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PSF6 Review: “Alternative Histories” by Ian Rosales Casocot

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 3 - 2011

This post is a part of our story-by-story review of Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 6. You can see the introductory post, and our disclaimers here. Bold font is Mia Tijam, everything else is Paolo Chikiamco.

—Title’s obvious.

If you’ve ever witnessed our #RP612 Twitter fiction events, you know that Twitter-length alternative history stories are right in my ballpark.

So that’s what it’s called? Twitter fiction? Twition? Twitfic? Twific? And if it’s good do you say “Tweet!” And when it’s bad twitter fiction— what do you call it? Finger fart? Twit? Twat? Just asking.

The key to really short stories, from what I’ve seen, is to be able to construct them in a way that they read as something immediate, as opposed to something academic. Jotting down a one sentence summary of a story idea is not the same as crafting a piece of microfiction.

— It’s the whole application of 140 max characters as the constraint. In Media Res at its core. Question is was this constraint maximized?

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RP612Fic 2011: The Stories

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 17 - 2011

So… RP612fic 2011. Let’s crunch the numbers.

427 stories. Four hundred twenty seven stories were contributed this year (and that’s not even taking into account the forty-nine sent on the 8th for Philippine corals blog action day) and as someone who laments the lack of Philippine alternative history fiction–that brings a smile to my face. Some may quibble about the definition of “story” here, but even counterfactuals can make the reader stop and think about what actually happened, what could have happened, and all the space in-between–and that’s part of what I’d like people to do on Independence Day.

An even better number: 56. Fifty six people–poets, bloggers, Palanca winners, film makers, comic creators, anime fans–contributed stories this year (65 if you include those who only sent in on the 8th) and as someone who believes we need more writers–especially spec fic writers–that brings a smile to my face.

But best of all, for me, was seeing the somewhat amused bewilderment with which non-contributors met the deluge of strange tweets with the #RP612fic hashtag, many retweeting some of their favorites. That means we were successful at raising awareness, whether that be awareness of Independence Day, Philippine alternative history, Philippine microfiction, or all of the above. That’s a good thing, and I’m grateful to have Twitter as a platform for this sort of campaign.

That being said Twitter is not the most stable place to host 400+ stories for any length of time, so I’ve aggregated the RP612 contributions for 2011 in this post (at least, those in the public timeline and/or by my Twitter contacts). I’ve done this via screen capture (except for some tweets that weren’t on the public timeline) because it was easier than transcription, but EK Gonzales has graciously created a word file of contributions as of noon of June 13. You can find that here.

I’ve blacked out some of the non-story tweets (upon review I realized I missed a few) and I’ve left in some of the praise/compliments and highlighted them in green, because I need affirmation. As with any twitter search, it’s reverse chronological, so if you want to read from start to finish (again, with a few exceptions), head to the bottom of the post first, and read upwards.

Before we get to that though, I’d like to give a shout out to all the contributors, and list them here so that you can add to the people you follow on Twitter if you so desire :) Once again, thank you everyone, and I hope you had as much fun as I did. See you all next year!

1. adamfuckindavid

2. aeditor91

3. ageofbrillig

4. aghostworld (via email)

5. alexeivee

6. allify

7. almeldiel

8. amosias

9. Anitero

10. Andreal

11. Apil (via email)

12. Beerkada

13. biaxident

14. brilums

15. Budjette

16. charlesatan

17. chemikhazi

18. chinosingson

19. clickmomukhamo

20. DeanAlfar

21. dcimafranca

22. diveabout

23. Ekmisao

24. elizawriteshere

25. Et_Al_Crazy

26. Francis_d_twit

27. freakypencils

28. headpointernext

29. isangboses

30. jpedrovaldes

31. jpxv

32. KaEnchong

33. Kannibal

34. Kate Aton-Osias (via email)

35. Kenneth_Yu

36. kennethgyu

37. komikero

38. layangabi

39. lengthofwords

40. listenshadow

41. luckychan

42. lyzalust

43. magnetic_rose

44. marcosumayao

45. melanchoholik

46. miithinks

47. mitchcerda

48. moyzie01

49. nerveending

50. nobbiekenobi

51. Plsburydoughboy

52. shinkaide

53. skipdlc

54. smirksweetly

55. stormberry

56. tinlao

57. transparentboy

58. Transparentboy

59. umichii

60. unlawyer

61. voltaire

62. wagmagalit

63. wulffrick03

64. yvette_tan

65. zekemachine

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Celebrate Independence Day 2011 with Twitter Fiction (RP612fic proper)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 10 - 2011


This year, everyone was treated to a special edition of RP612fic during the June 8 Blog Action Day to save Philippine corals, but don’t forget that the annual celebration of Independence Day through twitter fiction is still pushing through on June 12, and on to June 13 as well, because the 12th is a Sunday, and we all tweet more when there’s work ^_^.

For anyone lat to the party, here’s all you need to know:

  • What is #RP612fic? It’s Filipino authors coming together on Twitter to create tweet-length stories (130 characters, because you need to leave space for the hashtag) and sending them out into the wild with the #RP612fic hashtag. When the event is over, I’ll collate all submissions into a single post here on the site.
    • What’s a Hashtag? It’s a word/code you put in your tweet after the “#”. It acts as a label of sorts and makes it easier for me to find all participating stories.
  • When does this take place? At least once a year on Independence Day, but starting this year we also do it to participate in other events, such as a Blog Action Day. For Independence Day 2011, you can send out stories on the 12th and the 13th.
  • What kind of stories should I submit? For Independence Day, I’d love to see alternative history stories, but it’s not like I’m going to tell you to delete your 130 character realist micro fiction opus.
  • What if I’m not on Twitter and I want to participate? Just send me your tweet length stories via rocketkapre[at] and I’ll try to tweet them or at least include them in my compilation.

Spread the word! For those who want to see the previous RP612fic stories, you can check out these links:

(Image of old school Philippine soldiers from

RP612Fic: Corals and Reefs Edition

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 9 - 2011

Save the Philippine Seas!

Yesterday was a Blog Action Day to save Philippine corals, in light of distressing revelations regarding the extent of illegal coral/turtle harvesting and export. To participate in the attempt to raise awareness, I sent an open invitation to Filipino authors to participate in a special edition of the #RP612fic event, and tweet micro fiction stories with a coral/marine theme. (Note: We’ll still be holding the normal #RP612fic on independence day, and the 13th as well.)

It was a lot of fun (even if my Internet cut out midway through) and I think that we managed to entertain folks on Twitter (and confuse a few–but if we make them ask questions, that’s a form of raising awareness too!) and the Save Philippine Seas organizers took note of our stories. It was gratifying to see comments such as these:

I live to please, so without further prologue, here are the #RP612fic submissions which I could find. I know I’m missing a few who weren’t able to tag their entries, or who have private accounts that I have no access to. Feel free to add your contributions below, if I missed them! Once again, thank you everyone! Looking forward to reading more on the 12th and 13th.

Let’s start with those with the most contributions:

Charles Tan:

Tin Lao:

Budjette Tan:

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RP612Fic 2010: The Stories

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 16 - 2010

If there’s one theme that I’d say unites many of the stories in this year’s RP612fic, it’s this: a need for catharsis. We’re coming off a decade under an unpopular President, and while many are hopeful for the coming administration, there still remains a lot of unsettled issues, a lot of unpsent anger. Luckily, catharsis is one of the functions that fiction can undertake in the life of both writers and readers, and I hope that participating in this year’s Independence Day micro story tweet fest helped a few of us get ready for the new challenges that face us, while helping us remember what has come before.

I’d like to thank everyone who participated, especially Dominique Cimafranca who was impressively prolific during the RP612fic period. We generated over one hundred and fifteen stories over the Independence Day weekend–here are a few of my favorite stories:

RP612fic 2010 faves

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point to Adam David’s essay on freedom, over at the Philippine Online Chronicles.

The rest of the stories run the gamut from science fiction, to horror, to fantasy (from the fantasy that means “magic” to the fantasy that means “how I wish this were true). Some are meant to be read alone, others in sequence (although there was a limit to how I could arrange them in anything but the reverse chronological order of a Twitter search.) Some aren’t stories in so much as hopes, dreams, or ideas and that’s fine too.The usual disclaimer applies: these stories are meant as fiction, and are not to be taken as allegations of actual facts, nor as statements of actual intent.

And now, beneath the cut, are the rest of the stories. (2009′s stories are here.) Enjoy, and see you all next year!

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RP612Fic 2010 – Celebrate Independence Day with Twitter Fiction

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 7 - 2010


This coming Saturday is June 12, Independence Day here in the Philippines, an occasion well worth commemorating–and, for writers, perhaps commemorating in our own inimitable way. Last year, on my old blog “Bahay Talinhaga”, I invited people to celebrate independence day on Twitter by tweeting six word stories and tagging them with #RP612fic. Even on such short notice–I only had the bright idea a day before independence day–quite a few people chose to participate and we ended up with a hundred original micro stories, (some NSFW so ‘ware the link) give or take, which I personally found to be an excellent way to celebrate our independence.

So, as should be apparent by now, I’d like to do this again this year–and with more advance notice as well. For RP612Fic 2010, I’m doing away with the six word limit–any story which would fit a tweet with the #RP612fic tag will do, so 130 characters, regardless of how many words are included therein. Let’s start posting the stories on Friday, June 11, and I’ll wait until the afternoon of June 14 before putting all the tweets/stories together in a post. Aside from that time limit, there are no real rules, though obviously I’d love good spec fic micro stories about Filipinos/the Philippines–and I have a special love for alternative history stories at this time of year. (For instance, what if there had been perfect attendance at the House of Representatives when the Freedom of Information Bill was on the table last Friday?)

If you’re on Twitter, tag your stories with #RP612fic so I can compile them in a post. If you’re not on Twitter but would still like to participate, just shoot me an email before June 13 at rocketkapre[at] and place “RP612fic” in the subject line and I’ll include these stories in the aggregation post.

So that’s it. I hope that all of you can participate and help spread the word. Looking forward to reading all your stories ^_^

(Image of old school Philippine soldiers from

RP612Fic: The Stories (2009)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 6 - 2009

This post originally appeared at Bahay Talinhaga earlier this year. It’s being re-posted here because… well, it was a lot of fun ^_^

Ah, the power of the internets+cooperation: start out with a random idea, end up with approximately a hundred stories, transmitted through twitter over the course of the day; sure they’re six word stories but they are a hundred six word stories that didn’t exist before Independence Day 2009–and boy, some of those concepts are just itching to be made into longer works.

Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun–here’s the roster of authors and some of my favorite contributions:






(Note: Dom has some explanations for his six word stories here. I’ll follow suit in a later post.)





Edit:  Sean over at “To the tale, and other such concerns” sends in some good ones – segregated by genre too. My favorite:

Balut vendors terrorized by giant duck.

Edit 2: A late submission from Andrea D.C. follows:

One diwata. One Chinay. True love.

I’ve got the full screen-grab of stories (and some tagged banter) after the cut. Some are NSFW and not everything is, strictly speaking, six words–but each one helped make this an Independence Day to remember for me. You’ve seen my favorites above… Which ones tickled your patriotic fancies? Let us know in the comments!

Again, thanks to everyone who participated, who spread the word, and even those who just read the stories. Once more with feeling: Happy Independence Day Philippines! See you all next year ^_^

And now: the stories…

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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.