Archive for the ‘News’ Category

3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards: Shortlists

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 19 - 2010


As mentioned on the Philippine Genre Stories blog, Fully Booked, in cooperation with Pelicola, has published the stories, comics, and films which made it to the respective shortlists of the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards.  While I assume the respective winners have already been selected, you can help determine the winners of the People’s Choice Award in each category by voting for your favorite at the links above. Congratulations to all those who made the short list!

For your convenience,  here’s the shortlist in each category:


1. Babymakers by Laura Jermina R. Abejo
2. Leg Men by Dominique Gerald Cimafranca
3. Cherry Clubbing by Kenneth Yu
4. The Sweet Stranger by Michael A.R. Co
5. A Kind of Flotsam by Christelle Rhodamae Mariano
6. Won’t You Be My Friend, Mr. Faceless Creature of Evil? by Karlos de Mesa
7. The Street Child and the Dwarf by Diabelle Joy M. Pazcoguin
8. Filipina: The Super Maid by Irene Carolina A. Sarmiento
9. Remembrance by Dean Alfar
10. Pursuit of the Litaniera by Elyrose G. Punsalan

(Comics and Film categories after the cut)

Read the rest of this entry »

Demons of the New Year: TOC Announced

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 13 - 2010


Short post to spread the word that Estranghero Press has announced the table of contents for their Demons of the New Year anthology. Amongst the select few are Ruin and Resolve contributors Catherine Batac Walder and Eliza Victoria. Congratulations to all the writers, and to co-editors Joseph Nacino and Karl de Mesa.

Chained Links: 11 February 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 11 - 2010

Writing (and Writer) News:

  • Dominique Cimafranca shares his presentation on Online Literature for the Tabaoan Writers Conference (yes, he does mentions us ^_^). The conference is ongoing at the moment, so do check Dom’s blog for coverage (he has Day 0 and Day 1 impressions up on his site.)
  • Speaking of writers getting together, Ian Rosales Casocot has posted a call for submission of manuscripts to the 49th Silliman University National Writers Workshop.
  • Ruin and Resolve contributor Catherine Batac Walder tells us she’s got a story out in this week’s Philippine Graphic. It’s entitled “Hey Soldier”. Congrats Catherine!
  • In further congratulatory news, I’ve read that (via macoy’s blog) it seems that Gio Paredes’ Kalayaan indie superhero series might see some U.S. distribution.
  • Via Yvette Tan’s, we’ve learned of Filipino Scares, a tumblr site with short (flash-length) horror stories.
  • Over at the Philippine Genre Stories blog, Kenneth Yu has a post on ongoing local writing competitions, and another on a workshop for online writing from Luis Katigbak (the first is on the 15th).
  • Kenneth also informs us that the launch of Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. V will take place on April 24, 2010, 3 p.m. at the UView Theatre of Fully Booked at Bonifacio Global City.



  • For those looking for a twist on typical Valentine’s fare, science writer and curator of the upcoming Mind Museum (and friend of the site) Ms. Maria Isabel Garcia dropped us a line to let us know of When Love Falls an evening of love and science on February 12, where psycho-analyst Dr. Agnes Bueno will discuss love gone awry. You can see the poster here.
  • I think we’ve mentioned it before, but let me remind everyone that KomiksTrip, the first UPLB comics convention, is taking place on February 13.
  • Speaking of comics, the Renaissance Project, a comics/komiks event for the benefit of Filipino artists who have fallen on hard times, seems to be pushing through on February 20 21 at the SM Megamall Megatrade hall.


  • Some reviews of interest over at Metakritiko (which I’ll be leaving soon, unfortunately. Although I’m sure you’ll all be pleased with the new man at the helm ^_^). I take on Lola by J. Torres and Elbert Or  (it’s also been reviewed by Ruel de Vera)
  • Also on Metakritiko, Fidelis Tan reviews Underpass. You can actually read her favorite story of the lot (by the Trese pair of Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo here or here). Also on the channel, Mighty Rasing reviews Legion and Marrianne Ubalde praises Kapitan Sino.

Project 2010 Launch – List of Speakers

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 29 - 2010

As I’ve mentioned before, tomorrow (Saturday), 30 January 2010, I’ll be one of the speakers at the Project 20:10 launch at at 1:00pm,  Instructional Technology Center (ITC) viewing room 2,  Ateneo de Manila, High School. Organizer Ria Lu (who I recently interviewed on Metakritiko here and here) has generously given me the complete list of speakers for the Character Building workshop that will launch the Project, and I’m honored to be in such prestigious company:

  • Kenneth Yu, Philippine Genre Stories
  • Yvette Tan, Waking the Dead
  • Elbert Or, Lola: a Ghost Story
  • Carlo Vergara, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah

…and of course, me.

So if you’re looking for some writing tips this Saturday, looking to support local creators, or simply in search of something to do to kill time on a Saturday afternoon, come on down. If you get bored, you can always head to the fair and try to get yourself caught by the Marriage Booth or something. (They still have those at fairs right? It’s been so long @_@)

Global Game Jam 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 28 - 2010

Click to go to a larger image

Thanks to Ria Lu’s twitter, I’ve just discovered that budding game designers in Manila have their own version of… well, I don’t quite think NaNoWriMo would be a fair comparison, so let’s just say something akin to the 24 Hour Comic Challenge from a ways back.  This year, Manila will be participating in the Global Game Jam by holding an event from late this Friday (January 29) to Sunday (January 31) at the UP Information Technology Training Center. You can find more details at this website as well as a handy FAQ (which mentions that while registration is nominally at 2:00 p.m., as long as you can make it to Friday by 8 p.m. you’re fine.)

They’ll start uploading the finished products (to the global site I presume?) around 3 p.m. Sunday. Here’s hoping for some SF games in the crop…  I want my Kangkong vs. Kapre game ASAP!

Helping Haiti

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 22 - 2010

The Philippine National Red Cross has a page up with information for those who want to help the people of Haiti in the wake of their worst earthquake in centuries. You can find that information here, but I also found a few other ways to help that might be of special interest to genre fans and creators.


First up, DriveThruRPG is selling a Gamers Helping Haiti bundle, where for a US$20 donation, you get to download a cornucopia of RPG ebooks with a total worth in excess of US$1000 (yes that’s one THOUSAND dollars). Even if you’re not a gamer, if you’re a writer you might find RPG source books can be a great way to jumpstart your imagination–I certainly read through dozens when I was young, even if I never used them in an actual game. The promotion lasts until the end of January, so please head on over and take a look.


Next, we have Crossed Genres’ Post a Story for Haiti initiative. Authors can post stories at their own sites and make them available for free online, then once they notify Crossed Genres the stories will be added to the list of stories already contributed (which includes stories from the likes of Jeff Vandermeer and Jay Lake) as an incentive for donors. If you’re a writer, feel free to contribute (and hey, let us know when you do), and if you’re a reader, why not use the stories as a way to reward yourself after sending in a donation?

If you guys know of any other ways to help, feel free to post in the comments. I’ll update this post if I stumble across any more that might involve the genre in an interesting or unique way.

(Image source: PNRC)

World SF Needs Your Help

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 20 - 2010

… specifically, the excellent World SF News Blog, an excellent source of news, interviews and features (we’ve linked to them many times) which casts a spotlight on speculative fiction and comics worldwide, especially works from authors/or which originate from places beyond the traditional bastions of the genre in the U.S.A. and the U.K. (Yes, that includes us here in the Philippines, as Bibliophile Stalker Charles Tan is one of the contributors.)

The WSNB is a companion blog to the Apex Book of World SF and now they’re asking for some help from readers in order to sell 92 more copies of the book by the end of January, as a way to support the site. In case you didn’t know, and could use another reason to support the site and the book, the Apex  Book of World SF contains “The Kite of the Stars” by our very own Dean Alfar.

The book has received good reviews so far–here are a few I found online:

(Image source:

Ruin and Resolve Reviewed in Business World Weekender

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 16 - 2010


Business World writer Johanna Poblete, who previously featured and reviewed Usok, gives Ruin and Resolve the same treatment in the pages of this week’s Business World Weekender (it’s a Friday-Saturday edition, so it should still be available today. Minor spoiler warnings apply.). While she has details her favorite stories in the review, as well as those that didn’t quite work for her, she seemed pleased overall with the charity anthology:

But outside its being a charitable donation, this newest [Spec Fic] anthology isn’t a throwaway piece of literature; it’s worth buying for its own sake — lending credence to the publisher’s self-effacing introduction of “we hope our stories and poems make you feel all the happier to have helped those in need.”

Credit once again goes to all our generous authors, as well as the Artspice! crew, who provided me with the art which I incorporated in the cover. Please continue to spread the word everyone–I’ve received news that some of our less Internet-savvy readers are a bit intimidated by the Smashwords registration process (a few have just given me cash in person @_@) but the process is actually very simple, and I’ve made a small walkthrough of the process here.

Chained Links: 15 January 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 15 - 2010

Still adjusting to my new schedule, and trying to balance Metakritiko editing/writing duties with Rocket Kapre and my own fiction, and couple that with my Internet outage (attributable to my router dying apparently) and that means I’ve been a bit behind on my news-of-relevance-to-Pinoy-SF… but that’s nothing a Chained Links post can’t fix!


Philippine Spec Fic News:

  • Lola: A Ghost Story (with a story by J. Torres and art by Elbert Or) is a graphic novel from Oni Books that tells the story of a boy who returns with his family to the Philippines for the funeral of his grandmother. Elbert says it should be out in comics stores this week, so you all know what you’re shopping for this weekend. You can check out some reviews at School Library Journal and Comic Book Resources, or check out the 17 page preview at the sites Elbert mentions here.
  • A list of indigenous tribes and languages of the Philippines by F. Blumentritt which briefly describes each tribe’s location, culture and religion. Handy resource eh? (
  • Project 20:10 is a project with the two-fold mission of drumming up support for local creators, and increasing the amount of local content in fiction, comics, animation and gaming. I’ll have an interview with project organizer Ria Lu (of Talecraft fame) at Metakritiko soon, so watch out for that.
  • Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels Seminar by Glasshouse Graphics from January 30-31. You can find the details here – warning, the site has audio. (via Komikero)
  • Speaking of comics, komiks creator macoy (I recently reviewed his “Ang Maskot“) posts embedded video of a Kubori Kikiam motion comic (which is obviously NSFW) and an animated mock opening to “The Metro” by Jerome Jacinto –which, I confess, I’ve never heard of before, but it looks awesome.
  • The Philippines’ second solar car (there was a first?), aptly named Sikat (see what they did there? *nudge*) is embarking on a nationwide tour. (Good News Pilipinas)
  • Spirit Photography is the topic of a recent blog post of Spec Fic author Yvette Tan . Speaking of Yvette, have I mentioned that she plugs our Ruin and Resolve anthology here?
  • Trese 5000: No, that’s not a far-future story arc, it’s a sales figure estimate for books 1 and 3. Congratulations to Budjette, Kajo and Visprint on the continuing success of Trese.

Genre and Fandom:

  • The Bibliophile Stalker Awards 2009 went up last January 13, in case you missed it.
  • Neglected Books and Authors get some love over at
  • Fandom, Participatory Culture, and Web 2.0 is the title of a course which I’d love to take up, but as that’s unlikely to occur anytime soon, I’m glad that Professor Henry Jenkins has posted his syllabus at his site.

Reading and Writing:

Estranghero Press News

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 11 - 2010


Our friends over at Estranghero Press have been busy lately, so I thought it might be best to gather some relevant updates in this post.

First off, everyone remembers that the deadline for story submissions for their Demons of the New Year anthology is on January 15 right?  Well if you didn’t remember, now you do, so no excuses. Procastinators and crammers (I think that covers about 90% of the people I know) have around five days to polish up those horror stories and send them to co-editors Joseph Nacino and Karl R. De Mesa.

Second, Estranghero Press now has a facebook page so go add them up if you’re a fan.

Third, head honcho Joseph Nacino has posted the digital press’ guidelines to shed some light on how it will be run and how often they plan to release new titles.



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.