• Adamson University
  • AdU Computer Society
  • Alas Filipinas
  • Ang Sa Wari Ko
  • Backpacking Philippines
  • Crossbeak
  • Ellen and Blair
  • Erwin Ilao's Own Legacy
  • Kronikel
  • Mickee
  • Musings, Mutterings, Murmurings
  • Raul Agner
  • Skirmish of Dark and Light
  • Skirmisher
  • Stellar
  • The Deity
  • The Onlooker
  • Tutubi
  • Unleash the Balderdash

Dropping names
April 25th, 2007 posted by JB under Literary

I’m pasting this article, from last Sunday’s issue of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine, only because somewhere my name is mentioned. Apart from my sheer egoism and the article’s potent swelling effect on my beautiful cojones, I’m sharing this because I’m being strangely drawn into writing fantasy/sci-fi/speculative kind of fiction these days, and it greatly helps when someone who knows what he says recognizes something that I could only barely see in myself.
As an aside, Ruel De Vera and his gang published one of my poems (fortunately the one that didn’t suck — and that’s rare!) in 1999 on the now defunct Pen And Ink. Hey, I think I should email the guy and ask about my 8-year-old cheque!

From the Sunday Inquirer Magazine (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
April 22, 2007

Spectacularly speculative
By Ruel S. De Vera

MANILA, Philippines - As far as Dean Francis Alfar is concerned, Filipinos dream just as potently as any other race, especially when it comes to worlds and realms beyond our own. The much-bemedalled writer (nine Palanca Awards and counting) is easily the alpha writer in the kingdom of speculative fiction.

“Speculative fiction is the term used to describe the literature of the fantastic,” he explains. “Its roots are in the science fiction genre, when it was first used to describe stories that were premised on the idea of ‘What if?’ As time progressed, it became an umbrella term for stories of the non-realist genres, which includes fantasy, science fiction and horror as well as fabulist, magical realist and interstitial stories. For the purpose of generating interest in the literature of the fantastic, I’ve adopted this term to encompass the stories of the Filipino imagination, as opposed to stories that use the methods of social realism and domestic realism.”

Because teachers have tended to favor realism, Alfar says that it’s very common for people to view speculative fiction as being kid’s stuff. “There are many different types of stories, and none should be more privileged than the others,” he says. “Speculative fiction celebrates the Filipino imagination and goes beyond mere escapism. The literature of the fantastic is just as capable of exploring and exposing the human condition.”

Now, it is a matter of getting more people into reading and writing spec fic, and Alfar admits it’s a relatively young genre. “Children’s literature aside, I would consider Greg Brilliantes as one of the earliest, if not the earliest, writers of what we now consider speculative fiction, particularly with his ‘The Apollo Centennial,’” he says.

“Good examples among the older writers are Alfred A. Yuson, for his novel ‘Great Philippine Jungle Energy Cafe’ and his short story ‘The Music Child,’ as well as Rosario Cruz Lucero’s short stories. But the majority of Filipino speculative fiction is new and written by younger authors.”

It’s the rise of many of those young readers, and writers, that’s given speculative fiction an opportunity for ascent. “They are more open to the collapsing of genre boundaries than their elders ever will be. This generation sees the intrinsic value of fantasy and the liberating power of science fiction,” Alfar notes.

Alfar has walked the walk as well. A collection of his own spec fic stories, “The Kite of Stars and Other Stories,” is due from Anvil Publishing later this year. But he has gone beyond that. Alfar has edited and published, through his Kestrel IMC, the country’s first anthology of speculative fiction. “I believed that writers, if given an opportunity to write and publish these kinds of stories, would do so,” he explains. “So I sounded a call on my blog and was happy with the results.”

In fact, “Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 2″ was launched just last December. For this book, Alfar says he received more stories than for the inaugural volume, some coming from all over the nation and even other countries, often from first-time authors. The third volume is in the works, hopefully before year’s end. Alfar identifies the following as writers of quality speculative fiction today: Ian Rosales Casocot, Kit Kwe, Cyan Abad-Jugo, Sarge Lacuesta, Luis Katigbak, Yvette Tan, Nikki Alfar, Pocholo Goitia, Kate Aton-Osias, Andrew Drilon, Vin Simbulan, Douglas Candano, Alex Osias, Karl de Mesa, Joseph Nacino and JB Lazarte, among others. He notes that a new generation of younger writers is emerging as well.

Alfar is very much encouraged by all that he sees. “It is a very exciting time for writers of speculative fiction. There are so many directions to go, stories to tell, scenarios to bring to life, and issues to tackle,” he says, pointing out that writers of spec fic can see such work published in venues such as Story Philippines, Philippines Free Press and the Digest of Philippine Genre Stories. And in a development perfectly in synch with the nature of spec fic, blogs and the Internet help expand the audience.

“All Filipino speculative fictionists need to learn how to infuse their stories with the culture of our imagination, which means being Filipino and, at the same time, surrendering that very same limiting notion, being more than Filipino, unleashing the Filipino of our imagination, divorcing and embracing the ideas of identity, nationhood and universality,” Alfar says of the next stage in the evolution of this uncharted territory. “We need to do magic.”

Dean Francis Alfar keeps a blog at “Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 2″ is available at Fully Booked, Booktopia and A Different Bookstore.

Last 20 posts by JB

About the author:

JB has blogged 107 posts

Read the Comments

[ # 235 ] Comment from Rhey [April 25, 2007, 2:36 pm]

WOW congrats JB.

I really think you should ask for that cheque… with interest.

[ # 256 ] Comment from deity [April 30, 2007, 3:48 pm]

congrats JB! do these people know you’re a perve as well? ahahahhahahah!!!

oist, date tayo pag nakuha mo na cheque mo ha! promise! mababaw lang ako. happy na me sa kwek-kwek!!! =P

[ # 287 ] Comment from JB [May 4, 2007, 12:25 pm]

“do these people know you’re a perve as well?”

hindi yata. he he he

thanks everyone. 900 million na yata ang value ng cheque. ipamimigay ko yun pag nakuha. =D

[ # 297 ] Comment from Rastafariana [May 6, 2007, 4:45 pm]

Aargh! Kuya Jobs, I can feel your head from here! I am actually struggling mightily to get it out of the way..Congrats! Milyonaryo ka na namannn!

Write a comment


    Or subscribe to Adamsonian by Email
Contact Us
Send your tips, comments, suggestions to:
Donate to Adamsonian
Feel free to donate any amount so we can buy a 150cc all-terrain vehicle and a Boyoyong clown that we can use to promote this site around campus.
Live Chat
Latest Message 5 days, 11 hours
  • invaderzim : W L Ateneo Blue Eagles : 7 - 1 De La Salle Green Archers : 6 - 2 FEU Tamaraws : 5 - 3 UE Red Warriors : 5 - 4 UST Growling Tigers : 4 - 4 Adamson Falcons : 2 - 6 UP Fighting Maroons : 2 - 7 NU Bulldogs : 2 - 7
  • invaderzim : huh?kasali pba adamson sa uaap?kala ko nag-inter baranggay nalng sila?
  • mayilow : wala nakakahiya. Dont ask na lang dont bother just concentrate on your studies.
  • spider_sense07 : anu na po standing ng AdU s UAAP?
  • spider_sense07 : hi adamsonians
  • bedshaker : anu na pagusapan
  • bedshaker : ui
  • chard : I can't view the exposes section =(
  • mayilow : lala napadaan lang bad trip suspended class khpon e pang hapon ako? naku naku..
  • algar68 : Hi Bondgirl
  • algar68 : Are you talking about astorga of ECE dept?
  • bondgirl4ever : sino ba pwede maka chikahan dito ngayon? ngayon din.
  • algar68 : Hello..
  • algar68 : HI any Batch 2006 here..
  • mayilow : @asia. eto buhay pa rin, not the greatest school in town but surviving. Dont wanna comment on the extreme..^^
  • stiban_graffiti : Sino ba yang ADMI na iyan? Kung estudyante ka, alam mo ba na mas masahol ka pa sa mga Makapili. or Kung admin ka man, nakakatawa ka. Nawalan tuloy ako ng ganang umebs.
  • admi : kasi kung sana nag complaint ka ng harapan hindi sa ganitong paraan para hindi na naman naghahasik ng magic at lagim si astorga. History is repeating again and again
  • eCe_spy : hahaha di naman admi hitting below the belt lang.. thats why..
  • admi : nagsusumbong ka ece_spy, hahaha
  • eCe_spy : Naming names? How come.. Tsktsk sir JB cud you please clean this mess..
  • Rastafariana : Anybody home?
  • schrondingeristhec : HUH?
  • admi : ece_spy is fcc
  • invaderzim : si captain america ba yun?
  • invaderzim : hahahahha...
  • admi : kaya si ece_spy hulugan muna
  • invaderzim : wow!nireveal na yung ibang superheroes!
  • admi : onlooker si Mr. joshua Tadena
  • admi : sigbin is Mr. Allan Camacho
  • admi : ece_boses is Mr. Ralph Corsiga
  • rowie0123 : ano ba itsura ng unoform ng it sa school natin ? 1st year ako sa pasukan .. ndi pa nabibigay uniform ko .. huhuh' di ko din alam kung anung itsura ng uniform na bibilhin ko ..
  • rnarcise : panu ba ma view ung blog... i'm just intrigued..kaso na blocked na ata ung post
  • macintyre13 : hello dyan
  • batongbuhay : panu b mgpost d2?
  • domeepogee : panu ba maglog-out dito? panu ba icancel yung registration ko?
  • invaderzim : hello din sayu hija
  • shirohana : hello po
  • KoKaK : nga pla,,,pag naiwan nu id nu kuha lng ako ng affidavit of loss kesa violation slip,,,gud 4 one day n un-disposable
  • KoKaK : jhopet kilala m c ece.boldstar?...mmmmmmm
  • KoKaK : anu bang password ang hinahanap pag view nun blog?...d ko n ma-access ei nakiki-internet lng aku
  • KoKaK : kaw ece k din man db?.....klala ko n c superklasse at c exe spy
  • KoKaK : uu bakit?
  • KoKaK : pooch! nabababoy n ang site...nagiging online n TIKTIK at BOMBA n ang mga nakapost. Mag journaism alang ka sila?...aahahahaha
  • jhopet : ece k ba kokak??
  • jhopet : panu mu nalaman kokak??
  • KoKaK : kilala n nila ang katauan ko...waahahahah
  • KoKaK : anu latest?
  • LAGOTka : please
  • LAGOTka : ece_spy
  • LAGOTka : ece stud aq.. and gs2 q mabasa un..

Please log in to chat

Most Commented Posts
Recent Posts
Recent Commentors
    755 registered users
    217 online guests
Slashdot Headlines
    • Hacker Uncovers Chinese Olympic Fraud

    • Watchmen Delayed, Or Worse

    • States Throw Out Electronic Voting Machines

    • Magpies Are Self-Aware

    • Why Corporates Hate Perl

    • FTC Bans Prerecorded Telemarketing Drivel

    • Japan Demands Probe of iPod Nano Flameouts

    • Adobe Flash Ads Launching Clipboard Hijack Attacks

    • New Multi-GPU Technology With No Strings Attached

    • Judge Rules Man Cannot Be Forced To Decrypt HD