School officials, librarians, teachers, professionals, reviewers, tutors, and book enthusiasts will gather for the 14th Philippine Academic Book Fair,* the annual five-day event sponsored by the Academic Booksellers Association of the Philippines (ABAP) on July 6-10 at the Megatrade Hall, 5th Level, Building B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.
Continue reading “14th Philippine Academic Book Fair opens this week”
Geek Fighting is Manila’s latest sport. What’s a book geek to do? :D
(First published in Manila Bulletin, Students and Campuses Section)
The trivia culture has invaded Manila!
Pub quizzes, the quaint British tradition of publicly matching wits and exchanging useless information over drinks and bar chow, have been a great addition to the social scene around the city. On any given week, you’re bound to find one or two trivia showdowns in bars around the metro, and for geeks such as myself, the glory of being the geekiest of them all proves to be difficult to resist.
I’d heard about Geek Fight for some time now, and I’d always intended to join, as I’ve never been known to back down from any geeky challenge. So when I chanced upon the Facebook page calling for an all-Pinoy Geek Fight Friday of last week, I was determined to give it a good try.
On Friday night, the ragtag team I assembled met up at the Quantum Café in Makati for what (save for two of the members) was our first foray into Geek Fight: me, my cousin Dianne, our book club friends Czar and Marie (a writer and a geodetic engineer), my office’s finance officer Ate Chi, my lawyer friend Ryan (also a political science teacher), my long-time friend Joseph (who works in advertising), and his pal Norman (a banker).
Continue reading “Geek Fight!”
It’s a well-known fact that I harbor no love for the Twilight saga. To put it succinctly, among a host of other reasons, I am not a fan of the teen paranormal romance genre in general, I find Stephenie Meyer’s writing abhorrent, I prefer vampires who don’t sparkle (and pasty-faced Rob Pattinson doesn’t do anything for me, either, not that I would spend good money on any of the movies), and I consider Bella Swan one of the worst characters I’ve ever read in print (Twi-hards, please don’t spam me with hate messages!).
That said, I didn’t have high hopes for the Twilight graphic novel, which my boss lent me to review. I was curious for two reasons: local bookstores are having price wars to drive the sales of the books (there are even billboards for the book!); and I wanted to see how it was adapted visually, given its base material.
I also had a chance to review Maggie Stiefwater’s Shiver, which, despite my apprehensions, turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Continue reading “Of Vampires and Werewolves”
For the past few weeks, I’ve been raving about Miguel Syjuco’s “Ilustrado” to anyone who will listen! Hahaha, I’ve even managed to convince a bunch of people to go out and get copies (Dianne and Mike and Mike’s uncle, haha — I hope you like it as much I did!) because I couldn’t contain my excitement about it. Here’s my full length review (originally published in Manila Bulletin), and I hope it makes more people want to read it!
“When the author’s life of literature and exile reached its unscheduled terminus that anonymous February morning, he was close to completing the controversial book we’d all been waiting for.”
Thus begins Miguel Syjuco’s “Ilustrado,” winner of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Award and the Palanca Award, recently launched in the Philippine edition by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (International release is due this week — I think I’ll get myself a trade paperback of the international edition). I was waiting to board a plane to Davao, and I relished the ominous beginning as I settled down at the airport lounge for the first few chapters of this highly anticipated read.
Filipino writer-in-exile Crispin Salvador’s corpse is found floating in the Hudson River, and his student, Miguel Syjuco (yes, the same name as the author), wants answers. Miguel sets out to piece together Salvador’s life with fragments of his mentor’s body of work, personal history, interviews with friends and relatives, and other sources, telling his own life story along the way.
“Ilustrado” is not your typical Filipino novel, eschewing carabaos in the fields and sunlight the color of mangoes in favor of epistolary-style metafiction that uncannily mirrors Philippine culture, history and politics.
Continue reading “Ilustrado”
Squee! It’s finally out — my review section for a local travel magazine!
I now review travel books for the bi-monthly publication TravelPlus magazine, and I’ve finally seen it in print, in the current (January-February 2010) issue. The section is entitled “Reads and Views” and it’s on the back page of the magazine.
Here, I review Connecting Flights and A Year in Provence. I also have a section on Book Gadgets, and I feature the ThumbThing (maan, I do not know where I last set it down… I haven’t seen it in months!).
This is the first issue I appear in, and I’ll be writing for the succeeding issues as well (woot!), which means I’ve got to stock up on travel books (and read more of them as well).
Yay! Thank you to consulting editor Chris Datol for getting me to write for TravelPlus.
Get your copy at bookstores and magazine stands nationwide, and watch out for the next issue, where I review a cookbook, a flash fiction anthology, a travel mystery, and another book gadget. I also have another book review (full length this time) for TravelPlus’ sister magazine, ZenHealth in its March-April issue.