I'm sure photos will pop up from the photographers Kenneth Yu and Kate Aton-Osias as well as the others who took pictures. Thanks for those who attended! The book is priced at P300 and while it's not yet available at bookstores, it will be soon but you can get in touch with me if you're interested in a copy.
Anyway, it was great meeting authors whom I barely get the chance to see such as Luis Katigbak and Ian Casocot (who flew in from Dumaguete). Also finally got to meet authors whom I only know from blogs (to the point that you've memorized the urls of their blogs) such as Sean Uy (keep on trying Sean!) and Dominique Cimafranca (who flew in from Davao). Unfortunately, while I'm a self-proclaimed stalker, there were several authors whom I was too shy to introduce myself. Raymond Falgui has a common experience with me in the fact that I knew Dean from his days as DCI judge for Magic: The Gathering. Me being a single guy, I saw cutie authors (the other female authors I personally know automatically get bumped up to dazzling but alas, you're all taken!) like Joanna Paula Cailas and Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon but I was too shy to introduce myself. The former asked for my signature though so, uh, between the two of us, we know who's more courageous.
When I was up on stage, I mentioned two things. One is that it's a pleasure to be part of an anthology with such diverse and talented authors. Aside from the well-established writers (you know who you are, and that includes you too Yvette), it was also a venue for upcoming writers (I hope). I think this is easily the first book debut of me, Dominique, Joanna, Rodello Santos, and Timothy Dimacali. The other thing I mentioned that this is actually the third time I submitted an entry for Philippine Speculative Fiction but the first time my manuscript actually got accepted. Just so you know, I don't think of myself as a talented writer, merely a persistent one so if you keep at it, hopefully you'll get better. And as I start telling people, go write and submit! I think many aspiring writers don't lack talent but rather suffer from self doubts and a lack of self esteem. In any open call for submissions, there are honestly no "losers". I doubt if the editors will tell you "you suck, you should never have been born!". Instead, there are stories that are accepted, and those that aren't (for a variety of reasons and there are even those who take the time to give feedback on the story). Some see the latter as failure but for me, I see it as an invitation to try again the succeeding year or at the very least, there's room for improvement in my story (if it got declined because of the quality). Remember, editors don't reject writers, they reject stories. The former can evolve while the latter won't edit or revise itself. And you won't know if your story is good enough unless you try. In local competitions and anthologies, how many people actually submit stories? In Philippine Speculative Fiction, it's more than a hundred but let's peg it at around two hundred. There are over 21 stories in the collection which means at the very least 10% of the stories got accepted (of course those statistics are not an excuse to submit a horribly written story). Those chances are better than, say, winning the Lotto! And at worst, you have a story, one that can either be revised or submitted to other markets.
Anyway, here's the Table of Contents from the book, complete with links from the authors who have blogs (at least those who choose not to remain anonymous):
Edit: Apparently, I'm sandwiched between the works of two famous and extremely talented authors, Ian Cascot and then Alfred Yuson. Oh no!
Pedro Diyego's Homecoming by Apol Lejano-Massebieau
Keeping Time by FH Batacan
Facester by Dominique Cimafranca
Reclamation by Sarge Lacuesta
The Datu's Daughters by Raymond Falgui
The Ascension of Our Lady Boy by Mia Tijam
Peekli by Andrew Drilon
The Hand by Marianne Villanueva
Brigada by Joseph Nacino
The Singer's Man by MRR Arcega
Hamog by Joanna Paula Cailas
Visitors by Luis Katigbak
Sidhi by Yvette Natalie U. Tan
The Death and Rebirth of Nathaniel Alan Sempio by Alexander Marcos Osias
In Earthern Vessels by Rodello Santos
Carmen and Josephine by Elyss Punsalan
Sky Gypsies by Timothy Dimacali
The Flicker by Ian Rosales Casocot
Urban Legends by Charles Tan
The Music Child by Alfred A. Yuson
Frozen Delight by Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon