Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards

Just this morning, on my way to work, I was thinking of the reviews that I need to write for this blog, and felt a bit overwhelmed because I realized that I am really, really so behind. I really should get around to writing those reviews before they turn two months old.

But before that…I have this!

Last January, I met up with several Filipino Book Bloggers — a casual meet-up, but also not really because we talked about some serious bookish business! It feels like that meet-up was ages ago (and in a way, it was). I can’t help but remember that moment fondly now, because the things we talked about there are coming true now.

Which is why I am really excited to post this! Presenting the first Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards!

Filipino Readers' Choice AwardsThe Filipino Readers Choice Awards seeks to engage the Filipino reading public in honoring their favorite Philippine-published titles. An initiative of the Filipino Book Bloggers Group, the Filipino RCA was established to develop awareness and appreciation of Philippine literature; recognize the reader’s role in creating the meaning and experience of a literary work; and give the readers a voice in the Philippine book industry.

Nominations started last Monday and will be open until July 22. You can nominate any book published in the Philippines from January 2010 to December 2011 using this short nomination form. There are 8 categories all in all:

  • Children’s picture book
  • Chick lit
  • Novel in English
  • Novel in Filipino
  • Comics / Graphic novels
  • Short story anthology
  • Essay anthology
  • Poetry

Updates on the awards will be posted on the Filipino ReaderCon website (maintained by yours truly :) ), and the winners will be awarded during the 2nd Filipino ReaderCon on August 18 at the Filipinas Heritage Library (a post on this later on!).

I’m really excited about this not just because I’m a part of the committee for the awards, but because I’m really thrilled with the idea that my nominations count! That this time, we readers can decide which books are deserving of the awards. :) Doesn’t that make you feel good, too?

I already nominated several books I read and reviewed last year that I really liked. Have you nominated your favorites? If not, well, you have until the 22nd to do so! Snap to! :)

Kwentillion: A Million Stories to be Told

Last weekend was the Summer Komikon and I don’t really go there except if I’m looking for autographs for some of the local series I follow, or if there’s an interesting launch. This time around, it was the latter, and I am very proud to say that it’s the first launch I attended where I actually went onstage because I was a part of the project! :)

Kwentillion: A Million Stories to be ToldFrom the Summit Media page:

Kwentillion Magazine is the country’s first publication dedicated to young adult literature and media, featuring YA-themed comics and fiction by Filipino creators. The bi-monthly, black and white magazine (with an eight-page colored spread in every issue) features reviews and previews of young adult books, interviews with creators, and articles which tackle a wide variety of topics of interest to the YA community.

I co-wrote an article here with my friend Chachic about YA books in 2012:

Apocalypse Can Wait!

It’s not the first time I saw my name in print (I was in another independent magazine a few years ago :P), and I have been writing for Summit and other places online for a while now, but it’s quite nice to see my name in a project like this, something that I am passionate about. The other comics and articles are all awesome too — it’s always nice to read more local fiction. :)

The first issue is really a test run, and the next issue would depend on how well this first one sells, or how much buzz it generates. So! If you like young adult literature, or you want to read more about Filipino comics and fiction, Kwentillion is the magazine you are looking for! It’s available in National Bookstore and Powerbooks branches (last thing I heard, NBS Bestsellers in Galleria has copies) for Php 150. It has pretty good print quality too — I was surprised at the size of the magazine when I finally got my copy.

I’ll try to post a more comprehensive “review” of this issue later this week (promise to get rid of the personal bias over the project :D). I’m so honored to be a part of this project, and it was so cool to see it come to life. :)

Here’s a post from one of our editors about Kwentillion, and why he thinks this project is important. And then, you can also follow Kwentillion on Twitter or like the page on Facebook for more updates. :D

The Spark Project

Today I am over at my lovely lawyer (and all-around awesome nanay) friend Monique’s blog for the second installment of the new blog feature, The Spark Project.

After featuring her in my blog, it’s my turn to be on hers! This feature, as shown on the image, is really about *cue LOTR tone* the (one) book that started it all. :) Or in my case, several books. To be more specific, the book that started it all for me is a part of a series. Oh and it’s not Harry Potter or Twilight, if that’s your first guess. :P

Click here to read the interview!

Also, I am very flattered to read how Monique described me. :”> Thank you! Haha, and I love that she used pink on my name for the intro. And she even plugged my birthday too (in less than a month, eep!). :D

Again, thanks for the feature, Monique! And do drop by at her blog not just for the features but also for her detailed and honest reviews. :)

High Society (+ Giveaway!)

High Society by Paolo Chikiamco and Hannah Buena

High Society by Paolo Chikiamco and Hannah Buena
Publisher: Flipside Digital and Rocket Kapre
My copy: ebook from Kindle store, and signed print edition, bought from Komikon

Take your first step into a world of automata, magic, and alternative history! The year is 1764, and, for the first time in nearly two centuries, the Spanish forces have been repelled from the great walled city of Manila. While the Spaniards are quick to lay the blame at the feet of the invading British and their clockwork machines, the secret to the success of the Filipinos may lie closer to home, with an ally that is both ancient and new, mythical and mechanical. “High Society” is a stand-alone steampunk comic book in the “Wooden War” series.

* * *

I’m really all for supporting local authors and content, so when Honey told me that they will be releasing Paolo Chikiamco and Hannah Buena’s High Society under their publishing company, I bought it without blinking. Local content for the win, plus I really enjoyed Kataastaasan, so I was excited to read more about this alternate steampunk world.

Thing is, High Society is really the same as the Kataastaasan I read a year back…but also a little bit different. High Society is a stand-alone comic set in Cebu City circa 1770, and tells an alternate history of the Philippines’ struggle for independence from Spain. Here we meet someone called “The Carpenter” telling our main character Rita about the location of a treasure that they need to recover. Rita goes undercover in a party with the Spanish colonizers to retrieve the treasure. Now you’d think Rita is just your normal undercover agent and all, but then she’s also not. I won’t reveal what the twist is, but I remember I was pleasantly surprised when I found out about it on my first read. Even if I knew about it now and it kind of lessened the surprise, I really liked how it was illustrated and revealed this time, and I think it’s the part of the story that hooks the reader the most.

I think the improvement on this one compared to the ARC I read was how Rita was given a more human aspect. There’s a hint of romance in the story that made me smile, and it made me want to know more. This version also had a little more background on how Rita came to be as well as why their mission was important. I’m not a big judge on artwork, but I liked how it had that dark and authentic Philippines in Spanish era vibe.

So yeah, I liked this one on the second round as much as I liked it during the first. Too bad it’s a stand alone, but I kind of have high hopes with what they mean with the “Wooden War” series. More please? :) High Society is a creative take in Philippine history, and anyone who’s a history buff, or at least interested in alternate histories and steampunk should pick this up.

High Society is available from the Amazon Kindle store, iTunes store and in the Flipreads Digital Store. If you’re from the Philippines and you prefer a hard copy, drop by the Flipside booth at the annual Komikon this Saturday, November 19, where they will be selling limited physical copies of the comic. You can get it signed, too! :)

And because I really, really want you guys to read this, I’ll be giving away a Kindle copy of High Society to one lucky commenter. This is open to everyone — just leave a comment on this entry and I will pick one winner by Friday, November 18, 2011. If you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry — there are free Kindle apps for practically every gadget out there. :)

Rating:

My copy: Kindle edition

Other reviews:
Planet Markus
Flipgeeks

Happy Birthday Giveaway Winners

My birthday week has come and gone and I can definitely say that has been one of the best birthdays I’ve had. thanks to everyone who made it special. :)

Those people who made it special includes everyone who joined my birthday giveaway. Thanks so much for your greetings and your recommendations. I love how some of my friends who are usually quiet online even left comments just so they could greet me and help raise the amount to donate. There were 44 comments (43 actual comments, 1 pingback) by the end of the contest period. Rounding it off to 45, That means I get to add $9 to my donation. But since 9 is a bit of an odd number, I decided to make it $10 instead, making my donation $35. Again, I know that isn’t much and I don’t think it can hardly buy gold coins, but every little bit counts, right?

I made the donation today, much thanks to Paypal for making it easy. :)

Donation receipt

Thanks again to everyone for helping me with this. :) Let’s keep on praying for Japan, and for the world, too.

And now, for the other and the most awaited part of this post: the winners! Put all the names in via random.org and clicked Randomize! First two names in the list are the winners. :) Wee~

(Of course I’m putting them under a cut. Suspense much. Drumroll…)

(Oh, and it should be winners not just winner. :D)

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