I first discovered AA Patawaran’s writing in 2012 when he published Write Here Write Now, a guide like I’ve never read before. Apart from tips and tricks, Patawaran’s prose had a lyrical approach that made me want to create more content. It’s currently my favorite manual and I look through it every now and then.
Ever since I started living on my own five months ago, one of the household tasks I enjoy the most is cooking. Sure, the dishes I cook are mostly basic but I find the activity therapeutic. And there’s something to be said about preparing the food you eat, especially if it ends up delicious and filling. There’s plenty of things I want to do in the kitchen but there’s one thing that intimidates me: baking.
People say that cooking is an art and baking is a science. There’s all this talk about precision that you’d think bakers are talking about building a spaceship instead of a batch of oatmeal cookies. But I got to read RV Manabat’s More Baking Secrets, the sequel to the bestselling Baking Secrets, and my fears have somewhat minimized.
Just after the successful Philippine Readers and Writers Festival and the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila, it’s another great week for readers because of three events that’s going to be held in Manila. There’s the much-awaited Manila International Book Fair, the second Book Binge Bazaar, and the Manila visit of actor and author Nico Tortorella!
1. X-Men Mutant Genesis 2.0 (Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, John Byrne, Scott Lobdell, 1991)
X-Men Mutant Genesis collects the first seven issues from the adjectiveless X-Men and features the “Rubicon” and “Omega Red” storylines. In “Rubicon,” the X-Men battle it out against Magneto, as the villain has set up an asteroid base and is set on building a mutant netopia, whatever the cost. In “Omega Red,” we are introduced to the Russian super soldier, who is on the hunt for the Carbonadium Synthesizer, a device that Wolverine stole that will help him be stronger. Even if the premise of “Rubicon” has seen various iterations in its movies (the battle between integration with and dominance of non-mutants), I enjoyed reading it for its pacing, its well-drawn characters, and action-packed scenes. I’m not really a fan of the story of “Omega Red” but I still liked it for the same reasons. All the comics in the anthology have been remastered and recolored, which makes for an explosive read.
Not a lot of people know this but I used to work in public relations. I spent a few good years in a PR agency, where I crafted campaigns for some of the country’s biggest brands. While I’m no longer part of the industry, I’m still part of the ecosystem as a writer where I get to observe how companies execute their big ideas and key messages. What better way to measure the effectivity of a campaign than by reading Carlos A. Agatep’s Winning the Anvils?
The Japanese word tsundoku means to buy so many books and letting them pile up somewhere without reading them. It’s a problem I share with other readers, who feel like there’s not enough time to read all the good books coming out from authors, publishers, and bookstores. But I consider it a nice problem to have because it makes me happy seeing them in my room and knowing I’ll get to them soon.
This weekend, I’ll be adding more books to my collection as National Book Store is holding its first ever Book Binge Bazaar, a three-day sale where imported books will be available for P75, P175, and P275!
I’ve always been a National Book Store shopper. As the OG bookshop in the Philippines, I would always visit the SM Southmall and Alabang Town Center branches, scouring its shelves for my next read. It was in the Town branch where I would discover the magical world of Hogwarts. As they say, I’m laking National.
Because I grew up with National, I’ve seen how the brand has evolved to offering not just books and school supplies but also more exclusive items, like refined fountain pens and other collectibles. They even partnered with personalities like artist Benedict Cabrera (BenCab), fashion designer Rajo Laurel, tastemaker Daphne Osena-Paez, and blogger Cecile van Straten for capsule collections.
This year, the bookstore is taking it up a notch by partnering with not just one personality, but with seven design influencers for the biggest collection to date. They have partnered with Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Cat Arambulo-Antonio, Patty Eustaquio, Laurel, Osena-Paez, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, and van Straten to create a line of limited edition stationery, accessories, and gift items.
Recently, author and illustrator Mike Curato visited Manila to discuss Little Elliott, his line of children’s books about the titular polka-dotted elephant. He read Little Elliott Big Family to us and I fell in love with the gorgeous illustration and the sweet yet minimal text about the power of family. I was given the chance to sit down with the illustrator, where we talked about his inspirations, his upcoming works, and his favorite children’s books.