neon literary magazine, issue # 34, now live

Issue 34 of Neon is here, and I have poems in it. It also features the work of Sam Frankl, Lynn Hoffman, Tracey Iceton, Michael Frazer, Kate Folk, and Heidi James. The cover photograph is by Andrew Shoemaker.


It’s free to read online, but consider donating, or buying a physical copy. Each issue is 40 pages, A5, saddle-stitched and photo-illustrated in black and white.

Here is “Elegy for the lost minutes“, chosen as part of the preview. My thanks to editor Krishan Coupland.

editing the closet, news of poetry

I planned to go on a jog, but my room was bothering me, so I hunkered down and cleaned my floor and bundled up the shoes and clothes that I no longer use (or, in the case of clothes, those that sadly no longer fit). I filled two large garbage bags, and my closet was finally able to breathe. The shoes that remained I removed from the shoe boxes to save space. I hate how every space I inhabit feels so small and temporary – maybe because they are. I still can’t bring myself to buy items purely for decoration. I have to be practical. I have to be able to fit all of my essentials in one traveling bag. I just know that one day I will be packing up again to a new place.

I would love to live someplace spacious and permanent. Where I can hang a picture on the wall, buy a vase to put flowers in. Sit down with J, have dinner we actually cooked. Settling down, now there’s a phrase. Not marriage, just a place to stay. The opposite of wanderlust. I guess it bites you once you get over your first quarter century.

Guyito to watch over me.

Early morning. View outside the window.


In other news, Room Magazine‘s Labours issue (35.4) is coming out soon with my poem, “Hospital Work”. Can’t wait to get my two compli copies! Lorrie Miller sent a teaser in the mail:

As the final issue of our anniversary volume, we are launching issue 35.4, Labours at the Roundhouse Community Centre on Sunday, December 9 at 2:30pm, she writes.

If you’re in Canada, do come and enjoy the poems. The issue will be on newsstands in two to three weeks.


How about a children’s book for Christmas? You can order my book “Jeremy’s Magic Well” online.

Winner, 2009 Gig Book Storywriting Contest

Nominee, 2012 National Children’s Book Awards 

In Jeremy’s Magic Well, Jeremy’s father is mostly away, working as a cook on a foreign ship. Thanks to a magic well, Jeremy is able to see and talk to him. Following his father’s advice, he overcomes his fear of David, a schoolmate bully, and discovers that the two of them have something in common.

Also available are books by Kate Osias, Andrea Dela Cruz, and other fine writers.

‘what literary character scares you the most?’ on manila bulletin

Ronald S. Lim from the Manila Bulletin asks several authors what literary character scares them the most.

Here’s my answer:

“This is not a character in the strictest sense, but the entire town in Shirley Jackson’s widely anthologized story ‘The Lottery’ scared me. The story hooks you in with an innocent opening paragraph about this idyllic town in summer – The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green — which quickly devolves into something dark and horrific. Jackson’s a master in subtlety, and as a reader you will not be able to discern the horror (at best you will feel the low hum of unease) until the very very end. And it’s scary because the idea is not far-fetched or unthinkable – it can actually happen.” — Eliza Victoria, author of “Lower Myths”, “The Viewless Dark”, and “A Bottle of Storm Clouds”

Read more here. Answers from Cecilia Brainard, Samantha Sotto, Scott Chua, Yvette Tan, Mina Esguerra, Queena Lee Chua, Kate Evangelista, AS Santos, Kate Osias, and Nikki Alfar.

hey weekend

No work on Friday! We have planned to go to Tagaytay or Baguio, but logistics problems prevailed, so that will have to wait till we enter my birth month. :)

Speaking of my birth month, J got me some early gifts, including this pair of earrings. Whee.

J’s ma got home from a long vacation in the US. We got bagels. This is turkey ham, sun-dried tomato cream cheese, carrot and pineapple cupcake. Boom. Calories.

Have you tried Sebastian’s crazy awesome crazy-awesome flavors? Try Green Mango with Bagoong (fish paste; this is actual bagoong on the green mango ice cream) and Balsamic Strawberry (strawberry ice cream with balsamic vinegar syrup).

Lovely sky from Sunday afternoon. Look.

Don Jaucian talked to some horror writers and asked them what local stories they find scary. Answers from Yvette Tan, Ian Rosales Casocot, Karl De Mesa, David Hontiveros, Douglas Candano, and moi. Read the article on the Philippine Star.

The Book Depository is giving 5 percent off on one book order, so I finally got Leningrad by Anna Reid.

some updates

Maybe some books to keep your Nook company today? New Flipside titles are now up at Barnes and Noble, including the Philippine Speculative Fiction series and books by Sarge Lacuesta, Rye Gutierrez, and my own Lower Myths.


The heavy rains, with rainfall levels that now surpass the infamous Ondoy, have been nonstop over the metro and nearby provinces since Monday night. Still raining here in Makati, though some floods have receded.

Bulacan, my home province, is now under State of Calamity. There has been water inside our house for almost a month now. What are our elected officials doing?

The two days of rain in QC now exceeds the monthly rainfall normally experienced by the entire National Capital Region.

Ten out of 17 cities in NCR are under State of Calamity.

The Cubao underpass is now closed to traffic.

BBC posted some photos here.

A friend of mine snapped this photo in UP Diliman today. Look at that “lake” in front of the Oblation.

And so on.

filipino readers’ choice awards finalist + lauriat + why you should buy psf 7

While waiting for more entries to my book giveaway contest, I just want to share the good news that Under the Storm, Alternative Alamat, and Philippine Speculative Fiction 6, are on the list of finalists for the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. (I have work in all three anthos.) See you all on August 18 for the Readercon!

The finalists will be deliberated upon by select judges for each category composed of Filipino readers. They will read and discuss the books and decide which is deserving to receive the Readers’ Choice Award in that specific category. More details about the judging period and the judges will be posted soon!

Are you ready to see the finalists now?

Children’s Picture Books:

  • Mahabang-mahabang-mahaba by Genaro Gojo Cruz and Ghani Madueno (2010, Adarna)
  • Oh Mateo 13: Tree for All by Grace Chong and Beth Parrocha-Doctolero (2011, Hiyas/OMF Lit)
  • But That Won’t Wake Me Up by Annie and Anelka Lumbao and Liza Flores (2010, Adarna)

Chick Lit:

  • One Crazy Summer by Ines Bautista-Yao (2011, Summit) 
  • Table for Two by Marla Miniano (2010, Summit)
  • Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra (2010, Self-published)

Novel in English:

  • Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco (2010, Anvil)
  • Super Panalo Sounds! by Lourd de Veyra (2011, UST Publishing House)
  • Tall Story by Candy Gourlay (2010, Cacho Publishing House)

Novel in Filipino:

  • Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin by Bob Ong (2011, Visprint)
  • Ang Huling Dalagang Bukid at ang Authobiography na Mali by Jun Cruz-Reyes (2011, Anvil)
  • Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan by Bob Ong (2010, Visprint)

Comics/Graphic Novels:

  • KikoMachine Komiks Blg 6 by Manix Abrera (2010, Visprint)
  • Angel Crush by Ace Vitangcol (2011, Alturia Hill)
  • Love is in the Bag Vol 5 by Ace Vitangcol (2011, Alturia Hill)

Short story anthology:

  • The Secret of the Cave and Other Stories for Young Readers edited by Ed Maranan (2011, Anvil)
  • Alternative Alamat edited by Paolo Chikiamco (2011, Rocket Kapre and Flipside)
  • Philippine Speculative Fiction 6 edited by Nikki Alfar and Kate Aton Osias (2011, Kestrel DDM)

Essay Anthology:

  • It’s a Mens World by Bebang Siy (2011, Anvil)
  • Astigirl by Tweet Sering (2011, Astigirl Publishing)
  • Chulalongkorn’s Elephants by Ambeth Ocampo (2011, Anvil)


  • Under the Storm: An Anthology of Contemporary Philippine Poetry by Khavn de la Cruz and Joel M. Toledo (2011, Antithesis Collective)
  • May Tiyanak sa Loob ng Aking Bag by Eugene Evasco (2011, Anvil)
  • Off the Beaten Track: Tulaan sa Tren 2 (2010, Vibal)
Next: Lauriat, an anthology of Filipino-Chinese speculative stories, is now available as an ebook (EPUB/PDF/PRC) via Weightless Books. I just bought a copy! It goes for 6.99 US dollars, is DRM-free, and is immediately available for download. Edited by Charles Tan.
  • Introduction
  • “Two Women Worth Watching” by Andrew Drilon
  • “Ho-We” by Erin Chupeco
  • “The Chinese Zodiac” by Kristine Ong Muslim
  • “Pure” by Isabel Yap
  • “Dimsum” by Christine V. Lao
  • “August Moon” by Gabriela Lee
  • “The Captain’s Nephew” by Paolo Chikiamco
  • “The Stranger at my Grandmother’s Wake” by Fidelis Tan
  • “Chopsticks” by Marc Gregory Yu
  • “Fold Up Boy” by Yvette Tan
  • “The Tiger Lady” by Margaret Kawsek
  • “The Perpetual Day” by Crystal Koo
  • “Cricket” by Kenneth Yu
  • “The Way of Those Who Stayed Behind” by Douglas Candano 

Click here for more details.

I had fun at the PSF 7 launch on July 28, but the celebration was a bit dampened by the discovery that the anthology contained an earlier draft and not the final approved version of my story, “username: tanglaw”.
Good news, though, the corrected version is now live on Amazon. Hopefully the authors will get their compli ebook copies soon with the correct version of the story.
I’ve already begun reading PSF 7, and I think this is the strongest PSF anthology yet. The quality of the stories is just staggering. Early favorites (I need to mention that I don’t read in order): “All the Best of Dark and Bright” by Victoria Isabel Yap, “East of the Sun” by Dean Alfar, “The Changes” by Benito Vergara, “Pet” by Kristine Ong Muslim, and “The Likeness of God” by Crystal Koo.

The crowd at the launch at CBTL, Shangri-La Mall.

With Kristine, Flipside’s Acquisitions Editor. (And Alex posing for GQ, apparently. Haha.)

moment of change and other links

Hello, hello! A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. I spent it in Bulacan, with J and my family. I gave my mother a Strawberry Cream-scented lotion and body scrub that smelled so good I was, for a brief moment, tempted to just keep them and give her a blender instead.

Just dropping by to say that you can now buy a copy of Moment of Change from Aqueduct Press. Included here is my poem, “Prayer”, which first appeared in Stone Telling.

Shameless plug: And of course, my book, Lower Myths, is still available. Check it out if you have the time.

I compile links over here, but I want to share this now: Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s guest post, “Decolonizing as an SF Writer“.

Mark Twain, in his essay, To the Person Sitting in Darkness, speaks out against the Imperialism of the United States and in particular against the actions taken by the Americans in subjugating the Philippines and appropriating the victory of the Filipinos against the Spanish colonizers.

Mark Twain writes in his essay about the mindset of America in those days:   We have got the Archipelago, and we shall never give it up.

When I read this essay, I can feel the bewilderment of the patriots who had fought and won the war against the Spanish, and I feel utter sorrow in knowing that our supposed allies painted us as being uncivilized and not fit to rule our own country. I also feel indignation on behalf of the soldiers who fought against the Spanish and who realized that they were facing another, more insidious enemy. The thing is, where Spain very clearly presented themselves as conquering overlords, America presented itself as a friend. It was an excellent strategy which confused us completely because what they did to the Filipino was a betrayal of that word “friend”.

And for something fun, read madmacarta. It’s my daily pick-me-up. Bonggey!