Alternative Alamat (Expanded Print Edition)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 15 - 2014

FAQ: ALTERNATIVE ALAMAT, THE EXPANDED PRINT EDITION

Hello there! I’m Paolo Chikiamco, editor of Alternative Alamat, and thank you so much for showing interest in the new, expanded, print edition! I’m here to give you some basic information about the book in a more informal manner, since that’s how I roll (and apparently, you as well!) but if you found your way here by mistake and want the more formal press release, I’m working on that. But for now…

What is Alternative Alamat?

Short version: It’s an anthology of short stories that re-imagine Philippine myths and legends, written in English by Filipino authors.

Long version: Philippine mythology is full of images that ignite the imagination: gods of calamity and baldness, of cosmic time and lost things; the many-layered Skyworld, and weapons that fight their own battles; a ship that is pulled to paradise by a chain, and a giant crab that controls the tides… yet too few of these tales are known and read today.

Alternative Alamat gathers thirteen stories by contemporary authors of Philippine fantasy, which make innovative use of elements of Philippine mythology. None of these stories are straight re-tellings of the old tales: they build on those stories, or question underlying assumptions; use ancient names as catalysts, or play within the spaces where the myths are silent. What you will find common in these thirteen stories is a love for the myths, epics, and legends which reflect us, contain us, call to us–and it is our hope that, in reading our stories, you may catch a glimpse, and develop a hunger, for those venerable tales.

“Alternative Alamat” also features interior illustrations by Mervin Malonzo (“Tabi Po”), a short list of notable Philippine deities, and in-depth interviews with Professors Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita.

What is the Expanded Print Edition?

Alternative Alamat was originally a digital-only anthology with eleven stories. This is the first print edition of Alternative Alamat, and we’ve taken advantage of this opportunity to add some new content that keeps with the theme of re-imagined mythology.

What is the additional material?

This print edition adds two more stories,  a short comic from Andrew Drilon, and a new story from Eliza Victoria, set in the same universe as “Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.” I’ve also done a minor update to the Appendix on researching Philippine mythology.

Where is it available?

It’ll be available at the launch on July 19,   Saturday [EDIT: LAUNCH HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO JULY 25, FRIDAY, 4PM, SAME VENUE] , as part of a four-title launch that takes place  at Powerbooks, Greenbelt. It will be available at bookstores nationwide soon after, but we don’t have exact dates yet.

How much does it cost?

250 pesos.

What are the non-fiction sections?

I have five appendixes at the end of the book, meant to provide greater context for the stories, and aid those who want to study Philippine mythology.

Appendix A: A Few Notable Philippine Deities

Appendix B: Interview with Professor Herminia Meñez Coben

Appendix C: Interview with Professor Fernando N. Zialcita

Appendix D: On Researching Philippine Mythology

Appendix E: Glossary of Selected Terms

Is it illustrated?

Yes, each of the original eleven stories is preceded by an illustration of a Philippine deity by Mervin Malonzo (“Tabi Po”). Aside from Andrew Drilon’s comic, there is no new artwork in the print edition, although a greyscale version of Mervin Malonzo’s cover for the digital edition is included.

Is the anthology suitable for young children?

In general, no, as there are several stories which tackle difficult/mature material.

Any there specific trigger warnings?

Sexual abuse; violence against women and children.

I’d like to review this book!

Great! Look forward to hearing from you.

Um, could I get a copy to review?

Drop me a line at rocketkapre[at]gmail with a link to your site/blog or name of your publication and I’ll try to set you up with a digital copy (of the print edition).

Should I buy the book?

I certainly think so! But then, I may be biased, so take a look below at what some people had to say about the original edition:

 

Alternative Alamat

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 1 - 2011

Philippine mythology is full of images that ignite the imagination: gods of calamity and baldness, of cosmic time and lost things; the many-layered Skyworld, and weapons that fight their own battles; a ship that is pulled to paradise by a chain, and a giant crab that controls the tides… yet too few of these tales are known and read today. “Alternative Alamat” gathers stories, by contemporary authors of Philippine fantasy, which make innovative use of elements of Philippine mythology. None of these stories are straight re-tellings of the old tales: they build on those stories, or question underlying assumptions; use ancient names as catalysts, or play within the spaces where the myths are silent. What you will find in common in these eleven stories is a love for the myths, epics, and legends which reflect us, contain us, call to us–and it is our hope that, in reading our stories, you may catch a glimpse, and develop a hunger, for those venerable tales.

“Alternative Alamat” also features a cover and interior illustrations by Mervin Malonzo, a short list of notable Philippine deities, and in-depth interviews with Professors Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita.

[Page still under construction - some details/links to be added later.]

Alternative Alamat: Table of Contents

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 13 - 2011

It gives me great pleasure to finally be able to announce the table of contents of our first commercial anthology “Alternative Alamat: Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology”. It’s been a long road, but I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. The book will be digital-only for now, and will be published in cooperation with Flipside Digital before the end of the year. I’ll be releasing more information about the anthology in the coming weeks.

“Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.” by Eliza Victoria

“Harinuo’s Love Song” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

“The Last Full Show” by Budjette Tan

“The Alipin’s Tale” by Raymond G. Falgui

“Keeper of My Sky” by Timothy James Dimacali

“Conquering Makiling” by Mo Francisco

“The Sorceress Queen” by Raissa Rivera Falgui

“Beneath The Acacia” by Celestine Trinidad

“Offerings to Aman Sinaya” by Andrei Tupaz

“Balat, Buwan, Ngalan” by David Hontiveros

“A Door Opens:  The Beginning of the Fall of the Ispancialo-in-Hinirang” by Dean Alfar

Appendix A: A Few Notable Philippine Deities

Appendix B: Interview with Professor Herminia Meñez Coben

Appendix C: Interview with Professor Fernando N. Zialcita

Appendix D: On Researching Philippine Mythology

Cover and interior artwork by Mervin Malonzo

The Hinilawod and F. Landa Jocano

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 24 - 2011

There was once a young man, who ventured into the mountains in search of a priceless treasure… sounds like the start of a fantasy epic, but instead it’s the start of a true story of the discovery of an epic.  Over on Facebook, Joanah Tinio Calingo pointed me to an article from the Manila Bulletin profiling anthropologist F.Landa Jocano and his work on the Hinilawod. It’s amazing how much of what we know about our mythological heritage comes from the work of a small group of people who persevered in spite of the indifference of the majority. Dr. Jocano is one of the most impressive of that already impressive group, and the article is well worth a read, if you don’t know the story already.

Speaking of the Hinilawod, the epic has been recently adapted into a play, which will be shown at the CCP on September 3 and 4 (two shows each day). The 3pm show for September 3 is already sold out, so those who’d like to catch the Manila run had best get their tickets soon. Prices range from 500-2000 pesos for the evening shows, and 300-1500 pesos for the afternoon shows.

SoM Video: Launch of Ateneo’s Online Philippine Epics and Ballads Archive

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On February - 10 - 2011

On the first day of the “Songs of Memory” international conference on epics and ballads at the Ateneo de Manila, the university launched the online version of its Philippine Epics and Ballads Archive. Here are videos of the official launch, with Professor Nicole Revel PhD walking us through the site. (The first part of the professor’s talk traced the historical developments in the study and preservation of Philippine epics and ballads, but it’s a long segment and I’m not certain if the sound quality is good enough, so not posting it yet.)

Ateneo’s Philippine Epics and Ballads Archive is Now Online

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 20 - 2011

This morning, on the first day of the “Songs of Memory” international conference on epics and ballads at the Ateneo de Manila, the university launched the online version of its Philippine Epics and Ballads Archive. I’ll have more about the conference in the next week or so, but I wanted to get the word out early about the new site, because anything that helps promote and facilitate access to the stories of pre-Hispanic Philippines is something worth celebrating. The interface may be a bit clunky at the moment (the copyright PDF file is popping up on every page I access with Firefox, although Safari has no issues) but that’s a small price to pay for access to this in-depth archive, previously only available through a visit to Ateneo’s Katipunan/Loyola campus–not something convenient or feasible for many.

Here’s an image explaining the icons that appear on the left side of each page, as seen in Dr. Nicole Revel’s powerpoint presentation at this morning’s launch:

As you can see, the archive is more than just a repository for transcriptions of the epics and ballads. I’ll go into more detail after the cut:

Read the rest of this entry »

Chanted Journeys: May 21 and 22, 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 7 - 2010

Well, isn’t this a bit of awesome timing? For those of you who want to experience hearing Filipino Epics performed live and old school, “Chanted Journeys: Discovering the Oral Traditions of the Cordillera” at the CCP will have renditions of the Ifugao epic “Hudhud hi Aliguyon” and a Kalinga Ullalim (not sure which one). The show, a part of Filipino Heritage Month 2010, takes place at 8p.m. on May 21 and 8p.m.on May 22, at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP. It will feature performances by The Community Chanters of Tungngod, Lagawe, Ifugao; and Manlilikha ng Bayan Alonzo Saclag with the Kalinga Budong Dance Troupe.

(Wow, they translate “Manlilikha ng Bayan” as “National Living Treasure”. That sounds head and shoulders above National Artist to me @_@)

You can buy tickets at Ticketworld. A larger image of the poster can be found here.

I’ll be buying tickets this weekend, and I’m already excited. :) To whet your appetite, let me repost the descriptions of the Hudhud and Ullalim from our Myth List:

  • Hudhud hi Aliguyon (Ifugao)
    • The life of Aliguyon, dealing with his eight year war against Pumbakhayon, which results in the two adversaries gaining respect for each other, until at last peace is made between the two peoples.
  • The Kalinga Ullalim
    • The ullalims in the book (ullalim is a general term for ballads that “eulogize bravery”) deal with the Banna-Dulliyaw Cycle of Southern Kalinga. The first deals with how Banna is born (through the intercession of a piece of betel nut-his mother eats a slice which his father owned and magically conceives) and rescues his father. The second ullalim is the tale of the ordeals Banna has to undergo (several headhunting expeditions, village annihilations, giant exterminations – the typical mythical courtship) in order to win the hand of Laggunawa, who had been promised to Dungdungan.

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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.

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