Monday, January 02, 2012

Tricia Gosingtian for Esquire Philippines

So, this video is pretty cute.

Videos of girls aside, Esquire Philippines is off to a great start, or at least the sales figures say. From the attention-grabbing launch to the first three issues packed with great original material (he said immodestly), it's been quite the experience so far. (Best to get the third issue -- cover-dated December -- while you still can, before the next issue replaces it; aside from the cover story on MVP, it's got our massive Best & Brightest section, a year-ender 'best of,' and lots of other stuff, including a feature on Alodia Gosiengfiao by yours truly).

And wait 'til you see what's up for January...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Esquire is Here

I am the Associate Editor of the soon-to-be-launched Philippine edition of Esquire Magazine. We have been working our asses off on this thing and it will be unleashed in early October. It will not have Monica Belucci covered in caviar on the cover, but it will nevertheless be a very, very good magazine. Thank you.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jay-Z = Batman

The invincible (and frequently hilarious) Chris Sims, on the link between comics and hip-hop. ;)
Look at Jay-Z and Batman [...] Both are identities created by otherwise "normal" men (Shawn Carter and Bruce Wayne, respectively) that allow them to become something bigger than themselves, to accomplish things that normal men couldn't. Admittedly, the accomplishments might not be quite on the same level -- eradicating all crime being a slightly more lofty goal than, say, selling Armadale vodka -- but the point stands that there's a level over-the-top posturing there that's every bit as exaggerated as it is in comics. The only difference is that one has "The World's Greatest Detective" and the other has "The Best Rapper Alive."

Read more here!

One Year Later

So, it's been a while. Over a year, actually, since I last posted here. I've been more active elsewhere online (see "Luis, Elsewhere" on the right). I thought it was time to update this blog, though, especially since it still turns up first when you run a Google search on my name.

Anyway. There have been changes, personal and professional, over the past year or so. The personal changes are quite significant, but I don't want to get into them here. Professionally, things are going well. I am the Executive Editor of the revamped UNO magazine, which if I may be so immodest, consistently showcases some of the best writing on the stands. Am still writing about music, though this time for the Philippine Star -- my column, "Senses Working Overtime," comes out every Friday.

I have a second collection of stories and a second collection of essays in the works, and am editing an anthology of fiction entitled Isolation Remembers What Repetition Forgets.

My hamster passed away but I may get a cat soon.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Waya Saturday

Waya will be performing at SaGuijo this Saturday night, November 7, at 10:30 PM. (They're the first band playing for this installment of the excellent Ninja Kiss production night.)

If you've ever seen them before you know they are one of the best live rock acts in the country. If you've never ever watched them I feel bad for you. *sheds tear* BE THERE!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

RJ Ledesma is Hanging Around

"There is no end to writers that attempt to write comedy. Many comics are funny, but few are hilarious. Ledesma is, well, hilarious.

"What makes him even more hilarious than most writers of comedy (and there are not, sadly enough, too many of them in the Philippines, at least not as many as the grim-and-determined, anti-feudalist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-Manila, anti-English, anti-Malacañang constipated types) is that he finds even things familiar to us funny.

"Ledesma was my student in creative writing at De La Salle University. In the beginning, he fancied himself an economist, taking up an undergraduate degree in economics. I like to flatter myself by saying that I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by making him go the route of underpaid, unpaid, unappreciated, unwanted creative writers..."

(From Isagani Cruz's intro for RJ Ledesma's I Do Or I Die -- launching tonight, Thursday, October 22, 6 PM at National Bookstore Glorietta 5. There will be food and drink aplenty. Seeya there!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yvette Tan is Waking the Dead

You know where you have to be tomorrow: at the launch of Yvette Tan's first book, the short story collection Waking The Dead. It is a dark, dream-filled delight, with fictions about strange circumstances, bloody bargains and fiendish fates.

The cover and the interior illustrations are by the amazing Andrew Drilon (see more here!).

Yvette's stories have won two Palancas, as well as a couple of nods from the Neil Gaiman-sponsored Graphic/Fiction awards organized by Fully Booked. Her work has been enthusiastically praised by Gaiman himself, as well as local literary luminaries like Gilda Cordero-Fernando.

"Tan’s stories rise like the enchanted river to meet their readers, the words like brackish water suddenly turning clear. Something is awakened in this book, an irresistible trap of terror and talent from Yvette Tan, whose seductively scary stories will make readers glad they acquiesced when offered this fateful bargain: 'Drink, and your eyes will be opened.'" That's from the advanced review that came out in the Inquirer last Monday. Read the rest here!

The launch is this Saturday, August 15, at Powerbooks Megamall, 4 PM. That's tomorrow! See you there.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Words and Shadows: This Year's Philippines Graphic Literary Awards

So, it's been a long long while since I last posted. I've been terribly busy lately -- as I dash off this blog post, I can think of at least a half dozen things I should be doing, instead -- but also, I tend to post more on Twitter and Facebook these days. I guess I enjoy the more immediate -- and yes, somewhat more filtered -- feedback and influence. :)

There are some things that require more than 140 characters and/or a link, though. It was my great pleasure and honor to be one of the judges for this year's Philippines Graphic awards -- renamed the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards in recent years -- along with the illustrious Susan Lara, and of course Graphic literary editor Marra PL. Lanot, who chaired the trio of judges.

Getting a story published in the Graphic marked a definite turning point in my writing career. I was still in high school then, which made the acceptance letter -- with hand-scrawled note from Nick Joaquin, woo hoo! -- doubly mind-blowing. (Later on I would talk with other young writers who had received similar notes upon the acceptance of their first works for the Graphic, and we would get all misty-eyed and crap like that.) And it was always a pleasure to see the illustrations that artist par excellence Jimbo Albano would come up with to accompany my subsequent submissions.

Anyway, there was a big Awards night for the prize-winners, marking the Graphic's 19th anniversary -- and also bestowing honors on The Graphic’s 10 Outstanding Young Leaders, and former Graphic Editor-in-Chief and Palanca Awards Hall of Famer Gregorio Brillantes, who received the first Nick Joaquin Lifetime Achievement Award for "his lifetime of service and achievements as a teacher, journalist and writer of short fiction."

Here's an excerpt from the article by Alma Anonas-Carpio:

"The winners of the Nick Joaquin Awards for Literature were Rosario Cruz-Lucero, who brought home the grand prize of P50,000 for her short story titled “Papa’s Field” published in the August 25, 2008, issue; Erwin F. Castillo, who bagged the second prize of P30,000 for his story “Cape Engaño” which appeared as a two-part story in the Graphic; while the third prize of P20,000 went to Sasha Martinez for her short story “This Fleet of Shadows,” which was published on September 29, 2008."

And here are my comments on the winning stories:

On "Papa's Field" by Rosario Cruz-Lucero:

A long-overdue homecoming, a difference of sensibilities between siblings, the contrast of city and small town: at first glance there is much here that is overly familiar, but as always, it is in the telling that a story takes on its particular power. Each detail is presented with care and sensitivity and surehanded skill; each character comes alive. In the end we are enormously affected by this quiet tale of two sisters, the weight of personal and political history, and the ghosts of dogs and fathers.

On "Cape Engaño" by Erwin F. Castillo:

There is a dark fierce joy at work in this tale of the dead and the dying and the lost. From New Year's revelry to near-death delirium, the author assaults us with vivid imagery, snapshots of a "world unhinged," as the story of Dr. Mikkis Madamba, Regional Representative, and his larger-than-life mother, actress Lumen Madamba, is told. Along the way a young goat is hung from a showerhead and slaughtered, an olfactory comparison is made between Filipino and foreign lovers, and a 13 year-old rock star-worshipping death watcher in boots is hired.

On "This Fleet of Shadows" by Sasha Martinez:

Effortlessly and eloquently captures that early and all-too-brief time in one's life when mothers smell like mornings and every blank surface is a canvas. With colorful charm and a strong subtle sadness, this story depicts and demonstrates the childhood joy of catching words and shadows. Its serene mid-morning stillness reminds us of what we were and what we always end up leaving behind.

The complete article on this year's Nick Joaquin Awards, with all of the judges' comments, is in this week's issue of the Philippines Graphic (cover date July 13, 2009). Congratulations to all the winners! :D