Know Your Nominees: Essay Anthology

Not sure who to vote for in the Comics / Graphic Novels category of the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards? Or you’re simply curious about the nominated books? Here’s some information and reviews about the books. We hope this helps you vote, and pick up some of the nominees to read for yourself. :)

Don’t forget: you can show your support for your favorite books among the nominees of the first Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards — just drop by this ballot and submit! The top 3 books per category will proceed to the next round. Voting period is until July 31.

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Astigirl by Tweet Sering
(2011, Astigirl Publishing)

In this memoir about “becoming an individual”, Tweet Sering risks the pain of scrupulous self-examination for an important prize: self-knolwedge.

By turn sharply funny, intelligent, poutspoken, but also pained and bewildered, Sering’s go-for-broke account of her journey reminds us of late night chats with our favorite friend and shines with a desire to cheers us on into our own journeys of besing an Astigirl.

Reviews:

  • “While reading the book you’ll feel connected to her and her story because you know that, like you, she’s going through all sorts of shit too. She makes you feel as if you’re not alone.” – Greetings… From Here, There
  • “If this were still a blog, I would have subscribed to it and treat it like a bible.” – Zara’s nth blog

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Chulalongkorn’s Elephants by Ambeth Ocampo
(2011, Anvil)

Chulalongkorn’s elephants are the bronze elephants the King of Siam gave to Singapore and Java as gifts during his travels in 1871. I met the Singapore elephant first as I traced Rizal’s footsteps and found a reference to it in his diary. It was upon meeting next the Jakarta elephant that prompted me to compile this collection of essays that begins and ends with an elephant. More reflective than usual and going beyond Rizal and my 19th century comfort zone, these explorations still carry my trademark irreverent humor.

Reviews:

  • “I enjoyed reading a lot of the essays and it made me want to know more about my nation’s history, especially our pre-colonial past and the influence of our relationships with our Asian neighbors.” – Dyan(Goodreads)
  • “Although the book is a far cry from his previous books because of its small size, the contents are what really matter. It’s another must-read.” – Michael Gerald(Goodreads)

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Showbiz Lengua by Jose Lacaba
(2011, Anvil)

Showbiz Lengua: Chika & Chismax about Chuvachuchu (Anvil Publishing), a compilation of the columns that I write for the monthly YES! Magazine, is now off the press.

Reviews:

  • “You need this book to explain why we sound like this today.” – JessicarulestheUniverse
  • “With his new collection, he continues to explore that fascinating terrain of Filipino culture, transmitting back to us a comprehensive reportage on a truly and happily alien species: ourselves.” – Philippines Free Press

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After the Storm by Elbert Or
(2010, Anvil)

The pieces in After the Storm were mostly written in the midst of and immediately after the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009. The writers share their experiences of the typhoon, their insights and reflections, their hopes and aspirations. Long after the news media has moved on to the next big headline, After the Storm hopes to stand as written record to remind everyone that this happened. We were there. We are still here.

Reviews:

  • “Anthologies such as this may not be perfect, it may not contain a very accurate account of everything that happened in those dark and stormy days, but I must agree that it’s a way of reminding us that it happened. And while we must move on, we must not forget.” – One More Page
  • “The introduction was beautiful. And a couple of the essays were poignant.” – taking a break

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It’s A Mens World by Bebang Siy
(2011, Anvil)

Nagnakaw ka ba noong bata ka pa? Naranasan mo na bang makidnap ng sarili mong magulang? Naranasan mo ba ang maging pingpong dahil sa pasaway mong nanay at tatay? Nainggit ka ba sa mga pinsan mo noong kabataan ninyo? Minsan ba, na-feel mong alien ka sa piling ng kamag-anak mo sa father side? E, sa mother side? Side by side?

Kung sumagot ka ng oo sa alinman sa mga tanong na ‘yan, aba’y makaka-relate ka! Relate na relate. Saan? Sa pinakabagong aklat tungkol sa childhood. Garantisadong tatawa ka at least once sa pagbabasa ng librong ito. Kung hindi, soli bayad. Pwamis.

It’s A Mens World, isang koleksiyon ng mga sanaysay ni Bebang Siy.

It’s a Mens World is a photo album of memories by Bebang Siy. Just like photos, the stories vary – black and white, crisp Polaroid, ID pictures from Photo-Me and faded yellow photographs in decrepitude, almost primitive, it seems like a scene from a dream.

Reviews:

  • “It is when Siy completely strips herself of any of the mystique and glamor that her gender usually affords her that her essays resonate the most.” – Ron Reads
  • “It’s a Mens World is equally funny and poignant. Bebang Siy’s voice is fresh, unadulterated and honest.” – Gathering Books