Filipino Friday: Kids and Books

"Filipino Friday"

This week on Filipino Friday, bloggers talk about kids and books by answering the following questions: “What were your favorite books as a kid? Do you still read children’s books? If you would give a book to your younger self, what would it be?

I don’t remember having one particular favorite book as a kid. I do remember reading. A lot. I remember getting a reprimand for reading while the car was moving, for reading while walking–and then, because it happens, falling down a sewer because I was paying more attention to the book than where I was walking.

Even then I didn’t discriminate with the books I read. I would pick up a volume from the encyclopedia one day, and a Bobbsey Twins novel the next. I remember picking up a romance novel, the one where characters ‘make love,’ and never being told to not read it. I remember my parents bringing me my weekly local komiks every Friday when they come home from work. I remember stealing into my mom’s stash of horror komiks too.

No, I don’t have a favorite book. I still don’t, mulling it over now. I do have books I like to read again from time to time, but are they my favorites? What’s the criteria? I just like them.

There are books that really stand out in my reading history though.

There’s Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor which was the first romance novel I really enjoyed reading. I loved the mix of fantasy, comedy, and romance. I loved the time travel. And I remember loving the premise of time affecting love much more with Jude Deveraux’s Remembrance.

But those aren’t really books for kids.

I remember not liking A Little Princess very much when I first read it as a kid. But fast forward to a couple of decades later, and it’s now one of my go-to books when I just want to feel good. That’s considered a children’s book, right? A Little Princess?

And then there’s Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. It’s Young Adult, not really a children’s book. But if there’s one book that I’ve read that I would want to give my younger self–that would be it.

There’s also Inkheart. The early years of Harry Potter, although I much preferred the latter years… Artemis Fowl

Again, I don’t really discriminate when it comes to books. I read anything I find intriguing. It doesn’t matter if it’s for kids, for young adults, or for more mature readers. As long as it interests me, you’ll see me pick it up. And then I’ll write about it here. And if I really like it, I’m going to share it with everyone I know. Heck, I’d even share it with people I don’t know–

Which I’m planning to do at the Filipino ReaderCon this coming November 9! So if you have nothing planned that day, hang out with us at Ateneo de Manila University’s Rizal Library. Join us for an afternoon of talk, talk, book sharing, and more talk!

See you there!

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Filipino Friday: Recommending Fellow Filipinos

"Filipino Friday"Have you noticed the new look of my blog? No? Really?

As the date for the first Filipino Reader Conference draws near, we continue Filipino Fridays with the penultimate ReaderCon-connected meme with this question: “Do you read Filipino literature? If yes, what are some books by Filipino authors that you can recommend to fellow readers?

If you’re one of my few regular readers, then you already know the answer to this question. If you’re one of the random people who just happened to drop by, here’s my answer:

Yes, I do read Filipino literature. Not counting Ibong Adarna, Florante at Laura, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo–all of which were required reading for high school, I’ve read somewhere in the vicinity of a hundred Filipino stories. I haven’t finished them all (unless I finish Ilustrado sometime soon), and I didn’t enjoy nearly half of them. But the ones that I did enjoy, I enjoyed completely.

Some of the best work I’ve read, I’ve already posted about in this blog. These are the books I’m recommending for my fellow readers:

#1 Trese. A series of graphic novels that deals with Filipino folklore with a kickass heroine named Alexandra Trese. It’s an ongoing story rich with mythology, and with characters that really pop out from the pages of the book. Once you finish one book, you’re gonna want to dive in to the next series of stories as soon as you can.

#2 The Filipino Heroes League. There’s only one book so far, and according to its Facebook Fan Page, the next one won’t come out until Summer of 2012. It’s about a group of superheroes who are employed by the government; but like many things in the Philippines, they are underfunded and unsupported. Bleak? Maybe, but it’s this underdog status that drives the story forward, and makes this superheroes a lot different from what we’ve already seen/read from other publishers.

#3 Tall Story. This one was actually published abroad, but it is written by a Filipino author. What I like most about Tall Story is that it’s very fresh, and it’s proves that a Filipino can write Young Adults novels just as well as other writers–that we can write about something other than the desolation of the country, and the problems of the country, and the bleak future of the country. Tall Story is a heartwarming story about accepting differences, and getting by with your family.

#4 Naermyth. Like with Tall Story, the thing I liked most about this book was how it showed what Filipino authors are capable of. In this case, it’s a fairly believable dystopian future fiction. I had problems with the story, but its author does show a lot of promise. I think she just needs more practice.

If you’ve noticed, I steered clear from books about poverty and other problems the Philippines is facing. We already have a lot of books with that plot or that theme. The books I want to promote are the ones that show the Filipino for what they really are: creative and with initiative. We can rise above poverty-porn, we can write about something else other than what currently ails the country.

I’ve always maintained my belief that books are a great form of escape. I’m hoping that sometime soon, we’ll have books of our own that equal the imaginative worlds of The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.

So now that you know the books I’m recommending, what are the Filipino-produced books you’d like to recommend to me?

filipino friday: the book trailer

last week, guy gone geek hosted the filipino friday to discuss book blurbs. and i asked chachic if i could host filipino friday again this week to expand the discussions from last week to talk about another book-plugging tool: the book trailer.

book trailers are made to advertise a new book, or a new author. according to wikipedia, they started being made back in 2002, but only caught on when video-based social networking sites (like myspace and youtube) became more popular in 2005.

as a concept, book trailers are nothing new–but it’s only recently that i’m starting to see book trailers made for filipino books.

it started with, candy gourlay’s TALL STORY, which i figured was made because she was being published by a united kingdom-based company. but then, visprint came out with a book trailer for NAERMYTH. and another one for bob ong’s ANG MGA KAIBIGAN NI MAMA SUSAN. and i’m starting to wonder, is this something filipino publishers are exploring–or is it just visprint?

and then there’s this book trailer i found on youtube, which put me off from reading the book it was advertising. though i’m not sure if that was made by the publisher or the author. i’m hoping the latter, if only because that’s not a trailer a respectable publisher would produce. and i mean no offense to the author if he was the one who made it. but using music from an episode of GOSSIP GIRL to promote something that is bound to come off as something very much like GOSSIP GIRL is unfair for the author–and may actually be liable for copyright infringement–the music, not the actual novel.

so here are my questions:

what do you think of book trailers? do they succeed in promoting books–or do they only turn people away? what are the most effective book trailers you’ve seen? and which book trailers turned you off from the books they were advertising?

and lastly, what do you think is the future of book trailers, especially in the filipino publishing industry?

giveaway: filipino horror — the winners

it’s time to announce the winners for the filipino horror giveaway!

first, apologies because i wasn’t able to finish all the recommended books. i missed one, NINE SUPERNATURAL STORIES, because it wasn’t readily available at bookstores–and i didn’t have time to go to up press for a copy. also, the competition has gone for far too long, i was supposed to be finished with it last november 15. it’s already november 27.

but explanations aside, here are the winners!

the first winner, the one i picked, gets the WAKING THE DEAD / ILUSTRADO package. and from my reviews, you’ve probably seen which of the recommendations i really liked: TRESE.

though the first and third volume didn’t have the elements of horror i was looking for, the second volume more than made up for it. also, TRESE was a really enjoyable read, and didn’t take me ages to finish. i actually breezed through reading the graphic novels because i couldn’t stop reading.

the only reason the reviews came out a day at a time, was because i was pacing myself. and sure enough, by the time i hit the middle mark, i had slowed down considerably.

so congratulations to fantaghiro23 for suggesting the TRESE series.

and for the second part, where i asked you guys to pick which recommendation you think is scariest, i only got three votes: one each for TALES OF ENCHANTMENT AND FANTASY, TRESE and TRAGIC THEATER.

but i’m calling TRAGIC THEATER the winner. not because i liked it, but because it got an “and-a-half” vote. the votes went like this:

kwesifriends: “I vote for TRESE series and TRAGIC THEATER!” but then added, “Naa, I forgot were voting for the scariest pala. So change it, I’ll vote for TRAGIC THEATER na lang.”

me likes art!: “I vote for TALES OF ENCHANTMENT AND FANTASY, owing to the fact that one of the stories in that collection scared me.”

and,

artseblis: “TRESE! though I also really like TRAGIC THEATER.”

i counted artseblis’s vote for TRAGIC THEATER, since she didn’t take it back. so congratulations to ivanbookworm for suggesting TRAGIC THEATER. you’ve won the WAKING THE DEAD / A TIME FOR DRAGONS package.

winners, please tell me whether you would like for me to handover your prizes during the december 18 meet-up at libreria, the january meet-up of the filipino book bloggers, or if you want me to have your prizes sent through courier services. if you pick the last option, please e-mail me your address through blurredlights (at) gmail (dot) com.

thank you everyone for joining!

giveaway: filipino horror

"waking the dead" by yvette tani love hearing horror stories. i also love telling them, hence my tumblr blog: filipinoscares. and i love reading horror stories, especially new or twist-y versions of well-loved horror stories.

so this october, seeing as we’re working the days away to halloween, i’m asking whoever is reading this blog to recommend me novels that have elements of horror.

initially, i was going to go with just filipino horror. but in case there aren’t that many, i’m good to go with any novel that has elements of horror in it. the only catch is, it has to be written by a filipino.

when the entries are in, i will look for copies of said books. and the two recommendations that i like best will get a copy each of yvette tan’s WAKING THE DEAD (and another book each, that will be revealed later on).

to repeat; i’m asking for recommendations of novels that have the horror element–and is written by a filipino. it doesn’t matter if the novel was published abroad, as long as it’s written by a filipino.

deadline of recommendations is a week before halloween, which is october 24, a sunday. and the winners will be announced on october 31–or later, if in case there are too many recommendations.

game? hit the comments.

fully booked: the block

this is neither a love post or a rant post–this is a call to arms.

i just found out earlier today that FULLY BOOKED at sm north edsa’s the block would be downsizing their store–because a different establishment wanted their spot at the mall. so the store will be halved, with one half going to said establishment.

my source said that sm (the mall) only gave them two options: to leave (meaning, move locations within the mall) or to give up half their space. and seeing as there aren’t anymore space available for FULLY BOOKED at the block (or anywhere else in the compound, i guess), they chose the lesser “evil”, so to speak.

god only knows i’ve had my troubles with FULLY BOOKED, but the fact still remains that FULLY BOOKED is the only bookstore that caters to a wide market of book lovers. and their branch in the block is the biggest one in the north area, so losing even half of it is still a major loss.

now, i’ve only heard one side of the story. i plan to find out more. but one thing’s for sure: whatever establishment is moving in to the half FULLY BOOKED is losing–i will definitely not support it.