Sunday, December 21, 2008

Guesting on Rock Ed Radio Tonight!

If you're near a radio tonight, tune in to NU107 at 8pm for Rock Ed Radio. The topic is Nightmare Before Christmas and I'm guesting along with Rhyan Carlos, horror movie director. My guess is that we're going to talk about all things to be sacred of this holiday season. Like that commie Santa Claus and his brainwashed worker elves for example.

In other news, here's an early review of the Philippine Genre Stories horror issue on the ABS News website. Yay! As for the actual issue itself, it'll be out soon, giving us ample time to build it up for you so that once ithits the shelves, you absolutely, positively must buy one for each member of your barangay and their dentists. A better Christmas gift you cannot find elsewhere, di ba, KYu? :)





Friday, December 05, 2008

New Free Press Cover Out on Monday... and a link with live eats

Here's the Free Press' new design. I never thought I'd say this but... don't you just love VP Noli de Castro's puppydog eyes?

Seriously, I like that they're revamping their covers, keeping it classic and dignified yet modern.

Monday will be Mother Mary's birthday, but it will also mark a change in the Philippines Free Press' cover, courtesy of Erwin Romulo and Juan Caguicla.

Inside, find excellent bathroom reading material courtesy of Tad Ermitanio, Alexis Tioseco, Gang Badoy, the incredibly handsome Luis Katigbak, and more!

So fall in line and grab a copy next week. You know you want to.


In other news, here's a link to some of the most disturbing videos I've ever seen. Live fugu gutting? A plateful of crawling tentacles and... cassava! Come... dine with death. No salmon mousse here.

Oversharing

Because you can never have too clean a monitor...

And from Luis,

Because everything should taste like bacon.

You're welcome.

The Philippines Free Press Gets a Makeover

The Philippines Free Press, a venerable institution that just turned 100 this year (Haaaaapy berdey toooo youuuuu!) has also undergone a makeover. Yes, there is no shame in getting botoxed, facelifted and airbrushed in one's old age. In this case, the makeover was done courtesy of elite tatooed superhero photographer Juan Caguicla.

Aaaaaand gracing the new cover layout is none other than VP Nolin de Castro. I have no idea what for though, I make it a point not to follow politics, unless it involves Ate Vi running for office.

I don't have anything in this issue though. I think my article on Philipp Tampus, all around nice guy and one of the final 3 in Project Runway Philippines came out in the issue before it.

In other news, Andrew Drilon just sent me the drafts for Waking the Dead and I have to say, I love them! Luis does too! They're simple, yet freaky, but in a subtle way, sort of like the few peaceful moments before the psycho killer brings the knife down on your unuspecting back. It's better than I imagined it would be (and given Andrew's illustrious (yes, pun intended) career, I imagined lots). I cant wait to see the rest of the illustrations.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gina Catacutan's Family Tree

Remember ruthless Rakista's rock manager Gina Catacutan? The woman who reduced popular rock band Spongecola to a bunch of whimpering puppies?

Well, her type isn't new. Turns out rock managers have traditionally had the souls of rottweilers, at the expense of the talents they handle. They're great at taking unknowns to new heights of uber-popularity, and even better at siphoning their earnings.

Mental Floss blog has a list of 10 ruthless rock managers. See if their killer instinct matches -- or exceeds -- Ginas!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Art and Science of Freelancing

Was part of a panel of lecturers who shared their real world experienced to some English majors in the DECL. Luis and I were both there as representatives from the tribe of freelancing. I think I managed to depress everyone with the grim realities of the trade like the long lonely hours and the fluctuating paycheck. At the same time, I also told them about the rewards such an arrangement can bring (your own hours, no boss), as long as getting rich isn't your first priority.

Funny how things flow together. I got an e-mail from someone who apparently follows my GMA Column (now I'm pressured to update more often, hehe) and who was asking for tips on stating out as a freelancer. I e-mailed her back some tips but as soon as I can think of more, I'll probably post it in my column.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I see dumb people

Aaaaaand yet another link from E.

This time, it's a list of some people who are credits to all womendom. Yessiree, these ladies apparently have less smarts than a dead starfish and yet they've managed to garner fame and fortune, all because they look good in a bikini.

It's true folks, women don't need smarts to get ahead. They can go around thinking that Africa is a country and that people speak French in Budapest because at the end of the day, it's not their brains that'll get them paid.

It's a mighty big up yours to women who've had to slave away to earn degrees and whatnot because in the end, you know that you won't be earning as much as these bleached starlets. That said, I'm going on a starvation diet and applying to Disney.I'll bet they could use a disabled Asian thirtysomething in their roster of *ahem* squeaky clean talents. I'll bet I'll look like an angel next to Vanessa, Miley and that Cheetah Girl who's dating Kim Kardahian's brother.

Ooh, is that cake?

The (somewhat) fulfillment of a teenage fantasy

I'm posting this at the risk of revealing how old I really am (which, judging from my last post is "old enough not to be taking bull**** from people who don't know what they're doing).

This apparently very, very old news but I just found out that Matthew Nelson, 1/2 of he twins from glam rock band Nelson and one of my biggest crushes, is married, and his wife's name is Yvette.

Now, the Nelson official website is a bit embarrassing to browse through ($1000 to be a Nelson PA for a day, anyone?), so I'm going to tell you right now to skip it and just dig out your tape (you know you have one) or CD or MP3 (thanks Luis!) instead.

Because I can't live without your love and affection.

I watch (and listen to) dead people

I was writing today when my brain got sidetracked by the concept of post-mortem photography, which I fist encountered in the film The Others. Freaky stuff, taking pictures of the dead as if they were asleep, but apparently, it was a popular thing to do back when cameras were new and having a portrait of the deceased cost too much.

This blog entry on excommunicate.net gives a somewhat personal account of post-mortem photography. I also found some samples of it here.

There is also an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep that will photograph parent's final hours with their dying child (or already dead baby, the site doesn't really say). It's supposed to help with the mourning process. The photographs are elegant and tastefully done, and the people who have signed up for it seem to be glad that they did. I really believe that if you love someone that much, documenting your last hours with them isn't sick, it's a form of therapy.

Then E sent me a link to the transcripts of the Jonestwon Murders, which was sad and scary and drove home the point that you shouldn't really be wastng your life as there are others out there who are more than willing to mess it up for you.

Rakista in Fudge Magazine

Fudge magazine has an article on Rakista! Read it! Read it! Read it!

I haven't seen it yet but someone told me that I was quoted as the source for trivia. This is not entirely true. Let me explain:

I was asked for trivia about the show, so I asked everyone else to add to what I knew, and I sent it all in. I thought they would be using them generally without quoting sources, or else I would have sent in my sources as well. Soooo... my apologies to the people who provided some of the trivia:

Mads Adrias
Quar Henares
Erwin Romulo

Now, go read! Go read! Go read! :D

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Rice Cooker. Bow.

Came across an old article about how our humble rice cooker can be trained to do amazing things.

I actually have a book that shows you how to make simple dishes with just the use of a hotel coffeemaker.

I love how humans will defy all odds for the sake of a good meal.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion November 2008

Grab a copy of Fully Booked's Fully Booked Zine, the bookstore's in-house publication and turn to the last page. That's right! They did a story on me! My very first solo feature! :D As of now, the online version isn't up yet but I'll lin to it when it is. Ooh, giddy me! By the way, the picture that accompanies the article was taken by the super cool and galing Mitch Mauricio.

My story, "Her Room was Her Temple" will be out in the Philipines Free Press this week, around November 15. It's about a guy who discovers interesting things in a secret little corner of Burgos St. in Makati. You know, that dark, seedy street that branches out from Makati Avenue, the one with all the bars with neon signs and the place that offers lady and midget boxing? Don't deny it. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

Another story, "The Bridge," will be out in the latest issue of Story Philippines. It's about a psychic child in Tacloban in the mid-70's and her encounter with one half of the most powerful couple in the country then. Special guest appearance of that era's favorite psychic child, Ronnie Boy. This story will be coming out in the anthology of last year's Philippine Graphic/ Fiction Awards winners, as well as in Vin Simbulan's A Time for Dragons anthology (which will be out soon under Anvil), for which it was originally written.

I have an article about Christian Bautista in Filipinas magazine a US-based FilAm mag. You can read the online version here. My story is on page 38. :)

My latest column entry on my GMA News Column is about Kenneth Yu, publisher of Philippine Genre Stories. Here's an exerpt:

"I asked (my nephews and nieces) a few of whom were readers, 'If there were Pinoys who write, would you read them?' They were my test subjects. They said, 'Yeah. Where are they?' And I said, 'Good question. Wala nga,'" Kenneth says.

He also thought there was a lack of quality in the books that his nephews and nieces read.

"The books they were reading sucked!" Kenneth says.

"I want to give them quality stuff. I look for quality writers and thankfully, I got them. And now my nieces and nephews have been reading it," he says.

But many people ask, why concentrate on genre? Kenneth's answer can be summed up in seven words: a good story is a good story.

Read the whole thing here.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

This week on Rakista: November 6, 2008

The plot thickens on Rakista...

Someone mails Sonny an ear... Alvarez' ear. But where is the rest of Alvarez?

Sven returns to Cubao Aesthetics in an effort to find out who tried to kill Sonny. He once again enters the Sweat Lodge ng Katotohanan and finds another revelation instead.

The Love Team prepares to face up to The Hate Team in NU's Battle of the Bands. Who will replace Nix, now that their lead guitarist has gone over to the dark side?

"Shut up woman, let me finish!" and other great Sven one-liners.

CC and Caloy grow closer. Uuuuuy!

A recap of Sven and RJ's tongue action... and some Bebe and Nix MOMOLing time as well. You perv.

More Gina Catacutan... the record label executive in a league of her own.

If you missed out the first time, you can still catch the replay this Sunday at 1pm on TV5.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Anak si Zuma

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale's new bundle of joy is called Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale.

I highly doubt that the Rossdales know that Zuma is the name of a famous Filipino comic book character.

I can't wait for baby Zuma to grow up and have a kid of his own so that Filipinos can call him/her "Anak ni Zuma."

Mwahahahahaha!

It's like coming across one of Janice de Belen's kids (who are all sweet and charming, by the way) and exclaiming "Oh my god, anak ni Janice!" (which I'm sure they got a lot of).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A talk on horror in Bilibid

I was invited to join Rock Ed in Bilibid Prison, where I gave a talk on horror fiction. I wrote about the experience in my GMA Column. Here's an exerpt:

You hear all sorts of things about folks in prison. It doesn't help that movies paint prison as being a dark, soulless place where people are kept behind bars and given scarps of food to eat.

The security inside Bilibid is unbelievably tight (and rightly so). No cellphones or cameras allowed. We had to empty out the contents of our bags, surrender an ID and get frisked. The guys had to get stamped as proof that they don't belong inside. After all that, we were finally in.

The inside of Bilibid is like a little barangay. There is a hospital, a basketball court, a canteen, numerous sari-sari stores. People walk around, some in their orange uniforms, others in casual attire. It looked like you were in a men-only commune and not one of the biggest prisons in the country. People called out to Gang as she passed, all of which she greeted with a cheerful 'hello' back. We could see groups of prisoners walking around -- probably gang leaders and their 'bodyguards.' We passed some joggers who waved happily at us. The tiny road was smooth and well-paved, a far cry from some of the streets you see in Metro Manila.

Read the whole thing here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I hope you caught rakista this week because you're missing a lot

I sure hope you've been parked in front of your TV this Thursday at 7pm with the channel turned to TV5 because if you haven't, you just missed another great episode of Rakista, probably the only program on Philippine TV today where you can get art zombies, cosplaying ninjas and feral, turon-hungry table tennis fanatics, oh, and music.

If you're into the rock scene, you would have caught guest appearances by rock stars such as Raimund Marasigan of Sandwich and Pedicab in the episode where the Rakista gang storms the Eraserheads concert (yes, the real Eraserheads concert). You wouls have also seen Greyhoundz' Reg Rubio cameo as a doctor, his second career after Nyoy Volante (who also cameoed as an attempted murder suspect) and the rest of acoustic music killed kupaw (by the way, the new Greyhoundz album rocks). And if you saw ths week's episode, you would have heard the Dawn's Francis Reyes (also NU 107's Francis Brew) on the radio (in the show). You would have also seen all of Spongecola getting whipped, eating from Jenny Jamora's hand, performing onstage, you know, doing normal stuff.

If you haven't seen this week's episode, it's not too late to catch the replay on Sunday at 1pm on TV5.

Here are more reasons to watch this week's episode:

1. A real-live corgi.

2. Dog fight! Ok, not really. It's actually a cat-fight between two kontrabida dog owners, complete with 1980's Filipino movie name-calling. Rowr!

3. The most swearing I've ever heard in a local TV program.

4. Sven. And some RJ. So cute! My most favorite love team ever!

5. Another full on stage performance from The Love Team.

6. A shadow of complications to come. Hint: it involves cutie pie Nix.

7. For Spongecola fans, a full song by your favorite band!

8. For Spongecola haters: Yael getting whipped, then pushed off a table. Oh wait, fans will probably like this more...

Whatever rocks your boat, be sure to catch Rakista's replay this Sunday at 1pm on TV5.

Cannibal turns into restaurateur

So I was surfing the celebrity gossip blogs when I found this on Perez Hilton.

You cannot make this sort of thing up.

Actualy, yes you can, but it would be very hard to pull it off in a story. Again, I shake my head in awe at how truth -- everybody say it with me -- is stranger than fiction.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

The mirror has been a source of mystery for as long as humans have been alive. More than just a surface from which you can check your hair from, the mirror has traditionally been associated with sorcery and magic.

From Snow White's evil stepmother to China Mieville's The Tain, the mirror has been used as a vehicle for things not good, its reflective surface, once benign, now used for human destruction.

It's not surprising that stories and urban legends have grown around mirrors as well. Some of the more popular ones include child murderer Bloody Mary (say her name five times in front of a mirror); The Candyman, the movie based on Clive Barker's short story The Forbidden (say his name three times), and on a local note, Nick Joaquin's May Day Eve, where chanting "Mirror, mirror, show to me him whose woman I will be," will either show you the person you are to marry or the devil himself.

May Day Eve may not be a horror story (not in the traditional sense, anyway), but it does make use of something that everyone can relate to: an element of fear.

Eleven days to go til Halloween, people. Trick or treat!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rakista Fans: Listen to The Loveteam's First Song

Hey, hey, hey Rakista fans!

We all know how you can't get enough of Caloy, Ted, Nix, Bebe and Sven. But even if you can't watch the show 24/7, you can at least listen to the The Love Team's forst song whenever you want here.

Thanks for putting it up, Mads!

Dead Celebrity Soulmate

Find out which celebrity would have been the one for you in the Dead Celebrity Soulmate Search... had he or she not went to the grave first. Oh well, you can always get together in the afterlife.

Trawling the Web for Haunted Houses

With Halloween drawing near, it's not hard to find oneself in the mood for spook.

A link to HowStuffWork's Top 5 Real-Life Haunted Houses sent me trawling the interwebs for haunting-related stories.

This post got me interested in Annie Palmer, also known as The White Witch of Rose Hall. She was the wife of a plantation landowner whose history included voodoo, torture, multiple murder and adultery. She lived in Rose Hall, a famous haunted house (tours available!) in Jamaca, and whose land now stands a Hilton resort. Annie's story is the stuff that horror novels are made of. Goes to show hat the truth is stranger than fiction.

HowStuffWorks apparently has some stuff related to the supernatural, such as its Top 5 Hotels that will Scare the Daylights ot of You. Now I know where *not* to stay. Apparently, it also offers more 'scinetifically-based' list articles such as What Makes Graveyards Scary? How Body Farms Work (as seen in CSI) and How Ghost Busters Work.

All great stuff for mining stories.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

North Luzon Food Trip Part 2 on My GMA Column

Part two of my Appetite and Carnation Family Food Trip. Because one day of eating is not enough.

I finally posted the second part of my and Luis adventures as part of the Appetite and Carnation Family Food Trip delegation.

The short version: all we did was eat and eat, then eat again. For the long version, click here.

Reasons to Watch Rakista's Replay at 1pm this Sunday

Missed Rakista last Thursday, October 16? Or simply can't get enough of life in the University (which bears no resemblance to Ateneo, UP or UST at all, nosiree)? Whatever your reason, you have to tune in to the replay this Sunday, October 19 at 1pm on TV5 (That's channel 5 in lay speak) for an episode filled with music, laughter, and Sven.

Highlights include:

1. Sonny, golden boy, student body president and captain of the men's swim team making moonie moonie in the locker area. In trunks. Hello, ladies!

2. Women's swom team captain Sadie Lopez being pushed into the pool by Coach Pontri.

3. A special appearance by everyone's favorite sidekick, Alvarez!

4. An almost-murder mystery, with Sven and super cute RJ hot on the case!

5. A Sven and RJ MOMOL (make out make out lang) scene. About two minutes long. With tongue. Not to be missed!

6. Special guest appearance by the Greyhoundz' Reg Rubio. Find out what happened to him after kupaw music got killed by acoustic!

7. Special guest appearance by Nyoy Volante! This is funnier than it sounds.

8. Ninjas! Well, one ninja. Plus a ninja training montage. No series is complete without one.

9. Feral turon-hungry table tennis team players on the prowl!

10. Sonny lets slip a clue to next week's musical guests. Clue: They're a band. All right, all right. Bigger clue: They're a pretty popular band. If you want to know who they are, you'll have to watch next week's episode!

Meanwhile, hide the remote and save a seat in front of the TV this Sunday at 1pm, for the series that puts the rock and roll in Rock and Roll (that sounded better in my head. Oh well).

This is not my episode, by the way. If you're wondering why I've only started posting about Rakista now, the shameful truth is that it's only now that I've got good internet connection. Somebody put out a torrents already so I can link to them and make up for my past non posts!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

PGS Horror Edition Coming Soon!

Kenneth Yu, mild-mannered publisher of The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories has posted a Coming Soon announcement for the horror edition of PGS.

Excited na me, excited na you?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Writer's Block

I haven't been able to write fiction lately. At first, I thought that if I got all my work out of the way, then I'd be able to concentrate on my stories. Unfortunately, being a freelancer means that I'm continuously working. Not that it's a bad thing. I count myself blessed to be overworked. In fact, I don't think I'm overworked yet, so if anyone has any writing rakets out there, do let me know!

No writer wants to admit to having writer's block. Some will even go so far as to say it's a figment of one's imagination, a monster invented by writers too lazy to practice their craft. Normally, that is the school of thought I subscribe to. Unfortunately, I've learned firsthand that this is not always the case.

The last story I wrote would have to be "Seek Ye Whore," which was published in Rogue Magazine's Anniversary issue last July 2008. Before that, I had just finished "Her Room was Her Temple," the original story the mag was going to print, before I sent Erwin Romulo the unfinished "Seek Ye Whore" and he demanded I finish it in two days to make the deadline for the mag. Before that, "Seek Ye Whore" had been languishing in my hard drive for a couple of years simply because I didn't know how to end it. I guess the adrenalin of having to finish something fast helped. I stayed up two nights writing it while juggling being EIC of the now defunct Metro Post and writing for Project Runway Philippines. "The Bridge," another of my stories, also took years to write. It was in my head for at least 10 years before I was finally able to put it doen on paper.

I admire writers who can churn out a story a month. I would love to be able to do that. Unfortunately, I can't put finger to keyboard unless the words come, and sometimes, it takes years before they do.

More Shameless Self Promotion October 2008

I forgot to mention:

Appetite
October 2008

This is my first time writing for the magazine. I've always wanted to write about food (my biggest hobby is eating) and now I have!

Check out my coverage of the Appetite Anniversary Party at designer Puey Quinones' Makati pad.

Shameless Self-Promotion October 2008

Preview
October 2008

I wrote a feature on Sarah Geronimo for the cover story, as well as some of the profiles for the Creative It List.

Preview is my absolute favorite fashion magazine (and that's for both foreign and local brands, folks!) so it's a real honor to finally be able to write for it.

Homestyle
October 2008

I did book, movie and music reviews for this issue. The theme: youth.

Story Philippines
October 2008

I'm not sure if the issue is out yet but my story "The Bridge" is in it. It's about a psychic girl and is set in Leyte in 1973. Why so specific a date? You'l have to read it to find out!

Philippines Free Press
Sometime soon

I don't have the exact date for this but my story "Her Room was Her Temple" will be coming out in the Free Press "sometime soon," according to Literary Editor Sarge Lacuesta. "Her Room" is about a family guy who discovers his dark side in the mean streets of Makati. This will be my first horror story for the said publication.

Digest of Philippine Genre Stories
October 2008

I'm editing a special Halloween issue of Philippine Genre Stories. I'm pretty proud of the story selection, which I hope will make readers redefine their notion of what horror is. I made it a point to read the submissions without knowing who wrote them (fortunately, I'm very forgetful) and I based everything on whether I felt it was for the publication or not.

We were very hapy to have Nelz Yumul of WeWillDoodle do the cover, which is an unnerving combination of bright and scary. Like the stories inside, I hope that just the cover will make you rethink what horror is.

I would like to thank Kenneth Yu, PGS Publisher, for being patient with me throughout the whole process. I would also like to thank Elbert Or and his superb art dictating -- I mean, directing. :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rakista on PEP!

Here's an article on Rakista that appeared on the Philippine Entertainment Portal. Yeah, baby!

Here's an exerpt. Click on the link above to read the whole thing.

The title is as straightforward as it gets. But TV5's newest hit series Rakista offers more than just rock music and young people trying to live up their dreams of making it big in the clich├ęd world of rock n' roll.

"Although the title speaks for itself na Rakista nga it's not really just about a rock band but a way of life na when you say r-a-k-e-n-r-o-l, na Filipino term for rock n' roll, term siya ng mga kabataan ngayon na parang let's just do our thing," explained director Wincy Ong, who is portraying the role of a drummer named Sven.

Rakista, he added, encourages young people to live outside the box and to take chances. "Take it as it comes," smiled Wincy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cirio Santiago, RIP

I've been so busy lately that it wasn't until today that I heard about Cirio Santiago's passing last September 26.

Kind of sad that his claim to fame now is being one of Quentin Tarantino's idols, especially since he's done a lot for cinema on a worldwide basis. Funny how one of the proponents of blacksploitation wasn't black...

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Cirio a few months ago for a piece in Rogue magazine. He was funny, witty, and full of good advice, especially in business. He was first and foremost a businessman. Directing was something he did for fun. I remember he gave me sound business advice, as well as a short history on the American occupation, having lived through it himself.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Santiago.

Rakista on Ricky Lo's Funfare

Ricky Lo mentioned Rakista in today's installation of his Funfare column in the Philippine Star. Here's an exerpt:

Rakista is about the misadventures of a newly-formed rock band called The Love Team composed of college students (played by Carlo Aquino, Charles Christianson, Alchris Galura, Rhea Nakpil and Wincy Ong) and formed during an Eraserheads tribute night.

Yes, you guessed it: Quark and Madz are E-Heads fans.

“We included shots that we took during the E-Heads reunion concert at The Fort,” said Quark. “E-Heads drummer Raimund Marasigan even did an acting role in Rakista.”

Now on leave from movie-making (his last was Regal Films’ Super Noypi released two years ago), Quark said that Rakista was actually inspired by his movie-in-the-making, Reality Films’ Rake ‘n’ Roll ((which stars Jason Abalos, Diether Ocampo, Glaiza de Castro, Alwyn Uytingco and Ketsup Eusebio).

“While I was shooting the movie, Chris (Sy, now head of TV5) approached me and broached the idea of doing a TV show of the same genre,”
said Quark “And that was how it came to be. I still have two shooting days for Rake ‘n’ Roll and I will resume work on it once Rakista’s one-season run is over.”

Besides Rakista and his Blow-Up Babies studio, Quark is busy with his once-a-week teaching job (topic is short films) at Ateneo.

“Three of the writer-directors of Rakista are my students,” said Quark. They are King Palisoc, Zig Marasigan and Wincy Ong. The others are Mihk Vergara, Edsel Abesames and RA Rivera. The writers include Palanca-winner Yvette Tan and STAR columnist Erwin Romulo. Mikey Amistoso of Ciudad and Diego Mapa of Cambio are in-charge of the original music. Poet Lourd de Veyra (vocalist of Radioactive Sago Project) does a narration in every Rakista episode.

Read the whole thing here.

I realize that I haven't been writing about my TV work lately, which is a shame since they're pretty interesting. I especially love my work in Rakista. The people are great, the storyline is awesome (you won't find any of what we come out with on local TV, I can tell you that) and Iweve managed to put stuff in our scripts that we wouldn't be able to get away with in other shows -- to extremely comedic effect.

Tomorrow is our Eraserheads episode, where the Rakista gang try their luck at getting into the Eheads concert. Yes, the actual concert. It's a fun episode, so I hope you all tune in.

Rakista airs every Thursday at 7 pm with replays every Sunday at 1 pm on TV 5.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baguio Food Trip

Wrote about my Baguio Food Trip, sponsored by Appetite and Carnation, which Luis and I took a few months ago, in my GMA News blog.

This is the text that goes with the pictures that I posted a few days ago.

One of the best things I like about my job is that I get to meet a wide variety of people who I might otherwise have not come across in real life. They don't have to be celebrities. Some of my best interviewees were 'regular' folks, like the grandmother who talked about how she stepped out of the house carrying her son in the middle of WW II, only to have a stray bullet hit the boy in the head and the interracial couple who regaled me with stories of their courtship.

Another great thing that I love about my job is having the opportunity to experience things I would normally not have access to, like the time I rode around Binondo on top of a fire truck even though there was no fire. And then there is the Carnation Family Food Trip, where a bunch of people, some press, some food bloggers, enthusiastic eaters all, were taken on a food tour of the north. The event was hosted by Apetite Magazine, in cooperation with -- surprise -- Carnation milk -- and the point of the two day trip was to eat, eat and eat, then eat again.

Read more here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm in 2008 Year's Best Fantasy and Horror!

As an Honorable Mention, but still!

Thanks to Kenneth Yu and Charles Tan for letting me know.

One of my fellow honorable mentions (I'm not going to say which just yet so you'll have to go buy it) is also in the horror edition of The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories, as the cover story, no less. Yay!

The other works featured in the horror issue of PGS are from equally exciting writers, all of them I'm proud to have had submit to the issue I'm editing. We got a lot of great stories, but alas, I couldn't put them all in.

Nelz Yumul from WeWillDoodle did the cover art, which was well received, if by well received you mean people asking Kenneth why it's so scary.

So guys, save the date: October 31st is when you go out in your mosnter/ witch/ starlet costume and grab yourself a copy of The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories Halloween issue. It's the trick that keeps on treating.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Inspirational Book

Just recently, I was asked to answer something fora contributor's page that aksed the question "What reading material do you have on your bedside table?"

I decided to answer truthfully, so I said: a horror anthology (Charles' horror anthology, to be exact), a business book, a fitness magazine (I train in my mind's eye) and a Bible.

Yes, a Bible. And I read it, too.

Putting down "Bible" was actually a minor dillema, as I didn't want to be one of those people who put down "Bible" just to souond deep or religious. Because, as you know, I'm not. I will say this though, it's one of the scariest books I've ever read, and a good inspiration for horror stories.

For example, from Deuteronomy 29: 53-57 (the Lord's warning to the Israelites for sinning -- this was when they were still in the desert just before Moses dies)

"Because of the suffering that your enemies will inflict on you during the seige, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you.

"Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the seige of all your cities.

"The most gentle and sensitive woman among you -- so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot -- will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the seige and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities."

Now that is hard core. Can you imagine that on the big screen? Stephen King has nothing on The Lord. But that is to be expected. After all, The Lord made Stephen King.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Business Tips from Issey Miyake

This was posted in my GMA News Blog some time ago:

A few weeks ago, the Philippine Star's Y Style sent me on a mission: to find out about Issey Miyake's newest scent. Reflections in a Drop is the designer's limited edition take on his classic fragance, l'Eau d'Issey, which was introduced sixteen years ago and continues to remain a classic favorite.

To my surprise, I didn't just learn about the perfume. Thanks to Jean Marie Eudes, Issey Miyake's Asia Pacific Trainer, I got to learn about the designer himself, and the ideas behind his creative process. As a result, I ended up learning a thing or two about how a creativity-driven business could be run. Oh, and the perfume smelled really lovely, too.

Here's a look into what makes Issey Miyake tick:

Read the rest here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

4am and I'm still thinking of food

I wasn't feeling too well today so I took the day off and just vegged out while drinking tea and watching the first season of The Real Ghostbusters. I also decided to go back to an old hobby of mine, cooking.

I've recently rediscovered the joys of the kitchen. I know I don't look it, but I used to spend my free time concocting soups, salads and pasta dishes. I do believe I started a craze once just by adding tuna chunks to my pasta (this was in the 90's, when such a thing was unheard of, at least in my school) I also spearheaded the "bacon in mashed potatoes" movement. Now, nothing is new anymore, but I'm having fun doing simple things that I couldn't do before.

Like fry eggs.

I know how cooks are supposed to not like eating what they cook but oh, how I've falled in love with my fried eggs. Or Rocco diSpirito's, to be precise (got it watching him on YouTube).

So far, my eggs have always turned up good - crispy edges and runny middles. And today I just learned how to turn them over so that a white film covers the yolk, while leaving the inside still soft. I'm not sure whether what I cook is healthy or heart stopping. On one hand, you have the fried egg - fat and cholesterol city! But does it make it better if it's fried in olive oil and a ton of garlic? I am of the belief that you can never have too much garlic, so I use a clove for every egg ir two. I'm salivating just thinking about it. I like eating my fried egg with bagoong. Don't laugh, it works!

Another thing I learned to finally do - just today, in fact - is pop corn. I found a bag of unpopped kernels, and since I had just used the wok (ie. kawali) for the eggs, decided to try my luck with the corn. The final product wasn't as crunchy as I would like, but I'm just happy that it popped at all. I'll need to practice this more. Now to try variations like caramelized and parmesan-topped. Yum!

I wonder what I'll try next?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scent-sational Assignment

Here's my article that appeared in the August 22 issue of the Philippine Star. It's on Issey Miyake's new scent, Reflections in a Drop, which I so, so, so love.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion August 2008: A Music Video, An Interview and A Citation

Have been spending my days writing, writing, writing. Alas, no fiction as of yet, unless you count my episodes in Rakista (Thursdays, 7pm on TV5).

Here's whatv else I've been up to:

I had y first music video cameo in The Itchyworms' "Penge Naman Ako N'yan." We were actually just visiting the shoot when they needed a third executive -- and that turned out to be me. Thanks to Quark and the 'Worms, and to Erwin and Luis as well.

Charles interviewed me for his series on the Philipine Graphic/ Fiction Awards. The interview is up here. Considering Charles interviews people like Ellen Datlow and Steve and Melanie Tem on a regular basis, I should be thrilled. And I am!

Also, "Seek Ye Whore," my story in the June 2008 issue of Rogue Magazine (the anniversary issue) was cited by none other than Gilda Cordero Fernando in the August 17, 2008 issue of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine as something that she likes reading on a rainy day. I think I shall faint now.

We're also finalizing the stories in the Halloween Issue of The Digest of Philippine Genre STories. There are so many good stories I don't know which one to put in! I'm really excited to get it out, as it will be my first edited antholgy and I'm extremely proud of the range of horror works submitted.

Meanwhile, I have also been wallowing in cake. Not a bad thing at all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On Writing Comedy and the Use of an Outline

I learned three things about myself recently, while writing for Rakista, wich airs every Thursday, 7 pm on Channel 5:

1. I can write comedy;
2. I can write in Tagalog; and
3. I finally understand why people need outlines.

Fiction-wise, I never thought of myself as someone who could write scenarios that people would laugh at (because they were well-written, not because they were ludicrous, though sometimes, that works too). Some of my work has been deemed comedic by Doc Jun, an old boss who said that my jokes were mostly of the black sort, and then seesawing between extremely dry and extremely stupid. and Erwin did say that Yvonne and Vanni thought that "Seek Ye Whore" was pretty funny. And Yvonne and Vanni laughing is a very, very good sign.

Here's a secret: I have always dreamed of writing comedy, in all its forms and genres. Before I found out that the genre that I was most suited to was horror, my dreams were of writing funny. I wanted to write a Ghostbusters. I wanted to write a Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. I wanted to write a Big Lebowski. American Pie. If Looks Could Kill. Army of Darkness. Lost Boys. Mean Girls. Enchanted. Ella Enchanted. Pare Ko. Palibhasa Lalake. You get the point. It didn't have to be great. I didn't want to write The Great Filipino Comedy; I just wanted to write something that would make people piss their pants from laughing.

But when I found myself drafted into Ralkista, essentially a lighthearted teen TV series two months ago, I had cause to worry. After jumping around with excitement, I immediately warned Quark et al that a. I'm not sure I can do comedy, and b. my Tagalog sucks eggs. "You'll be fine," they said. Such is the blind belief between friends.

My first script was pretty hard to do. I had trouble with the outline. I had never really used one before, apart from in English and film class. It had been a while since I was forced to map out my thoughts on paper. I didn't know what to put in, wasn't sure how to structure material. When it was put forth for brainstorming, its reception was less than warm. Too little content. Not enough slapstick. Jokes too 'high' (a comment I've been getting for as long as I can remember - now I regret watching so much Frasier). My colleagues were nice enough to provide me with the needed content before sending me off to write the script.

I enlisted the help of Luis, who enlisted the help of Kidlat, mainly as a Taglish consultant. I took it as a good sign that Kidlat was laughing at the bits I wrote. With Luis' help, the script turned out pretty well. Some comedy, some teen drama, some heart. And Kidlat didn't comment on my Tagalog, which I took to be another good sign. This means my grasp of the language has improved. It's shameful, really, not being proficient in your own language. Stinky fish and all that. So the script was taped and guess what? It turned out quite nice. My second one, I did all on my own. Am hoping ot comes out good.

As for using an outline, I've found that it can be a big help, especially during crunch time, as all your thoughts are laid out already so all you have to do is follow them. I realized that, at least when it came to certain projects, not having an outline wasn't going with the whims of one's creative spontinaety, it's just sheer laziness. So while I'm going to stick to my technique of keeping my short fiction as spontaneous as possible, I'm probably going to keep using an outline for bigger projects.

Tune in to Rakista, Thursdays 7pm on TV5. It's a fun ride.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My First Facebook Post

It's 3 am. Just spent the last few minutes composing my first Note (Facebook's blog-like function) on Facebook. Now I'm hungry. This is why:

So this is what it feels like to use Facebook's note function. I'm writing here out of sheer boredom. It's 2 am and I can't sleep. My mind keeps wandering back to visions of the fried eggs I'm going to cook for myself tomorrow.

I just recently found out that I do pretty good fried eggs (I've cooked a variety of stuff from instant noodles to steak, but I've only fried eggs twice in my life), all slightly crispy round the edges, their golden yellow yolks whole but yielding to the slightest nudge of a fork. My stomach is rumbling just thinking about it. Am going to try a Rocco diSpirito recipe tomorrow, which involves frying eggs in large quantities of olive oil and garlic. I plan to add butter though because it's a poor dish that cannot be improved by a pat of butter (though I tend to use more than that). I plan to eat my sunny-side ups with fried, crispy danggit (you know, those tiny fish), brown rice that I'll overkill in butter and garlic if I'm in the mood, and freshly brewed Benguet coffee sweetened with condensed milk.

Since I usually wake up past noon, this is more a lunch than a breakfast, but I don't care. It's still my first meal of the day.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion Aug 2008: Julius Tarog, Jansport and Zombies

Here's where my writing has come out this frist week of August 2008:

Lounge act, my interview with designer Julius Tarog. Julius was really fun to be with. His dresses made me seriously consider the benefits of liposuction. An exerpt:

When asked to do a resort/lounge collection, the first thing that came to designer Julius Tarog’s mind was: anything but maxi dresses.

“They’re predictable and don’t highlight a woman’s form,” says Tarog, who has dressed some of the country’s most well-known personalities.

As a result, his collection is a mix of wide-leg pants, mid-length dresses and long evening gowns that are fit for an afternoon on a yacht, a jaunt to the Mediterranean or perhaps a Cannes premiere.

Personal graffiti, my coverage of a JanSport event. They said I would get a free bag. Still haven't gotten it yet... An excerpt:

In a world where everything seems cut with the same cookie cutter, making an individual statement takes a lot of effort, not to mention a lot of guts.

It is this thirst for individuality that made JanSport launch the Graphic Remix series, a line of bags with one-of-a-kind designs rendered by some of the country’s top graphic artists such as Electrolychee and Team Manila.

Lest you think that I've forsaken horror for the glitsy world of fashion, there's Waking the Dead, which came out in the Sunday Inquirer. My first zombie story! Yay! An exerpt:

DARIO stared out of his bedroom window, studying the mass that congregated at his doorstep below. The dead of Barrio Masigasig had arrived at his house today, dug themselves out of their graves, many of them ancient and rotting, caked with dirt, their faces caved in, chests sunken, limbs falling or long gone. Others, freshly buried, looked almost alive, their skin unbroken, the pallor on their faces masked by funeral make-up. They were dressed in moldy barongs and musty party dresses, clothes that dragged on the ground or snagged in places, the damage gone unheeded because the dead did not think of these things.

And then there's my new and improved GMA column, now in the GMA news website instead of the GMA Pinoy TV one. Will try to post something weekly, so do read!

Lectured on horror fiction in UP last week for the Writing Club. Had fun, but realized that I have to tweak my lectures a little. It's only a handful of people (ie. me) who are interested in history, which means I've got to put in more stuff on writing. Now I need more ginuea pigs to test my lectures on!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary Rogue Magazine!

Luis posted this entry on his blog. I'm reposting it here becasue I feel the same way:

Has it been a year already?

So my copy of the July 2008 issue of Rogue arrived on my doorstep yesterday -- it marks the magazine's first-year anniversary. (Anne Curtis is the cover feature -- photography by Mark Nicdao, styling by Millet Arzaga, words by Nick Azarcon. Great job, Nick!) There are many very good reasons to grab a copy of this issue, but I'll focus on two: first and foremost, of course, is the new story by Yvette Tan, Seek Ye Whore. It's twisted, funny, sexy, and deeply disturbing. (Here's a quote out of context: "It was oddly exhilarating, making love to a half-formed body.")

Second is the "24-page recap of Rogue's past 12 months" -- Yvette and I have been involved, in one way or another, with almost every issue since the magazine came out, whether we wrote cover features or short essays or just made suggestions, and it was great fun for me to page through the retrospective and remember all that stuff. (Am particularly happy with the Sanya Smith interview I did, Yvette's account of her encounter with Neil Gaiman, and of course the fiction we wrote.) Reading through all the accolades just made me prouder to have worked on the magazine. Of course, it's fun to page through the feature whether you were ever a contributor or not; the pictures alone will make you swoon, and the little behind-the-scenes bits make for great reading. If you don't have a complete run of the first year already, be warned; you will feel the need to fill in the gaps of your collection.

Sadly, this anniversary issue is also the last for Features Editor Erwin Romulo. Erwin has decided to move on and do other things, and it's safe to say the magazine will never be the same again. It's impossible to overstate his importance to Rogue: whether it was absorbing and thought-provoking subject matter, beautiful and controversial photo shoots, or an array of expertly chosen -- if occasionally surprising -- contributors, from writers to photographers to visual artists, Erwin brought that edge that other magazines can only dream about. Personally, I credit him with breaking the years-long slump I had been mired in, regarding my fiction. "Tell the Sky" (from the December 2007 issue) was the first story I had written in a long time that I was happy with, and without Erwin's initial inspiration and constant encouragement -- plus of course Yvonne Quisumbing-Romulo's artwork, and the Rogue bosses' approval -- it would never have seen the light of day. (Yvette had a similar experience with "Seek Ye Whore" -- it was Erwin's persistence that compelled her to speed up her already-swift writing process.)

Erwin has a way of not only choosing the perfect people for a certain feature, but also getting the best work out of them. Whether he accomplishes this through undisclosed telepathic powers, the unspoken threat of bodily harm, or simply the assurance that whatever his contributors come up with will be presented in a way that they can be proud of, it's hard to say -- but whatever his methods, they were instrumental in shaping the first year of one of the best damn magazines in the country today.

(If it sounds like I'm sucking up to him, it's because I am. Because if there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that I'd like to keep working with Erwin, and collaborating with the other creative individuals in his army.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meg Article in the Philippine Star

My article on the Meg Face 2008, which has discovered actors like Marian Rivera and Ehra Madrigal, came out last Friday. I'm going to take a page from Kenneth's blog and post part of the article here as well. The better to entice you with, my dears.

Thanks to Kenneth, by the way, for posting about "Seek Ye Whore's" appearance in the July issue of Rogue.

About face!

By Yvette Tan
Friday, July 18, 2008

Appearing on the cover of a magazine is a dream for many young women, and for one lucky girl, that dream will soon become a reality.

Meg recently magazine unveiled the top 10 finalists of the Meg Face 2008 at Alchemy Bar. “Our purpose is to find the next talent, a fresh new face with preferably no modeling experience,” says Meg editor in chief Peewee Reyes-Isidro.

Read more

Monday, July 21, 2008

Metro Post is Out


Metro Post, your new lifestyle guide is out! The brand spanking new first issue features Sitti as you've never seen her before.

Also in this issue:
> Where to go on a fun-filled date for less than 500 pesos
> Jack-of-All-Trades (and my personal favorite Didi ever) Ricci Chan
> Why we love Little Asia
> Rock 'Tog Mari Arquiza
> Yummy Vietnamese rolls using only three ingredients!

Get your FREE copy at the following places:
San Francisco Cafe
Old Swiss Inn
Cold Rock
Metro Bar
Malcolm's Place

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion July 2008

My story, "Siquijor" appears in Rogue magazine's anniversary issue. It's about a guy who gets a mail order bride. Hijinks and whatnot ensue.

Got to interview Frederrick Peralta for a Y Style article on his very dreamy bridal gowns. Read it here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Surefire Finance Tips from Electric Six

Here's something I pulled off the Electric Six website.

It's nice to know that even musicians are concerned about the layperson's financial welfare. Now I gotta go buy stocks in oil. Won't be long till I get my yatch!

Retirement by 40??? Electricsix.com Has 5 Hot Tips To Make It Happen

The economy is tanking. The price of oil is skyrocketing. Unemployment is on the rise. What are you going to do? One route is to blame President Bush and congress, blame Countrywide Financial and Enron, blame China. Another idea is to get a third job.

Or maybe, just maybe, you want to deal with it by retiring while you are still young and laugh at everyone else from the deck of your brand new yacht while you guzzle champagne and fuck expensive prostitutes!!!! Sound far-fetched?? Not as much as you'd think! Chase away your fears and worries. A lavish retirement may be headed your way sooner than you think if you follow these five simple tips brought to you by electricsix.com

1) By low, sell high

Real estate is a tried and true method of procuring quick wealth. No doubt you've heard talk of a mortgage crisis and the housing bubble bursting. Our advice? Ignore all that. Buy a house for not a lot of money, put a new coat of paint on it and then sell it for twice what you paid for it. You've just doubled your money!!!! That was easy!

2)Diversify, diversify, diversify

The market has been volatile of late, but don't worry about any of that. Many young investors make the mistake of putting their money in stocks that aren't oil companies. We recommend strongly that you put your money in stocks that ARE oil companies. And when it comes to oil companies, the more the merrier. Diversify your oil portfolio. Don't just buy stock in ExxonMobil when you can also buy stock in ConocoPhillips, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and the House of Saud. A diverse oil portfolio makes sure that you make more money while the money makes more money.

3) Find that Canadian 5-dollar bill you saved because you thought it was funny that it had hockey players on it

Remember that Canadian 5-dollar bill you kept because you thought it was funny that they put hockey players on their money? At today's exchange rate, that Canadian 5-dollar bill is worth 67,000 US dollars. Find that thing.

4) Steal David Beckham's identity

If you have a free afternoon, go to Los Angeles and rummage through David Beckham's garbage until you find a few of his credit card statements and computer passwords. Then get a hold of an encryption scrambler and an electromagnetic pulse that momentarily shuts down the power grid. Granted, these items are not cheap, but if looked upon as an investment, the return will be massive. Go back home after the EMP blast and enter the keycodes and Fibonnaci sequences into the internet and within minutes you can make David Beckham's money start working for you.

5) Just say "No!"

This might be the simplest tip of all, and also the most important. People in your life want money and payments from you all the time. By saying "no", your will notice your bank account begin to say "yes". You want me to get the next round of drinks?? No...how about YOU get it! You want me to pay for that gas I just pumped into my car? No...how about you stick it all the way up with a red hot ass poker!!!! You want me to pay my credit card statement??? No....let's not and say we did!!! By saying no to every potential payment life throws at you, your money supply never gets depleted. At times, others will react poorly to your financial strategy but the important thing is to ask yourself what is most important. Do you remain focused on the goal or do you let whining ninnies and greedy money-grubbing twits distract you from the endgame? Like anything in life, you have a choice. We believe if you choose to say no and hold the line every time, your golden years will be upon you sooner than you think.

Call the harbormaster....tell him he's gonna have to make room for one more yacht!!!!

Back at Work... Not

So I'm here at work today, only I just got here to find out that I'm not supposed to be in until later because they moved the schedule around and the Production Manager didn't tell anybody. That's bad enough, but what makes it worse is that she was bugging me for our synopsis because we're digitizing today. Which leads me to wonder: was she budding me just for the fun of it or was she bugging me because she doesn't know what's going on in her own production?

In other news, the launch of Night Monkeys went great last night. Saw peeps like Elbert, Cyan, Charles, (sexeh) Fran, Fran's (hot) brother, Fran's (fun) friends, Fran's (cute) dog; signed a lot of books, ate pastries, drank iced tea laced with pandan flavor, got interviewed by Sam of Business World (I think I went on a drunken rant there, even though I hadn't drank anything), and went to Fully Booked afterwards.

What made my night was being able to spend it with Luis. Always a good thing.

Grabe! Dinumog siya ng fans kagabi! It was cute to watch. Of course, if I spotted any of them gatting too close, I would have put on my media mercenary moves and jabbed them in the eye with a pen. He's mine, mine, you hear, bwahahahaha! Unless he's a cute guy, then maybe we can come to some sort of understanding.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Parkour finds a place in the house of God

Found a video on a church that allows traceurs to do runs set to organ music. Although I thinbk what they're doing actually counts as freerunning.

Luis pointed me to a video of parkour bloopers. Somehow, I think these guys were doing it on purpose. It's so stupid I couldn't finish the video. But I posted it anyway, haha!

Shameless Self Promotion June 2008

It's that time of the month again! Here's where (as far as I can remember) my byline will be appearing thins month:

Rogue: The State of the Nation Issue
Two firsts here. My first art piece and my first political piece. I interview Igan d'Bayan on his upcoming exhibit and I interview ex congressman Neric Acosta on his politics. I've always wanted to write about art, and now I have. I never wanted to touch politics, but I'm glad I did. I never knew it could be fun! My contributor's picture is cute, too. I have kitty ears! :D

Homestyle: The Passion Issue
Basta, I'm in it!

Y Style
Another article of mine, this one on the Discovery Channel's I've Got Nothing to Wear, came out in the Y Style section of the Philippine Star. I wouldn't have known if Katrina hadn't texted me asking if it really was my byline she was seeing.

Night Monkeys
An anthology of Palanca Award-winning short stories. Launch is on June 30. I'm in it with a bunch of well-known writers, the most gwapo of which is one Luis Katigbak (I crush him!). Buy, buy buy!

Aaaaaand...

I'm going to have a column again soon. I'll keep you updated on that.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Collect Call of Calthulu

Decided to look for The Real Ghostbusters episodes on YouTube. Now, I always knew that the writers took inspiration from real mythological creatures but I didn't know that they also included a lot of in jokes about horror literature as well.

For example, in "The Collect Call of Calthulu," an obvious take on H.P. Lovecraft's Cuthulhu mythology, the Necronomicon (which Ray says many horror writers, Lovecraft included, based their stories on) is stolen and Ted Klein, the professor in charge of it, freaks out. Peter, who doesn't see why there should be so much fuss about reading material, says, "Sheesh, you'd think that guy Klein was a paperback writer the way he was carrying on."

Here are links to all three parts on YouTube:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

I iz a tickled.

Friday, June 06, 2008

What Would Make Me Turn Buddhist

I'm not the most religious person in the world but I do have a steady faith in what I'm supposed to believe in.

Now, I have, for two seconds each, I have considered switching to either Roman Catholicism or Buddhism. Here's why:

Roman Catholicism
Behold, the Calendario Romano 2008. Two years ago, I posted about a calendar of hot Roman Catholic priests. It's nice to know that they're continuing the tradition. Such man candy should be shared.

Speaking of man candy, check out my reason for switching to Buddhism. His name is Trinlay Tulku Rinpoche and he's a reincarnation of an important Buddhist teacher. More importantly, he's hot! If all religious teachers were this hot, people would stop going to the movies and go to church instead.

I know I would.

Shameless Self Promotion June 2008

People have been asking when I'm going to update again, so here I am.

My apologies for my long absence. Life has been busy, and when I'm not busy, I'm usually collapsed in a heap. In any case. Ironically, I've had more access to WiFi than I ever have.

Here's what's been up with me:

Finished most of the shooting for the TV show I'm writing for. We're editing now, which means more time stuck in the editing room sitting around and getting fat. Editing, people, is how I gained 20 pounds in over 2 years. As you can see, I never lost them.

Am working on another TV show, my first story-based one. We're still casting I think, and fleshing out the story. I'll reveal what it is when I have the go signal. Let's just say that it involves music.

Rogue magazine's first anniversary is coming up this July. My story, "Seek Ye Whore" will be the month's fiction feature. It's a story I've had in my head for a while but (with much prodding) was only able to finish last May. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that it's about internet mail-order brides.

Aaaand... here's my latest article in the Philippine Star. I'm really happy to have been assigned this. Who would have thought that I'd ever be interviewing Rafe Totengco? And Tina Ocampo was really nice. Check out the article here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How My Talk Went, and then some...

Ria Lu of Talecraft said that my talk on horror went well. The chairs were filled, and people asked a lot of questions, which is good. I'm hoping that they got something out of the talk, since a lot of people still subscribe to the horor-as-a-genre mentality, which, I'm afraid, is so 80's.

But more importantly...

Jiggs, L'Oreal's head make-up god thought that I was 25! So now I'm going to start telling people I was born in 1982.

Yes, you can tell that my priorities are sound.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

NKOTB: You knew I was going to post about this some time...

Thank to Ian Casocot for telling me the news, and for making me shreik like a 14-year old, thereby scaring random passers-by in Camp John Hay. The New Kids on the Block are Back! It was bound to happen, what with nostalgia being a commodity and all. I was a huge blockhead in grade school. Yes, I went to their concert. Yes, I planned my outfit waaay in advance. Yes, I stalked them at the Manila Hotel afterwards. Yes, I wrote NKOTB fan fic in high school starring me and my friends (strangely enough, I was the only one who didn't end up dating her fave). Yes, I had a freaking huge crush on Danny Wood (yes, the funny-looking one -- Belated happy brithday, Danny!). And yes, I didn't care if I got teased for my insanity. If you were ever a teenaged girl, you'd understand my rabid fascination for the group that by all accounts launched the boy band craze (no, I don't think the Beatles count -- they had talent). So if they stopped by again, would I watch? You bet I would! And I just might stalk them again, too!

More Shameless Self-Promotion, May 2008 Edition

I didn't know this until yesterday, but two more of my articles have come out in the Philippine Star. Read them here: Food for the sole is a feature on Solea, that little shoe store that does made-to-order shoes. Emi Jorge was a wonderful interviewee, and her shoes are exquisite. I hear that she gets a lot of bride-to-bes as customers. One more day till my Talecraft horror lecture. Remember, 1pm at Powerbooks Megamall.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Horror Trope Invades Real Life

You know those horror films labeled "Attack of the Killer (insert animal/ vegetable/ mineral/ household appliance here)"?

Apparently, it's happening in real life, and in Texas, too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Selfish Self Promotion, May 2008 Edition

Evil Latte

Finally have time to blog again. Here's what's up for me for the month of May:

Interviewed Terno Records Head Toti Dalmacion on his neat apartment in this month's Homestyle.

Am giving a talk on writing horror fiction this Sunday, May 18, 2008; 1 pm at Powerbooks Megamall. This is the third leg of Talecraft's Horror Creation Workshop. I'm pretty excited about it.

And because I didn't do this last month...

My first story for the Philippine Star came out last month. Finally, someone's made me write a fashion story!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Cat is a Smart

I don't give my cat enough credit. I discovered that my cat is smarter than I give her credit for.

For example:

Yesterday morning, I saw her open my sister's closet. That's right, teeny tiny cat opening a human-sized closet. I kid you not. No standing on hind legs, no special stretchy effects, no nothing. She just knew where to push.

Yesterday evening, I came home really, really tired. I was puttering around the ground floor, winding down, looking for food, etc., when I noticed that my cat was following me around. I thought that she was hungry, but she had food in her bowl. So I thought she needed some cuddling. This is weird because my cat is usually anti-social. She doesn't like being touched or pettedor cuddled, but she does like sitting on soft places, like laps or bellies or pillows. So I sat down and patted my lap. he immediately leaped on it and settled down. She let me pet her too, which was really strange. I wanted to stay longer but I really had to get to sleep so I said, "I have to go now." And you know what? She sat up, loked at me, then jumped off my lap! Looks like I was the one that needed some cuddling!

Smart cat.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Almost Perfect Work Day

Yesterday was an almost perfect work day for me because:

I woke up early,

had a good breakfast,

took a nice stroll in the Baguio air (and met scary trees),

got a massage (even if I had to wait two hours for the masahista but that's okay becasue she felt so guilty she gave me two hours for the price of one),

and...

got lots of work done!

But...

A thick fog rolled in accompanied by heavy rain, cutting off the WiFi all day. Wah! Couldn't send all the stuff whose deadlinesI strived so hard to meet.

But had a good day anyway. Got to spend time with Luis (always a good thing) and mingle with his co-fellows more. They're all such fun!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Exercise, I has it

First off, Happy Birthday Sarge and Sir Bien!

Just got back from my morning walk. Was supposed to look for the Camp John Hay comissary but ended up at the main guardhouse in the opposite direction. Saw a early morning golfers. Thankfully, no flying golf balls.

Wandered into this garden with a statue of an Igorot woman. It was like something out of a movie, with everything not-quite landscaped so the place was wild, but not overgrown. Very pretty, very quiet. This was where I realized that TREES FREAK ME OUT. You know the Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin's dad explains that wind is caused by trees whispering? He's freaking right! Still, I forced myself to walk untilt the end of the garden, past the gossiping pines, and back. I'm so proud of myself.

Am now waiting to get a massage. After this, it's back to work. Promise.

Baguio, Day 2

What I did yesterday:

Wake up early: Pass

Tried to find good spot to work: Pass

Tried to work on 3 hours of sleep: Epic Fail

Sat in some of the sessions (Ma'am Jing invited me!): Pass

Took a nap on the open-door Tamaraw while going bumpity-bump all the way to Bencab's new place where the Fellows were having dinner: Pass!!! (I can now officialy sleep anywhere. Or maybe I was really tired)

Had a good time: Epic Pass (Had lechon and lots and lots of Baguio greens, this really smooth tequila that Sir Butch asked Ian and me to try, successfully navigated the cut-into-thehillside steps that led to Bencab's guest bathroom, and explored the artist's lovely studio. It was Bencab's birthday, so there was birthday singing and cake blowing and poetry recitation, too.)

Night out on Session Road: Epic Fail. Luis and I were so zonked we headed back to the hotel and went straight to sleep. I didn't even get to finish Burn Notice.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm in Baguio, Baby!

That's right! I'm in Baguio City. The City of Pines. Burnham's Bosom (Made that up, not sure if Burnham had a bosom). The Summer Capital of the Philippines. One of the most Haunted Cities in the Country.

Anson has given mea listof restaurants to try... will see if I can get my but to them. Right now, I'm just happy to be working in an "office" with a view. So this is what being a CEO feels like. I could get used to this.

Aside from the stuff on Anson's list, I alsohope to be able to visit SM Baguio, the place where, as told to me by two different people, both of them "sensitive," not all the people you see are alive.

Monday, March 31, 2008

2007 Stoker Awardees

I've been having internet trouble lately, so this post comes really late. Still, congrations to the winners, the nominees, and to everyone involved! :D

Superior Achievement in a NOVEL
The Missing by Sarah Langan

Superior Achievement in a FIRST NOVEL
Heart-shaped Box by Joe Hill

Superior Achievement in LONG FICTION
“Afterward, There Will be a Hallway” by Gary A. Braunbeck

Superior Achievement in SHORT FICTION
“The Gentle Brush of Wings” by David Niall Wilson

Superior Achievement in an ANTHOLOGY
Five Strokes to Midnight by Gary A. Braunbeck and Hank Schwaeble

Superior Achievement in a COLLECTION (tie)
Proverbs for Monsters by Michael A. Arnzen
5 Stories by Peter Straub

Superior Achievement in NONFICTION
The Cryptopedia by Jonathan Mayberry and David F. Kramer

Superior Achievement in POETRY (tie)
Being Full of Light, Insubstantial by Linda Addison
Vectors: A Week in the Death of a Planet by Charlee Jacob and Marge Simon

Monday, March 17, 2008

Make Prose (and Your Reader) Jump

Have been busy with work (always a good thing), so have only gotten time to post this overdue prompt today. Notice how I've filled my post with cute animals? It's in the hopes that my publisher will overlook my tardiness and focus on the animals instead. Hey, whatever works! Now here's this week's prompt: Humorous Pictures
moar humorous pics Three things I've noticed in horror fiction that jumps out at you (and makes you jump in the process): The Shock Factor a href="">http://icanhascheezburger.com/2008/03/17/funny-pictures-haha-ss-stop-iz-tiklish/">Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics There is shock and there is shock. Though it can be argued that horror, at its basest (and sometimes laziest) is about shock it doesn't mean that making a ghost pop out randomly makes for good shock (though it seems to work for axe murderers). What makes the shock, er, shocking is the build-up. Think The 6th Sense, The Ring even Feng Shui. One of my favorite novellas that's big on the build up is David Morrell's “Blue is for Anguish, Orange is for Insanity.” It's about this guy who follows his college roommate's obsession with a certain painter. Morrell strings you along the whole story and when he finally drops the bomb, you're totally floored. You cannot help but be creeped out, and you cannot help but cry at how your own measly talents cannot ever hope to measure up to his. The story was freaky in 1988 and it's still freaky now. The Sex Factor Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics You don't need me to tell you that sex sells. But, like the excuse filmmakers use to get around the MTRCB, it has to fit in with the story. One of my all-time favorite short horror stories is John Peyton Coke's 1995 S&M-fueled “The Penitent.” It blurs the line between love/ sex/ death/ religion. And since a lot of it draws from Mexican Catholicism, it makes an extra impact t the Filipino mind. The story is basically about sex, but in the end, it's not the sex, but the factors that surround it, that makes the story. So. If you plan to write about, or use sex in your story, your story should not be just about getting it on. Otherwise, you're better off writing fan fiction. After all, you can never have too much slash on the interweb. The What the F**k Factor Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics Some stories, you read from beginning to end and all you can think after is “What the F**k?” If you like screwing with people's minds, horror is a good playground to practice your craft. Be warned, general weirdness is harder to pull off in horror, because you have the double task of slightly confusing and totally terrifying your reader. It's a though road to travel, one that I dare not set foot on just yet. Personally, I'm not a fan of this kind of story precisely because I'm never sure about what's happening. But there are times when the horror outshines the weirdness, and when that happens, the effect can be really chilling, as the WTF factor adds to the already gnawing pit inside your belly. Paul G. Tremblay's The Teacher (which has been nominated for this year's Stokers) is a well-written example.

Shameless Self Promotion March 2008

Publications I've written stuff for this month:


Rogue

I'm part of the team that wrote Rogue's Cinema Portfoilio, where I interviewed cult filmmakers Eddie Romero and Cirio Santiago (I gushed all over Eddie, and I got business lessons for Cirio), indie film pillar Surf Reyes and self-confessed filmologist and all around nice guy Teddy Co.


Masigasig

I wrote a feature on Jack Teotico, an art gallery owner who is intent on bringing Filipino art onto the world stage. I had actually met him before when I accompanied a friend to one of Gene Gonzales' art sessions. That session is why I have an Alan Cocio sketch of myself tucked away in my bedroom, and why my friend has a half-naked painting of herself (forget who did it) hanging in someone's hallway. And this was before Shawn Yao!


Homestyle


I think I did the reviews section for this month's issue – books, films and music centered on simple pleasures. I'm sure k.d. lang is in there somewhere. Speaking of which, I haven't gotten her latest album yet. *pouts*


Manual


The March issue marks the second installment of Luis and my advice column. Our advice for the month: What do you do if your girlfriend is more experienced than you? Luis, as always, has the funnier answer. I'm too busy trying not to let my prudish nature shine through. ;p

Friday, March 14, 2008

Reading for the PGS Halloween Issue

Humorous Pictures
moar humorous pics Finally got down to reading the submissions for Philippine Genre Stories' Halloween Issue, which I'm guest editing. I've had really interesting submissions (and a possible main story), but still need more. Which means you can still send in your stuff! Check out www.philippinegenrestories.blogspot.com for details.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rouge Sunset Cruise

I spent the afternoon on a yacht that went around Manila Bay. It was Rogue's Exclusive Sunset Cruise, a party that the magazine threw for its friends.


Luis and I thought that we would be late, but thankfully, we made it well before the yacht set sail. The one person who didn't was walking tour guide Carlos Celdran, who reached the dock exactly just as the yacht pulled away, so he had to be brought in via boat. He was pretty game about the whole thing, which was cute.


All our troubles seemed to melt away as soon as the boat left the dock. There was an assortment of Japanese food to choose from, and a vodka-fueled open bar as well. From the middle of the bay, Manila looks like a first world city.


For some reason, I was able to navigate the yacht's many stairs without much difficulty, which was a surprise. Luis was surprised as well, since the stairs were pretty difficult to climb, even for a normal person. Could it be that the food supplement I've been taking is doing its job and making me stronger?


After our cruise around Manila Bay, we had dinner at the port. All in all, a pretty good party, made even better because we were among friends.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cebu... B?

Just got back from a work-related trip to Cebu. I want to go back! That was only my second time on the island, and I think my first time in the city proper. Since work meant that I had to be cooped up in the hotel all day (a not unpleasant experience), I only got the chance to see the sights at night. You cannot imagine how hard it is to find a decent place to hang out there on a Monday night. Any other day of the week though, the place is buzzing with a distinct island flavor.

And the food! I think I had the best-tasting uni there. And the services are cheap, too. Got a facial with a diamond peel at Pranav, the spa in the Crown Regency, the lovely hotel we stayed in, for Php560 (that's with a 30% discount). Also found out that the hotel's General Manager was a few batches below my dad in La Salle. I didn't think that I would have any use, save sentimental ones, for my dad's numerous stories about his high school friends but apparently, it makes for great conversation with another La Sallian of that generation. I wonder why we don't get the same kind of camaraderie in all-girls schools. Probably because we're too busy catfighting. Rwowr!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Activists Can Have Fun, Too...

Got this in the mail from a well-known FilChi activist. See? Activists can have fun, too. I guess it's not bigoted if the race that you're making fun of is your own. :)

Take a break during these stressful times...

Prepare now for the Beijing Olympics.

Learn Chinese in 5 minutes (You MUST read them aloud)

English - Chinese

That's not right! Sum Ting Wong

Are you harbouring a fugitive? Hu Yu Hai Ding

See me ASAP Kum Hia Nao

Stupid Man Dum Fuk

Small Horse Tai Ni Po Ni

Did you go to the beach? Wai Yu So Tan

I bumped into a coffee table! Ai Bang Mai Fu Kin Ni

I think you need a face lift! Chin Tu Fat

It's very dark in here! Wai So Dim

I thought you were on a diet! Wai Yu Mun Ching

This is a tow away zone! No Pah King

Our meeting is scheduled for next week! Wai Yu Kum Nao

Staying out of sight Lei Ying Lo

He's cleaning his automobile Wa Shing Ka

Your body odour is offensive Yu Stin Ki Pu

Great Fa Kin Su Pa

Monday, February 18, 2008

What are You Afraid Of?

My apologies. I was busy reminiscing and playing activist last week I totally forgot my prompt. Here it is:

Humorous Pictures
moar humorous pics

Stuck on what to write? Here's a question for you: What are you afraid of?

You. Not your mother not your lola, not your boyfriend or your girlfriend. You.

It can be anything. Ghosts are what first comes to mind, but really, it can be anything from cockroaches to a dark path to the wash drying on the clothesline. The more mundane, the better. That's what you write about. The challenge is to make the reader feel your fear, no matter how irrational. You'll know you've succeeded when people start developing strange phobias, and the common denominator is your story.

Final 2007 Stoker Ballot

The Final 2007 Stoker Ballot has been announced! Totoo na itech, mga kafatid!


Final 2007 Stoker Ballot

Superior Achievement in a Novel

THE GUARDENER'S TALE by Bruce Boston (Sam’s Dot
Publishing)
HEART-SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill (William Morrow)
THE MISSING by Sarah Langan (Harper)
THE TERROR by Dan Simmons (Little, Brown)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

HEART-SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill (William Morrow)
I WILL RISE by Michael Calvillo (Lachesis Publishing)
THE MEMORY TREE by John R. Little (Nocturne Press)
THE WITCH'S TRINITY by Erika Mailman (Crown)
THE HOLLOWER by Mary SanGiovanni (Leisure Books)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

AFTERWARD, THERE WILL BE A HALLWAY by Gary Braunbeck
(Five Strokes to Midnight)
ALMOST THE LAST STORY BY ALMOST THE LAST MAN by Scott
Edelman (Postscripts)
GENERAL SLOCUM'S GOLD by Nicholas Kaufmann (Burning
Effigy Press)
THE TENTH MUSE by William Browning Spencer
AN APIARY OF WHITE BEES by Lee Thomas (Inferno)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

THE DEATH WAGON ROLLS ON BY by C. Dean Andersson
(Cemetery Dance #57)
LETTING GO by John Everson (Needles and Sins)
THE TEACHER by Paul G. Tremblay (Chizine)
THERE'S NO LIGHT BETWEEN FLOORS by Paul G. Tremblay
(Clarkesworld)
CLOSET DREAMS by Lisa Tuttle (Postscripts #10)
THE GENTLE BRUSH OF WINGS by David Niall Wilson
(Defining Moments)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

FIVE STROKES TO MIDNIGHT edited by Gary Braunbeck and
Hank Schwaeble (Haunted Pelican Press)
INFERNO edited by Ellen Datlow (Tor)
DARK DELICACIES 2: FEAR edited by Del Howison & Jeff
Gelb (Carroll & Graf/Avalon)
MIDNIGHT PREMIERE edited by Tom Piccirilli (Cemetery
Dance Publications)
AT EASE WITH THE DEAD edited by Barbara & Christopher
Roden (Ash-Tree Press)

Superior Achievement in a Collection

PROVERBS FOR MONSTERS by Michael A. Arnzen (Dark
Regions Press)
THE IMAGO SEQUENCE by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
OLD DEVIL MOON by Christopher Fowler (Serpent’s Tail)
5 STORIES by Peter Straub (Borderlands)
DEFINING MOMENTS by David Niall Wilson (Sarob Press)

Superior Achievement in Nonfiction

ENCYCLOPEDIA HORRIFICA by Joshua Gee (Scholastic)
THE PORTABLE OBITUARY: HOW THE FAMOUS, RICH, AND
POWERFUL REALLY DIED by Michael Largo (Harper)
THE CRYPTOPEDIA: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange &
Downright Bizarre by Jonathan Maberry & David F.
Kramer (Citadel Press / Kensington)
STORYTELLERS UNPLUGGED by Joe Nassise and David Niall
Wilson (Storytellers Unplugged)

Superior Achievement in Poetry

BEING FULL OF LIGHT, INSUBSTANTIAL by Linda Addison
(Space and Time)
HERESY by Charlee Jacob (Bedlam Press [Necro
Publications])
VECTORS: A WEEK IN THE DEATH OF A PLANET by Charlee
Jacob & Marge Simon (Dark Regions Press)
PHANTASMAPEDIA by Mark McLaughlin (Dead Letter Press)
OSSUARY by JoSelle Vanderhooft (Sam’s Dot Publishing)