Saturday, August 30, 2003


Where do I begin?

First, entrance fee is P5.00, P4.00 if you have an ID.

Well, the usual suspects are there. Although it's surprising to see a new concessionaire, National Bookstore/Powerbooks.

And the SF&F section of Goodwill has dwindled to half a shelf, occupying only two and a half rows of space.

Apparently, the bookfair will be at Bacolod on October 9-12, then at Iloilo on 16-19.

Books to Note

Well, if you're looking for all those Middle-Earth drab, Fully Booked/Bibliarch is still the place to be with all those creation books. It's also the place to take a peek at the new covers of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

Book Wagon didn't change one bit from last year. Well, there's always The Hobbit...

And there's Harry Potter 5 everywhere. Although if I were you, I'd just go to the regular Powerbooks branch and go buy it now (since today is the last day of their sale I think) since there's a 20% discount.

On Powerbooks though, they seem to have thrown in most of their new stocks at the bookfair which hasn't arrived yet on their regular branches. For example, the hardcover of Jarka Ruus is already available there. Or...
...the paperback version of Coraline. It's both available at Powerbooks/National Bookstore and Fully Booked/Bibliarch. Except the former has a slightly cheaper retail price but the latter has a larger mark-down price (25% opposed to 20%). In the end, the former costs P190, the latter P180. Of course when it came to Wolves in the Wall, the former had it going for only P699. But it was on a 30% discount, costing about P500. Not bad for a hardcover children's illustration book. (And in comparison to its P1000+ price tag at comic shops everywhere else.)


Ran into one of this year's graduates at Ateneo and she was working for Scholastica. (Oi, Kim, is she the one who had a crush on me?)

And I did visit Vin before going to the bookfair to hand him his SF anthology of short stories. And when I did come back to the shop to "report", Joel was there.

To top it off, while browsing through Powerbooks, I ran into Chinky (unfortunately, like the Atenean graduate I ran into at the bookfair, she wants something from me too).

Throughout this Whole Excursion

I've been keeping a pack of tissue and coughing frequently. Managed to exhaust my supply of tissue in one day and I'm still wasting from my sickness. Thankfully, it's not contagious.

It Ain't Over

Still had a game at Makati though so I took the time to educate Candy by letting her read Coraline and Wolves in the Wall. Then she took me to the Books for Less branch at Makati, where I managed to scavenge Terry Prachett's Thief of Time, book I (which contains the first three novels) of Michael Moorcock's Elric, and the icky but I promised a friend copy of Weis and Hickman's Rose of the Prophet book 2. There was free chocolate, but we all know what happens to me if I drank some.

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Friday, August 29, 2003

Not That Anyone's Inquiring

But I've been sick sick sick for the past few days. So if I've been unresponsive, it's only because I've been sleeping...

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Thursday, August 28, 2003

10 Hours of Sleep

When you're sick, too much sleep ain't so bad.

Skipping and Hopping

It's something I discovered as of late since I can cover quite a distance without tiring myself and all the while still carry my not-so-heavy bag.

Unfortunately, "gliding" in the streets makes me look stupid and people suddenly start staring at the strange boy that's jumping his way to EDSA...

Bookfair Tips

The event being 27 hours away, here's some times I recommend:

Don't come early on the first day, unless you really want to watch the opening ceremonies, because you'll just be disappointed. The trend is that the concessionaires start showing off their stuff at that day but they only do most of the set up on the day itself. So unless you wanna face empty shelves, come the next day. Or come late. Unless you really want to wait and see the books placed on the shelves for all of one second before you grab them.

It would be helpful to know the events for the week, since there will be book launches, book signings, and other book-related events. I mean Elbert's getting a free dinner because he's attending a certain book awards...

Bring money and bring your student ID (if you're a student... if you work for a school, you can bring your faculty ID as well). The former because there's a small entrance fee and the latter is to get a discount on the former.

I think it's common sense for me to say not to come on the last day, because by then, most of the good bargains are probably gone. But Time Warner only sells their DC comics on the last two days (Saturday and Sunday) so if you're interested in comics, it'd be advisable to come really really early on Saturday morning (before the con even opens). I mean it's helpful if you have a card to Slimmer's World, or happen to have a comic shop in Megamall since you can breeze through the security (it's either that or sneaking in the stalker way). Oh wait, I'm not into comics...

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Apparently, I signed my death warrant by eating a pack of Chips Ahoy! last night. I have a sore throat because of a clogged nose, which is the result of eating chocolate. Now, only one hole in my nose actually releases air, among other things.

So never ever offer me chocolate. Unless you really want to kill me. Slowly. Painfully. And with ease.

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Apparently, Aeon books does stock SF&F books. Except it's near the cashier hence me not seeing it through the glass window (because they were closed!). There's also a neat used-books section (where I managed to get a copy of the Necronomicon).

Unfortunately, while their selection is different from the mainstream bookstores like National and Goodwill, the owners seem unfamiliar with their audience hence the books they stock are usually on the bestseller list (that's the Nebula awards, for example, when it comes to SF&F), which isn't a bad thing... except that's what A Different Bookstore and Ink & Stone gets, plus more.

Their price is also along ADB's price, except they round off. Whereas it would cost ADB P405, it costs them P400. Except I don't have a discount at Aeon books (although they are on a perpetual sale).

On a side note, it's a bit spacious compared to ADB, which is really a very small shop with very tall shelves. Ink & Stone, the Podium branch, is big compared to the original shop at Glorietta.

Vin is Going to Kill Me

Dropped by Comic Quest to treat myself to a copy of the latest Dragon magazine before I go bankrupt over the weekend.

And then I used my jedi mind trick on Vin causing him to stop asking me when my birthday will be and made him buy books at Ink & Stone. *ahem* A lot of books.

Of course when I get home, I get this email from them:

Our annual book sale will be ending after August 31, 2003 but we will not end it without giving all our loyal customers bigger bargains this weekend (Aug 29 -31,2003).

Its midnight madness once again in glorietta this weekend (August 29-31, 2003) and we made sure that all of you will be delighted with the goodies and book treats that A Different Bookstore will be offering during the Midnight Madness Sale. Avail of treasure books for only P50.00, get additional discounts on already marked down best seller titles, check out our hard-to-find titles that are discounted up to 50% off.

We will also be giving away rebate book coupons worth P200 each for every P1500 purchase of new arrival books during this weekend in both our bookstore outlets. Aside from this. we will be giving away charming gift prizes for those of you who purchase any book published by Penguin ... (some of the Penguin titles that are hot best sellers are Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy, Its Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong, Kate Remembered by Scott Berg, childrens books by Eric Carle, Secret Life of Bees by Su Monk Kidd and many many more).

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003


Apparently, along with my voice, my grammar and spelling faded. A writer's worst nightmare?

SF&F News

Terry Brook's latest book, Jarka Ruus is out. At least that's something Jobert has to look forward to.

But I'm anticipating the release of Legends II in January with writers like Tad Williams, Raymond E. Feist, George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Silverberg, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Elizabeth Haydon, and Terry Brooks himself.

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Soar Throat

Can't...speak. Thank God I'm typing down all this.

Just woke up to find myself with a soar throat. And my first class is at 7:30 am with me doing the reporting.

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It's Pouring

It's the erratic rainy season. As Vern put it, there's always a use for an umbrella here in the Philippines. You could use it to fend off the rain, sunshine, or the occassional thief.

On a side note, my umbrella's gone, mainly because I loaned it to my pretty classmate in Theology.

I've said it before and I'll say it now: my umbrella's there to loan out to people who forget theirs (hence the jacket that's constantly strapped to my waist).

That and it's a great way to meet girls, hehehe.


Despite the email threats of enforcing the no-smoking law except on designated areas in Ateneo, well, students are still smoking where they shouldn't.

Which literally pollutes my tambayan that is the library steps.

Black and More Black

Maybe it's because of the yearbook pictorials, but it's really strange to see large groups of people wearing black shirts and even black pants.

Walk Out

Our philo teacher walked out on us because somebody's phone rang and no one would admit to it.

Shades of my high school life... except I didn't have a mobile phone back then.

Still, even when the teacher was gone, no one would admit to whose phone it was.

Well, it's either that or Mr. Bulaong didn't notice that it was his phone.

I've always made it a point that in a classroom setting, not to trust where you seem to hear where the sound's coming from. Because sound bounces and reflects, and you might think it's coming from the front when the origin is actually behind you. Having said that, I honestly have no idea whose phone rang. Some students didn't even hear it since it occurred while people were laughing from a joke (when you're going to write a reaction to a philosopher, publish it when he's dead so he/she can't retort).

On a side note, my grade for the orals was a C+/B. So on one hand, my philo grades are pretty okay. On the other hand, I'm failing my theo.

High Cost of Living

My brother suddenly inquired if I knew that grandfather's heart stopped for ten whole minutes.

It's not as if I didn't expect it. He's been in the ICU for the past few weeks. And like my other grandfather that died, I barely talk to him and when we do, I have to rely on my non-verbal means of understanding him (i.e. telepathy) since he talks in fookien Chinese with the strangest accent (which is the result from his less than perfect mouth).

3 Days and Counting

Before the bookfair. Maybe pretty purple Liana could treat me out.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003


I think Filipinos are smart (generally), creative (in our eccentric aesthetic taste), and hardworking (especially when it comes to piracy) but the flaw in all this is that we allow ourselves to stagnate. Once we're satisfied with something, we stop. Not stop in production but we stop seeking better methods and solutions.

I mean one has just to look outside our windows to see the same jeepneys used several decades ago until today. We used to be a thriving country in Southeast Asia but slowly, the other countries crept up on us and we were left behind. Even Ms. Bellen pointed out earlier in our class that while we may claim that Filipino Children's Literature is still "young", we can't always be using that reason since that's what has always been said ever since. When will we grow?

Perhaps if this were a thesis, I'd even state piracy (duplication) as a sign of this stagnation. I mean in piracy, we merely reproduce another person (or country/company's) product. It's nearly identical to the original but the only innovation going on there is the ability to crack the safeguards the product has against piracy. Even our method of piracy is imported from other countries, like blank CD-Rs or the replicating machines.

Maybe the reason Filipinos are gaining acclaim as computer programmers (a.k.a. virus/worm creators) is because this is one of the few scenarios where Filipinos aren't hampered by limitations and there's a need to evolve and to improve one's "art". I mean when it comes to programming, the playing field is more or less "equal" (well, equal for us considering all the pirate programs and photocopied material available here).

But that's just a theory and the reason I love ramble on my blog is because I don't have to cite my sources and I'm not trying to prove to everyone else that it's actually true (it'd be nice if it was).

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Miscellaneous Replies to People I Haven't Met

You know, it's really great I'm communicating with people I haven't met in real life. The next best thing though would be to meet you guys/gals...

Chuck: Oi, what happened to your blog?

Qara: Sorry I haven't been visiting your blog as of late. Aside from being terribly busy, it's not Netscape compatible. >.<

Ace: Glad you're in here for the long run.

Alanine: Nice to know your, uh, presence. =)

And for the rest of my, uh, regular readers, I really appreciate it you visiting the site. For example, it's priceless to see Vin and Dean bicker. Or for Marcel to embarass himself, hehehe.

What is Unicode?

I mean I know what Postcript font is, or what Truetype is for that matter. But Unicode baffles even Mr. Sunico.

Junior Inquirer

Apparently, it's been reduced to a monthly, at least for majority of the public. It's still being released weekly though to selected private and public schools in Metro Manila.

Like most things in publication, the reason behind it all when it comes right down to it is the budget...

The Fantasy/Science-Fiction Genre

I've said it time and time again. It's one of the more difficult genres to find here in the Philippines, unless mass media is propelling it (i.e. it has a movie tie-in, like Lord of the Rings, or there's some hype and sensationalizing going around, like Harry Potter).

That's also what drives me to find new and alternative bookstores.

But alas, those quaint bookstores hidden in Metro Manila don't usually stock SF&F books.

Why I Blog

There was a time when I just wanted to rant or rave about something, whether it's a subject, a show, a book, or a discovery.

But me being the lonely person that I am who has lots of friends but no close friends (much less those who have the same interests as me), well, telling it to someone else was like telling it to a wall. Except the walls don't laugh and scoff at you.

So here I am, ranting, knowing that people who comment at the very least have an idea to share. Or silent readers who ponder on it and hopefully write about it in their own blogs.

It's me shouting "here I am world!"

This, from the Charles that used to be shy, insecure, and lonely.

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There's nothing like Tuesday rain to spice up everyone's lives. Of course once I passed the flyover at Katipunan, there were two car crashes, one colliding with another car, and one that collided into the "island" separating the lanes.


All the while I'm writing this entry, I wonder, who exactly reads it? Do people who stray from search engines looking for, say, porn, mp3s, celebrities like Aubrey Miles or Heart Evangelista (well, if you want to increase the amount of people who drop by your site, you'd be surprised how much it'll increase by typing in those names), stop and actually visit again? Or do people who read my other blogs come and visit this site, if they're even aware of it.

I mean nothing makes me more happy than to read the comments people leave. Unless they're from people I don't like, hehehe.

Of course what a lonely life I must live, to wait the comments of people on my blog. There used to be email but more often than not, I'm flooded by spam seducing me with penis and breast enlargers as well as porn and get-rich schemes. At least there's not much as of late when it comes to computer viruses (or is that virii?).


Like most people, I never seem to find enough time. Last weekend was the last holiday for the sem so unless a typhoon strikes, I have exactly thirty three days or school left plus finals week.

I don't even have time to read people's blogs. Or the books I want to read. On a side note, my Harry Potter 5 got returned last Wednesday but it's only now I've gotten to read it.

I'm suddenly hungry.

Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow


I'll be graduating soon and I still don't know what to do with the rest of my life. Unlike some people, I don't mind working temporarily at a call center. But honestly, I hope it doesn't come to that.

Me me me

Since the library is partly renovated, I'm back at my usual haunt that is the lib steps with me, all by myself, leaning on a pillar and greeting hello to the occassional acquaintance that passes by.

And then one of the said acquaintances says hi and asks me if she could sit down...and smoke.

girl: do you mind if I smoke?

me: *laughs* yes.

Then off she goes to sit in a far corner, but eventually strays farther.

You know, I really want to write more, but what matters in this blog is not quantity but quality. And quite frankly, I've been blathering on and on with nothing much to say. Lalalalalala....

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Monday, August 25, 2003

Flunked Theology Midterms

'nuff said.

LRT 2 Lives!

The LRT 2 connecting Sta. Lucia (passing through Katipunan) to Cubao has been up two months ago. Of course I didn't know of it was open to the public. Apparently, it is and took my first ride from Katipunan to Cubao (which took what, 3 minutes tops?). I guess it's easier now to get from school to my house since I don't need to take the jeepney and I can directly take the LRT and MRT routes home. On a side note, the LRT 2 was more spacious, mainly because the seats were smaller and there were significantly less people. It was also more expensive, the dispenser machine costing P12 per ticket, regardless of where you're headed.

Aeon Books

Also managed to visit the place. It's a small quaint shop that apparently doesn't open until 11 am. Not much in terms of SF&F so...

This Week

Can't wait for the bookfair during the weekend. I hope there'll be Terry Pratchett books...

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