2012 Speakers

Reading Everywhere: Scanning the Reading Environment

Feliz PerezFeliz Perez
Mt. Cloud Bookshop

Feliz L. Perez and her sister, Padma L. Perez were born and raised in Baguio City. Both are anthropologists by training, and together they own Mt. Cloud Bookshop. Feliz presently lives in Metro Manila and spends her time teaching and learning with the young adults of the Laren School in Makati. She buys books for Mt Cloud Bookshop and travels to Baguio with the books as often as she can.


Zarah GagatigaZarah Gagatiga
Philippine Board on Books for Young People

Zarah Gagatiga has fourteen solid years of work experience as school librarian and coordinator of the Grade School Learning Resource Center of Xavier School. She is now a Teacher Librarian at Beacon Academy, an International Baccalaureate School offering the Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program. She was part of the Philippine delegation to the Southeast Asian Conference on School Library Services sponsored by IFLA-UNESCO in Bangkok, Thailand (2003). In 2002, she presented a workshop in the 2nd Storytelling Congress in Singapore. She has toured the different regions in the Philippines for library workshops and storytelling sessions in schools and communities since then. Among other things, she is also a teacher-trainor, writer-blogger, reading clinician, a seasoned PAASCU accreditor (basic education) for the area of Instructional Media Center, library consultant for Sambat Trust, a charity based in the UK, and chair of the Philippine Board On Books for Young People (PBBY).

Her first book, Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories with co-author, international storyteller-author Dianne de Las Casas was published last October 2011 by ABC-CLIO, USA. Visit Zarah’s blog at http://lovealibrarian.blogspot.com.


Jasper OngJasper Ong

Jasper Ong is the founder of online shopping website Avalon.ph. Established in 1999, it is one of the first online bookstore in the country. The website also caters to the serious book collector showcasing signed books, 1st/limited editions and the out-of-print/rare. He loves reading science books, walking and watching the NFL. Never having a personal social media account, he’s a firm believer that things still actually happen even if he doesn’t tweet or status update it.


Book Blogging Ethics

Kai AgitoKai Agito
Amaterasu Reads

Kai Agito works as a QA specialist for IBM, and when she’s not obsessing about the latest Asian pop tunes and catching up with her manga, Kai dedicates some of her time book blogging on Amaterasu Reads, where she shares her thoughts about the latest Young Adult books worth discussing, buying and reading.


Blooey Singson

Blooey Singson is the owner and author of Bookmarked!, a blog that chronicles the books she reads, bargain bin treasures she manages to unearth, reading challenges she is attempting to conquer, authors she interviews, and other adventures that her book obsession takes her. Aside from reading over 200 books a year, she is a compulsive book buyer who cannot get through the week without adding a book (or ten) to her collection, which ran out of shelf space eons ago. She is often found in the company of fellow bookworms, as an administrator of the book club Flips Flipping Pages, and a member of the Filipino Book Bloggers Group. Blooey works as a PR executive by day to support her book addiction. She is also part-time English tutor, a newspaper contributor for the Students and Campuses section of Manila Bulletin, and a published children’s book illustrator. Outside of reading, she enjoys geeking out at pub quizzes with her friends.


Jamie Salazar
Random Salt

Jamie SalazarJaime Oscar M. Salazar teaches at De La Salle University, where he handles courses on art appreciation, literature, and creative writing. He is working toward a master’s degree in art studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He has been awarded fellowships to national workshops on criticism and is part of the academe-based Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle. He has written for print and online publications, including Art Radar Asia, BluPrint, and The Philippine Star. He is a trustee of The Pro Pinoy Project, Inc., a non-profit new media entity, and currently blogs at Random Salt.


Tarie SabidoTarie Sabido
Into the Wardrobe / Asia in the Heart, World in the Mind

Teacher and editor Tarie Sabido was a judge for the 2009 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (CYBILS) and the 2010 National Children’s Book Awards. She has been blogging about children’s and young adult literature since 2005. Find her at “Into the Wardrobe” and “Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind”.


Publisher’s Perspective on Readers

Nida RamirezNida Ramirez

Communication Arts graduate of the University of Santo Tomas. She’s been a teacher, a copywriter for TV, a secretary, an events producer, bookkeeper, and part-time family driver. Her budding career as a seafarer was cut short when her ship caught fire and eventually sank somewhere along the Strait of Malacca – true story. She joined Visual Print Enterprises, now Visprint, Inc., in 1999. In 2000, she joined Greenpeace, climbed Mt. Everest and went skydiving — which would have been true stories had Bob Ong did not announce in Bobongpinoy.com his interest to publish his first book. She just couldn’t resist a more dangerous challenge. 11 years and after 42 new titles, from 16 Filipino authors/comic creators — 5 of whom are certified bestsellers — she still feels that Visprint is a newbie in the industry. She dreams of being a full-time homemaker (read: unemployed) in the not-so-distant future.


Gwenn GalvezGwenn Galvez
Anvil Publishing

Gwenn Galvez is the Marketing Manager, Anvil Publishing, Inc., the publishing arm of National Bookstore and the Chairman of the Education Committee in the Philippine Marketing Association. She is formerly the Vice President for Youth and Academe in the Philippine Marketing Association, Board Member in the Book Development Association of the Philippines and Board Secretary in the Book Exporters Association of the Philippines. She conducts lectures on marketing, publishing, brand and product management. She is a graduate of Communication Arts from the Ateneo de Manila University.


Aleks TanAleks Tan
OMF Literature

Born and raised in Davao City, Aleks is passionate about creating and communicating. Currently he leads a dynamic team of publishing professionals as Chief Operating Officer at OMF Literature, Inc., a fifty-five-year-old publisher and distributor of Christian, Bible-based books that include the best-selling

The Purpose-Driven Life, John Maxwell leadership titles, and recent Philippine bestsellers like Ang Pera na Hindi Bitin (Ardy Roberto) and Lovestruck: Love Mo S’ya, Sure Ka Ba? (Ronald Molmisa). OMF Lit also publishes some of the country’s best original children’s books under its imprint, Hiyas.

Aleks also enjoys hosting and facilitating various events (yes, including friends’ wedding receptions!). He has spoken to youth and singles groups and has been tapped as resource person on TV and radio, usually on the topics of spirituality, publishing, and reading.

Articles by Aleks have seen print in various publications. He has also served as contributing writer to anthologies and devotionals. While in university, Aleks helped conceptualize and launch a nationwide youth campaign with materials that utilized his writing and illustrations.

Many years ago, while doodling his name, he decided “Alex” looked too boring on paper, and so he decreed that henceforth his nickname would be spelled “Aleks”. His birth certificate still reads “Alexander”, but the only person authorized to call him by that name is his mother—and only when she is very angry.

A tech enthusiast, Aleks regularly eavesdrops on interesting people on Twitter using @aleks_tan. He is learning to talk to strangers there when he is not pretending to be a blogger here: http://aleksillyserious.wordpress.com.


Honey de Peralta

For now, Honey de Peralta is the general manager of Flipside Publishing, a staunch advocate of reading, and a member and administrator of Flips Flipping Pages, an online and offline book club. In a former life, she used to be an English teacher. In a former, former life, she even taught Math—Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus. But whatever she may have been or will be, she asserts that she will always be 1) a mother and 2) a reader.


Authors as Readers

Manix AbreraManix Abrera
Kiko Machine Komix

Manuel “Manix” Abrera graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines Diliman, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree. His comic strip Kikomachine runs from Monday to Saturday in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and appears in eight compilations published by Visprint, Inc. His webcomic News Hardcore! appears weekly on GMA News Online. He also has a silent comic/graphic novel titled “12.” He is a very kind person. :D


Mina V. EsguerraMina V. Esguerra
Publishing in Pajamas by Mina V. Esguerra

Mina V. Esguerra is the author of My Imaginary Ex, Fairy Tale Fail, That Kind of Guy, and three other contemporary romance novellas. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s degree in Development Communication, and when not making stuff up works as a trainer and content management consultant.


Jun BaldeAbdon “Jun” M. Balde Jr.

He is a Bikolano from Albay. After 33 years as a civil engineer in construction, he turned to writing in year 2000. He has so far published 12 books—four of which won National Book Awards.

He was confered the 2010 Ani ng Dangal Award by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the 2009 South East Asian Writers Award by the Crown Prince of Thailand and the 2009 Bikol Regional Artist Award for Literary Arts by Mayor Jesse Robredo.

He is currently the Chairman of the Writers Union of the Philippines, Vice Head of the National Committee on Language and Translation, a Founding Board Member of the Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society, Board Member of the Wika ng Kultura at Agham, and a consultant of the National Bookstore.

He now lives in Las Piñas City with his one and only wife, two daughters, a son, four grandsons and many friends who refuse to grow old. He could be reached thru his email address: kadunung@yahoo.com or junbalde@gmail.com


Paolo ChikiamcoPaolo Chikiamco
Rocket Kapre

Paolo Chikiamco runs Rocket Kapre (rocketkapre.com), an imprint and blog dedicated to publishing and promoting works of the fantastic by Filipino authors. Once an associate at a top Philippine law firm, he came to realize that while fact is often stranger than fiction, it’s not quite as creatively fulfilling. He is the editor of Alternative Alamat, and is a writer for prose and comics. His fiction has been published in venues such as Scheherazade’s Façade, Philippine Genre Stories, Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution, Lauriat, and the Philippine Speculative Fiction series.


Budjette TanBudjette Tan

Budjette Tan: creative director by day, copywriter by night, comic book writer after midnight

Budjette is currently the creative head of MRM, the digital division of McCann Worldgroup Philippines.

When no one is looking, he writes the comic book TRESE, co-created with artist Kajo Baldisimo. TRESE is crime / horror / dark fantasy graphic novel, which won Best Graphic Literature in the 2010 Philippine National Book Awards.

He’s the editor of the graphic novels Skyworld, The Filipino Heroes League, Bathala:Apokalypsis and the comic book adaptation of Erik Matti’s TIKTIK: The Aswang Chronicles. He’s also co-editor of the YA comics magazine KWENTILLION. Somewhere in between all of that he still finds time to sleep.


Bebang Siy
Babe Ang

Si Bebang Siy ay mahilig magbasa kahit noong bata pa siya. Nagsimula siya sa Xerex ng Abante. Suki kasi ng Abante ang pinsang niyang security guard kaya me oversupply sila ng Abante (at Xerex) sa bahay nila. Nang lumaki-laki siya ay nagpasosyal siya nang konti. Sweet Valley Twins ang tinitira niya. Pero na-disappoint siya kasi wala itong kalatoy-latoy kumpara sa Xerex. Kaya sinubukan niyang magbasa ng mga English na magasin ng kanyang tatay. Nakatago ang lahat ng ito sa ilalim ng mga damit. Ng tatay siyempre. Pero napansin ni Bebang na mas marami ang mga picture ng baha-bahagi ng katawan na halos hindi na makilala sa pagkaka-twist sa mga ito kaysa sa mismong teksto. Napilitan siyang mag-romance novels. Kasi ‘yon, puro teksto.

Tapos sa kolehiyo, nabaliw siya sa mga guro niya. Pinag-o-oral literature siya. Unang-una ay ang walang kamatayang Baya este Biag ni Lam-ang at iba pang epiko at panitikang-bayan. Naadik siya sa Pagong at Matsing. Napakarami pala nitong version. Marami-rami din siyang nabasang pang-akademyang teksto. Panitikan, teo-teorya at laksa-laksang panlipunang tekstuwal na babasahing materyal. At nagustuhan naman niya ang mga ito.

Pero sa ngayon, ibang-iba na ang taste ni Bebang. Fan siya ng Gospel Komiks.


Dean AlfarDean Alfar
notes from the peanut gallery

Dean Francis Alfar is a Filipino playwright, novelist and writer of speculative fiction. His plays have been performed in venues across the country, while his articles and fiction have been published both in his native Philippines and abroad, such as in Strange Horizons, Rabid Transit, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and the Exotic Gothic series. His literary awards include ten Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (Palanca Awards) — including the Grand Prize for Novel for Salamanca (Ateneo Press, 2006)— as well as the Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Awards for the graphic novels Siglo: Freedom and Siglo: Passion, and the Philippines Free Press Literary Award. He was a fellow at the 1992 Dumaguete National Writers Workshop and 20th UP National Writers Workshop. He is an advocate of the literature of the fantastic, editing the Philippine Speculative Fiction series, as well as a comic book creator and a blogger. He lives in Manila with his wife, fictionist Nikki Alfar and their two daughters.


Carljoe Javier

Carl Javier has written five books, among them The Kobayashi Maru of Love, Geek Tragedies, and the soon to be released essay collection Writing 30. He teaches English and Creative Writing at the UP Department of English and Comparative Literature, where he holds the rank of assistant professor. He plays way too many video games, reads lots of comics, and is currently lording it over his anti-Laker friends that his home team has acquired Dwight Howard and Steve Nash (Nye nye nye!).