summer komikon 2016, or there’s so much good stuff our budget flew out the window

It’s good to be back! I missed last year’s Summer Komikon so I made it a point to attend this year and ask kind folks online what good titles are out there.

There were a lot.

Summer Komikon 2016

What we got:

  • Lost (Rob Cham, Anino)
  • 12:01 (Russell Molina and Kajo Baldisimo, Anino)
  • Kare-Kare Komiks (Andrew Drilon, Anino)
  • Amorsolo Esperanza & Andres Celestial (Elbert Or, Anino)
  • ZsaZsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila Blg. 2 (Carlo Vergara, Visprint)
  • Congratulations, You’re a Girl! (Grickenfish, self-pub)
  • Bits & Pieces (Grickenfish, self-pub)
  • Ugh 1 & 2 (Hulyen, self-pub)
  • Gekorr (Pancho Karambola, self-pub)
  • Alaala ng mga Anino (Mike Esteves and Mikey Marchan, self-pub)
  • Ligaya (Fatima Bergonia and Adrienne Onday, self-pub)
  • Aswang de Manila (Ianthe Pimentel and Kevin Samala, Blue Indie Komiks)
  • Buhay Habangbuhay (Paolo Herras and Tepai Pascual, Meganon Comics)
  • + a couple of books from Charles Tan (not sold at the event–thanks Charles!)

We were very happy with our purchases and will spend the next few days going through them. My early raves and recommendations: Lost, 12:01, Congratulations, You’re a Girl!, Bits & Pieces, and Ugh. I hope to find the time and energy to review them one by one.

Thank you to everyone who dropped by the Visprint table! (Apologies if I forgot your name/got your name wrong/called you by a different name/asked for your name when I should obviously know who you are. It’s embarrassing. I’m really sorry. I’m bad with names.)

Summer Komikon 2016

Photo from Kyra of Visprint

Summer Komikon 2016

Summer Komikon 2016
Photo from Kyra of Visprint
Summer Komikon 2016
Photo from Mira
Summer Komikon 2016
Photo from Honey

I’ll add more photos here as soon as I get them! (I remember posing with Alexandra Trese.)

We escaped the summer heat and dropped by Greeka Kouzina (which I also recommend) for dinner. It’s a short walk away from Bayanihan Center.

Summer Komikon 2016

Summer Komikon 2016

Summer Komikon 2016

pinoy reads pinoy books reads ‘a bottle of storm clouds’

I was supposed to meet with Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books on October 18th, but Lando had other plans.

We finally met up on October 24th at Lucky Bean Coffee Bar, in front of De La Salle University. I stressed out over this meet-up because 1) meeting new people makes me anxious and 2) unfamiliar places make me anxious (I got lost on Taft Avenue because of course) and 3) talking about my work makes me anxious.

It was fun, though. I had fun talking about the origins of the stories (one question that delighted me was “Are these two guys lovers or are they just really good friends? But why not??”) and my writing process/progress/aspirations, and I hope the book club members had fun as well.


I also signed books using N’s lovely gift from a couple months ago.


Thank you to Jayson and the rest of Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books. Check out the links below if you want to join them.


We are Filipinos who patronize Pinoy books, our very own. When we say “Pinoy books” we mean all published works written by Philippine and foreign nationals about the Philippines or the Filipino experience, written in (1) our national language, Filipino (Tagalog), (2) other Philippine languages, (3) English, and (4) any other foreign languages but translated to Filipino or English.

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36th manila international book fair: notes, tips, photos

My endless gratitude to those who dropped by Booth 78 (Komiket x Visprint) to say hi, buy books, and have their copies signed. I’m not a fan of crowds, but I always leave book events like this energized and pumped to write more.

Here are a few photos I was able to take. I wanted to take more shots but I was carrying a shoulder bag and a bag heavy with books, and the crowd. Oh, the crowd.

Before we headed to SMX, we went to the new Beni’s Falafel branch in SM MOA (South Building, near Gonuts Donuts if I remember correctly). Thank you to Honey de Peralta for the tip! If you’re in the area, you should try Beni’s Falafel.

Manila International Book fair 2015

Here is Booth 78 busy with buyers.

Manila International Book fair 2015

Manila International Book fair 2015

The Visprint x Komiket / Komiket x Visprint catalogue! After Lambana is already listed here. Hala ka, Mervin.

Manila International Book fair 2015

That empty spot was where copies of Dwellers used to be. The Visprint ladies said they bring 20 copies of each title every day. When I left, there was only one copy of Dwellers left for the day. Thank you, readers!

Manila International Book fair 2015

Jack Alvarez’s boots were so high and so awesome the guards thought he was going to the cosplay event. Probably my favorite story of the day. Haha!

Manila International Book fair 2015

3D printer. I enjoyed watching it at work, when a guy behind me said, “Last year pa kaya ‘yan.” E di ikaw na updated!

Manila International Book fair 2015

Manila International Book fair 2015

Saw this in passing. It was lovely, but didn’t get to buy it.

Manila International Book fair 2015

Signed copies.

Manila International Book fair 2015

Manila International Book fair 2015

Finally, my book fair haul:

  • Lunatic, Meganon Comics, various authors
  • Sixty-Six, Anino/Adarna, Russell Molina and Ian Sta. Maria
  • Janus Silang books 1 & 2, Adarna, Egay Samar
  • Histories, Ateneo Press, Charlie Samuya Veric
  • Cover (Story) Girl, Visprint, #romanceclass series, Chris Mariano (first read this as an ebook)
  • Piko, Anino/Adarna, various authors
  • Smaller and Smaller Circles, Soho Press, bought at the National Book Store booth, FH Batacan
  • Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga, Visprint, Jack Alvarez
  • Married Women, Ateneo de Naga Press, bought at the Ateneo Press booth, Maryanne Moll

Manila International Book fair 2015

Manila International Book fair 2015

Manila International Book fair 2015

Some notes/tips:

  • The huge National Book Store booth has a good system for payment. Lots of cashiers, a single line, a la SM Hypermarket. Anvil, which shares space with NBS, has only two cashiers, I think.
  • Booth 78 is too small for signing, but I’m happy to see a lot of readers.
  • I don’t understand the booth numbering system. A map would be handy. I feel like I have missed a lot of interesting booths because I can’t figure out where everything was.
  • I do wish the aisles were wider, with seats where weary attendees can take a break and rest their aching feet.
  • Bring water. Definitely.
  • Wear a comfortable pair of shoes.

see you at the 36th manila international book fair!

I will be at the 36th Manila International Book Fair on Saturday, September 19, sharing the 3 to 4pm time slot with Jack Alvarez, author of Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga and one of my co-Fellows at the UP National Writers Workshop.

See below for the map. Visprint books will be sold at a discount at Booth 78! Do drop by.

visprint booth

In other book-related news:

  • Dwellers is nominated for Best Novel at the Filipino Readers Choice Awards. Click here to vote for your favorite reads from 2014.
  • Visprint is going to the Frankfurt Book Fair this year from October 14 to 18. If you’re going to the fair (lucky you! shut up!  you’re making me envious!) and want to pre-order some books, read on below:

We’re attending this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair from October 14 to 18!

If you’re in Germany, we’re open to taking orders for Visprint titles to be claimed at the book fair. Send your orders to by SEPTEMBER 20.

Use the Subject Line “Frankfurt Book Fair Book Order”
Include contact details, including: your name and contact number. We will reply with payment options and pick up date/time.

notes from the philippine literary festival 2015

    • There were still a lot of people despite the INC rally blocking EDSA. Probably people from the South of Metro Manila? Happy to see the crowd.
    • The moment I sat in the Visprint area, someone approached me to have copies of my books signed. Buena mano! Salamat, Kevin.
Photo from Kevin.


Philippine Literary Festival 2015

Philippine Literary Festival 2015

Photo from EK
  • Our first stop was at the “Translation: A Creative Act” panel in the Namayan Room, with John Green English to Filipino translators Luna Sicat, Julz Riddle, Bebang Siy (who was cosplaying Margo Roth Spiegelman) and Ronald Verzo, moderated by Anvil’s RayVi Sunico. Happy to sit next to Elyss Punsalan. It was an excellent talk about the difficulty of translating not just language, but class, culture, and nuances in perspective. (How do you translate “fuck” when the word “sex” is used in the same sentence? How do you translate “state” when we don’t have an equivalent in Filipino? Do you use “lalawigan”? “nayon”? Why do American authors love using “my” — my floor, my bed, my room — and how do you translate that without sounding awkward in Filipino? How do you translate the “poverty” of living in a trailer park, when some Filipinos live in houses smaller than these trailers? How do you translate a story that is not believable to you, as a Filipino author and reader?) I really enjoyed it. Sulit ang pagpunta sa Makati.

Philippine Literary Festival 2015

  • Book signing pa more. Thank you Anne and the others who dropped by.


  • Before the night ended, Mervin Malonzo and I were able to share a few pages from After Lambana. We were in a corner of Ballroom 2, sharing the time slot with Meganon Comics.
    Photo from Meganon Comics’ Tepai Pascual.

    Photo from Tepai.
  • Sharing with you some snapshots here (from pages 10, 14, and 16). Some people in the audience expressed excitement, so that’s promising!

Lambana, the realm of the Diwata, has fallen, the Magic Prohibition Act has been signed into law, and there is something wrong with Conrad’s heart. Only magic can delay his inevitable death, and so he meets with Ignacio, a friend who promises to hook him up with Diwata and magic-derived treatments, illegal though this may be.

But during the course of the night, Conrad may just discover Lambana’s secrets – and a cure to save his life.

from After Lambana

from After Lambana 2

from After Lambana 3

Thank you to the National Book Store and the Visprint team for making this happen. Sa uulitin!

‘dwellers’ is best novel finalist for the national book awards, and other writing news

In this post: National Book Awards, Philippine Speculative Fiction, Voyage to Bathala, Best of the Net, Philippine Literary Festival, Filipino Readercon, goddess fan art, #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy.

2015-08-15 21.41.381. First off, my short novel Dwellers is a finalist for the 34th National Book Awards (Best Novel in English). Thank you to the NBDB (National Book Development Board) and the MCC (Manila Critics’ Circle) for the honor, and to Visprint for giving my words a home. My congratulations as well to friends and other fellow finalists. You can see the entire list here.

This is my second nomination. Last year, Project 17 was a finalist for the same category.

To know more about Dwellers (what’s it about, where to buy online and in the bookstores), click here.

2. My story, “The Target”, will be appearing in the upcoming tenth volume of Philippine Speculative Fiction. This is part of a collection of interconnected science fiction stories that I’m working on, and I’m excited to share this one piece of it with you. Thank you Dean and Nikki! Here’s the full TOC, from Rocket Kapre. PSF10

A Long Walk Home – Alexander M. Osias
A Report – Sarge Lacuesta
A Small Hope – Gabriela Lee
For Sale: Big Ass Sword – Kenneth G. Yu
Children of the Stars – Francis Gabriel Concepcion
Fisher of Men – Razel Tomacder
Hunger – Lakan Umali
IT Girl – AJ Elicaño
Lamat – Noel Tio
Marvin and the Jinni – Raymund Reyes
Mechanical Failures – Jose Elvin Bueno
Mene, Thecel, Phares – Victor Fernando R. Ocampo
Night Predators – Joseph Montecillo
Oblation – Richard Cornelio
Santos de Sampaguita – Alyssa Wong
Soulless – EK Gonzales
The Dollmaker – Joel Pablo Salud
The Last God of Cavite – Andrew Drilon
The Owl and the Hoopoe – Renz Torres
The Run to Grand Maharlika Station – Vincent Michael Simbulan
The Target – Eliza Victoria
Thunderstorm – Cyan Abad-Jugo
When the Gods Left – Kate Osias

3. Another story of mine, called “At the Diazes'”, also from this set of interconnected stories, has been accepted for publication, but I’ve yet to hear more about that, so let me get back to you.

4. Southern Pacific Review has nominated my poem “Stargazing” for Best of the Net 2015. Thank you! Click on the link to read the nominated poem.

5. Read my stories “The Missing”, “Maybe Another Song at Dusk”, “The Handmade House”, and “Voyage to Bathala” in one volume. Voyage to Bathala and Other Stories is part of the Encounters series published by et al and edited by Dean Alfar and Sarge Lacuesta.


6. I will be attending the second day of the Philippine Literary Festival 2015 to sign books and maaaybe give a sneak peek of the comic book Mervin Malonzo and I are working on. Come visit!

Admission to the PLF at the Raffles Hotel in Makati from August 28 to 30 is free of charge, but seats are limited. Thank you to Nikko over on Facebook for this image.


7. I served as panelist in last year’s Silliman University National Writers Workshop, and it was such a fun (grueling) experience. They are now accepting manuscripts. Read more here.

The Silliman University National Writers Workshop is now accepting applications for the55th National Writers Workshop to be held 9—27 May 2016 at the Silliman University Rose Lamb Sobrepeña Writers Village.

This Writers Workshop is offering twelve fellowships to promising writers in the Philippines who want to have a chance to hone their craft and refine their style. Fellows will be provided housing, a modest stipend, and a subsidy to partially defray costs of their transportation.

To be considered, applicants should submit manuscripts in English on or before 30 September 2015.

8. The Filipino Readercon team is up and about and organizing the Readers’ Choice Awards, with a slight change in rules this year. Watch out for that.


9. Alternative Alamat editor Paolo Chikiamco shared this fan art with me. “Tala’s Spectacles” and “Alunsina’s Mask”, based on characters that appeared in my stories in that volume (“Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.” and “Remembrance”). “Ana’s Little Pawnshop” also appears in my short story collection, A Bottle of Storm Clouds (a phrase lifted from the story). Art by michstar090. Maraming salamat!

Image link:
Image link:
Image link:

10. Subaybayan ang hashtag na #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy sa Twitter o Facebook, kaakibat ng pagdiriwang ng Buwan ng Wika ngayong Agosto.

Heto ang mga itinatampok kong akda para sa photo-op na ito (iilan lamang sa mga nahila galing sa lalagyan ng mga aklat):


Will Read for Feels’ ‘5 Filipino Speculative Fiction Authors to Watch’

Hands-down, one of our most prolific authors in the field is Eliza Victoria. Whether you crave science fiction, fantasy, or horror, Victoria has a story for you. She’s also written in a variety of formats, whether it’s short stories, novelettes, novella, poetry, and soon, comics. The only format that currently eludes her is the novel, but she has a large body of work to tide you over. It’s not just the sheer volume that makes Victoria stand out, but how consistent she delivers interesting and compelling stories.

Selected Bibliography:

A Bottle of Storm Clouds (Visprint/Flipside Publishing)
Project 17 (Visprint/Flipside Publishing)
Unseen Moon (Eliza Victoria)

From “Guest Post: 5 Filipino Speculative Fiction Authors to Watch” on Will Read for Feels. Thank you Charles Tan, Anne, Liana, and Marian! Please click through for more links and recommendations.