Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Let's Talk About Happy Endings

If you happen to have read my first book, the short story collection called Happy Endings, and you're free next Monday afternoon, September 29, around 3 PM, it would be great if you could drop by Sweet Inspirations on Katipunan Avenue (it's sort of across Ateneo/Miriam, alongside Teriyaki Boy and Chicken Bacolod), in Quezon City.

The National Book Development Board has a little reading group called the NBDB Book Club, and they meet once a month to read and discuss Philippine-authored books. This September, their pick is Happy Endings, described on its back cover as a collection of "stories about reinvented identities, lost loves, thermoacoustic engines and Wednesday afternoons." The Book Club will be gathering at the aforementioned time and place -- and I'll be there as well, to answer any and all questions anyone may have about the book, from the writing process to whatever else. The session is open to anyone who's read the book; no registration required, just drop by. It'll be fun. (For more details, call the NDBD Secretariat at 9268238.)

On a somewhat related note, am very proud and pleased to point out that, thanks to my insane friends in television, Happy Endings plays what could be called a pivotal part in an upcoming episode (Ep. 9) of Rakista. (The show airs every Thursday night, 7 PM, on TV5, as if you didn't know already.) Thanks, guys.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Holy crap, David Foster Wallace just killed himself.

More on the author here.

Some quotes from DFW.

"Fiction-writing's lonely in a way most people misunderstand. It's yourself you have to be estranged from, really, to work."

"I had a teacher I liked who used to say good fiction's job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable."

"I 've found the really tricky discipline to writing is trying to play without getting overcome by insecurity or vanity or ego."

"The problem is that once the rules of art are debunked, and once the unpleasant realities the irony diagnoses are revealed and diagnosed, "then" what do we do?"

"...To be willing to sort of die in order to move the reader, somehow. Even now I'm scared about how sappy this'll look in print, saying this."

Friday, September 12, 2008

How To Be a Freelance Writer

You're going to the Book Fair, right? If not, then I don't know what to say to you... Except, perhaps, "Go to the Book Fair!" If not for the books, then at least to attend Trouble-Free Freelancing, which is all about, and I quote, "How to Succeed at Freelance Writing with power freelancers Luis Katigbak, Erwin Romulo and others." Yup, we're giving away all the secrets, including all the dark rituals involving limerick chanting, unemployed editors as human sacrifices, and fatted calves (mine; I really need to exercise).

It's happening on Sunday, September 14, 2008, 4:30 to 6 PM, at the Manila International Book Fair, at Meeting Room 4, SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia. And then it's happening again, same time and place, but on the day after, Monday. The second session will be even better, because then we'll be joined by the lovely and talented Yvette Tan. Yihee!

So many great events to go to. Later tonight at The Podium, 8 PM, is Drip's last gig for 2008, since lead singer Beng is gloriously pregnant and will be taking a break for a while, 'til about March of next year. (The gig also doubles as a baby shower, for those inclined to gift-giving.)

And then tomorrow, at the Book Fair, is the launch of my brilliant award-winning cousin Mookie Katigbak's first collection of poetry, The Proxy Eros, from Anvil Publishing, around 3 PM. Congrats Mookie! :D Afterwards there's the opening of Frailty at Cubao X, around 7 PM, a must-go-to for fans of the visually arresting. Starring Bernie Sim! Lala Gallardo! Cynthia Bauzon-Arre! And many many more! :D

CORRECTION: Our Book Fair talk/s are at 3:00 PM, not 4:30. Apologies. We were just informed of the mix-up yesterday, right before we went to the Fair.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Happy Birthday Yvette!


There is not enough space on teh Internetz to describe how wonderful you are. :D

Pic taken at the launch of Cyan Abad-Jugo's "Leaf & Shadow," and stolen from Panch Alcaraz, illustrator of said book

Friday, September 05, 2008

Leaf and Shadow by Cyan Abad-Jugo

"In this book you will find stories about some strange but essentially friendly creatures: a homesick anito stuck behind an old aparador; a musical rocking horse carved out of a very special block of wood; a poor kapre blamed by Old Manang for all the misdeeds in Lola’s house; and a shadow man who hosts parties in his shadow world." (Description from the Anvil Publishing page.)

The launch is tomorrow, September 6, Saturday, 3 PM, at Powerbooks Trinoma. Congratulations Cyan! :D

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Kermit the Bale

Some of you may have seen this already but if not... go, go look.

I think my favorite is the one where's he's standing opposite Russell Crowe.

Rakista Rocks

So I've plugged Rakista, the new comedy on TV5 about a group of college kids who form a band, on my music column and on my Facebook status updates. (Fourth episode airs tonight, September 4, Thursday, 7PM on channel 5!) Now you can read an entire article -- written by Philbert Dy -- on the show. Some excerpts:

"First, you might notice that the voice of the narrator is Lourd de Veyra of the Radioactive Sago project, which is insanely cool. Second, you might start to get a whiff of a twisted sense of humor that has never been present in local television, one that’s somewhat self-aware, and ready to poke fun at all the tropes of the genre. And lastly, you get the strange feeling that the inmates are running the prison, that for once, the creative people have been given free rein over what they want to put on screen, without interference from the station.

"The end result is something part John Hughes movie, part The Adventures of Pete and Pete, a little bit of Joss Whedon, and all Pinoy. It’s a striking alternative to what’s usually offered to young people on television."

The show was created by quirky Quark Henares and dandy Diego Castillo, and features a wonderfully talented/demented array of directors and writers, including a certain (ahem) Yvette Tan. I got to sit in on a couple of meetings and co-write episode 3 (which aired last week) with Yvette, and I can attest to the fun, freewheeling nature of the work behind the scenes, which of course doesn't mean that these people don't work their asses off.

Philbert goes on to say, about the show: "We follow these characters as they go through the ups and downs of college life, band life, and life altogether. Every episode is a little bit different. The pilot feels most like a school dramedy, something akin to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. [...] The fourth [episode] is completely off the rails, following Sven as he tries to become part of the Cubao art scene. At one point, the episode becomes a heist flick, before turning into a zombie freakout." (Or, as Rakista writer Ramon de Veyra puts it, the episode is "utterly batshit crazy and works as a complete stand-alone, practically.")

Read the whole article on Click the City, here. And DO NOT miss the show tonight! Yeah boyee.

This Reminded Me Of My Old Job

This made me LOL, and reminded me of my old job at Smart/Wolfpac. Because when we were putting together Pulse.ph, Rad wanted to add a button that said "Download The Internet."

(For those interested in reading Google Chrome comics, click here.)

And check out Cris Ramos' account of the E-heads reunion on Pulse here!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

24 Postcards In Full Colour


Lovely little shards of song, wordless and wonderful. And yes, they're ringtones.

"The title comes from the idea that when a phone rings we have an expectatiion of news from another place -- much as we do on receiving a postcard. These 24 postcards come from locations across the globe -- real and imaginary."

The photographs are excellent as well.

Some of the pieces remind me of Graeme Revell's work on my favorite soundtrack of all time, for Wim Wenders' Until the End of the World. And maybe it's just me, but listening to these 24 postcards makes me want to write stories. (Perhaps that's because they seem to be the musical equivalent of flash fiction.)

My favorites are "Cascade NW by W," "H thinks a journey" and "This picture of us. P."