Showing posts from 2017

"It is always the nature of dreams to define reality"

The craft that goes into weaving stories is majorly credited as the most astounding feat of the imagination, but it is also nonetheless laborious and altogether a vexing preoccupation. My own fascination for myths and legends started from an impressionable age which I pursued over the years ever since I discovered that I not only have an insatiable passion to read books but also an inclination to pen tales of my very own.

And this is how Neil Gaiman's enduring series found me at the ripe age of nineteen. In 2009, I was also actively pursuing a scholastic career in writing as soon as I joined the student paper to become a literary writer. The current associate there then (who eventually became one of my best friends) introduced me to Neil Gaiman. He looked up to this author and even had a chance to interview the man himself and write a feature article for our magazine.

Suffice to say, The Sandman shaped a lot about how I began to view the art of making myths and storytelling ever s…

"When you allow darkness to blanket your being..."

The root of all horror is fear, but people frequently mistake fear as an easy experience; it's that obvious crescendo in the scoring during a movie when you know some weird shit it about to go down. Horror then is reduced to mere jump scares and cheap thrills to shock and repulse people, but that ultimately is a disservice. Granted, said genre in film had often catered to audiences that are simply looking for mindless gore and lifeless dialogue being spoken by flat characters whose only purpose are to be brutally murdered and disposed. 
But with recent entries like The Babadook, It Follows and even The VVitch, horror movies can possibly become more exploratory and symbolic; just as it had been decades ago in its prime before all these franchises about serial killers, ghosts and demon possessions have turned the genre into something rather repetitive and sublimely stupid.
Such stories after all lack the human element which is exactly what horror is supposed to be all about regardless…

To More Ceaseless Nights of Bliss and Frenzied Feeding

Short stories can probably be considered the most underappreciated form of fiction writing these days, particularly those that belong in the genre of speculative fiction. Not a lot of people are aware of this, but said genre actually thrives in the fringes of Filipino literature and most are written in the English language. Writers like Dean Francis Alfar and Eliza Victoria have had small mainstream successes with their respective works, but other writers for the genre only have their works usually published as part of a varied anthology.
In fact, I never would have discovered author Gabriela Lee myself if I wasn't dutifully checking the Filipino Literature section of my local bookstore near my place of work. I'm glad I did one day because I would have missed out in buying my copy of her freshman debut Instructions on How to Disappear whose cover illustration as well as the rest of its visual presentation was enticing enough to pick up and browse through. I was furthermore enco…

"Poems. Confessions. Apologies. Promises."

Shelved next to copies of Otaku, Candy and Reader's Digest, In Case You Come Back is this medium-sized book of poems with assorted themes which wouldn't even be as noticeable at first glance. Its spine is plain white with a small and barely discernible font, prompting most of us not to give it a second look unless we feel the need to keep browsing the shelf. The only way you could select it among the pile was either by purposely looking for it, or by simply having the strangest luck. My stumbling upon it was admittedly through pure chance, and I may even deem such event as 'serendipitous' because it found me while I was in a delicate cusp of heartbreak and discord where I could certainly use a balm that would appease my troubles.
This poetry collection was a collaborative effort between writers Marla Miniano and Reese Lansangan as well as with the illustrator Jamie Catt. The latter's sketches were pretty and metaphorical enough in execution, providing readers the im…