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Filipino Fridays: Five Ways I’ve Shown Support for Filipino Authors/Books

It’s past midnight so it’s Fridaaay in this part of the world! I’m staying up late to write this blog post because I have no idea what time I’ll finish work later/tomorrow… Deadlines, I have them. I was in the office until 9:30pm tonight so I might not be able to put up a Filipino Fridays post if I don’t do it now.


Filipino Fridays is a weekly meme that has become a tradition leading up to the Filipino Reader Conference. Unfortunately, I won’t be in Manila during the actual date of the ReaderCon so I’m only able to participate through Filipino Fridays. Links to my past two posts: Five Ways Reading Has Changed My Life and My Five Wishes as a Filipino Reader

This week’s topic is how Filipino readers can support Filipino authors and books. Now I know I can do better at encouraging and helping Filipino authors, but here are some ways that I’ve tried to show my support:

Buy Filipino books. I think the best way to support books written by Filipino authors is to buy copies of them and read them. Since I’m all the way over here in Singapore, it’s easier for me to read Filipino books when they have ebook editions. But I do make a point of buying print editions of Filipino books whenever I fly home.

Spread the word about them. Whenever I’m in the middle of a Filipino book, I try my best to talk about it – both through my blog and with friends in real life. I bookstagram it, share quotes and excerpts on Goodreads updates, and recommend it to friends who might be interested.

Feature them on the blog. Now the best blog-related thing that I can do is to post a review of the book. But that doesn’t always happen because sometimes real life gets in the way of things, and I don’t always have time to sit down and write reviews even if I want to. Which is why I’m willing to do other blog posts for Filipino books, such as round ups of books I’ve read, cover reveals, release date announcements, guest posts from authors, etc.

Give them as gifts. I love that Amazon has a “give as gift” option, which I’ve taken advantage of to send Filipino ebooks to friends who read. I’ve also made the decision of buying Filipino books and giving them as Christmas gifts this December (which is why I haven’t started on my Christmas shopping). Because I’ll be killing two birds with one stone – encouraging friends to read while supporting Filipino authors.

Share ideas and give feedback to Filipino authors. Now of course this depends on your rapport with the author and whether he/she will be willing to receive feedback from you. I’m always willing to share my thoughts and ideas, if any Filipino author wants to hear from me. :) Like I said in a previous post, I’m not sure if it would help but if you’re a Filipino author and you think I’m part of your target market, I would be willing to be a beta reader or give feedback (as time permits).

Okay, I’m about to fall asleep in front of my laptop so I’m ending this post here. Any ideas on how else we can support Filipino authors?


Ten Quotes I Liked from Books I Read in the Past Year

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I like taking note of passages that I like (I highlight them when I’m reading on my Kindle) whenever I read books. So this was a fun topic for me to put together. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite quotes from books that I’ve read in 2015:

Learning to FallLearning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra

In theory, blogging shouldn’t take a lot of time. Read a book, then write about it. Simple, right? Obligation fulfilled to the publisher or author who sent the book, to the readers who read the blog.

Not quite.

Blogging found me at a time when I needed people. I knew this, didn’t need a therapist to tell me. Moving to another state, starting college, figuring out how to be a fully functional adult and artist… there was so much comfort in being friends with people who liked the same things. Believe me, I tried being friends with real people, but the friendship offers stopped coming when I missed one too many dorm parties.


Choco Chip HipsChoco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera

I looked at the mug of thick, hot chocolate, like I was seeing it for the first time. The sides of the cup were smudged with dark brown liquid, dotted with grains. To get this thick consistency, you had to melt the tablea in water with milk, stirring the pot tirelessly with a wooden molonillo. You whisked and whisked until your arms protested, until the ingredients melded in a rich and silky brown. It was a labor of love.

I pulled the mug closer, bowed my head, closed my eyes, and inhaled. It smelled – what was it, exactly? – full. It smelled so many things: dark, earthy, and fruity. I held the rim to my lips and took a long, thoughtful sip.

“It’s not as sweet as you’re used to,” Dad said apologetically.

It tasted a hint of the sweet, a hint of the bitter – the way life always had been.


Loveless Childless CluelessLoveless. Childless. Clueless. by Miren B. Flores

The sea is for me. I make this declaration silently, standing chest-deep in the water, staring at that point where the horizon meets the sea. I close my eyes and revel in my favorite natural sound in the world – the waves. It’s a hypnotic rhythm, a soothing rhythm, the sweetest, I’m-so-glad-I’m-alive rhythm.


I'll Meet You ThereI’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

In my essay for San Fran, I’d written about how I’d always felt like there was something magical about taking bits and pieces of the world around me and creating something whole. It gave me hope: if you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspapers and old matchbooks, then it meant that everything had potential. And maybe people were like collages – no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.


Once Upon a RoseOnce Upon a Rose by Laura Florand

She took a deep breath, and that sense of nothing shimmered like a mirage before all the things that filled her lungs. An air rich with scents and with the vitality of the man beside her. Cliff-hills rose and narrowed around them as they headed into the pass that led out of the valley. All the rest of the world seemed so far away here. Songs lurked in the scents of rosemary and thyme and pine and roses in this car, teasing at her to hit the right note and distill their essence into words and melody. That would be fun, to capture a scent in song, and nobody else but her might ever even realize what perfume teased through the notes.


A Wish Upon JasmineA Wish Upon Jasmine by Laura Florand

Sexy and sophisticated required so much work and attention to unimportant things, like how much you ate and how you fixed your hair. It was a particular skill, requiring a certain amount of luck in your genetics and then, exactly like most other accomplishments, at least seventy-five percent hard work, practice, and persistence.

And she’d chosen to practice something else, something that mattered to her more. Those models who looked so great as they marketed her perfumes to the public could no more have made a perfume than she could have looked that sleek and alluring. They worked in symbiosis, she and those models, but she was the secret element of that symbiosis, the elusive magic, and they were the glamorous show.

So naturally, it made sense to assume that the elegant Damien Rosier might prefer the glamor.

And yet… here they both were. Together.


Bone GapBone Gap by Laura Ruby

She closed the book and smoothed the quilt on her bed. Unlike the girl in the novel, she hadn’t made it herself, knew little about quilting or sewing or craftiness. And unlike the girl in the novel, she understood heat and wind more than ice and snow, and had no intention of breaking anyone’s heart, except maybe her own. Even Get Real had said nothing about this, about sitting on your bed in your room, stomach and head buzzing, nerves thrumming, heart beating in your earlobes and your toes, hoping so hard that there was one boy out there who wanted you as much as you wanted him, because you wouldn’t know what you would do with yourself if this were not true.


Archivist WaspArchivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace

Find the girl with the knife in her belt and the scars on her face, they told me. She’s different from the other girls who’d come before her, even though they’d carried the same knife, worn the same scars. She helps the dead, when she can, even when the living punish her for it. She probably will not want to be found. But she is worth finding.


UprootedUprooted by Naomi Novik

He looked at me, baffled and for the first time uncertain, as though he had stumbled into something, unprepared. His long narrow hands were cradled around mine, both of us holding the rose together. Magic was singing in me, through me; I felt the murmur of his power singing back that same song. I was abruptly too hot, and strangely conscious of myself. I pulled my hands free.


Girl Before a MirrorGirl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer

What do I want?

I want to be happy and not feel guilty about it. I want to be curious without being called indulgent. I want to be accepted regardless of what I look like, what I do for a living, my marital status, whether I have kids, or whether you think I’m nice enough, hospitable enough, or humble enough to measure up to your impossible standards. I want purpose. I want contentment. I want to be loved and give love unreservedly in return. I want to be seen, I want to matter. I want freedom.


What about the rest of you, what are some of quotes you’ve liked from books that you’ve read this year?

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Filipino Fridays: My Five Wishes as a Filipino Reader


Filipino Fridays is a weekly meme that has become a tradition leading up to the Filipino Reader Conference. Unfortunately, I won’t be in Manila during the actual date of the ReaderCon so I’m only able to participate through Filipino Fridays. Last week’s posts was about five ways that reading changed my life. This week’s topic:

What are the five Things You Wish as a Filipino Reader?

This could be anything! What stories do you want to see from our local authors? Which author do you want to visit the country? Would you want to see your favorite comic book become a live action movie? It’s time for you to share your ultimate wishlist from your perspective as a Filipino Reader. Go wild, go crazy!

I found out that this topic was apparently partially inspired by my Top Ten Tuesday book genie post a few weeks ago, so of course that made me even more eager to come up with a list for this topic.

I would love to have more books written by Filipino authors in the genres that I read. That would include contemporary, romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, sci fi, graphic novels. Both in young adult and adult categories. I think there has been an increase of Filipino romance books because of #romanceclass, and it would be great to have more books in other genres too.

It would be amazing if I can find more Filipino books that give me book hangovers. If my first wish is about quantity, my second wish is about quality. I would love to have Filipino books that would make me go WOW. The kind that wouldn’t let me leave the world or story for a few days. The kind that would make me bibliovangelize. I’m not sure how to help make this happen? But if you’re a Filipino author and you think I’m part of your target market, I would be willing to be a beta reader or give feedback on your book if you think it would help.

I wish more Filipino and non-Filipino readers will pick up and promote books written by Filipino authors. I admit that I could be better at this too. But whenever I do read a Filipino book, I try to spread the word about it as much as I can. I try to write a review or at the very least, post about it on Instagram. I’ve noticed that my posts about Filipino titles get less attention that posts about foreign books and that makes me sad.

It would be awesome to have more indie bookstores or book cafes in the Philippines. Apparently, book cafes are now a thing in Manila? If I was still based there, I would be cafe hopping in these places like nobody’s business. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang out in a cafe that’s meant for readers? They seem like great places to have book club discussions and meet ups too.

I wish there were more online or blog events for Filipino readers, kind of like Filipino Fridays. :) If I was in Manila, I would be wishing for more face-to-face events. But because I’m in Singapore, I can only participate in online stuff.

A very selfish wish that I would add just as a bonus item is for friends or family to give me bookstore or Amazon gift cards if they have no idea what to get for me for Christmas or my birthday. :P I don’t want to seem ungrateful but I think this is something that every reader will be able to relate to? We probably spend so much on books that it wouldn’t hurt to get gift cards.

What about the rest of you, what are your readerly wishes?


Ten Book to Movie Adaptations I Still Need to Watch

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I’m not very good at keeping up with movies, I think mostly because reading takes up most of my free time. So I’m usually not able to keep track of when movies are released unless I’m REALLY excited to watch them. So that’s why there are some movie adaptations that I still haven’t seen, even if I’ve already read the books they’re based on. Such as:

Looking for Alibrandi The Book Thief The Giver Coraline The Duff Vampire Academy Time Traveler's Wife

And then there a few movie adaptations that I haven’t watched because I haven’t read the books:

Paper Towns Me and Earl and the Dying Girl The Martian

If you’ve seen the movies for these books, let me know if they’re really good adaptations and whether I should prioritize them. What are book to movie adaptations that you have in your to-be-watched list?


Filipino Fridays: Five Ways Reading Has Changed My Life


Filipino Fridays is a weekly meme that has become a tradition leading up to the Filipino Reader Conference. I won’t be in Manila during the event so I can only participate through this virtual meme. This week’s topic:

How do you think has reading changed your life? Please share with at most five significant ways that will show how reading has influenced your life. These could be in terms of personality, career, studies, and other parts of your life this influence has taken place. :D

Reading has given me a default activity. I’ve written a blog post before about how books are my constant, about how I may like certain things at any given point in time but that always fades while I will always be a reader. If I’m bored or can’t think of what to do, I can always just pick up a book. Actually in whatever mood I’m in, I can always just read a book.

Reading keeps me steady. There have been times in my life when I’ve been in difficult situations and I felt like reading and book blogging have helped keep me grounded. For example, I had a tough time adjusting to living abroad on my own, when I first moved to Singapore more than three years ago. And I really wouldn’t have known what I would have done if I didn’t have books to read and the book blogging community to relate to. Sometimes when I had a bad day at work or I’m unhappy for some reason, I just tweet and say “I need a good book, stat.” and I would get recommendations. And when I read a book that’s able to take me away from my current situation, it really helps keep me on my feet when I have to face reality.

Reading has led me to book blogging and has helped me make friends. Of course I’m talking about all the book friends I’ve made through reading communities and the book blogosphere. Our love of the written word connects us all. Even better is when we find people who love the same kind of books that we do. In another one of my previous posts, I mentioned that book blogging is more than just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. So much thought, time and effort goes into maintaining a book blog, and the social media sites connected to it, that it’s much more fitting to describe it as a lifestyle.

I have learned to break my boundaries because of reading. This statement can be interpreted in many ways, such as how I’ve learned to explore genres that I wouldn’t have tried if not for recommendations from trusted authors and bloggers. Or how I’ve been able to explore and travel to other worlds, both real and fictional, through the books that I’ve read. I just like how reading enables us to be more open to experiences.

Reading helps me lose myself but also helps me find myself. I’m an escapist reader so I love losing myself in a good book. But even if the characters in the book that I’m reading are in situations that I would never find myself in, there are still instances where I could totally relate to what they’re thinking or feeling. Certain lines or paragraphs would make me go, “YES! Exactly this!” So in a way, I feel like I find parts of myself in the books that I read.

I can go on and on about this topic but the prompt says maximum of five so I’ll stop here. What about the rest of you, how has reading changed your life? You don’t have to be a Filipino reader to share your thoughts on this topic. :)

Filipino ReaderCon 2015


Ten Non-Scary Books for Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. While I’m aware of what Halloween is because of pop culture, it’s not really a Filipino tradition. We have All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day instead, which are days dedicated to visiting memorial or burial sites for loved ones who have passed away. And yes, we grew up telling ghost stories and scaring each other on these dates too. I’m a big scaredy cat though, so I don’t watch horror films or read scary books. I do think there are some non-scary atmospheric reads for Halloween, that would be great for scaredy cats like me. Some are a bit creepy, some have ghosts or zombies or other dark supernatural creatures. In no particular order, here are my recommendations:

Murder on Balete Drive Archivist Wasp Bone Gap Scorpio Races UK Sabriel

A Monster Calls Sorrow's Knot Black Dog Magic Bites new cover Angel's Blood new cover

What about the rest of you, what are some of your recommended Halloween or All Souls’ Day reads?


Ten wishes I’d ask the book genie to grant

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I think this week’s topic is awesome! If only there was a book genie or a fairy book godmother, I would wish for these:

To earn money by reading or by blogging about books. Seriously, I feel like I keep saying on Twitter or Goodreads that I wish I could just read the whole day instead of go to work. Wouldn’t it be great if I didn’t have to worry about going to an office and contributing to society because I can just earn money by reading?

To have a book-related job. Okay, if I can’t get my first wish then I would love to have a job related to books. Some of you may say that I could make this a reality but I really wouldn’t know how to do it since I work in a completely different field (I make a point of not talking about my job in my blog) and I don’t have the background for it. If I didn’t have to worry about having the capital or making a profit, I would love to run my own book cafe. I love good food, coffee and tea… add books to that mix, then I would be a very happy person.

To burn calories while reading or blogging. Who wouldn’t want to be fit? It’s just that most of the time, I would rather read than exercise. The most exercised part of my body are my eyes because I’m always reading either books or a computer screen.

To meet my favorite authors in person. I would probably faint from excitement if I ever get to meet some of my favorite authors face to face, like Megan Whalen Turner, Elizabeth Wein, Laura Florand, Ilona Andrews, Robin McKinley, Kristin Cashore, etc. (I actually made this list for a previous TTT but it can also go on and on) I would love to have some sort of conversation with them, if possible. And also to get signed and personalized copies of their books as souvenirs!

To meet blogging buddies from other countries in person. I have met awesome people through our shared love of reading and while it’s been fun to get to know them through the internet, it would be even better if I get the chance to see them in person. I’ve tried to do that wherever possible, like I’ve done meet ups with bookish friends in Manila, Singapore, Los Angeles and Munich. But there are so many other bookish friends I’ve been communicating with for years and still have never laid eyes on.

Paris - Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company in Paris, which I got to visit last year

To visit as many amazing libraries and bookstores all over the world. I don’t get to do it as often as I would like because of budget constraints but I love to travel. And part of the fun of traveling is coming across cozy bookstores and gorgeous libraries. I would love to visit more of them if I can.

To have my own beautiful personal library. Like Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. If I ever get around to buying my own place, I would love to have a library in it. With gorgeous hardwood shelves, enough natural light during the day and a comfy couch or armchair.

To have the ability to erase a particular memory so I can read a book for the first time. As much as I love rereading old favorites, there’s something to be said for falling in love with a book for the first time. I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets jealous of other people who haven’t read my favorite book.

To have any book that I want to read whenever I feel like reading it. I read based on my mood. Sometimes, even when I have already so many books in my TBR pile, I don’t pick them up because I don’t feel like reading them. I would like to have access to any book that I’m currently in the mood for. This wish would include books that haven’t been written or published yet. Like the next book in the Queen’s Thief or Lion Hunters series.

To have a stronger and more developed selection of titles written by Filipino authors. More and more Filipino titles in the genres I read are being published but I would love to have more of them. Like how I keep saying I wish the Filipino YA scene would become as well-developed as the Aussie YA market, where there are so many amazing titles to choose from (e.g. some of the Aussie YA authors I love are Melina Marchetta, Andrea K. Höst, Fiona Wood, Vikki Wakefield, Cath Crowley, Kirsty Eagar).

Sigh, now I wish the book genie was real! I would love to have some of these wishes granted. What about the rest of you, what would you wish for if there was a book genie?


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