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?
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: