UnionBank and UST Restore and Digitize Rare Books (Including 1st Ed Noli Me Tangere)

One of the best decisions of my life is buying an iPad Mini. I bought it a few years ago when I realized that my room was piling up with magazines, copies of which I only read once but still wanted to keep. I was transitioning to minimalism, so I wanted a system where I can still have my subscriptions while saving space. There are many reasons why digital is a great alternative to reading, and one of them is to save old and rare books. Books are a country’s written history and I believe in preserving them.

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Patrick Formanes’ Saw Her Standing There is the Longest Love Letter to His Wife


How beautiful it must be to have a book written about you… for you. That’s the case with Saw Her Standing There (2016), a novel Patrick Formanes wrote for his wife Eileen. It tells the story of Ryan and Lane, two Filipino-American high school students in New York who meet and fall in love. It is also based on the love story between Patrick and Eileen, who have been together since high school.

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Stephen King’s The Dark Half Explores the Author’s Alter Ego


People say that there are two sides to every person. It is sort of true: we can’t be good or bad all the time. And there’s also the belief that who we are when we’re alone is different from who we are when we’re in public.

It’s this duality that Stephen King explores in The Dark Half (1989), the author’s 23rd novel. It tells the story of novelist Thad Beaumont, who writes a series of wildly-popular books under the pseudonym George Stark. When it is discovered that Beaumont and Stark are the same person, Beaumont “kills off” Stark. However, Stark develops his own body and personality, and attempts to replace Beaumont.

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Arnold Arre’s Trip to Tagaytay is a Sci-Fi Comic with Human Emotions


Trip to Tagaytay sounds like the title of a coming-of-age road trip comic, not one set in a dystopian view of Manila in the future. But that’s what it is. It’s set in the distant future, one where people have migrated to stars, Aga Muhlach is president, and the Eraserheads are performing on the moon.

At the center of Arnold Arre’s comic is a young man, still living in Manila, as he muses on his love, who has migrated to the Orbital Space Station. The comic is short, spanning only 44 pages, and depicts the man walking to the Tagaytay Ocean Tunnel that connects to Cebu.

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Sarah Lahbati is the cover of Esquire November 2016


On a lark, I decided to subscribe to Esquire Philippines. I used to be a faithful reader, beginning its first issue, when I trekked the entire avenue of Espana after catching a glimpse of its maiden issue on a drive back to my office, which was then located across the University of Santo Tomas. It was days ahead of its planned release in bookstores, so I made the effort to walk and search for the magazine stand I found it in.

I fell in love with the first few issues, but I was also reading Rogue. I preferred Rogue‘s voice, content, and layout, as opposed to Esquire‘s cluttered design. To be fair, I found most magazines cluttered after being introduced to Rogue’s clean layout. I also didn’t like how Esquire published a lot of stories from its US counterpart, some of which didn’t affect me as a Filipino. So I stopped reading the magazine.

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Charo Santos-Concio is On the Cover of Rogue’s November 2016 Issue


This is a cover two years in the making. When I applied for an internship at Rogue magazine in 2014, there was a board with their cover ideas for October. The name written was Charo Santos-Concio, then the president of the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and the host, until now, of Maalaala Mo Kaya, the longest-running television drama anthology in Asia.

I don’t know why they chose to feature a model and John Lautner’s mansion in Los Angeles instead, but it must feel so satisfying for the editorial team to wait for this moment.

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Books, Tea, and Champagne with Readers, Writers, and AA Patawaran

Instagram / aapatawaran

Whenever someone asks me to recommend a book about writing, I always offer AA Patawaran’s Write Here Write Now. It’s a stylishly-written book about writing that is more inspiring than technical, and I always reread chapters whenever I am filled with my doubts. I even consider it as my writing bible. I’ve never met Patawaran, but he has always been responsive on Instagram, so imagine my joy when he invited me to a tea party.

He invited me, along with some readers and writers, for an afternoon of tea and deep conversations on the reading and writing life at the Writers Bar of Raffles Makati.

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BOOKS 2016: Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan

I first discovered Smaller and Smaller Circles when it was announced that it was going to be turned into a film. And it’s hard not to be attracted to the links being posted on Facebook. The film was advertised as two Jesuit priests who investigate a serial killer. It’s not something that happens every day in Philippine cinema (or in real life), but what surprised me the most was that the book came out in 1998, and a lot of my friends have read it.

My first question: how did I miss what is called the first Filipino crime novel?

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