10 Questions on 10 Stories: Yvette Tan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On September - 11 - 2009


Yvette Tan’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in so many venues online and offline that I truly believe she could put together an entire magazine all by her self. Her stories have been recognized by the Palanca Awards, the Philippine Graphic Fiction Awards and the 2008 Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Anthology. Her first short story collection, “Waking the Dead,” was released just last month to stellar reviews, and when she agreed to this interview, I decided to ask her one question for each of the stories.

The Child Abandoned: Have you ever attended the Feast of the Black Nazarene?

[Note: You can see a flash photo-essay of the Feast (with audio) at the GMA News website.]

The nearest I’ve gotten to the feast is watching it on TV. There’s something raw about it, something that transcends time. Sure, the celebrants are all wearing t-shirts and pants and have cellphones (which, for their sake, I hope they left at home), but you get the feeling that they could be wearing pelts. They have that sort of energy. People have gotten killed during the festival and yet it endures, as glorious as ever. Right now, I don’t think I want to attend the festival for real (mostly because my mom would have a conniption if she found out) but should I get a chance to do so, I would not say no.

The Bridge: You’ve met quite a few celebrities haven’t you? Which meeting left you the most star struck?

It’s tough to choose just one because I’ve interviewed so many interesting people. If my high school self saw me now, she would be squealing with delight. Here are the first 3 that comes to mind:

Pilita Corrales - One of the most amazing people I have met. She used to be a big star, and still is in some parts of the world. Did you know they named a street after her in Sidney? An interview consists of you sitting down and her telling you about her life story in fascinating detail.

Gary Barlow - One of the guys from the now defunct Take That. He called me at my house. I took the call in my parents room like a giggly teenager. He was very nice. Answered all questions about himself, his music, his family. Knows how to make fun of himself, too. The thing with a lot of foreign artists is that they take themselves too seriously, refuse to answer questions that don’t have to do with whatever it is they’re promoting at the time. Gary wasn’t like that.

Imelda Marcos - I didn’t really interview her but I got the chance to interact with her for the Terno episode of the first season of Project Runway Philippines. What a fascinating woman! She revolutionized the terno, taking it from a bulky three-piece into the streamlined one piece that is our national costume today. She my not have come off as nice in “The Bridge” but really, the story is more a tribute than anything else. If I like you enough, I’m going to make you a monster.

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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.