June 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm (anthologies, Books, Conversations, Places, Recommended, Relatives)
Tags: Bacolod, Burma, Filipino writers, Just published, Manila, Manila Noir, short story, The Philippines
“Do you know what shabu means? Did you know that each letter means something?” Cesar asked, pressing a clean sheet of aluminum foil between two one-peso coins.
“You mean an acronym,” Franco replied, a dull glint of the strip cruising his vision.
“An acronym. That’s what you’re trying to say. Each letter stands for a word. Like PBA. Philippine Basketball Association. Or NBA . . . “
“I get it. Exactly. An acronym. So . . . you know what shabu means?”
“I didn’t know it meant anything.”
“Satan Has Already Bought You.”
* * * *
The gossip in Bacolod. So-and-so had a shabu addiction.
Self: “How can he be hooked on shabu, he doesn’t make any money. Don’t you need a lot of money to get shabu?”
Self remembers how her cousin Manong Genray scoffed: “Even ‘sikab‘ drivers get hooked on shabu.”
Sikab is a bastardization of the words “Tricycle” and “Cab.” You can take one of these, 5 pesos (11 US cents) a ride. Cheaper even than riding a jeepney, which is 8 pesos (19 US cents).
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.
June 5, 2013 at 1:54 am (anthologies, Books, Lists, Places, Recommended, Women Writers, Writing, Zack)
Tags: Filipino writers, Just published, lists, Manila, Manila Noir, short pieces, The Philippines
Introducing, in the order in which the stories appear in the anthology:
- “When we learn about the sign, we must see it for ourselves.” – Aviary, by Lysley Tenorio
- “Casa Manila,” the docent announces, pushing the massive double doors twice before they give way.” – A Human Right, by Rosario Cruz-Lucero
- “Do you know what shabu means?” – Satan Has Already Bought U, by Lourd De Veyra
- “Sunday talk and it was all gossip.” – Broken Glass, by Sabina Murray
- “When we finally roll out, our seats are pitched up like we’re on a plane lifting from the tarmac.” – After Midnight, by Angelo R. Lacuesta
- “Nearly 13 million Filipinos ride the Metrostar Express every day.” – Trese: Thirteen Stations, a graphic short story, by Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo
- “The neck is broken.” – Comforter of the Afflicted, by F. H. Batacan
- “Somebody died in this car I’m driving.” – The Professor’s Wife, by Jose Dalisay
- “Lala makes the sign of the cross when she comes upon the naked, mutilated body of Vanessa Blanca hanging from the ancient balete tree on Moriones Street, a block away from the Tutuban train station.” — Cariño Brutal, by R. Zamora Linmark
- “The story Magsalin wishes to tell is about disappearance.” – The Unintended, by Gina Apostol
- “Paco texted me, asking for a ride.” — Old Money, by Jessica Hagedorn
- “Which parts of a bird are edible?” – Desire, by Marianne Villanueva
- “First of all, she wouldn’t change the locks on him.” – Darling, You Can Count on Me, by Eric Gamalinda
- “She doesn’t have to travel very far to see her fortune-teller.” – Norma From Norman, by Jonas Vitman
May 26, 2013 at 10:26 pm (anthologies, Links, Recommended, short story collections, Sundays, Surprises, television, Women Writers, Writing)
Tags: Filipino writers, Game of Thrones, humor, Just published, Manila Noir, Stella Kalaw, Sundays
Self received a message from Anvil Press of the Philippines, who published her third collection in 2009 (Don’t worry; you’ve never heard of it): They owe her royalties of 3,000 pesos (about $73)
Whoopie!!! Her first set of Anvil royalties! She feels so, so validated!!!
She also heard, via La Hagedorn, that Anvil is putting out a Philippine edition of Manila Noir, just out Read the rest of this entry »
May 26, 2013 at 5:30 am (Artists and Writers, Links, Recommended, Surprises, Women Writers, Writing)
Tags: discoveries, Filipino writers, photography, praise, Saturdays, science fiction, seasons, short story, summer, websites
It makes self sad to write the above. Indeed, it is the last Saturday of May 2013 she will ever live through. Then May will turn into June, and before you know it, July will be here (though she loves July. And not just because it’s her birthday month!) Before you know it, it will be Christmas again. And those silly Christmas doo-dads she pasted on her dining room windows, and has been too lazy or too distracted to take down? She’ll just leave them on, so that when Christmas comes, there will be no more of this hunting around for them in the garage!
Self has discovered a new Kindred Spirit Blogger! She’s not sure how she stumbled on this site, but she must have added it to her Bookmarks after she got back from Venice.
Tonight, she was browsing through it and thought: Hmm, it’s been a while since self blogged about another blogger. Let’s just say, she was very moved by the series of sunset pictures on this blog. They reminded her of the picture that Philippine Genre Stories used to illustrate her story “The Departure,” which was the very first story of that webzine, and which she’s been reading regularly ever since. It was fun to see it on the site, and a few months ago she discovered that Ellen Datlow (Who is Ellen Datlow, you may ask? Don’t blame you, self had to look her up: She is the editor of Science Fiction Magazine) had given self’s story (and a couple of other ones by Filipino writers, one of whom was Kristine Ong Muslim, whose writing self likes very much) an Honorable Mention for Best Science Fiction 2011!
Just now, self wandered over to Kristine’s website and discovered that Kristine has “garnered multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize” and that “her short fiction and poetry were accepted in over five hundred anthologies, periodicals, and podcasts.” Gadzooks!!! Way to go, Kristine !!!
Later, self browsed for mentions of her own story, and found some other writer mention it in passing, saying it was “rather dark.” To which self could only respond with a hearty
BWAH. HA. HA. HAAAAAA!
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.
May 17, 2013 at 4:47 am (anthologies, Books, Conversations, Family, Recommended, Surprises, Traveling)
Tags: discoveries, Filipino writers, Just published, pets, plans, praise, Publisher's Weekly, short story, travel
Self got another rejection, this from The Collagist.
Did she ever share with dear blog readers that Manila Noir got a REALLY good review from Publishers Weekly? Yay! Big, big shout-out to Jessica Hagedorn, for doing such a smart job with the anthology (and La Hagedorn has a new story in it, too)
She bought a greeting card (with dolphins on the front) to give to son on Saturday, after his graduation ceremony at Claremont.
In honor of the occasion, today self delivered The Ancient One to the pet hospital, where she will board for the weekend. Self drove so slowly that at least two SUVs honked her. But never mind! The Ancient One has a tendency to car-sickness. She kinda let her bladder go all over self’s jeans (the only pair of jeans self has left, because four were in the suitcase that got stolen in Venice) when self was carrying her down. Despite smelling like pee, self made herself wander the San Carlos Farmers Market. This you can do in America: she’d never dare wander Bacolod smelling like pee, but here no one gives a hoot. It’s so much less stressful.
Because self and The Man have junkers for cars, every time we go south, we must rent. And this time, self decided to splurge a little, because she rented a Prius. And Holy Cow! She’s never driven a car that didn’t have an ignition. Only a wee button to press. Plus, there was so much unfamiliar electrical whirring going on, every time she did something (like switch from “Park” to “Reverse” mode) that self felt like she was operating from inside a battery. It was so much fun renting this car, because self was in the wrong line. She picked the shortest line, and only after she got to the front did she learn that she had been in the line reserved for “Executive Members of the Fastbreak Club,” whatever that means. But never mind. Rather than send her to the back of another line, the busy rep actually made the time to get self a nice car, and she even confided to self that she, too, had a birthday in July. “Which makes you a Cancer,” self said. “My husband’s an Aquarius. They’re supposed to be very incompatible with Cancer.” The sales rep said, “My husband’s a Pisces. Is that compatible with Cancer?” “Yes,” self asserted. “Pisces and Cancer go together like white on rice.” (Lordy, just see how self rattles on!)
Anyhoo, The Man is very excited that we will be on Highway 5. Because it passes Coalinga. And in Coalinga there are humongous ranches, including Harris Ranch. Which means steak restaurants. And that’s all he’s been talking about for days.
Today, self was in the Chef Shop in San Carlos and she saw so many fancy kitchen implements. Since son and his girlfriend are moving in together, self decided to give son a call and ask him if he already had a rice cooker. He said he did. So self was quite at a loss for what to get him. She decided to control her impulse to shop, and walked out of the store with only a ceramic butter dish. Pats on the back, self!
April 30, 2013 at 5:26 am (Books, Surprises, Traveling, Venice, Weather, Women Writers)
Tags: contests, discoveries, Filipino writers, novel
Could this be an ancient sundial? (Seen on the island of Torcello)
Outside the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, on Torcello (No pictures are allowed inside — sigh)
Most of the pictures self took yesterday were grey. True to form, she decided to bring her umbrella, for the second day in a row. It is quite an annoyance, this bringing-along-of-an-umbrella, because she is already so laden down with maps, guidebooks, her travel notebook, and the book she is currently reading (Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses; good thing she didn’t bring The Portrait of a Lady. That book weighed a ton. More to the point, she wouldn’t have gotten to it: since arriving in Venice, she’s only gotten halfway into Petterson’s novel which incidentally, she found out from googling, received the Dublin IMPAC Prize).
Yet another contest announcement today, this time from Flyway. True to form, self doesn’t even remember joining. What is interesting about the announcement, however, is that a Filipina named Catherine Torres has earned second place. According to the Flyway announcement, Torres is “a diplomat and writer, and her work has appeared in magazines and journals in the Philippines, the United States, and Singapore.”
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.
March 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm (anthologies, Books, Places, Recommended, Writing)
Tags: Filipino writers, inspirations, Manila, plans, Saturdays
A few days ago, self received her two contributor copies for the Manila Noir anthology, happy happy joy joy!
edited by Jessica Hagedorn, published by Akashic Books
Her story is called “Desire.”
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.
March 16, 2013 at 7:27 am (anthologies, Books, Links, Recommended, Women Writers)
Tags: Calyx Press, Filipino writers, Fridays, memories, short story
Dear Departed Dad, Yearbook Photo, circa ???
Excerpt from “Picture”
(published in Going Home to a Landscape: Writings by Filipinas, Calyx Books, 2003)
She’s leaning forward, as if to kiss him. There’s a mark on his cheek; perhaps she’s done it already. They are both smiling.
These were my parents in Manila, circa 1956. They were happy; they had always been happy. The happiness of their marriage was like a reproach.
I didn’t think he looked that ugly. El unico problema es que no es guapo. Who said this? My grandmother’s cousin, Lola Paching. This, at least, was the family story.
But there was a certain kind of attractiveness in my father’s face. My mother, I saw now, looked like me. Or like I might have looked, if I too had been happy. She was wearing a white scoop-necked gown. Her breasts looked heavy and full, but her arms were thin. She was looking up at my father and smiling.
I am collecting old pictures now. I don’t know what this tells me about this stage of my life.
My husband and two children are far away. My husband said, as he packed their things, “Don’t call us. We’re happier that way. I may have murmured something in reply, compulsively polite, even under such circumstances. I didn’t know whether I meant to say, Good riddance, or I’ll be seeing you or Have a pleasant day! I stood on the driveway and gave a little wave as I watched my two children’s faces, grave in the back seat.
Marco is ten, his sister, Maya, is four. I had them a long time ago, when I was a different person. Now I find it hard to remember that person who changed their diapers without complaint, who gave them heated milk in the middle of the night. They lived in a neat house, then.
Two months ago, my sister-in-law called from the Philippines. The phone sounded shrill in the empty house.
March 8, 2013 at 7:04 pm (anthologies, Places, Women Writers)
Tags: Filipino writers, poetry, The Philippines
Odysseus Cripple at Bantayan Island
by Merlie Alunan
The light, the light here how pitiless
it burns from the vast skies at noon.
All day the heated wind
presses its salt kiss on the skin.
Bantayan Island, not such a way
from home, West of Leyte where I come.
Straggler though I am, this isle still
is my own — the starveling dogs, the armies
of sandcrabs guarding their holes,
the children too, brown and thin
with suburnished hair, lifting seasounds
in their speeches, my bittersweet familiars.
Not that one — white and blue-eyed traveler
hefting himself by his two good arms
on crutches of steel, dragging his body
on shriveled legs inch by careful inch,
Odysseus cripple, wandered from his own
ice-locked continent to this atoll
east north west south of nowhere.
March 7, 2013 at 3:29 pm (anthologies, Books, Recommended, Women Writers)
Tags: Filipino writers, poetry
by Maiana Minahal
Not demon nor god
just my tired father
who snaps off the useless bulb
burning above me.
Home from another night shift
at the machine shop,
grimy at midnight,
he finds me
face down in a book, tired
from trying to cram
too much in one night.
Too young, he thinks,
to work so hard.
But he want me to work hard
and ace his American country.
His footsteps fade away
as I try to shake off sleep
to tell him,
no American dream drives me,
fear of failing to conquer words
* * * * *
Loveliness: Women in Balay Negrense, Silay
This poem was Bunny Ty’s first published piece. She lives in Manila:
some women color their lips red.
not me, i like to color mine with good words instead.
some women curl their lashes hard.
not me, i want mine soft to catch my tears.
some women need to blush their cheeks pink.
not me, mine blush by themselves when i’m tickled pink.
some women close their eyes to show off their eye shadow.
not me, i want mine open to see the world.
some women take pains to pretty up their faces.
not me, i would rather take pains in prettying up the world.
some women think i look plain and dull without color on my face.
not me, if you look hard enough, you’ll see i am wearing a rainbow.