Friday, October 5, 2007

Meet Luis Joaquin M. Katigbak

Luis Joaquin M. Katigbak
- was born on July 26, 1974 in Quezon City, Philippines
- Graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Creative Writing
- wrote to books:
1) Happy Endings (book cover seen below)
2) The King of Nothing To Do: Essays on Nothing and Everything

- He didn't think he would become a writer until during his miidle stay in college. He though he was going to be a mathematician but since he has been writing since childhood and getting published in magazines since his early teens, he realized that writing was what he did best so he shifted out of BS Mathematics and into BA English (Creative Writing)

- He was a fellow of the 1993 UP National Writer's Workshop. His stories have been printed in the Philippine Graphic, THe Philippines Free Press, The Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction 1995/1997 and East Magazine among other publications. He has won a Philippine Graphic and a Palanca award for his short fiction. His collection of short stories, "Happy Endings," was nominated for a Manila Critics Circle National Book Award. He currently writes a column for the Manila Bulletin's i section called "The King of Nothing to Do"

- He currently works for as a Senior Editor and as Reviews Editor for BURN Magazine. He previously worked as a staff writer for PULP/MTV Ink, Lecturer of Creative Writing at UP Diliman and Director II for the Office of Justice Carpio.

- "The culture surrounding me was one that believed in the power of the well-considered word, that placed great value on the pursuit of meaningful and/or innovative means of writing expression, and that took for granted the importance and influence of literature. Now, as someone working in mass media and pop culture, I notice that the literary qualities so prized in the academe are not necessarily highly valued or sought after nor influential at all."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Introducing Lilledeshan Bose

Lilledeshan Bose was born on 1977. She is the daughter of artist Santiago Bose. She graduated cum laude at the University of the Philippines Diliman with a degree in BA English, Major in Creative Writing. She started her journalism career at travel magazine Go! in 1999 as the assistant editor. She was the feaures editor of Seventeen Magazine Philippines in 2001. In 2004, she was assistant editor at Law Office Computing Magazine. From 2004-2006, she was the assistant features editor at The Press-Enterprise -the biggest newspaper in the Inland Empire, California. In 2002, she wrote "Una and Miguel: A Long Shot at Love." She also contributed to the following magazines:
    Dining Out Magazine
    Legal Assistant Today
    Flavor Online
    SeAir Magazine
    Asian Diver Magazine
    AsiaWeek Magazine
    Cosmopolitan Magazine Phils.
    FHM Magazine Phils.
    Philippine Daily Inquirer and
    Stuff Magazine

She is currently living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She works at MKE (Milwaukee's under-35 tabloid published by The Journal-Sentinel) as a reporter. In 2004, Bose wrote and co-produced "My Break-ups into a Million Pieces", a film about death, immigration and relationships. It screened at the 2005 Vancouver Asian Film Festival, the 2006 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and the 2006 Los Angeles Asia Pacific Film & Video Festival. From 2003 to 2005, she was the lead singer for the Orange County rock band The Velvet Ash. In the late 90's, she was part of the performance quartet GaTula.

Helpful links:
Lilledeshan Bose's website
her Myspace
Lilledeshan on Wikipedia

-Kat Recto-

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Glimpse of the life of Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.

Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay Jr., also known as Butch Dalisay was born in Romblon, Philippines in 1954. He spent his grade school years in La Salle Greenhills and graduated in 1966. He completed his secondary eduacation at the Philippine Science High School in 1970. He dropped out of college and worked as a journalist. He was a political detainee during the Martial Law. He was imprisoned for a period of time due to his writings which were against the Marcos Regime. Despite a stall in his collegiate degree, he graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines with a degree in English in 1984. He received an MFA from the University of Michigan in 1988 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsis- Milwaukee in 1991.

He has won 16 Palanca Awards in 5 genres. He has received numerous awards like the National Book Award and 5 Cultural Center of the Philiippines awards for playwriting. He has published 15 books containing his own writings including Penmanship and Other Stories.


He currently writes for the Philippine Star. Also, he teaches English and Creative Writing in UP (University of the Philippines).

He is married to the artist June Poticar Dalisay. They have one daughter, Demi, born in 1974. He is fond of Macintosh Computers, old fountain pens, '50s watches, and Volkswagen Beetles.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Michael Ondaatje: a Non-Linear Fictionist

Philip Michael Ondaatje, born 12 September 1943) is a Sri Lankan Canadian novelist and poet, perhaps best known for his Booker Prize winning novel adapted into an Academy-Award-winning film, The English Patient.

Born in Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon, of Indian/Dutch ancestry, he went to school in England, and then moved to Canada. He is now a Canadian citizen.

Michael Ondaatje is one of the world’s foremost writers – his artistry and aesthetic have influenced an entire generation of writers and readers. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje’s work also encompasses memoir, poetry, and film, and reveals a passion for defying conventional form. His memoir of his Sri Lankan childhood is called "Running in the Family". In his transcendent novel The English Patient—later made into the Academy Award-winning film—he explores the stories of people history fails to reveal, intersecting four diverse lives at the end of World War II. His works of fiction include Anil's Ghost, The English Patient, In the Skin of a Lion, Coming Through Slaughter, and The Collected Works of Billy the Kid.

His style of fiction, introduced in Coming Through Slaughter (1976) and mastered in The English Patient (1992), is non-linear which means he creates a narrative by exploring many interconnected snapshots in great detail.

In 1988 Michael Ondaatje was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (OC) and two years later became a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 2000, Michael Ondaatje was awarded the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the Prix Medicis, the Governor General’s Award, and the Giller Prize for his novel Anil's Ghost. Michael Ondaatje’s most recent nonfiction work is The Conversations: Walter Murch & the Art of Editing Film. His latest novel is entitled Divisadero (2007).

He is the brother of philanthropist and businessman, Christopher Ondaatje.

Ondaatje currently resides in Toronto with his wife, Linda Spalding. Together, they edit the literary journal Brick.

*Joanna Abril*


Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Look at Ichi Batacan

Maria Felisa Batacan, also known as Ichi Batacan(picture unavailable), is a fairly new Filipino writer. Her book, Smaller and Smaller Circles, which was published last 2002, won the 1999 Palanca grand prize for novel, the National Book Award from Manila Critics Circle in 2002 and the Third Madrigal-Gonzales First Book Award in 2003. She has a degree in Broadcast Communication and a Master's degree in Art Studies in UP Diliman.

She grew up in an environment where poor people were abundant. There weren't too many job openings during her time here in the Philippines and the economy wasn't also that good. Also, the Philippines she grew up in didn't have a decent police system. Crimes that were reported by people were most of the time left unattended. Policemen were slow in taking action whenever crimes were committed. For the typical Filipino, policemen were very unreliable.

She used these factors as her background in her novel Smaller and Smaller Circles.

She writes quite similar to Dan Brown. She likes to shift from a slow discussion about something to a quick action-packed scene. This makes the story interesting since the readers won't be able to anticipate what's going to happen next. She also likes to describe things in detail, particularly the murders done by the killer in her story. Blood is very abundant. Ichi also provides a look inside her murderer's mind (a first person type of thing) but besides that, nothing is known about the identity of the murderer up until the end, much like what Dan Brown does.

She grew up here in the Philippines (exact place of birth and birth date not available on the net) and is currently a business copy editor for The Straits Times in Singapore.


-patrick sy

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Palm Sunday

by Sandra Nicole Roldan
744 words
created 15 July 2007

She walks into Myeongdong Cathedral, a small wet cedar leaf in her hand. An old gentleman at the church door keeps the leaves fresh in a bucket of water, and hands them out in lieu of the customary palm fronds. Dressed in jeogori and paji, the traditional pajama-like outfits worn by Buddhist monks and old people in Korea, the man greets her in English. He is the only person there to smile at her. Being the only foreigner in church, she stands out, and is mostly ignored.

Inside, the cathedral is more than half empty. The oldest church in Seoul was built in the gothic style, and remains unheated to this day. The air inside is damp and chill, the high vaulted ceiling is crowded with ghosts and echoes. The faithful are largely in their Sunday best: the men in suits, the women in traditional layers of silk reserved for special occasions. The long coats and pashminas are their only concession to weather. Most matrons have lace veils perched like doilies over lacquered hair dyed in shades of caramel and milky tea. In their spring hanbok, the women bloom like rows of tulips, with teal, cerise, chartreuse, and mauve petals.

The mass begins with chimes and clouds of incense. An acolyte speaks from a lectern, the words ringing through the cathedral’s nave even without a microphone. As the cold seeps from the granite floor through her shoes, her socks and into the ankle bones, she realizes her mistake: the mass will be in Korean. Clearly, the English service for foreigners is being held elsewhere. Another look around confirms another suspicion: only she and a young Korean man on the pew behind her appear under fifty. With her brown skin and his fuzzy pink sweater, they are the only ones who look out of place.

The mass is in chumdemal, the formal language used to address authority figures and those of higher rank like parents, professors, middle management, and God. She knows this from the imnidas that regularly appear at the end of each sentence. This early in her language studies, the most she can do is half-heartedly bow and mumble Annyong haseyo at anyone who pays her any attention. She doesn't understand the sermon but takes comfort in knowing that after the rumbling and the hissing, a soft imnida will be murmured at the end. Unlike the fluorescent-lit clap-intensive tambourine-and-guitar charismatic masses back in Manila, this one is a solemn affair. Every single utterance bears the weight of remorse, and the old faithful beat their breasts in a synchronized ritual that feels strangely pre-Vatican II.

She shivers. The thin wool sweater over her cotton blouse is no match for the damp chill that hangs in the air. The young man behind her seems uncomfortable as well. She imagines he is embarrassed. His shoes squeak each time he moves to stand or kneel with the rest of the congregation. From the creak of leather, she knows he has dropped to his knees, like everyone else. She, on the other hand, has chosen to stay seated on the wooden pew, trying to keep warm. There is a rustle behind her, barely discernible from the murmuring all around.

A hand touches the small of her back. At first, just a fingertip tracing a few centimeters of skin between the waistband of her skirt and the hem of her sweater. Then a man’s palm, warm and rough, slides under her clothes to rest briefly on the deep curve above her hip. A moment later, it is gone. For more than an hour, she sits, then stands, then kneels. But she no longer listens for the imnidas, just waits for the unseen palm to touch her again. It never comes. A series of chimes signal the end of mass. She gathers the courage to turn and look at the man behind her. But he is gone. She walks out into the sun this early spring morning, and takes the long subway ride back to her dorm.

Years later, in her tiny Mandaluyong apartment, she will dream of a day in church. A warm hand against her skin and a man’s voice, rumbling and hissing in that language she no longer understands. She will wake up at dawn and see her husband curled up beside her, his body warm with sleep. As sunlight slowly filters through the curtains, she will tell herself over and over: it happened. It really happened.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jon Scieszka: In the Flesh

Jon Scieszka, a well-known children's author, was born in Flint, Michigan on September 8, 1954. His father, Louis Scieszka was an elementary school principal, and his mother, Shirley was a registered nurse. Jon grew up with five brothers, of which he was the second oldest.

As a child, Jon Scieszka always wanted to become an author, but he decided to attend military school first. He graduated after three years from Culver Military College in Indiana. Jon
then moved to Albion College where he started to study medicine, but ended up getting his B.A. in writing in 1976. He was accepted into John Hopkins Medical School, but instead went to Columbia University where he received his Master of Fine Arts in 1980. Today Jon Scieszka and his wife, Jerilyn, son, Jake, and daughter, Casey, live in Brooklyn, New York.

His influences can basically be summed up in one word: "anything." His inspirations are a combination of what he is reading, the music he is listening to, the movies he watches. However, he considers his two kids as his biggest inspirations. He likes kids because he thinks that kids are the perfect audience since they are willing to be goofy and wonder what if. However, one of his biggest influences has been Dr. Seuss and his famous book, Green Eggs and Ham, which made The Stinky Cheese Man possible. After reading Dr. Seuss books over and over, Scieszka realized that books could also be goofy.

In 1986, he met up with his illustrator Lane Smith and they became instant friends. He already received numerous awards including The 1994 Rhode Island Children's Book Award for The Stinky Cheese Man; Math Curse was an American Library Association Notable Book in 1996; in 1995 he received a Blue Ribbon Book from the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Book, and many more.

He always takes into consideration his audience, especially when he is creating new ideas for his wacky children's books. He uses imagination, creativity and fun to bring three different themes into his works. The themes are putting a new twist into old tales, hearing the other side of the story before judging, and simply having fun.

~~~.xoxo, Ace Gapuz :)