Review: Abangan – The Best Philippine Komiks 2014

Review: Abangan – The Best Philippine Komiks 2014

Disclaimers: I’m friends with the editors of Abangan, and Mythspace (my comic, which will be published by Visprint, publisher of Abangan) was one of the komiks solicited by them for the anthology that didn’t make the cut. This review was made possible by a PSF copy provided by the editors. “Greetings young reader/ target demographic!” [...]


Announcing Studio Salimbal

Announcing Studio Salimbal

There’s a lot of talent out there. Within the Philippines and without, there is a glut of wonderful artists, incredible writers. If you’re a comics fan, you almost have too many choices, both paid and free, in terms of genres and formats and creators (not to mention the other media battling for your attention). I’m [...]


Mythspace Fan Art and Fan Essay Contests

Mythspace Fan Art and Fan Essay Contests

To celebrate the announcement of Mythspace Volume 1 from Visprint, and the final appearance of the individual self-published issues at next month’s Summer Komikon, Team Mythspace will be running a few contests during the month of March, both as a way of thanking old readers and enticing new ones. We’re starting two contests today, one [...]


Mythspace Volume 1 Coming from Visprint

Mythspace Volume 1 Coming from Visprint

Let’s kick off Mythspace month with a bang, shall we? Team Mythspace is proud to announce that a compilation of the initial eight Mythspace issues (six stories in all) has been accepted for publication by none other than Visprint. We are honored to have met the standards of one of the best publishers in the [...]


LONTAR #1 Ebook Now Available

LONTAR #1 Ebook Now Available

Tthe first issue of LONTAR, the Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, is now available in ebook form. Since LONTAR is a Singapore publication, this is the easiest way for people outside Singapore to access the journal. The inaugural issue includes fiction from Kate Osias, and non-fiction from me, and the poetry section is edited [...]


March is Mythspace Month

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 1 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

With the Summer Komikon being less than a month and a half away, it seems the perfect time to announce some big plans that Team Mythspace has for the coming year. Some of these announcements may not be news to those who read between the lines — or those familiar with a certain book publisher’s logo — but we’ve got some surprises for everyone… and some contests/prizes as well!

Stay tuned on Monday — and keep an eye on the Mythspace page — for the first announcement!

Art Workshop: Klaeum Adarna with Koi Carreon and Borg Sinaban

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 25 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

If you’re 11-16 years old (or know a young artist in that age bracket) and would like to learn from two of Mythspace’s very own, Adarna (as part of Klarum Adarna) is holding an art workshop by Borg Sinaban (Unfurling of Wings) and Koi Carreon (Lift Off) from May 1 – 6, 9am – 12nn. Register before April 12 (the Summer Komikon!) for a special discount.

Komikon Baguio 2014 this Saturday

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 6 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

For our friends up North, the 2nd annual Baguio Komikon is taking place this Saturday! Here’s the poster for the event and a map of the exhibitors.

Borg Sinaban and Mythspace at the MATA EXPO

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 6 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Borg Sinaban, artist for Mythspace: Unfurling of Wings, and Pilandokomiks, will be at the Mata Expo in Pasay City this Saturday to do some live painting. Borg will also be bringing a few copies of Mythspace, so if you’ve been unable to purchase any of the issues — or, hell, if you’d just like some more — head on down to One Esplanade and give Borg a visit.

LONTAR #1 Ebook Now Available

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 5 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Tthe first issue of LONTAR, the Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, is now available in ebook form. Since LONTAR is a Singapore publication, this is the easiest way for people outside Singapore to access the journal. The inaugural issue includes fiction from Kate Osias, and non-fiction from me, and the poetry section is edited by Filipina Krstine Ong Muslim. Here’s the full table of contents for issue #1:

  1. Etching the Lontar | Jason Erik Lundberg (Editorial)
  2. Departures | Kate Osias (Fiction)
  3. Love in the Time of Utopia | Zen Cho (Fiction)
  4. Philippine Magic: A Course Catalogue | Paolo Chikiamco (Non-Fiction)
  5. Jayawarman 9th Remembers the Dragon Archipelago | Chris Mooney-Singh (Poetry)
  6. The Immortal Pharmacist | Ang Si Min (Poetry)
  7. Stainless Steel Nak | Bryan Thao Worra (Poetry)
  8. The Yellow River | Elka Ray Nguyen (Fiction)
  9. The Gambler | Paolo Bacigalupi (Fiction Reprint)

For those interested, my non-fiction piece is an attempt to bring together the various forms of folk magic in the Philippines, under the guise of a course catalog for a fictional College of Philippine Magic. Here’s an excerpt:

Note: The world of Philippine magic is deep and wide – something that is to be expected of a land with anywhere from sixty to a hundred indigenous cultures, each with their own cultural heritage and oral traditions. I’ve limited my scope to the three general categories of magic that are most well known in Philippine pop culture (although I tried to shed some light on some of the more obscure aspects of each). The rich worlds of magic of particular indigenous communities, as well as magical feats performed in regional epics, are not considered here.


I’m presenting my discussion of magic in the form of a “course catalog” for an imagined school of Philippine magic (named after the Visayan goddess of charms). I’m doing this for two reasons. First, I’m not an expert or a scholar, merely an enthusiastic amateur with a penchant for compiling sources, and a straight up article would appear too authoritative for my comfort (I have, however, cited my sources as the “textbooks” in each Major). Second, well, it was more fun this way. Enjoy!




COURSE CATALOG for SY 2013-2014



A major in Philippine Sorcery involves the study of the principles behind da-ut­, a term used here to denote forms of sorcery, without a specific cultural lineage, primarily intended to effect harm on other living creatures (or “Malign Magic” as Lieban might put it).  It also entails the application of the principles of at least one of the recognized Sorcery Techniques in real life, in a manner befitting a strict code of ethical conduct. To acquire these skills, students will be sent on regular field work rounds, and we will be bringing in an array of guest lecturers who are actual practitioners. Sparring will take place in a controlled laboratory setting, with professional mananambal on stand-by.

Primary textbook:“Cebuano Sorcery: Malign Magic in the Philippines”, by Richard W. Lieban; University of California Press, 1967.

Secondary textbook:“Encyclopedia of Folk Beliefs and Customs”, by Fr. Francisco Demetrio, S.J.; Xavier University, 1991.

FLK 101 Introduction to Da-ut

An introduction to sorcery, focusing on the role and view of sorcerers in society today, distinguishing between the public perception in the provinces and in the cities, as well as the forms of da-ut that require spirit sponsors (as not all require them). The course will provide a brief overview of the different techniques, which will be dealt with in greater detail in the succeeding courses.

FLK 102 Ethics and Efficacy

While the debate still rages as to whether or not sorcery is effective at all on an innocent, studies show that the success of any technique is increased dramatically if it is applied in retaliation for a wrong done to the client. This course teaches students to determine the guilt or innocence of the prospective target. This course also details the obligation to the soul of the victim, if killed, and the difference between letting the client take responsibility for the soul, or the sorcerer taking on that responsibility.


Like steampunk? Like representation of Southeast Asain cultures in steampunk? Then boy, do we have the anthology for you. Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng are putting together an anthology called THE SEA IS OURS: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia for Rosarium Publishing. You can find the submission guidelines here, and you have until the end of June to submit. Get to it!


Release: Outpouring – Typhoon Yolanda Relief Anthology

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 30 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Outpouring“, the Yolanda Relief anthology edited by Dean Francis Alfar — which I mentioned a few days ago — is now out on Proceeds o sales will go to the Philippine Red Cross.

Mythspace art as Philippine SF placeholder art!


With the recent release of their Horror YA Anthology, editors Kenneth Yu and Dean Alfar are set to tackle the Science Fiction genre next, and they’re looking for a few good stories.

Open Call For Submissions–Science Fiction: Filipino Fiction For Young Adults

Editors Dean Francis Alfar (publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies) and Kenneth Yu (publisher of Philippine Genre Stories), and co-editors for Horror: Filipino Fiction For Young Adults, announce an open call for short fiction submissions for Science Fiction: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults.

The Filipino Fiction for Young Adults is a new annual anthology series, with the first volume focused on horror, and launched in mid-2013. The second in the series is Science Fiction: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults.
Submissions must be:
1. in the science fiction genre or contain strong science fiction elements
2. written with the Young Adult reader in mind (from 10 – 18 years old) and feature a young adult character (or characters)
3. cognizant of the themes and concerns of Young Adult fiction (coming of age, identity, belonging, a sense of wonder, a love for adventure, angst, concerns over school, challenges of youth, family issues, relationships to authority figures, sexuality, experimentation, peer pressure, bullying, among many others) – without being didactic and/or boring.
4. written in English
5. authored by Filipinos or those of Philippine ancestry
Submissions are preferred to be:
1. original and unpublished
2. no shorter than 1,000 words and no longer than 7,500
In the case of previously-published work—if accepted, the author will be expected to secure permission to reprint, if necessary, from the original publishing entity, and to provide relevant publication information.
Submission details:
1. No multiple or simultaneous submissions—i.e., submit only one story, and do not submit that story to any other market until you have received a letter of regret from us.
2. All submissions should be in Rich Text Format (saved under the file extension ‘.rtf’), and emailed to dean(at)kestrelddm(dot)com with the subject line ‘FFSF: title (word count)’, where ‘title’ is the title of your submission and ‘(word count)’ is the number of words the submission comes up to, rounded up to the nearest hundred (use the “tools” function of your word processor to find out.
3. Do not use fancy formatting.
4. Include a brief bio and publishing history (if applicable).
5. The deadline for submissions is midnight, Manila time, June 24, 2014. Letters of acceptance or regret will be sent out no later than one month after the deadline.
6. First-time authors are more than welcome to submit; good stories trump literary credentials any time.
Compensation will be Php500 for selected stories. We are still deciding whether to go digital or print (or even both). In the event that we publish a print version, each author will be provided with a contributor’s copy of the book. If the anthology is published in digital form, each author will be given a formatted e-copy of the anthology.
Dean Francis Alfar & Kenneth Yu


Many parts of the country are still reeling from the effects of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, and relief efforts still continue. One such project is “Outporing”, a Yolanda Relief anthology edited by Dean Francis Alfar. The book will be a vailable soon, but in the meantime, here’s the TOC and the cover.

“The Wordeaters” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
“Invisible Empire of Ascending Light” by Ken Scholes
“The Photograph” by Veronica Montes
“A Moment in Time” by Charie D. La Marr
“A Gentlemen’s Agreement” by Susan S.Lara
“X” by Karissa Chen
“Cunning Syncronicity” by Berrien C. Henderson
“Godsend” by Joel Pablo Salud
“Ondoy” by Laura McPhee-Browne
“Rescuing the Rain God” by Kate Osias
“The Wish Head” by Jeffrey Ford
“Flash Forward” by Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz
“Where Sky and Sea Meet” by Dan Campbell
“Arrow” by Barry King
“Finding Those Who Are Lost” by Celestine Trinidad
“Synchronicity” by Victor Fernando R. Ocampo
“We’re All Stories in the End” by Matthew J. Rogers
“Silverio and the Eidolon” by Vincent Michael Simbulan
“Tinkerers” by Jay Wilburn
“Finding” by David B. Ramirez
“Ikan Berbudi (Wise Fish)” by Jason Erik Lundberg
“Pilar Escheverria” by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
“Scraps” by Michael Haynes
“Freeborn in the City of Fallacies” by Andrew Drilon
“Storm Warning” by Lilian Csernica
“The Nameless Ones” by Gabriela Lee
“Whispers” by Grant J. McMaster
“Highway Run” by Alexander Marcos Osias
“Black Sun” by Todd Nelsen
“Life at the Lake’s Shore” by Alex Shvartsman
“Aliens” by Fiona Mae Villamor
“Little Italy” by Isa Lorenzo
“Discipline” by Rebecca McFarland Kyle
“Unmaking” by Julie C. Day
“Fresh Fruit” by Yvette Tan
“The Sparrows of Climaco Avenue” by Kenneth Yu
“Gellen’s Retirement Plan” by Tim Sullivan
“When We Were Witches” by Nikki Alfar
“All the Little Gods We Are” by John Grant
“Tuba Knight” by Cesar Miguel G. Escaño

A List of Diverse Editors of Speculative Fiction

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 14 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

I was recently contacted by Bogi Takács about including my name in a list of diverse editors of speculative fiction. As she put it: “There have been many lists of diverse writers of SFF, including some by me, but I couldn’t find a list of diverse editors. There is one now!”

The list is up, so go check it out!



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.