Tag Archives: Philippine history

9/9/09: The Future of Pinoy SF Wants You

Are you ready to soar?

Are you ready to soar?

Sorry if that was a bit dramatic but it got your attention didn’t it? And while there is a time for circumspection, for earnest modesty, this is not one of those times.

Some of you might remember these posts and the promise I made to establish a digital publishing house for Philippine Speculative Fiction. I’ve been hammering away at that dream for half a year now… and I’m about to take the first major step at making that dream a reality.

On 9 September 2009, our new imprint will launch its website/blog dedicated to all things relevant to the readers and creators of stories of the Philippine Fantastic. Our aim is that the site can serve  as a launching pad for great Filipino SF, and also a venue for a greater understanding of the magical, speculative and scientific aspects of our culture and heritage. But most of all, want we want the site to do is create a community, and for that we need your help. We want to hear what you guys want in a site that aims to be something akin to the io9 or Tor.com of the Philippine Fantastic.

Tell us: what kind of topics would you like to cover? What kid of features or posts would keep you coming back? Here’s a list of things we’re working on:

  • A free online zine with SF short stories from Filipino authors old and new
  • Interviews with creators/writers/artists
  • Reviews of Filipino created books and komiks
  • Roundtable discussions on important issues or interesting questions
  • Reviews of non-Filipino created media that would interest Filipino SF readers
  • Articles exploring our myths, legends, culture and history
  • Silly–but sincere–fan speculation about our favorite local characters (I’m working on a post pitting certain cast members of Trese ant the Mythology Class against each other)

If you have content you want to see on the new site, please let me know in the comments section (which will be moderation free). On September 9, at 9:00 a.m., we’ll post the address for the new site here (those of you who’ve already seen it please don’t make the URL or the imprint name] public–it’s not quite ready for prime time yet -_-).

Hold on to your seats everyone. Not sure where this journey will take us, but I promise you we’re going full speed ahead.


Turning Points in Philippine History

The current theme for submissions over at Crossed Genres is Alternative History–and writers take note, they are not only especially interested in Alternate History stories involving non-Western cultures and civilizations but they are also seeing a drop in submissions for this theme–so it got me thinking: the primordial element in the construction of an alternate history story seems to me to be the isolation of a focal point in the timeline of a people or nation, and speculating how a particular addition or omission might radically alter the course of history. While weighing the possibility of submitting to Crossed Genres, I’ve come up with a list of “what ifs” grounded in turning points in our history, and I thought I’d list them here for purposes of discussion/critique, or in the event that they can aid anyone planning to write an alternate history set in the Philippines; not all are major events in and of themselves, but some of the best stories I’ve read have dealt with the chain reactions caused by a shift in a minor detail.

Note that while I have been trying to brush up on Philippine history, I’m by no means an expert and as such I’m open to suggestions if I missed or mistakenly added anything. Also, I’m limiting these to possibilities that had an actual chance of occurring (rather than any number of way-out alternatives such as “What if the Rice Terraces became sentient during World War II?”) — although of course for purposes of a Spec Fic tale, the reason why events took a different turn may be as fantastical as the writer desires.

  • 1400s – What if Muslim missionaries had spread across more of the Philippines, entrenching Islam before the arrival of the Spanish?
  • 1500s – What if Portugal had discovered the Philippines?
  • 1762 – What if the British had conquered the Philippines?
  • 1767 – What if the Jesuits had not been expelled?
  • 1887 – What if Noli Me Tangere had been written in Tagalog?
  • 1897 – What if Bonifacio had executed Aguinaldo?
  • 1898 – What if Aguinaldo had not accepted United States aid?
  • 1899 – What if Willy Grayson had not taken that shot?
  • 1902 – What if the Philippines had won the Philippine-American War?
  • 1941 – What if MacArthur had repulsed the Japanese attack against Clark?
  • 1942 – What if Corregidor had never fallen?
  • 1945 – What if the Philippines had remained under Japanese occupation?
  • 1945 – What if the Philippines had become a state of the United States of America?
  • 1946 – What if MacArthur had implemented Japanese-style reforms in the Philippines?
  • 1946 – What if Taruc and the other five Democratic Alliance candidates had not been denied their seats in Congress?
  • 1950 – What if the Huk had overthrown the national government?
  • 1957 – What if Magsaysay’s plane had not crashed?
  • 1972 – What if Marcos had never declared Martial Law?
  • 1983 – What if Ninoy lived?

[More after the jump/cut]

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RP612Fic: Celebrate Independence Day with Six Word Stories

Most of the time I don’t realize that a long weekend has arrived until I realize I’m not the only one in the house anymore–but tomorrow, June 12, is Independence Day… something worth celebrating regardless of how you may feel about what we’ve done with that independence.

While wondering what I could do to commemorate the occasion,  I stumbled across an admittedly dated–but still awesome–collection of six word stories over at Wired magazine, and I got to thinking: why not do some six word stories tomorrow to celebrate? And I knew just the place for it:

So, if you’re on twitter, and you want to do a six word micro SF story, tag it #RP612fic so I can track them down for posting here later. If you’re not on twitter, but still want to participate, just send the stories to me and I’ll post them when I do a round-up post on Saturday morning.

No real rules, though obviously I’d love a good spec fic micro story more than anything else; I don’t think it needs to be tied directly to independence: any story about/involving the Philippines or Filipinos should do.

As for me, I’m trying to come up with 24 that I can release every hour via Hootsuite – here’s a sample tweet:

#RP612fic Makati’s secret: the statues are alive.

I’ve already got contributions from @ekmisao and @blissery but there’s always room for more. C’mon–it’ll be fun! (and you can honestly say at the end of the day that you finished a story–always a good thing right? ^_^)

(Image of old school Philippine soldiers from Filipiniana.net – click the pic to see a translation of the Declaration of Philippine Independence)

Google-Viewable Books on Philippine History

The internet is a great resource for information: it’s convenient, free and searchable. However some people are still a bit iffy about using the internet as a research tool, preferring the authority of data found between two preferably slightly musty covers. So where does one go if one seeks to do some old fashioned physical book research?

Uhm, well… the internet. Still. (Or at least that’s probably how it’ll be in the future.)

The amount of data potentially available through the Google Book Search is staggering. As of October 2008, Google stated that they had 7 million books searchable through Google Book Search. As such, I figured there might be a few gems there that relate to the Philippines – and lo and behold, there were a ton. So I thought I’d sift through the virtual stacks, and pick out a few that might be of interest.

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