Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sharing this: Philippine International Literary Festival - POPtastik Pinoy!

Oh, a bookish event! Found out about this from our friends at the Filipinas Heritage Library.  

Press Release: Filipino writers will discuss folk and popular literature as shown in komiks, TV, and film as the National Book Development Board (NBDB), Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL), and Ayala Museum hold POPtastik Pinoy! this November.

The event is part of the 4th Philippine International Literary Festival. Titled Text and the City, the LitFest will take place in the major universities in Metro Manila from November 11-14 and culminating at the Ayala Museum on November 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Promotional activities will also be held at the Makati Ayala Malls from November 17 to 24.

The November 15 event is a whole day series of talks which will cover the following topics: “Folklore in Pop Literature (komiks, graphic novels, novels, short stories, and TV);” “Kuwentuhan on Komiks;” and “Writing in Different Genres.” Among the panel discussants and moderators are comic artists Manix Abrera, Noel Pascual, AJ Bernardo, Karen Francisco, and Budjette Tan; novelists Eros Atalia, Luna Sicat Cleto, and Edgar Samar; scriptwriter Suzette Doctolero; fictionists Sarge Lacuesta and Yvette Tan; journalists Ruel de Vera and Kristine Fonacier; and Prof. Patrick Campos.

Celebrated writers Tony Perez and Rolando Tolentino will open the POPtastik Pinoy! program of activities with talks of writing and the city. Korean-American writer Krys Lee will then discuss her short story compilation Drifting House. Lee will be joined by Sarge Lacuesta, Andrea Pasion-Flores, and Kristine Fonacier for a flash fiction writing masterclass, “City Fiction 100,” while other pocket lectures are being held in the Ayala Museum function rooms.

From 5:00 pm, writer and educator Isagani R. Cruz will hold another seminar on “How to write a book” for professional and amateur writers. Garitony Nicolas will also share his experience of publishing his own books with the help of Central Books, the first publisher-on-demand in the Philippines.

The LitFest will stretch to the following week at the Ayala Malls. On November 17, a marathon of GMA films will be held at the New Glorietta Activity Center, along with a mini fair for indie komiks creators and sellers and small or independent publishers. The public can also view GMA 7 telefantasya costumes at Ground Floor Greenbelt 3 from November 18 to 24.

POPtastik Pinoy! is supported by Ayala Malls, GMA Network, Brother Philippines Inc., Intercontinental Hotel, the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), the Korea Copyright Commission (KCC), Fully Booked, and McDonald’s. For inquiries, contact Verne Ahyong at the Ayala Museum at 759-8288 local 46 or To register, call Marj Villaflores at 759-8288 local 25, or email

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Steamy Reads, a special edition of #romanceclass

Save the date! From January 18 to February 15, 2014, I will be running a free, short-story edition of #romanceclass. We will be writing 5,000(ish)-word short stories, and they'll be about love, romance, and possibly some steam.

This class is sponsored by buqo, and it could mean a digital distribution deal for your story!

Most of the work in class will be facilitated online, but there are three face-to-face classes (January 18, Feb 1 and Feb 15) at the buqo office in Mandaluyong City that I hope you can attend. We're not requiring it, but you'll miss a lot if you don't get to go.

If you want to be able to write and finish a romance-themed short story in a month, and see it published too, do sign up here: (You have to be 18 and over to join though! Mature themes kasi.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Filipino Friday: Kids and Books

What were your favorite books as a kid? Do you still read children’s books? If you would give a book to your younger self, what would it be?

My hands-down favorite is Childcraft volume 3, Children Everywhere! It's the one with short stories from different countries. My favorite stories from it:

The book I'd give to my younger self is this:
Friends gave this book to our daughter as a gift, and it's one of the first books she really, really liked. We'd read it to her, and she would say, "Again!" If we happened to quote a line from the story (because we eventually memorized it), she'd perk up and ask us to read the book again. She has since moved on to The Hungry Caterpillar and Dear Zoo, but this holds a special place in my heart now, and I think the younger me would have liked it too.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Guardians of Tradition Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop in the Guardians of Tradition blog tour! This was organized by Dia at Book Junkie Blog Tours. Don't forget to join the GIVEAWAY after the excerpt!

I'm so happy to share with you this special book for children. It's written by the late Mae Astrid Tobias (I am a friend of the family), and illustrated by Rommel Joson (I've worked with him too, via Studio Dialogo and Summit Books). Guardians of Tradition celebrates the indigenous artists of the Philippines and makes sure that children (and adults too!) know about what they do and how important they are. Here's an excerpt from the book:

Lang Dulay of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato has been weaving t’nalak since she was twelve years old. T’nalak is what the T’boli call the three-colored cloth made from fine abaca fiber. The three colors of the t’nalak represent the three places where the T’boli believe the soul goes when one dies. Hitem (black) is for people who died because of natural causes. Hulo (red) for those who died violently like by a bullet or a blade. Bukay (white) is for those who take taken their lives and those whose deaths were untimely.

The T’boli weavers, like Lang Dulay, get the designs for their t’nalak from their dreams. They believe that when Fu Dalu, the spirit of the abaca, shows them the design in their dreams, they must immediately weave it into cloth or else they might fall ill and soon forget the pattern. Sometimes, the designs are passed on from generation to generation, from grandmother to grandchild. Lang Dulay knows a hundred designs like the bulinglangit (clouds), the bangkiring (hair bangs), and the kabangi (butterfly).

When Lang Dulay became a Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan awardee, she was able to build a traditional long house where she teaches younger women how to weave.


Suggested activity:

The T’boli get their ideas for t’nalak designs from their dreams. Dreams are good sources of ideas for stories, poems, and drawings. Why don’t you try to keep a dream journal? Get a small notebook and a pen. Keep it near your bed. Every morning when you wake up, write down or sketch what you remember from your dream the previous night.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Guardians of Tradition
Who are the indigenous and folk artists of the Philippines? Guardians of Tradition is full of facts about 11 of Philippine master weavers, folk musicians, performing artists, mat weavers and metal smiths whose talents and skills have earned them the title Manlilikha ng Bayan. Designed to help children recognize native Filipino ingenuity and creativity, the book includes fun activities to promote appreciation for culture and arts. Guardians of Tradition has a fun and colorful design that appeals to young readers.

For the duration of the Guardians of Tradition Blog Tour, Guardians of Tradition is available at discounted prize at the Adarna showroom in Scout Torillo corner Scout Fernandez Streets, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City 1103 Philippines (Trunkline: (632) 352-6765, Fax: (632) 352-6765 local 125, Email Address:
Goodreads  Adarna Order Form  Adarna House  NCCA

About Mae Astrid Tobias
MAE ASTRID TOBIAS (1979-2009) was a Palanca-award winning author of children's books. In addition to Guardians of Tradition, her books include Blue Bananas (Crucible), Bayong ng Kuting (Lampara Books), My Forest Friends (Haribon), Bakawan (Adarna Books) and two books retelling the Ifugao traditional chant, hudhud. These are Halikpon: A Retelling of an Ancient Ifugao Chant and Pumbakhayon: An Origin Myth of the Ifugao Hudhud. Both are finalists for children’s literature and best design in the 2006 National Book Awards of the Manila Critics Circle.

She also spent several years in the field of children’s television. She served as the Manila Bureau Manager of Kabataan News Network, a project of UNICEF and Probe Media Foundation that trains young people nationwide how to produce their own broadcast quality documentaries. She also also wrote episodes for children shows like Sirit!, and ABS-CBN and Eskuwela ng Bayan, as well as worked for Philippine Junior Inquirer and Shell Foundation. She was a member of Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting  (KUTING), an organization of Filipino writers for children.

About Rommel Joson
ROMMEL JOSON is a painter and an illustrator. He graduated magna cum laude and College Valedictorian from the University of Philippines College of Fine Arts. He was also a Merit Scholar and a recipient of the Dean's Awards for Visual Awards from the Ateneo de Manila University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He worked in the advertising industry for several years before devoting his time fully to painting and illustration. He has received awards and citations for painting, illustration, comics, and design from various organizations such as the Philippine Board of Books for Young People (Honorable Mention), the Shell National Art Competition (3rd Place Oil/Acrylic Category), the Neil Gaiman/Fully Booked Graphic Fiction Competition (3rd Place in the Graphic Fiction category), the Adobo Design Awards (Silver) and the Philippine Araw Awards (Silver in Art Direction) and the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Competition (Semifinalist in Oil). He is currently an active member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK).

About the Photographer
RENATO S. RASTROLLO, is a photographer, graphic artist, book and exhibit designer. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising from the Philippine Women’s University. With over 25 years of experience in the field of documentary photography, his works have appeared in national and international publications. Presently, he is a culture and arts officer  at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Welcome to Envy Park: Cover and Ebook Pre-order links

My new chick lit novella Welcome to Envy Park will be out at the end of October! Here's the cover, designed by Tania Arpa, featuring Dominique Tiu. (It's lovely!)

Moira Vasquez is a doer. A planner. A get-up-and-goer. At twenty-two, she left her hometown to work in Singapore, to satisfy a need to travel as well as give her savings account a boost. Five years later and she's back in Manila, with a shiny new apartment to her name, but no job, no career, no boyfriend. She meets Ethan Lorenzo, the quiet hunk of an IT consultant on the ninth floor of her condo building, and he's a welcome distraction during this period of having absolutely nothing going on in her life.

But she has a plan -- of course she does -- and this is just a short layover on the way to the next country, the next job, the next big thing. Or will she be missing out on something great that's already there?

Pre-order the ebook on Kobo (P43.15!):
Pre-order the ebook on Apple iBooks ($0.99!):
Pre-order the ebook on Barnes & Noble ($0.99!):
Amazon price will be $0.99 on release day, October 30:

Pre-order the paperback (if that's your thing):

Filipino Friday 2013: Introduction!

Today's post is on "What Reader Species Are You?" based on this infographic.

I am a:

Kindle Convert: You say you still love the smell and feel of paper books but are totally addicted to the convenience of digital reading.
This is so me right now. I read on my Kindle, phone, and iPad. I prefer buying digital editions first, and then get the paperback only if it's cheaper, or that good. I live in a small space, and my husband also loves books, so if I want to read more, I have to go digital.

I am also a bit of a:

Free-Range "It's Complicated" Reader: You refuse to be defined or categorized. 
Though I have some favorites, I will actually try every genre if I can. I used to make it a rule to read something totally different after finishing a book.

Read more about Filipino Readercon.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Welcome to Envy Park: Paperback Pre-order time!

My new chick lit/new adult novella Welcome to Envy Park will be out by the end of this month. If you're in the Philippines and would like to be among the first to get the paperback edition, you can order it now using this form:

- This title is self-published. (For now!)
- Pre-order price of the paperback is P325. Regular price of P350 starts on November 5, 2013.
- The ebook edition will be released at the same time. (Release day price: $0.99.)
- People who visited my MIBF signings are getting the ebook free! I will be emailing you soon.
- People who are currently in Singapore will be getting the ebook free! Leave a comment, or email minavesguerra at gmail to get your copy.

Book Description:
Moira Vasquez is a doer. A planner. A get-up-and-goer. At twenty-two, she left her hometown to work in Singapore, to satisfy a need to travel as well as give her savings account a boost. Five years later and she's back in Manila, with a shiny new apartment to her name, but no job, no career, no boyfriend. She meets Ethan Lorenzo, the quiet hunk of an IT consultant on the ninth floor of her condo building, and he's a welcome distraction during this period of having absolutely nothing going on in her life.

But she has a plan -- of course she does -- and this is just a short layover on the way to the next country, the next job, the next big thing. Or will she be missing out on something great that's already there?
 Read the preview of Welcome to Envy Park on Wattpad.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Semi-Steamy Reads: Falling for Her Fiance by Cindi Madsen

I thought I'd start mentioning on the blog some books that readers of my books might like. I tend to write more on the sweet side of romance, and though there's sex it's the "fade to black" kind and not very steamy. Maybe just a little. Anyway, here's a book that's like that too.

Falling For Her Fiance: An Accidentally in Love Novel (Entangled Bliss)
What to expect: Best friends + One of the guys + Pretend relationship