#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy – Week 1 Round Up

It’s been a week since #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy started (find out more about the event here) and I wanted to do a round up of the posts I’ve made on Instagram. I have been posting a pic of a book written by a Filipino author everyday, and so far, I think I’ve done a good job of finding a background or object that goes well with the story. It’s been fun to come up with these shots but I have no idea if I’ll be able to keep up with a post a day. Let’s see how it goes.

I’ve realized that I can embed Instagram posts on WordPress so I’m trying it out now, instead of uploading the pics from my phone like I used to.

Day 1:

 

Day 2:

 

Day 3:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BIpeZMMD2Sf/

 

Day 4:

 

Day 5:

 

Day 6:

 

Day 7:

 

These pictures are bigger than what I’m used to posting on the blog, but I like that it’s linked to my original Instagram post. I also couldn’t find a way to center the pics so they’re all on the left.

If you’re interested in featuring or reading Filipino books, there’s still lots of time for you to join #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy. πŸ™‚ I would love for more readers (both Filipino and non-Filipino) to read books written by Filipino authors.

#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy 2016 – time to read Filipino books!

It’s that time of the year again! Today marks the start of #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy, a campaign that was launched last year and will be celebrated again this year. August is Buwan ng Wika in the Philippines, which is the month dedicated to celebrating the Filipino language. To coincide with this, a campaign is being hosted by Edgar Calabia Samar (Twitter, Facebook), author of the Janus Silang series, to encourage people to read Filipino books. #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy can be roughly translated as β€œMonth of Filipino Authors” or even “Month of Filipino Books”. Anyone can participate by using this hashtag on various social media platforms – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. So if you’ve been meaning to try reading a Filipino book, this is the perfect time to do so!

There’s an overview of the campaign, which you can read over here (it’s written in Filipino). And interestingly, I was briefly mentioned in there:

BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy - Chachic's Book Nook

The caption can be translated to “observe Chachic’s Book Nook’s elaborate preparation for pictures”. Hahaha! I think it’s awesome that I got a shout out. I did a round up of my #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy posts last year, which you can view here. I will mostly be posting on Instagram with links shared on Twitter and Facebook, but I’m planning to do a round up on the blog as well.

BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy2016

Since the title of the campaign is in Filipino, I believe the main goal is to encourage Filipino readers to pick up titles by Filipino authors. But I am also hoping that non-Filipino readers would be interested in picking up Filipino books. There are loads of books by Filipino authors that are written in English. In fact, those are the type of books that I’m planning to read this month. Some of them can even be requested from Overdrive. So come and join the fun. πŸ™‚

#romanceclass books on Overdrive

If you have a public library that can request titles from Overdrive, you might want to check out this list of #romanceclass titles that are available there. These books are indie published romance books by Filipino authors, and I think it’s awesome that they can be requested from libraries in other countries. I haven’t even read all of the books in that list yet! But I have read and reviewed some of them, which you can see on this tag.

romanceclass overdrive

Ten Books I Loved That Have Under 700 Ratings On Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, we’re supposed to talk about books that we enjoyed that have under 2000 ratings on Goodreads. This is a great topic because we get to highlight under-the-radar books that we’ve read. So it looks like SO MANY of the books that I’ve enjoyed reading are underrated because they haven’t even gotten 1000 ratings on Goodreads. These were the books that I loved (they were my favorites the year I read them) that have less than 700 ratings on Goodreads. Why 700? Because that was the number of ratings I reached when I got to ten titles. I could have kept going but I wanted to focus on these for now:

Loveless Childless Clueless Choco Chip Hips Learning to Fall A Wish Upon Jasmine Girl Before a Mirror

Northlander The Sunbird Medair Touchstone Trilogy Black Dog

Five contemporary, three fantasy, one sci-fi and one historical fiction… that’s a pretty good mix. I thought all of these books were great and would love for more readers to pick them up. If you feel like we like the same type of books then you should definitely check these out. You can click on the image to see my reviews. What about you, what are underrated books you loved?

Tweedle Book Cafe on a Friday Night

I’m back in Singapore soil but still behind on blog posts so I have a few more Manila-related posts that will (hopefully) go up in the coming days. I’ve been meaning to visit Tweedle Book Cafe again after my initial visit last December. So when friends asked me last Friday where I wanted to meet for dinner, I suggested this place. You know you’re a book nerd when you bring your friends to a book cafe on a Friday night. Woohoo, reading party! I’ve been encouraging them to read more so I wanted them to experience a book cafe. πŸ™‚

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - long table

Dinner (TWG first edition tea, salpicao with egg and kimchi) and signed copies of Agay Llanera’s books:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - dinner

Only Vintage Love is mine, given by Chris Mariano as a gift back when it was launched and recently signed by the author when I met her in person. I’ve yet to read it! The rest are copies I got for my friends Ena, Chuchay and Mich to read and share. These three have inherited and borrowed books from me before, and were also super excited to get signed books as Christmas gifts last year. I love it when real life overlaps with my book blogging life.

Here are #romanceclass books available at the cafe:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - romanceclass

Delicious hot chocolate infused with hibiscus, made in Cebu by The Chocolate Chamber. Served in a pretty tea cup:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - hot chocolate

Last but certainly not the least, I brought books that I wanted to pass on with me. Unread books are sad books so I’ve been passing on physical copies of my books because they just get neglected in Manila while I’m in Singapore. Some of these I’ve read, some I’m not planning to read anytime soon. Most of them have pages that have started foxing (getting brown spots) and yellowing because of heat and humidity, even when they’ve been stored in a bookshelf with a glass cover:

Foxing - donated books

I didn’t want them to waste away so I thought it would be better to pass them on. The upright ones on the left went to my friend Ena, the right-most stack went to my friend Chuchay and the two stacks in the middle were donated to the cafe. You can visit the cafe and read those books if you wanted to.

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - donated books

I think it was a Friday well spent. I was back in Tweedle a week later, but only to drop off more books to be donated. I passed by the cafe right before heading to the airport for my flight back to Singapore. This was the stash I donated:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - more donated books

I’m glad book cafes are becoming more of a thing in Manila. They aren’t as common in Singapore but I believe that’s because Singapore has a pretty good public library system, something that the Philippines doesn’t have. Obviously I want these book cafes to flourish, which is why I will try to keep donating books whenever I can. πŸ™‚

Christmas Shopping – Manila Edition

In my previous post about Christmas shopping, I mentioned that I was planning to get Filipino titles to give as gifts to friends. I wanted to support the local writing community and at the same time, encourage my real life friends to read. So I ordered books from Filipino authors even before I flew home to Manila. To make the gifts even more special, I asked the authors if they could personalize the books and they very kindly agreed to do so.

When I got home, a package was waiting for me. It contained five copies of Loveless. Childless. Clueless. by Miren B. Flores:

Loveless. Childless. Clueless gifts

On the same day that I landed, I met up with my friend Chris Mariano, author of Cover (Story) Girl. We had dinner at Cibo in ShangriLa but I was super hungry so I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the food. Here’s a fangirl pic instead:

Chris Mariano fangirl shot

Cover Story Girl gifts

I also dropped by the bookstore in that mall and grabbed three copies of the first installment of the Trese graphic novel series:

Trese gifts

The next day, I met up with authors Mina V. Esguerra, Tina Matanguihan, my friend Kim and newfound friend Jothee at Tweedle Book Cafe (more about that meet up in a separate post). I was able to get the pile of books that I ordered from Mina plus a freebie of What You Wanted:

Mina V. Esguerra books as gifts

Here’s the whole pile of the various titles that I bought:

Filipino books as Christmas gifts

I was really excited to start giving these books as gifts that I didn’t even bother with wrapping them up, since I wanted my friends to see the signature and messages inside as soon as they could. Fellow book blogger Kim was the first recipient:

Kim with Loveless Childless Clueless

Followed by three girlfriends who were thrilled to receive personalized copies of books. I think this is the first time they’ve gotten books specifically signed for them. They were so happy that they took pictures of the books (here, here and here) as well as the messages (here, here and here).

Chuchay, Mich and Ena with gifts

They wanted to start reading the books right away. I made a point of giving them different titles so they can swap and borrow each other’s copies once they’re done. Based on my friends’ reactions, I think I can safely say that my mission has been accomplished. πŸ™‚ Fingers crossed that my other friends will be just as happy with what they’re getting.

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.

filipinofridays3

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. πŸ™‚ 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?

Saturday Book Haul: October 10

Yesterday, I dropped by the library and today, I dropped by the bookstore. Tonight’s book haul:
Book Haul - October 10, 2015

Three Filipino romance titles published by Visprint, which my friend Chris Mariano got for me:
Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano
Save the Cake by Stella Torres
Vintage Love by Agay Llanera

Three books from Kinokuniya:
Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Funny story, my friends and I met up for dinner because they needed to pass along these books. Basically, they were kind enough to serve as book mules when they had a recent trip to Manila. After having dimsum for dinner, it was decided that we’ll drop by Kinokuniya because they’re having a weekend sale. I wasn’t really planning on buying anything, except maybe consider getting adult coloring books and colored pencils. But I was surprised when I found out that they had copies of Archivist Wasp – I didn’t think it would be available in Singapore. I couldn’t resist grabbing a copy because of its gorgeous cover, and also this review from The Book Smugglers. I was also surprised that the bookstore had copies of Nimona, and even Lumberjanes (which I resisted). I’ve been meaning to read more graphic novels so I had the perfect excuse to buy Nimona and This One Summer, I’ve heard good things about both of them.

My friends also bought books that they wanted so we all left the bookstore with heavier bags and lighter wallets. I haven’t even read the books from my previous hauls, and here I am getting new ones. What about you guys, have you visited bookstores lately? What are the books that you’ve recently bought or received?

#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy Round Up

At the start of August, I talked about the #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy campaign. I tried to read and feature as many Filipino books as I could but sadly, I wasn’t able to read all of the ones that I have on my TBR pile. Anyway, I posted these shots either on Instagram or Twitter and wanted to consolidate everything in one place so here we go…

Books I read:

Una & Miguel

Una and Miguel by Lilledeshan Bose, a Filipino YA novel. The bright yellow and purple cover went well with the table setting at PS Cafe.

Shine by Candy Gourlay

Yes, I’m in Singapore but I still read (and promote) Filipino books! Shine by Candy Gourlay at Cocoa Colony. This Filipino MG novel was also published in the UK so it’s available all over the world if you’re interested in reading Filipino lit.

Shine by Candy Gourlay - chapter heading

Sneak peek inside Shine by Candy Gourlay

Someone Else's Fantasy by Mina V. Esguerra

I know it’s not obvious but this is an early copy of Someone Else’s Fantasy by Mina V. Esguerra with my matcha latte. I believe this will be released with a different title and cover soon.

Still reading:

Banana Heart Summer

Banana Heart Summer by Merlinda Bobis

Books I’ve read but wanted to encourage other readers to pick up:

Cover Story Girl with mocha

Cover Story Girl by Chris Mariano, Set in sunny and gorgeous Boracay, one of the most famous beaches in the Philippines, this is a sweet romance between a Filipino guy and a Korean girl.

Interim Goddess of Love paperbacks

Signed copies of the first two books in the Interim Goddess of Love trilogy, with cucumber mint tea and blueberry chocolate lavender tart.

Looking back on these pictures, I think it becomes obvious that I have a thing for coffee and tea. πŸ˜› As always, I hope more readers will be encouraged to read these Filipino titles!

#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy – let’s read more Filipino books!

BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy

August is Buwan ng Wika in the Philippines, which is the month dedicated to celebrating the Filipino language. To coincide with this, a campaign has been launched by Edgar Calabia Samar, author of the Janus Silang series, to encourage people to read Filipino books. #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy can be roughly translated as “Month of Filipino Authors”. Anyone can participate by using this hashtag on various social media platforms – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

I’m going to take this chance to read more books written by Filipino authors. I actually have quite a few of them in my TBR pile, I just haven’t found time to read them yet. So far, I’ve made two posts on Instagram for this campaign: Una and Miguel by Lilledeshan Bose and Shine by Candy Gourlay. I plan to do a round-up towards the end of this month.

Of course it feels like the target market for this campaign is Filipino readers but I’m hoping that this will also encourage non-Filipino readers to pick up books by Filipino authors. I wrote a list of some of my recommended titles for TTT last month. Or feel free to ask me for recommendations if this is something you’re interested in!