PGS 2023 Q&A: Christine V. Lao

Philippine Genre Stories published Christine V. Lao’s  A Girl’s Guide To Love In The Big City in November, 2011. And the  story became a part of her chapbook Musical Chairs: Stories which was a Finalist in the 19th Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award in 2019.

Philippine Genre Stories was dormant for a long time and it was Tin Lao’s idea to provide fresh content for genre readers through the works of her creative writing students, serving as Guest Editor in 2022.  Tin returns to grace the commencement of Philippine Genre Stories 2023 with her story HONEST REVIEWS, and here we have the chance to catch up with her.

Continue reading

Honest Reviews

by Christine V. Lao

Deborah Sindico

Unforgettable

__Pramis, it DA BEST!!!

*

Larry Biron

Shadow of What it Used to Be

__The bell tower is the oldest structure in the city. It has survived earthquakes and tsunamis, pirate raids, the Philippine-American War, the great wars of the twentieth century, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, it has lost much of its shine, being an unpaid attraction, per local legislation passed in less enlightened times. Now the local government cannot pay for its upkeep and has resorted to less savory measures to “keep it alive,” so to speak.

*

Continue reading

PGS 2023 Q&A: Cesar Miguel Escaño

Cesar Miguel “Miggy” Escaño is a father who loves telling bedtime stories to his three sons in their home in Tacloban City, Leyte. Before moving to Tacloban, he was a reporter for BusinessWorld and a teacher at the Ateneo de Manila.

Miggy was a fellow for fiction at the 56th Silliman University National Writers Workshop in 2017 and by the next year, his story, “Little Star,” was recognized with an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards by Philippines Graphic Magazine. His story, “Amira,” was also named Honorable Mention at the 2019 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards by Philippines Graphic Magazine.

Miggy first appeared in The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories Issue I Volume 3 in 2007 with his story “Tuko” that tackled bangungot or dying from a nightmare, which afflicts mostly Asians, especially Filipinos. The tuko or gecko in the story would cry out to alert humans about the unseen and malignant entity that causes bangungot, yet the warnings were ignored. Miggy now returns to Philippine Genre Stories 2023 with the story Sayf Al’Iiman.

Continue reading

Sayf Al’liman

by Cesar Miguel Escaño

Kashif’s suspicions took seed on the first day of his apprenticeship to Master Djibril, head of Datu Tarruk’s kitchens. His master used a barung, a fighting blade used by Moro tribes, instead of a kitchen knife to cut meat and vegetables.

The barung was the preferred short sword of many Moro warriors who usually carried two swords, one long and one short, into battle. The blade was shaped like an eye opened midway. According to legend, it was shaped this way because of the sword’s speed in combat. It could kill between eye blinks.  When Kashif asked his master if he should also use a similar blade in the kitchen, his master laughed.

“Oh this,” Master Djibril said, lifting the pahon made of carabao horn. He deftly flipped the blade over and pointed the curved pommel bearing a Datu’s family crest toward his apprentice. Kashif recognized the crest of House Hussin. The crest showed two kampilan arranged diagonally, forming an inverted V. The sharp edges of their blades faced each other, joining together at the tip. In the space between the handles was a message inscribed in Arabic: Siufan ‘aqwaa mean.

Continue reading

PGS 2023 Q&A: Marianne Villanueva

Marianne Villanueva is the author of Ginseng and Other Tales from Manila (a Finalist for the Philippines’ National Book Award 1992), Mayor of the Roses (the inaugural publication of the Miami University Press fiction series), and The Lost Language (published in Manila by Anvil Press). She co-edited, along with poet Virginia Cerenio, the groundbreaking Filipino women’s anthology, Going Home to a Landscape.

Her work has appeared in Manila Noir, Ms. Aligned Vol. 3, Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 9, Growing Up Filipino Vols. 1 and 2, Another Kind of Paradise: Stories from the New Asia-Pacific, Witness, Fourteen Hills, New Orleans Review and elsewhere. And she had collaborated with the composer Drew Hemenger in creating a full-length opera, Marife, about the mail-order bride of Oklahoma bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols.

She currently teaches Creative Writing for UCLA Extension’s Writers Program.  She has also just completed her first novel, White Sails, Green Oceans, about a 16th century Spanish priest who is sent to an island in the central Philippines to fight demons. And has begun her second novel, Farm and Mountain, about the Japanese Occupation of Bacolod, Negros Occidental, during World War 2.

Marianne was published in Philippine Genre Stories in March 2011 with her story The Departure under the guest-editorship of Charles Tan. In 2023 she talks with us a little about her story featured for October, WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME.

Continue reading