Recordings from the UP Myth and Writing Roundtable

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 22 - 2015

Last March 19, 2015, the University of the Philippines Press 00 in honor of their 50th anniversary and in honor of the late Dr. Damiana L. Eugenio — had a roundtable on “Myth and Writing.” I attended the event, and for the sake of those who were unable to do so — there was a lot of interest, but it was a weekday — I’ve uploaded my recordings from the event. Not all the recordings are of great quality, but hey, better than nothing right?

To give you an idea of what to expect, it wasn’t a roundtable in the sense of a facilitated discussion with a series of questions being posed to the panel. From what I gather, the panelists seem to have been asked to read/present an excerpt from their work, then talk generally about their writing in relation to myth, followed by a general Q + A. Not all panelists adhered to that structure, mind you, which was good — I personally found Nikki Alfar’s portion to be the meatiest, even if it was the shortest. Panelsists spoke in a mixture of English and Filipino, although except for one it was mostly English. Also, Budjette Tan was unfortunately not in attendance.

 

UP Roundtable on Philippine Mythology + Sale

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 17 - 2015

Great news for Philippine mythology enthusiasts (like myself) — The UP Press will present “The UP Roundtable on Myth and Writing” on March 19, 2 p.m. at the Balay Kalinaw in University of the Philippines, Diliman. Speakers include Dean Francis Alfar, Nikki Alfar, Karl De Mesa, Emil Flores, Joseph Nacino, Budjette Tan, and Rody Vera. The event is open to the public.


Additionally, the following Mythology books will be sold at a 20 percent discount on that day:

Philippine Folk Literature Series:
An Anthology, Volume I
The Myths, Volume II
The Legends, Volume III
The Folktales, Volume IV
The Riddles, Volume V
The Proverbs, Volume VI
The Epics, Volume VIII

Compiled and edited by Dr. Damiana L. Eugenio

Credit: http://gist.ph/press-celebrates-50th-year-grand-book-sale-forum-philippine-mythology/, https://www.facebook.com/UniversityofthePhilippinesPress?fref=photo

Damiana Eugenio, Mother of Philippine Folklore, has Passed Away

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 13 - 2014

Damiana Eugenio, the Mother of Philippine Folklore, has passed away. Her anthologies of myth and folklore opened the eyes and hearts of many, including myself. Everyone who loves Philippine mythology and folklore owes her an immense debt. She has shaped generations. Our sympathies go out to those who knew her and lover her.

I’ve been told that the wake is at Claret Funeral Chapel, QC.

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: Expanded Print Edition, Launches on July 25

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On July - 10 - 2014

It’s been a long time coming, but the much-requested print version of Alternative Alamat is heading to bookstores near you — and sooner than you think! The good folks at Visprint are launching it on July 19,   Saturday,   [EDIT: LAUNCH HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO JULY 25, FRIDAY, 4PM, SAME VENUE] part of a four-title launch that takes place from 11AM to 6PM at Powerbooks, Greenbelt. Not only is this a print edition of Alternative Alamat, but it’s also an EXPANDED edition, with  a new 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 updated a bit of the bibliography to help with your Philippine mythology research needs.

Of course the rest of the book is still intact, with eleven stories that re-imagine Philippine myths and legends, each preceded by a gorgeous rendition of a Philippine deity by Tabi Po’s Mervin Malonzo. And in case you’ve forgotten what people said about the book when it first came out…

Winner: Best Short Story Anthology, Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards 2012: “Alternative Alamat does for Philippine deities what Neil Gaiman’s American gods did for the lesser-known gods of europe, Asia and Africa. Readers will find that the gods, goddesses and supernatural beings of the Philippines are as fascinating as those of any other nation’s pantheon. By turns shocking, tragic, even malevolent—the beings featured in this collection of stories are given new shape and form in stories that traverse the past and the present of Filipino culture. If myth is said to form a nation’s collective subconscious, then Alternative Alamat gives Filipino readers a much-needed injection of myths that are truly ours, and truly deserving of more widespread attention. Because of this collection, we’ll never view Filipino mythology the same way again.”

One of GMA News Online’s Notable Books from 2011

“[A] treasure trove of Philippine myths and legends reexamined and rendered for modern readers…lyrical…ground-breaking” Angelo Ancheta, Philippines Graphic (December 25, 2011 – January 2, 2012)

OK, if you only read one anthology all year, please let this one be it.” - Jaymee Goh(Scroll all the way down – this post reviews three books.)

“[B]rings Philippine mythology closer to modern readers like no scholarly book of myths possibly could… delightfully diverse.” - Meann Ortiz, The Girl Who Read

“Somehow, I felt that this book and the stories in this collection were mine — mine because I am a Filipino…” -  Tina Matanguihan, One More Page.

“…an excellent work indeed, well done!” – Catherine Batac Walder

“[A] marvelous attempt to gather in one volume some of the finest renditions of Philippine folklore.” - Kristine Ong Muslim (Amazon review)

“Different, but clever. Brilliant.” - Monique, Bookish Little Me

“This anthology came to me late in the year, but rocked my world on most counts. Between the illustrations by Mervin Malonzo and the intelligently done interviews at the back of the book, it was difficult to put this one down…” Katrina Stuart Santiago, Facebook

“I know nothing of Filipino culture, and these stories were all brand new to me. And I loved them!” -Robin Edman, Goodreads.

 

Teaser: Mythspace

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 24 - 2012

“You are wise to doubt the tales of your youth…
… but all myths, all monsters, are founded on truth.”

MYTHSPACE. A Philippine Mythological Space Opera.

Mythspace: Liftoff Issue #0 will be available at the Rocket Kapre booth at the 2012 Komikon, on October 27 at the Bayanihan Center, Pasig. This is my first comic since High Society, and I’m very excited about it. More information coming soon!

 

New Alternative Alamat Review (Robin Edman)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On June - 27 - 2012

I didn’t see this until yesterday, but in May, “Alternative Alamat” received a great new review on Goodreads from one Robin Edman. No, it’s not great because of the rating – although that’s awesome – but because this is how I was hoping the anthology would be received by those unfamiliar not only with Philippine mythology, but Philippine culture as a whole.

For those who are looking for additional reviews of “Alternative Alamat”, I’ve compiled some of them on the book page, including the wonderfully in-depth story-by-story review from Jaymee Goh. (Scroll all the way down – this post reviews three books.)

A Tour of the Philippine Fantastic (2 of 2)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 12 - 2012

Part 2 of my article on the Philippine fantastic for the “World Tour of Wonderment“ feature of Fantasy Faction is now up. (You can find part one here.) In this post, I give a brief primer on the fantastic in prose fiction and comics, by talking about prominent creators/projects in these fields. Check it out!

A Tour of the Philippine Fantastic (1 of 2)

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 28 - 2012

For those who don’t know, I’m a contributor over at the U.K. site Fantasy Faction, and the editors graciously allowed me to handle the Philippine stop of their “World Tour of Wonderment“, a regular feature where the site focuses on a particular country and its contributions to, and traditions of, the fantastic. This is the first part of the article, and gives an overview of our varied mythologies, as well as some of our folklore creatures. The article is meant to be a basic primer for non-Filipinos, but it may be an interesting read for anyone interested in the Philippine fantastic. In the second part of the article, coming next week, I’ll mention specific works and creators to check out.

Flipreads Promo: Read an Ebook Week and Read Aloud Day

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 6 - 2012

Flipreads is running a promotion this week , in celebration of Read an eBook Week (which is this week, from March 4 to 10) and World Read Aloud Day(which is March 7, tomorrow). Flipreads has placed several digital titles on sale, and amongst these is our very own “Alternative Alamat” which is now being sold at the discounted price of PHP200 (down from the regular PHP235). A fine time to get your copy, if you haven’t purchased it already! Flipreads accepts payment via Globe Gcash, Smart Money, PesoPay, Paypal and Cashsense.

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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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