyo (more on that later) and there’s a lot to catch up on, so let’s get to it.

Now, here are a few new-ish SF fiction markets (via the specficmarkets lj community) and a contest (via email from chiles samaniego):

Finally, some events to mark on your calendars (Let me know if I’m missing anything):

Joseph Nacino on the Demons of the New Year

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 30 - 2010

With the launch of Estranghero Press’ new horror anthology, Demons of the New Year, we cornered EP founder and anthology co-editor Joseph Nacino for a short interview. Here are Joseph’s thoughts on the second anthology, the existence of demons, and the state of the horror genre in the Philippines.


Congratulations on the new anthology! Were there any lessons you learned from The Farthest Shore that you applied here?

Thanks Pao. I suppose if there’s a primary lesson I learned from the first anthology, it’s that it’s possible. That if there is something you want done, you have to do it yourself. I’ve always heard Filipino writers (myself included) lamenting the lack of local writing markets. So actually having completed The Farthest Shore convinced me that I could actually do this.

This is also your second time collaborating on editing duties (Estranghero Press’ fantasy anthology, The Farthest Shore, was co-edited by Dean Alfar). Why go down that route, rather than monopolizing the editorial reins?

Well, don’t you get bored at times of hearing only yourself in your head? (Of course if you start hearing someone else, I suggest you go see a shrink.) I figured it would be great to have different editorial perspectives of what the Story is, what it means. So rather than limiting it to my perspective, I thought it would be great to share the fun with other writers and making them guest-editors.

Do you and Karl share the same taste in stories?

Well, we have different tastes– I think he goes for the more edgier stuff while I dig the weird shit– but both of us have the same reverence and joy of horror stories. I’m primarily a fantasy reader/writer but horror is a close second favorite in my clockwork world.

How did you settle on the theme of demons/horror for the anthology?

I threw a number of topics to Karl and he picked one and threw it back to me. From there, it was just a matter of selecting the right title. (And really, once you have the right title, everything else is easy.)

Are any of the writers included in the anthology new to you?

One thing I like with this whole gig is that I get to read– and introduce– new writers to the world. There are some writers here and in The Farthest Shore that I’ve heard about but never worked with (or read) before. And there are some writers that are new to me, i.e. it’s the first time I’ve seen their names, and they have stories that expand what Philippine Speculative Fiction is.

What do you think of the state of the horror genre here in the Philippines? Not just in fiction necessarily, but even in film, the state of the fandom/s, etc.

I do think that among the genres, horror is the one most alive and well in the Philippines. All you have to do is look at the moviehouses during the year-end film festivals with Shake, Rattle and Roll series, movies like Sigaw, Feng Sui and Sukob. TV as well with Wag Kukurap, E.S.P. and Nginiig. Print you have writers like Yvette Tan, Karl de Mesa, and David Hontiveros– as well as the Psicom horror series. Obviously, some people would disagree on the quality of the horror genre locally but still– unlike science fiction– it’s there. You might say this stems from the Filipinos’ need to scare themselves silly when relating ghost stories during the wee hours of the night. Or it could be due to our inherited memories of a time when there were no bright lights and big cities, when it was always dark once 6 p.m. rolled around, and we had to shutter ourselves in our bahay kubos at night.

Are you a believer, insofar as the darker side of the supernatural/paranormal spectrum is concerned? (From the introduction, Karl seems to be.) Does that affect your writing at all?

Do I believe in ghosts? Yes, though I’ve not actually seen one. As with most people, I have seen some things from the corner of my eye. Do I believe in demons and monsters? Well, I keep an open mind– it’s easier to run away when you’re not asking stupid questions in the face of “the jaws that bite, the claws that catch”!

What’s next for Estranghero Press?

Well, given that I’ve already done one per genre leg of fantasy and horror, there’s only one left– science fiction! Now to look for a guest-editor!



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.