I revisited (part of) my old alma mater last Saturday, November 28, for my very first Filipino ReaderCon experience, and to say that I was overwhelmed is an understatement. Granted, it took me several years to return to DLSU-Manila, but I still wasn’t prepared for how different it looked. The Henry Sy Sr. Building was HUGE. Escalators and elevators were everywhere. When I attended college there more than ten years back, the only buildings that had an elevator (if memory serves me right) were the Saint Joseph and SPS Buildings. Gokongwei? Not so sure; I didn’t frequent that area of the campus even if there was a walkway connecting it to Miguel.
Anyway, I digress.
This year marks the 5th year of #FilReaderCon, and I am so glad to have been part of it. I would’ve loved to have participated in more of the sessions, but I was happy to have spent time at the #romanceclass booth anyway, helping to sell and restock books. Also buy them.
I love being part of this writing community. Something special happens all the time, and I am learning a lot from them.
First, there was the publishing seminar in January that started it all. Then there was #SparkNA. In the middle now of preparing for #StrangeLit (another writing workshop coming in August), #MoreLoveInPH happened. To be really honest, I was so confused at first as to what this event is and would be like. I thought it was a gathering for Filipino romance writers–no, let me rephrase that–a traditional, face-to-face gathering for Filipino romance writers, but it turned out to be a virtual gathering. On Facebook.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being a Negative Nancy here. In fact, I’m writing about this because I really liked the experience, and hope there’d be more of it soon.
#MoreLoveInPH was described as an online party, and it couldn’t have been more accurate. Sure, it wasn’t the traditional party we all know, but why do we hold parties anyway? We hold and attend parties to celebrate something, and this party was, in my opinion, a celebration of Filipino authors finding a niche and working ardently to cultivate it.
It’s review time once again~ and this time, I’m doing two stories from the third #buqoYA bundle called Finding Fairytales. Admittedly, I haven’t read all of the stories in this bundle yet (because work hinders everything fun in life, yes?) but I hopefully have read enough to be able to do justice to Fall for Grace by Anne Plaza and Love in the Time of Viral Videos by R. Linea.
As promised, here are the rest of the synopses and excerpts from the #buqoYA Taking Chances bundle, which is available on www.buqo.ph for ONLY P45.00/$0.99!
(New to Buqo? Browse their FAQ page to satisfy your curiosity.)
Loving You All My Life by Rafael P. Pascual
Isang ulirang estudyante, kaibigan at anak si Danielle Natasha Lastimosa. Ang kanyang pagsisikap, talino at kabutihan ang nagdala sa kanya sa Philippine Institute of Arts, Entertainment & Culture (PHINAREC), ang pinaka-una at natatanging paaralan para sa mga nagnanais makapasok sa larangan ng sining, kultura at libangan. Maayos na sana ang kanyang buhay-estudyante nang isang Jairus Roman Vera-Perez ang biglang nagpagulo rito. Ang lalaking iyon ang anak ng may-ari ng PHINAREC, pero ito rin ang pinakalider pagdating sa katamaran, kayabangan at kakulangan ng disiplina. Pagtatagpuin sila ng isang kakaibang proyekto para sa kursong kanilang pinag-aaralan. Maging mitsa kaya ito ng lalong paglala ng kanilang bangayan, o ito na kaya ang magsilbing daan para sila ay maging magkaibigan – at magkatuluyan? Masabi kaya nila sa isa’t isa ang katagang “I’LL KEEP ON LOVING YOU ALL MY LIFE”?
Philippine Institute of the Arts, Entertainment & Culture
February 16, 2000
Hay, salamat! Natapos din ang isang linggon pagsusunog ng kilay. Kakatapos lang ng examination week at kaming lahat ay nabunutan ng tinik sa dibdib.
Pa’no ba naman: ang hirap na nga ng pagre-review, masyado pang mahigpit ang mga propesor – na pati ang pakikinig ng radio sa cellphone ay ipinagbawal din nila! Para naming walang tiwala ang mga propesor sa aming mga estudyante sa PHINAREC. Sabagay, prestihiyosong paaralan iyan para sa mga nagnanais pumasok sa media at showbiz, kaya gayan sila kahigpit.
Anyway, my name is Dana – Danielle Natasha Lastimosa. Anak ako ng isang retiradong inhinyero at ng isang dating government employee na napunta sa pagtitinda ng sigarilyo at kendi sa NAIA. At kung ang iniisip n’yo ay mahirap ang pamilya naming, tama po kayo.
Mahirap ang pamilya naming, kaya dumating ang panahong kailangan ko nang magtrabaho para matulungan ang aking mga magulang.
Kaya lang naman ako nakapag-aral sa PHINAREC ay dahil may nakapansin sa talent ko. Siya lang naman si Mr. Art Paglinawan, ang pinakasikat na newscaster sa kasalukuyang panahon. Simula kasi nang Manalo ako sa News Reading Competition ng FBN, at nang Makita niya ang sitwasyon ng pamilya naming, tinulungan niya ako sa pag-aaral ko dito – sponsored niya ang mass communication scholarship program ng PHINAREC.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rafael P. Pascual is a 20-year old Mass Communication student at Universidad de Manila. He is a reader of romance, teen fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery and history. He is currently writing under the username raffythequizzard on Wattpad.com.
He also loves to read Wattpad books, particularly those published by Summit Media’s Pop Fiction imprint. He has attended the Wattpad seminar at the 35th Manila International Book Fair, the Pop Fiction Academy at the 1st Philippine Literary Festival, and the 3rd Pop Fiction Festival.
He currently lives in Navotas City with his mother and six other siblings.
Today is the last day of the #buqoYA Taking Chances blog tour, but before I move on to sharing some excerpts and reviews, click HERE to join the Buqo special giveaway wherein one lucky Philippine resident will win a handy powerbank! Hurry~ because the form closes today as well. Good luck, guys! ^_^v
All right then, moving on.
I signed up for the #buqoYA blog tour for two reasons: one, I wanted to support all the young Filipino authors who took the leap and put their work out there (it takes a loooot of courage, I tell you), and; two, I wanted to start learning all about blog tours because clearly, I have been out of the blogging world for an awfully long time.
In the first #buqoYA bundle Taking Chances, there are two stories that immediately captured my heart and my mind’s eye. I personally really like reading stories with characters, situations, and/or settings I can relate to, and the stories A Portrait of Jade by Justine Camacho-Tajonera, and After the Moment by Six delos Reyes fit those criteria perfectly.
Got dragged (no, not literally) all the way up to San Juan, La Union last Tuesday to participate in SIFCare’s Earth Day activities which mostly entailed getting people to help clean up major waterways such as rivers and beaches. La Union is known for being the surfing capital of the Philippines, but do you also know that a lot of pawikans (sea turtles) come to their shores to lay eggs?
Yeap. Every year, hundreds of pawikan eggs are laid in the shores of San Juan La Union, and SIFCare’s CURMA (Coastal Underwater Resource Management Actions) program makes sure that these eggs are sufficiently protected until they hatch and the baby pawikans find their way back to the sea.
Quick update to say that the #buqoYA blog tour is kicking off in three days, and I’m very excited to say that Tara Tries to Write will be part of it! Admittedly, I have no prior experience with regards to blog tours, but I’m determined to make my tour stop good anyway; I owe it to the authors whose stories I have already read and will still be reading.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, it’s a very exciting time for a new generation of writers because a lot of avenues are being opened for us to put our work out there and get our stories to an audience. #buqoYA is one such avenue, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us–both authors and readers alike.
Here’s hoping for more opportunities like this for Filipino authors in the near future!
Read more about the #buqoYA bundles here, and (I believe it’s not to late to) sign up for the blog tours here.
If you are an aspiring writer residing in the Philippines (preferably the Greater Manila Area), great news! Anvil Publishing’s Spark Books is sponsoring a writing class called #SparkNA with Mina Esguerra at the helm. The class is absolutely free and will be done online, with two or three optional face-to-face classes which are still to be announced. Classes will run from April 6 to June 6, though when I signed up the other day, I already received my first writing task. If you’re scared about these tasks and challenges, don’t be. I’m pretty sure these tasks and challenges will mold us into better and more responsible writers.
Oh, and the best part? If Spark Books likes your piece well enough, they may offer to publish your book! Isn’t that great? I know I’d love to see a book of mine on display at local bookstores, so this is a real treat. To be quite honest, I don’t really have a solid idea on the story I’d like to write just yet, but I’ve decided on a theme, at least. My next step would be to create character sketches and a working outline so I don’t get swept away by deadlines come class time.