Malevolent beauty: Noelle Q. de Jesus’ ‘Cursed and other stories’
While I waited for the book to arrive from Singapore, where Noelle de Jesus is based, the author asked me to forgive the typos in the book, which was taken from the first run of the title by Penguin Random House Southeast Asia. As of this writing, the second print run was completed and all the aforementioned errors have been cleaned out of the text.
Bayanihan’s global dance fiesta
Dance is a discipline that stays with you for life—and dance opens up a world of culture to those who engage in it, and those who watch dance performances.
Indie irreverence & romance
Curling up with a good paper book is a pleasure one must never, ever underestimate. Me, I’m meeting the happy holidays with indie books by two of my favorite authors (who also happen to be two of my favorite people): Joel Pablo Salud’s Okay, Boomer and Che Sarigumba’s Sana Kahit Minsan, A Love Story—both titles printed by Rebo Press.
Fighting for freedom: PEN amid protests
The past four weeks have seen protests erupt around the world: In South America, in Asia, and the Middle East. When the 85th PEN International Congress opened at he Culture Center in Manila, Hong Kong was in upheaval with protests that have yet to abate—and PEN Hong Kong’s president, Tammy Ho-Lai Ming issued that PEN Centre’s statement of censure against the shooting of a protester with live bullets at the Free the Word poetry reading mounted by the International PEN.
Freeing the Word: The 2019 NJLA & the grants for humanities research
The winners of the annual Nick Joaquin Literary Awards (NJLA) were feted in the City by the Bay on September 20 at the Citystate Tower Hotel on Mabini St. in Ermita, Manila.
Band of Brothers: What to do with music so it matters
The already dim bar goes dark, the proverbial hour before a dawning stage explodes into the combined energy of sound and light, the clink of beer bottles and glasses with stronger stuff counterpointing the intensity emitted from the speakers flanking the center dais.
Crystalline time: Poems from Aida F. Santos’ precise pen
Poetry is spare, its economy of lines one where every word and punctuation contributes to the imagery of the verse, where these tiny things deepen the meaning of each line, building a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.
Dark mythos from the Kingdom of Tundo
Genetic memories always surface, and in unexpected ways. In literature, those memories express themselves best through fantastic tales and stories of myth and lore, because it is when the imagination is given free rein that nothing is impossible.
Pinoy sci-fi with mythos: The Merovingian
There will always be a soft spot in my heart for indie authors—they who choose to take on all the work a publishing house would otherwise take on, just to get their work out into a world of readers who can choose to buy their books or leave them. It takes a special kind of chutzpah to do something like that.