Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wonderful Year Ender: Nominated for the Pushcart Prize!!

Truly an honor. I don't really care if I win or not. I feel like all my hard work has paid off already!!

Reposting this blog post by Ms. Rhonda Parrish, publisher and editor of Niteblade:

Nominating for the Pushcart Prize is always difficult. Picking six works from all Niteblade has published over the year? It’s freaking tough. If you think I’m exaggerating, take a look over our archives and try to choose the six works you’d nominate from four issues. See? Hard.

This year it was made even more tricksy by the fact I was nominating not only from Niteblade, but also A is for Apocalypse. Luckily for me, I had back-up.

Poetry editor Alexandra Seidel helped me out with the nominations this year. And when I say helped me out I mean she was invaluable and pivotal when it came to making our poem-based decisions. So with no further ado… this year the Niteblade nominations for the Pushcart Prize are:

Congratulations ladies, and good luck!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Before the Year Ends, More Poems

At Illumen, my poem "Possible New Species of Worm and Louse in the Domestic Ecosystem" appears. The journal is now available at the link provided :)

At Niteblade, two poems of mine appear: "Nameday" and "Ghost Engine Updates an Ad for Angry Spirits". Edited by Rhonda Parrish (editor), Alexandra Seidel (editor)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Poems Bumping in the Night

At Chrome Baby

Gingerbread(board) Baby  
In error 404 limbo
hell(o) to an.other
lonesome con[so(u)l]e the rest here

At Digital Papercut Literary Journal
The Benefit of Wounds 
A wall is carnal.
It desires to be cut.
Wounds add scars the rest here

A Philosophy of Chairs

The chair awaits untempered flesh
tenderness arguing with wooden inflexibility the rest here

At The Cadaverine

Worry Not for Luxuries 
rest assured, Love
I have seen us before,
I have seen us too often
but we are the same
don’t ask too much
of nature
it runs its course the rest here

Before the Bread is Gone 
Find reason to be kind.
Forget the rest here

At The Southeast Review
The Badjao Sisters' Wager

We made bets with the coins
in our lockless box—
Heads, you can’t
make us last
, they said,
while we chose tails—
We can go to college.

The coins never did stay
long enough,
not for a pair of slippers,
not for a notepad
not for a pen or a new shirt.

But we could always go back
out to sea on our lepa, dive deep
for precious trepang, and believe

that as the sales trickle in
we could glean the barren
reefs of our past, remember
to thank Omboh Dilaut
and not savings tossed
into a daily gamble. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Death of the Death of Self

If there is anything dying from modern humans, it might be the death of self. One would hear about the death of religion or the death of God, but what is really dying is a deprecation of the I.

The sciences are beautiful and wonderful things. They have provided society with tools to understand the workings of nature and to test the veracity of what we think we know. Testing and retesting, observing and re-observing--we come upon truths about how the universe expands and cools, how life adapts and evolves. Ultimately it has trained us to ask and keep asking the difficult questions. While the scientific approach might have at its roots humanity's insatiable curiosity, now that it has matured it appears to have turned into some kind of insatiable skepticism. "We can never know" or a philosophy of non-knowledge must be the inner mantra of the 21st Century human. It appears that many are giving themselves over to an infinite regression of questioning evidence, maybe even questioning science itself.

I say this because I was having an interesting conversation regarding Evolution the other day. Evolution is an amazing thing to read on paper and muse about on lazy days. It is logical and we can see how organisms have mutated and adapted their characteristics throughout the years. But is it correct? Is it what really happened? I then went into a downward spiral of questioning. If evolution is real and humans have risen to the apex of existence, then why do insects remain insects, why are many apes still bent and hairy, why do cows allow themselves to be adapted to being easily eaten?

With enough asking, one will come to the conclusion that "I can never know." Evidences aren't the only ones now to be cast under the light of skepticism, but knowledge itself. After all, much of what we know, even the laws of science were once mere theories. The laws simply gathered up enough evidence to quiet our most gnawing questions about the universe. If something acts predictably (de/confirming a hypothesis), somehow it is truer than things that move along random paths and processes.
In the end it is the "I" who decides what is true, what is real. Nothing is real until I see evidence of it. To the modern human, the final judge of things is ultimately the "I" who studies the evidences or lack thereof.
With this I realize that religion isn't the one dying. What (I hope) is leaving this world is the religious way of thinking that teaches a person to remove his "I-judge" persona in order to allow the acceptance of absolute truths imparted by an authority figure. Followers bow their head in humility, in self-deprecation toward dogma. Religions have always taken their power from "quieting the questions," but that was at a time when they had all the answers. Without having the answers, it is but natural for the curious "I" to reawaken. Religions are alive but the religious way of thinking is dying.

While many might fear that the deposition of religion means the rise of a godless society, I feel that fear is unnecessary. With the awakening of the discerning self, it is now relatively safer to ask questions again. We are free to know or not know. Moreover, I feel we are freer to go along our chosen paths to explore what we feel needs to be explored, without the guilt of being called doubters or unbelievers. That I say God exists is my hypothesis, with everyday evidences strengthening my beliefs at times and then challenging it during others. That I can read Buddhist and Taoist texts and take from their wisdom without being judged as having a "watered down faith" is a wonderful privilege. Who is to judge my belief now but me, the owner of it?

If we can allow one another to find his or her own beliefs, then we may very well be entering a new renaissance.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

On Forgiving

No one ever forgets.
Memory is more hardwearing than most things on this earth.

The bearer and the giver of pain
both carry its weight
for as long as they live

because forgiveness
is nothing but water--
a medium that makes us more buoyant
than we really are--

but it is never the solvent
that cleans out the hardened stains of poor judgement

from which all things reek of regret.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

There were were "Gamers" and then there were "Gamer Girls"

It must have been a boon to have grown up studying in an all-girl school. Being a girl felt normal. I wasn't aware of things like Feminism until my last year in high school. I wasn't aware of things like Objectification, Male Gaze and the Glass Ceiling, until these things were given a name.

In ads, a female body would be dismembered, showing only the prized parts--breasts, smooth white underarms or hairless legs. As a kid I never thought much of them, until the teacher explained that dismemberment is one such technique used to reduce a person to her individual parts. The psychological effect of singling out an area of flaw is similar to calling someone pimple-face when she has a pimple--that person could acquire a sense of insecurity, knowing that she isn't up to par with beauty standards.

Meanwhile, I became aware of Male Gaze by studying the scifi and fantasy books I read. Women in many of these books are described to be unbelievably beautiful, with long flowing locks, slender bodies and a veil of mystery. Male Gaze focuses on how men determine how a woman should look.

As for the role of the women in said scifi and fantasy stories? Their roles are tropes--witches, healers, and damsels in distress and of course, princesses. They become the wife of the male hero, or the undying supporter, or the object to be saved.

So a certain Sarkeesian thought about applying feminist critique to games. When I watched her videos, I gotta admit, the portrayal of women in games is very similar to those in the books I've read. They're tropes. They're too often the healer and the nurturer, when they're not the damsel in distress. I have always wished for a different characterization because it was tiring for me, a girl who likes to play games. I don't mind playing the hot macho men I usually crush on, but I would love to have a well rounded female character as well. Lightning from FF XIII doesn't count because she's like a girl version of FFVII's Cloud. And she just sucks. T_T

This isn't to say that women are ALWAYS playing those roles in games. But they often are. Even if there's a female warrior / fighter, she has to be dressed like these:

You'd think a woman would be smart enough to cover up when facing enemies right? But of course, Male Gaze won out and marketed women to be this way because these women probably sell better.

In any case, I still did enjoy playing those games. Despite the weirdly-dressed women, the games are still good. I just wish that critiquing the games won't be taken against "Gamer Girls". The job of feminist critique is to poke holes and look for areas of improvement in gender portrayals. Its shortcoming is that the roles of men are nowhere within its framework. An improvement in the framework might be an inclusion of male tropes as well. But that feels too intellectual for a blog post.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Unravelling Abuse

“When someone is unrelentingly critical of you, always finds fault, can never be pleased and blames you for everything that goes wrong, it is the insidious nature and cumulative effects of abuse that eats away at your self-confidence and self-worth, undermining any good feelings you have about yourself and your accomplishments.” The Emotionally Abusive Relationship by Beverly Eagle.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Licking Wounds

The dark story of my family life continues. Having been hit and verbally abused by a family member for years, I took the necessary step of finally moving out.

It's been a good two or so weeks since I left the abusive home where the relative still stays despite what he's done. Outside the family, people have been uncannily kind to me when they heard I have begun to rent. My close friends, if not comrades, in the office have even been offering to buy me lunch just so I won't have to eat instant noodles everyday this month. I paid rent and the advance deposit, plus bought a bed and some furniture, that's why I'm suddenly dirt poor. But I've been happy. I've started to laugh again and become positive at work. It made me feel like a new test is coming, which I didn't want to think, but which sadly did arrive.

I didn't expect it. Things just don't add up sometimes. I may have gotten a better job but that doesn't mean I'm shitting cash. I mean, who actually expects that? Why do people keep assuming I do shit cash? I already computed my budget and had a talk at home that I will need to reduce my contributions given that I'll be shelling out more than half of what I make every month to pay for my mortgage, rent and living expenses. I will also need to set aside 20% in case of emergencies as I don't have healthcare yet. I thought we were in agreement with that.

I then come home only to be shouted at about how my contributions aren't enough. I was even told that if I don't want to give money then don't. Oh, God. Why do these people think of me like I'm some stingy bitch who doesn't want to share money? It's not that I DON'T WANT to give. It's that I don't have the amount you want me to give. If I give that, there's a possibility I will be short of cash before next payday.

I've been eating canned beans and steamed vegetables for days just so I keep my daily cash out at Php 300. Such is the reality of someone just starting out, which when I tried to explain, I was promptly cut short and dismissed. My difficulties don't even matter because I apparently don't understand what they go through at home. Two weeks. I was away just two weeks. Will I need a bulletproof vest on my next visit?

I'd already offered to pay for dinner before I came home today. How come that doesn't even account for any good points on my account? I'm still the girl who doesn't know how to listen. Well let me pose the question, who declared "I don't want to talk about this" and who was screaming at the top of her lungs?

Maybe to some people, nothing is ever enough. They will wait for you to bleed your guts out, and still they won't see that you've tried to give your all. They will dismiss it as angst or drama, because theirs is the REAL suffering. Sadly the truth is everyone suffers in this world. And that's why God introduced kindness and compassion. For people who go to church every week, it's a surprise that I rarely see these in action.

Oh, I try to understand. But this event just wounds me yet again. Pain makes wounded animals bite.

(Readers of this blog must be wondering why I'm suddenly spilling the dirt on my life when I've kept up this noble facade of being an accomplished writer blah blah blah. I kept many secrets and didn't write anything close to home because this caused problems for me before. Well my writings are dirt. And I am dirt. Life will just have to take back the dirt it has thrown at me. I won't keep these secret anymore. Silence has done me no good)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction Issue #3 is Out!

I just love, love the cover artworks done for this journal! This is issue 3's cover:

Reposting the details for this issue...

This issue of LONTAR presents speculative writing from and about Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia and Taiwan.

 Inside these pages, you’ll find:

  • the evocation of an alternate ancient Cambodia from multiple award-winner Geoff Ryman;
  • an investigative automotive revenge tale from Palanca Grand Prize winner Dean Francis Alfar;
  • the mystery of magically appearing furniture from Taiwanese short fiction wunderkind Sabrina Huang (deftly translated by PEN/Heim grant recipient Jeremy Tiang);
  • an uneasy exploration of marital discord on the road from Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Award winner Nikki Alfar;
  • a quasi-Ballardian take on beach resort culture from Ben Slater;
  • the uniquely Singaporean response to a viral outbreak from JY Yang;
  • and speculative poetry from Anne Carly Abad, Arlene Ang, Tse Hao Guang, Cyril Wong, David Wong Hsien Ming and Daryl Yam.

This issue marks the handover of publication and distribution of LONTAR to Epigram Books.

  1. The More Things Change | Jason Erik Lundberg (editorial)
  2. A Field Guide to the Roads of Manila | Dean Francis Alfar (fiction)
  3. Setting Up Home | Sabrina Huang (trans. Jeremy Tiang) (fiction)
  4. Resort Time | Ben Slater (fiction)
  5. The Elephant in the Room | Anne Carly Abad (poetry)
  6. Before the Last War | David Wong Hsien Ming (poetry)
  7. Signs, or The Fate of Big-Footed Individuals | Daryl Yam (poetry)
  8. Harbour | Tse Hao Guang (poetry)
  9. Since We Stopped Communicating | Cyril Wong (poetry)
  10. Three Poems | Arlene Ang (poetry)
  11. Mother’s Day | JY Yang (fiction)
  12. An Unexpected Stop | Nikki Alfar (fiction)
  13. The Last Ten Years in the Life of Hero Kai | Geoff Ryman (fiction)


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Study of Swarm Intelligence

by Yours Truly


The creatures scatter
at the sight of one of their own
shot dead.
That is when they show
ant-like qualities,
falling into pheromone trails
of fury and protest.
Swiftly, the once-empty streets
crawl with millions.
They parade a new queen
drenched in yellow war paint.
She leads
a swarm so single-minded
that the existing royals
are summarily dethroned
the entire colony repatterned
like never before.


Further observation of the creatures
leads me to suppose that the new age
may not be so new after all.
During a lull filled with fresh elects,
I see what might be a reenactment
of the first dethronement.
The signs follow:
individuals and their little conclaves
calls to reform
jump from one hand to the next.
A loud voice or two is enough
to herd the all-too-ready
onto the streets once more. There,
the yellow queen
endorses another queen.
I know how this ends.


I may have been mistaken.
Their patterns may be more akin to that of bees
foraging, perching from one flower to the next
for ever sweeter nectar—
that is this creature’s quest for leaders
even if they must alight on the shoulders
of rapists, thieves and murderers
which is what I fail to understand
why they refuse to abandon
solutions no longer viable, drawing
from resources long exhausted.
If this is a sickness of the mind
of the individual, or the colony
or the system;
one or all, I cannot tell.
It may all just be a performance
of hardwired instinct.

First Appeared in The Philippines Graphic Magazine, December 2013

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Acceptance from Not One of Us

Whenever I receive good news like these, I still have to ask myself, "for real?" Acceptances are such unexpected gifts, and I'll never stop being surprised by them. I thought I'd never get into the likes of Strange Horizons and Apex, yet with a lot of time, hard work and rejection slips, I made it.

Another wonderful publication that's welcomed my work is Not One of Us. The magazine has been frequently recommended by editors I've worked with and I discovered that the mag has been running since the 1980s. Its focus is on otherness, a rich and powerful topic that will never lose importance in the world. A couple of verbatim reviews from their site:

“I definitely recommend Not One of Us to readers attracted to character-oriented dark fantasy... plenty of disquieting reflection. Fine work.” (Rich Horton)

“The staying power of Not One of Us is a testament to its quality.” (The Fix)

“Not One of Us a reliable source for interesting dark prose and poetry.” (Ellen Datlow, Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror)

Here is a snippet of the email I received from the editor, Mr. John Benson. An acceptance into a joint with this name feels a bit like a pun, which maybe it is:

Dear Anne,
I'd like to use "Why Animals Don't Talk" in one of our future publications. The poem would go either in the next of our annual, variously-titled special collections in January or in the next issue of Not One of Us itself in April. [...]
John Benson
Not One of Us

It's another great week. :) 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Work that's Appeared in the Philippines Graphic Magazine this 2014

While I have my eye on the international scene, my heart still belongs in my home country. That's why I've been aiming to have my work out in local joints, which are becoming fewer and fewer every year. :(

The Philippines Graphic Magazine has remained strong throughout the years, thanks to the efforts of dedicated editors Joel Pablo Salud and Ms. Alma Anonas-Carpio. The literary dream lives on!

This is a late post, the result of many things going on in my life, moving jobs and homes being two of them.

In the Graphic's June 9 issue appears my poem "Transit"


Can hell be any nearer?
This infernal heat--
sun, swelter, pigslush of bodies.
Behind the scenes, someone winds up
a music box playing
the chilling tragedy of transit:

The mob puts Dante's damned
to shame.
The line is the first circle
of anguish, patience
is no virtue
in this push-and-shove contest
where everyone finishes last

because the trains are a lottery
in themselves. Fickle as storms
they decide whether or not to take you
to your destined haven, serving suffering
with a fleck of hope--
success for some, failure for most.

Until routine sets in,
birthing Devil whelps
wallowing in the third hell
of peaceful torment.

Meanwhile, I cut down and finalized my long short story "Sage's Reckoning" and subbed it to the team months later. The story, at a whopping 6500 words, thankfully made it to the coveted pages. Whew.

Part 1 of "Sage's Reckoning" appears in the August 18, 2014 issue;
Part 2 is in the August 25, 2014 issue, which my friend Angelo
luckily came upon and obtained in a branch of NBS in Ortigas.
YES! I have a copy!

I'm thinking about posting the story in this blog. Still thinking about it. I mean, it's so long, so it's not particularly fun to read on-screen, right?

Monday, September 8, 2014

On Books: The Endangered by S.L. Eaves and Princes of the Shroud by Frances Pauli

I'm currently editing/revising my upcoming novel with Zharmae Publishing Press. My book is entitled "The Light Bringer's Kingdom" but well it's been a crazy month and I haven't gotten far in the editing process.

Anyway here are a couple of Zharmae books. I'll post three today:

SHROUDED: Vashia’s father is the planetary governor. Unfortunately, he’s also a complete bastard. When he promises her to his lackey, Jarn, she panics. On the run in the nastiest corner of the galaxy, Vashia seizes her one chance at escape and signs on as a bride candidate for the elusive race of aliens known as the Shrouded, unaware that she very well may be chosen as the next Queen of Shroud Of the seven, volatile Shrouded princes, Dolfan may be the only one that doesn't covet the throne. So the last thing he expects to find in the future queen is the woman of his dreams. If he wants Vashia, he must accept the throne as well. Unfortunately, his long-time rival has the same idea. Now, only the planet’s sacred crystal can decide their fates, but what happens when the right woman is paired with the wrong man? And when Jarn comes after what was promised to him?

SEEN (Upcoming 2014): Rowri is a priestess with prophetic dreams—and she’s dreamt of her soulmate. So when she volunteers to be the gifted bride in a peace negotiation between her own peoples and the Tolfarians, she is certain that the lilac-skinned man in her visions is the Tolfarian leader she is to marry. But prophecy is never simple, and visions are never clear. Shayd, a seer and one of the Shrouded, is summoned to transport Rowri to her new husband-to-be. When Rowri sets eyes on his lilac skin, she knows she’s made a terrible mistake—one she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life if she wants to save her people and prevent war. The two are drawn together, and the fates of two races hinge on the decisions they make. On the precipice of volcanic eruptions, galactic terrorism, and mercenary attacks, Shayd and Rowri must give up every hope of happiness for their people, or sacrifice everything for true love.

THE ENDANGERED: Have you ever gotten sick from getting a flu shot? Have you ever turned into a werewolf from a getting a flu shot? How did that make you feel? When a prominent pharmaceutical company releases its newest strain of the flu vaccine to the public, all hell breaks loose, literally. A gnarly side effect turns those who receive the vaccine into werewolves, and only a small population of vampires, known as The Endangered, are capable of fighting against the ever-growing werewolf population. When all is said and done, secrets will be exposed, alliances formed, and blood spilled as The Endangered do everything in their power to preserve their own kind and their food supply.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Of shame and violence against women

When one see stories about women getting battered in the news, you kind of feel like the problem is far from you, like it isn't something you need to worry about. There are so many victims who've been getting hit for years yet choose to stay silent in order to keep the peace, to keep their family together. I think lowly of them; "Why wouldn't you speak up if there's a problem?" those are my thoughts. Until I realized just recently, after getting assaulted yet again, that I'm just the same as those women who have been suffering through the violence. I've rationalized away the things that have happened and are still happening to me. I tell myself, it's not that bad, right? I mean it was just a push or a shove. Or it was just a one time thing.

It's much harder to admit the problem when the one who has been raising his hand against you is within your own home and family. The first time it happened was when we were teens. I, being such a headstrong person since I was young, fought back to said person by telling him I need to use the computer and I don't always have to adjust to his time. That was the first time he struck me across the face with a towel. I ran and locked myself in a room because he was raging outside and might hurt me further. I called my relatives over because I was afraid. The relatives came and took me away, but they kept telling me about how I should not have angered said person. I should not have answered back.

 Years later, I am in college. In Ateneo they teach us to speak up, fight back and stuff, which I may have taken to another level, getting into arguments with my titos and titas here and there. Said person, since then, has established in me how everyone can't stand my pride and should learn to listen. I argue with him about this on several occasions. On one of these occasions, he rages and hits me again by throwing things (not really heavy things, more of like stacks of paper or a book), telling me I've become like my father. I never tell anyone about this. So it became clear to me that his tendency toward violence has not gone away. During the last five years, I've been working in and out of companies. To which said person's gripe is that I complain too much and have too much pride (much of which is true), thus, I need to learn how to just accept things and work hard. He said I am becoming like a typical Atenean who thinks the world owes me something. Of course I still have something to say to those things as well, being the argumentative person that I am. But some two and a half years back, he lost his temper again and slapped my jaw with the back of his fist, which became the turning point for me to start learning Muay Thai in order to defend myself next time such a thing happens.

The funny thing is, said person conferred to me that he has been shouting at his now ex-girlfriend, the way he has been shouting at me. I warned him that it's not just that which he'll end up doing to future relationships. He will hit them, too, the way he hit me. He said he doesn't remember doing such a thing to me. In any case, what could have prepared me for last night? I always thought that as long as my mom is around then he will not raise his hand against me. But he did. He pushed/shoved me while I was preparing for bed because I was not agreeing to his words; he even punched a hole in our door. What is that? Was that supposed to be my skull?

Why am I posting this in public? Because the few times I spoke out about this, I've been told by family that I must have done something to anger said person. I have a way of speaking that is too mayabang and mahangin, that's why I have been treated this way. This means I have no protection. Who can stand a headstrong woman, after all? Am I even a woman? Probably not--there have been too many times when I' ve been told "para kang hindi babae" by family.

Believe me, I try to be more womanly by learning to cook and clean and stuff, but my argumentative side has been so stubborn, it makes me wonder if it's even possible to kill it at all. Will I be disowned after posting this? Will I shame myself like some Deniece Cornejo (not that I believe her statements)? Whatever will happen to me after posting this, I am putting this out there just in case something does happen to me (because it's that bad right now and I'm receiving angry texts even at the moment because someone actually did something to defend me without my permission).

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Beauty Finds: The Body Shop Strawberry Beautifying Oil and L'Oreal Mythic Oil

I guess oils are becoming the in-thing these days, eh? At first, there was the virgin coconut oil craze. I'm still taking VCO now and then to help with my immune system. But the taste is just ugh. Then there's olive oil and argan oil...

Anyway, my hair's been dry and brittle ever since I started perming it. I don't like my stick-straight hair because I generally feel it's gotten boring. I tried the readily-available grocery brands like Cream Silk and Dove conditioners, but my hair's just been dead. I also felt guilty having to go get powerdose treatments in the Salon. They're busting my wallet. I went out to get something salon-strength instead, and the one I chose is L'Oreal Mythic Oil because I've heard so much about the miraculous argan oil. Short of being a miracle, my hair's back to it's pre-treatment shine after just three applications of the Mythic Oil masque. I use it at least once a week and that's enough. My curls tend to loosen when I've freshly applied this masque, but no worries since after a few shampoos, the curls get back to their old spunk.

Pros: Effective! Uber thick formula means a little goes a long way. Zero tangles and 80% less frizz. Makes hair shiny, too. Plus it smells great for hours.

Cons: Expensive! P1100 per jar depends on where you get it.

The next thing I tried, this time for my dry skin, is this thing called a beauty oil. Body butters are too icky and heavy for me so the one I have at home has just been lying there for months. (Maybe I should throw it out... but I dunno. I just got it for free).

I was choosing between The Body Shop's Moringa Beautifying Oil and the strawberry one. I was tempted to get moringa (malunggay) because I've seen it do wonders when I used Human Nature's astringent back then. However, I didn't like the sampaguita-like smell of the moringa oil, so strawberry ultimately won my heart. This oil is amazing! I don't know how oil can be NOT oily. It's not an emulsion so I assume this has some additives that make it lighter than its pure form.

Pros: Got it at 25% off. Smells sweetish but not overpowering. Easily absorbed (see pic) and multi-purpose. Can be used for body, face and hair. Not sticky at all!

Cons: None. This one's worth your time and money. Can't wait to try the other variants...except the moringa one. I can't stand floral scents.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CCP launches 38th literary journal on 45th year

City of Pasay, Metro Manila – Seventy-one writers who authored a total of 147 literary works are featured in the 38th issue of the official literary journal of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Ani 38 themed “The Human Body/Ang Katawan” covering the period of 2013 to 2014 will be launched on October 15, 2014 at the CCP Promenade at five in the afternoon. The CCP Intertextual Division, formerly the Literary Arts Division, produced Ani 38 in time for the 45th anniversary of the Center, which will officially start in September.

Intertextual Division head and Ani editor-in-chief Herminio S. Beltran, Jr. explained that the “concrete” theme of Ani 38 resulted from the common comment of writers who composed the Ani 37 issue. They found the latter’s theme of “Cleansing and Renewal” as abstract.

“Undoubtedly concrete as it is, it may not be all that new however as a topic in creative writing,” said Beltran. He added, “We therefore kept it open to related sub-topics, such as the stages of the human body from birth to death; the situations and conditions that affect it, namely, illnesses and wellness; bodily functions, and activities the body is capable of – all of which deal with human experiences that make for a wealth of materials for the creation of narratives and metaphors.”

The 71 authors who submitted works in Filipino, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Ilokano-Baguio, Akeanon, Bikol, Pangasinan, English, and Spanish in Ani 38: The Human Body/Ang Katawan are as follows: E. San Juan, Jr., James M. Fajarito, Melchor F. Cichon, Nonilon V. Queano, Mark Joseph Z. Arisgado, Herminio S. Beltran, Jr., Frank G. Rivera, Santiago B. Villafania, Hope Sabanpan-Yu, Jim Pascual Agustin, Joel Vega, Francisco Monteseña, Luis Batchoy, Jojo G. Silvestre, Ric S. Bastasa, Alma Anonas-Carpio, Johann Vladimir Jose Espiritu, Denver Ejem Torres, G. Mae Aquino, Kristoffer B. Berse, Wilhelmina S. Orozco, John Enrico C. Torralba, Catherine Candano, Glen Sales, Tilde Acuña, Shur C. Mangilaya, Anie M. Calleja, Victor N. Sugbo, Gil S. Beltran, Junley L. Lazaga, John Carlo Gloria, Anne Carly Abad, Louie Jon A. Sanchez, Kervin Calabias, Eilyn L. Nidea, Celine Socrates, MJ Rafal, Nestor Librano Lucena, Edgar Bacong, Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo, Phillip Yerro Kimpo, Marlon Agbayani Rodrigo, Manolito C. Sulit, Raul G. Moldez, Filipino Estacio, Mark Angeles, April Mae M. Berza, Glenn Ford B. Tolentino, Allan Lenard O. Ocampo, Ma. Cristina L. Barrera, Mars Mercado, Ernesto Villaluz Carandang II, Mario Ascueta Aguado, Noahlyn Maranan, Raul Esquillo Asis, Shiela Virtusio, Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera, Jr., Mar Anthony Simon dela Cruz, Iö M. Jularbal, Ferdinand Pisigan Jarin, U Z. Eliserio, Genaro R. Gojo Cruz, Dolores R. Taylan, Voltaire M. Villanueva, Gege Sugue, Luis P. Gatmaitan, Elyrah L. Salanga-Torralba, Ma. Rita R. Aranda, Lorna A. Billanes, Perry C. Mangilaya, and Bernadette C. Tenegra. Betty Uy-Regala is the managing editor and launch coordinator of Ani 38, and Rommel Manto is the layout artist and designer of the publication.

During the launch on October 15, Ani 38: The Human Body/Ang Katawan will be sold at a discounted rate.

The Intertextual Division, led by Herminio S. Beltran, Jr., is comprised of Giselle G. Garcia, senior culture and arts officer; Jasmin Tresvalles, culture and arts officer; and Nestor Librano Lucena, clerk.

For updates on Ani 38: The Human Body/Ang Katawan, like us on Facebook: CCP Intertextual Division Programs; follow us on Twitter: ccpintertextual (ccpintertextual) on Twitter and on tumblr:; or email and

Rommel Manto created the artwork used as cover of Ani 38.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

6th Mass Extinction

A bunch of articles are coming out about the imminent mass extinction event on Earth. It's only now that this is coming to the fore? It still surprises me that we need scientists to point out to us that we are killing the planet. We need to put a fancy name to it, too--"Anthropocene Defaunation." We even need heart-wrenching advertisements from the likes of WWF, to notice what's happening around us.

If we just look around, we should be able to notice well enough that we no longer see dragonflies filling the skies. The birds have stopped chirping. Geckos have stopped singing "tuko." Vertebrates and invertebrates alike are being reduced in number. When I watched a video of an armadillo playing with his favorite toy, it made me think about how these creatures are so much like people, yet they don't matter as much as we do:

Frankly, I miss those days when I could just watch life be. Now I just find myself people-watching, the closest I can get to disconnecting.

Maybe the world will continue on and this is just a form of hysteria. But it's sad to be the only beings left in this world, aside from maybe domestic cats and dogs.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Poems Published in Apex Magazine, Expanded Horizons, A Hundred Gourds and The Heron's Nest

I know these pubs sound disjointed. Apex and Expanded Horizons are both Speculative Fiction joints that also accept some poetry. On the other hand, A Hundred Gourds and The Heron's Nest are Japanese short form publications for haiku, tanka, haibun and haiga.

Anyway, I guess I'm kind of like that. A bit disjointed some times. I'm wistful and willful, I just go where my fancy takes me, whether its in the hyper-realist world of haiku or the fantastic realm of speculation.

These are my currently available titles:

"The First Stone" - Apex Magazine
**Cover at left
"Their Extinction" - Expanded Horizons
Haiku "night rain"; "silver moon" - A Hundred Gourds 3.3
Haiku "frangipani" - The Heron's Nest

Friday, June 20, 2014

At Wisdom Crieth Without and Pinyon Review

I have two releases to share. My poem "Castles" is currently featured in the June 2014 issue of Wisdom Crieth Without, with wonderful art by Ann Sheng. Many thanks to the editor, Mr. R.J. Robledo.

I also have four tanka published in Pinyon Review #5, available here.

In this issue:
Editorial: The Fool on the Hill—Gary Lee EntsmingerThree Poems—Diane M. Moore
Four Haiku—Gary Hotham
Three Poems—Ken Fontenot
In Performance—John Tomsick
One Poem—Nancy Aldrich
One Poem—David R. Cravens
Respect for Love’s Story—Paul Dickey
Four Tanka—Anne Carly Abad
One Poem—Annette Barnes & Stuart Friebert
One Poem—Stuart Friebert
Two Poems—Jan Conn
Two Poems—Jim Reiss
One Poem—Luci Shaw
Two Poems—John N. Miller
Two Poems—Chuck Taylor
Two Poems—Peter Waldor
End of the Circle-M—Neil Harrison
Three Haiku—Dabney Stuart
Two Poems—Michael Miller
One Poem—Gary Lee Entsminger
Two Poems—W.P. Osborn

Sunday, June 15, 2014

If I'm to get another exotic pet...

I'm really leaning toward a tortoise. I once read a magazine article about a wealthy land owner (too bad I can't remember her name, I think she was an Araneta). One of the photos showed her riding on the back of a land turtle that's bigger than a scooter.

How cool is that, right? It's like having a modern-day dinosaur.

Plus, I saw this picture. I'd love to take home one of those babies :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Published in Yellow Medicine Review

Two poems of mine are printed in the Spring 2014 issue of the Yellow Medicine Review: "The Choosing of the Babaylan" and "The Babaylan Sleep".

Guest edited by Carter Meland.

Cover art by Carolyn Lee Anserson.

Contributors are Anne Carly Abad, Patricia Albers, Scott Andrews, Alice Azure, b: william bearhart, Benjamin V. Burgess, Javier Caravantes, Hans M. Carlson, Pauline Brunette Danforth, Royce K. Freeman, Laura M. Furlan, Linda LeGarde Grover, Jane Haladay, Blake M. Hausman, Ernestine Hayes, Travis Hedge Coke, Alexis Ivy, Toshiya Kamei, Ryan Kanaiokahome Poiekeala Kanakaole, Cecelia Rose LaPointe, Larry Lefkowitz, Denise Low, Dwayne Martine, Molly McGlennen, Tiffany Midge, Carol Miller, Suzanne Zahrt Murphy, Tim Nuttle, Rebecca Pelky, Marcie Rendon, Pamela Rentz, Carter Revard, Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, Truth Thomas, Jay Hansford C. Vest, vera wabegijig, David Weiden, Kim Wensaut, Gwen N. Westerman, Diane Wilson, and Karenne Wood.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MMM Sans Rival McFlurry!

OMG it's so buttery! I know I should be watching my sugar intake since my next fight is coming up, but I was really craving :'( The Sans Rival McFlurry did the trick. It was so rich I wasn't able to finish the cup. I also tried their Black Forest Coke McFloat, but I think it had too much ice in it. Just took two sips to finish the drink, and all the rest was ice.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Poems: "Vessels" in Silver Blade and "Three Times She Loved" in Songs of Eretz

These two poems are now available for reading!

Songs of Eretz Editor's Note:

It is with great pleasure and not a little pride that I present this, the fourth quarterly issue of the first volume of Songs of Eretz Poetry E-zine.  The feedback from the readership has been overwhelmingly positive, and, according to the e-zine’s traffic tracker, there have been nearly one thousand visits to the e-zine page and over fifty thousand visits to the poetry review blog since the e-zine’s inception.  I am truly humbled by this response.

My poem "Three Times She Loved" can be read here.

Meanwhile, I also appear in Issue 22 of Silver Blade. Read and listen to "Vessels" on this page. (Actually I'm still recording the reading with the help of my mother because I speak kinda funny with all this mucus from my colds)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Generational Problem? Or Resistance to Change?

I'm 26. And statistics place me in the generation of Millennials. I've been working for a little over four years and am very happy with my performance. Finances could be better but I know it will come. I know because I'm a go-getter and I'll do what has to be done to secure my success and dreams.

That's why I don't appreciate being denigrated to the common tropes and stereotypes applied to my generation. Yes, like many Millennials I am well-educated and I graduated from a top school in the Philippines, plus I have several units earned from the top school in South Korea, Seoul National University. Attaining these educational milestones, for me, is a great achievement. Call me boastful, but I'm proud of being an Atenean and an SNU-graduate because I worked fucking hard to graduate. I was a full scholar in BOTH schools and no one has the right to tell me I'm an entitled kid or a 'typical Atenean,' whatever the hell that means. The only people who use words like that are those that I'll prove wrong time and time again.

Yes, I've been called entitled and it's attributed to my graduating from top schools and being a Millennial. Obviously, those people have no idea that I worked my ass (and brain) off to earn my diploma and cum laude status. Maybe they didn't work hard enough for theirs that's why they're projecting their issues on me? Whatever it is, it's been a LONG time since I graduated and I've been working for a significant number of years already. Whatever I'm getting for myself, I work for it. Don't you, too? Whether I'm moving fast or slow, whether my methods are smart or stupid, that's my business.

Surprise, I actually know life isn't easy. Success isn't easy. Surprise! My publishing achievements and literary accolades cost me more than 10 years of writing and keeping at it. Surprise surprise, the highest payout I earned for a poem is $40 and for a piece of fiction, $80. Not much, huh? And it takes months just to come up with one good piece among the rubble of rants.

Everyone knows how to work hard. But I'll let you keep pushing on that wall while I round the corner, because hey, look! There's actually a door.

Work hard, but don't forget to work smart while you're at it.

Yeah, you should have learned this by now.

That way, we'll be able to find solutions to problems faster. We all have different ways of doing things, so be open enough to see what each person has to offer.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Cadaverine, Niteblade, great way to start the week!

I miss writing fiction. I have several stories still half-finished. I'm not happy about them yet and I know they need revising.

In the meantime, while I'm rekindling my fiction fire, I continue to write poems. Three of them have found homes! "Worry Not for Luxuries" and "Before the Bread is Gone" are set to appear on May 12, on the pages of The Cadaverine. The UK-based magazine is committed to publishing "the best new poetry, prose and non-fiction from under 30's." Here's the acceptance letter I received from the team:

Hi Anne,

Just to let you know that two of your pieces; Worry Not for Luxuries, and Before the Bread is Gone, are scheduled to be published on The Cadaverine website on the 12th May.

Thank you very much for sending these over. They were selected by our Poetry Editor Intern Sohinee Sen.

I hope this is okay! Any problems please let me know.

All the Best,

Another publication that I've long been eyeing, Niteblade, has also accepted a long poem of mine (2 pages, pretty rare of me to make one). It's entitled "The Bitter Gourd's Fate". I'll be sure to post more about it soon, as it is set to be published this coming June 2014. Thanks to the editor, Alexa Seidel for making the selection.

Dear Anne,

I would like to accept your poem for our upcoming June Issue of Niteblade, if it is still available.

The author agreement is attached. Please return it to me if everything is in order. Also, please confirm your Paypal address for me or indicate that you prefer we donate your payment to Save the Chimps, the charity we support.

Thanks again.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Death Hole: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I just discovered that much of our trash ends up in a location called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Looks like our garbage has been accumulating there for years, yet not much has come up in the media about it. Either that, or I haven't been watching enough TV. It's wiki definition:

The Great Pacific garbage patch, also described as the Pacific trash vortex, is a gyre of marine debris particles in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135°W to 155°W and 35°N and 42°N.[1] The patch extends over an indeterminate area, with estimates ranging very widely depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area.

Animals eat the trash and they die with the trash still intact in their bellies. Here's a photo by Chris Jordan, to put into perspective the effects of this awful mire.

by Chris Jordan

Read more:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Back from Bali! And Coming Soon: Apex and Silver Blade

While I was in Bali, I received some good news!!! I received acceptance letters from Apex Magazine and Silver Blade. I have been writing fewer poems lately, but I do believe they are of higher quality. My poem "The First Stone" will appear in Apex sometime this year, the editors haven't decided yet when. But "Vessels" will be up in Silver Blade sooner; the editor, Mr. John Mannone said he expects it to be out this May 2014.

Still giddy!


As for Bali, I really had the time of my life! I think Victor and I really didn't expect it to be that great. We've been to several beaches in the Philippines and thought it might just like be the ones we have here locally. I have this notion that no beach can be better than beaches in the Philippines, where the sand is fine, the waters calm and the reefs, teeming.

There was a ninja on the plane, named Victor

But Bali is different. It's a cultural mecca. The woodcarving industry is alive and radiant. I've never seen such varied designs and painstaking detail. The batik/textile industry is just as lively. I got myself some cute Aladdin pants and a long dress. Silver works are bustling as well and they've got designs of varying intricacies.

Some of the local wares


Tried a simple silver stud with floret detail, it was $30 a pair
Care for a silver chariot?

Oh, and I should also mention their spa industry. Left and right, you can get your feet cleaned by "Dr. Fish" for as little as $3. My Muay Thai-thickened feet are suddenly smooth again.

We visited the Monkey Forest at Ubud. The macaques were pretty aggressive. If they want your banana, they're gonna go ahead and snatch it from you.

I think he knows I have a banana in my pocket
They want bananas, too
Banana hand shake
Cool off at the Lotus Cafe, with a view of the temple
Feed coffee berries to the civet cats (luwak)
Kopi Luwak in different stages of processing
Got to try out different tea and coffee products, all organic
I tried the Kopi Luwak, which is just cat poop coffee in the plainest sense. And it tastes pretty good, like chocolate without the bitterness. I wouldn't buy a bag of beans for myself, however. Aside from being expensive, the thought of drinking poo is difficult to come to terms with.

I think I'm coming back to Bali, oh yes, I am. I need to explore the other areas and temples, which I'll probably need a week to do. I'm also gonna surf some more, because I discovered just how fun it is. I got to stand up on my first try, how cool is that?

Like a lady, yeah?! Victor's back there, watchoo lookin at? haha
Oh yeah, I'm coming back!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Busy Bee at The Fort

We just moved to a new office!

I didn't really like the idea of moving to Bonifacio Global City due to the difficulty of transportation; however I've started to like it here. There are still sights to see, unlike the sardine-like architecture of Makati. The air still smells like the air and not like something burnt.

I haven't been writing a lot these days. I feel like I need to gather some new experiences to get back into the fray. I did write over a hundred poems in 2013, so I can't blame myself for running out of steam.

I have some work that have been published and, as I wrote in a past post, I've also bagged a laureate for a poem I wrote for Mt. Fuji. They have mailed me my certificate, and it looks absolutely lovely. ^^

2013 Fujisan Haiku Competition

Some of my work have appeared already over yonder UK bridge. I'm so happy to receive my lovely copies of Magma Poetry and Abridged. My photography skills aren't the best, but here they are:

Lovely cover!
and here's my poem, "Pub(l)ic Lies"

This one is for Abridged. My poem "To Pay Homage" is printed in their 13th issue themed Mara:

Yup that's the cover. It looks like a nice photo. It's nice.
I have a couple of haiku coming up in The Heron's Nest and A Hundred Gourds ezines. I'll just make a separate post for those. :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


It's funny how people try so hard to be happy. The self-proclaimed positivists tell us that happiness is a mindset. Find the bright side in all things and you will be happy. Tell yourself:

I am happy. I am happy. I am happy.

Say that to yourself every morning, every day, every hour and minute.

Happy yet?

If fantasy is your cup of tea, then maybe you are. If you can maintain your fantasy for the rest of your life, then well and good.

But my take on this is that we're becoming weak-minded and cowardly. Sadness and misery, ennui and weariness, these negative feelings are part of the whole package of being human. By constantly denying the existence of these states of mind, do we become better people? I think not. In fact I believe it may lead us to become intolerant and one-dimensional. We foster a culture of denial without even realizing it. Bored? Watch cute videos; problem solved. Unhappy? Find one thing that makes you happy everyday for 100 days, and see the difference (#100DaysofHappy--familiar?)

We turn happiness into a pursuit, the elusive prey hiding in the dark crevices of the daily grind. We turn it into a cure-all. As if the purpose of life is to always have a smile on our faces. The worst part is, we hold on to happiness with deathly grips. Because you know why? We can't stand our own misery.

We can't stand the fact that we are bored and something's not right.
We can't stand the nagging thought that things could be better.
We can't stand the fact that we'll never have enough money to buy eveyrthing we want.

We can't stand the fact that we are WANTING.

The first step to happiness is to not look for it. The next is to know yourself. Know what you want and why you want it. Happiness is just a consequence, with many paths leading to it. Arriving at happiness at one point in time doesn't mean you should stay there forever. You move on with your life. You face the challenges and the facts, and if at times events lead to misery, you face it. You don't talk yourself out of it and just look for the bright side in your pile of shit.

You acknowledge the shit, find a shovel and start digging and cleaning. And then learn to laugh about it (someday).

Let's try it out, #100DaysOfReal, and maybe we'll understand better how we can effectively reduce suffering in the world.

Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm at Strange Horizons, "Rehearsal for When He Wakes"

This must be the most exciting year for me yet. I've always dreamt of appearing on SE's pages. Who'd have thought? "Rehearsal for When He Wakes" is up in their February 24, 2014 issue. The podcast of the issue is also available in two parts.

  • Podcast: February Poetry Part 1, by John Philip Johnson, Peter Chiykowski, Susan Carlson, Natalia Theodoridou, Alicia Cole, and Amal El-Mohtar, read by Diane Severson Mori, Peter Chiykowski, Kristopher Goorhuis, Kate Baker, Ciro Faienza, and Amal El-Mohtar (2/24/14) In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents poetry from the February issues of Strange Horizons. 
  • Podcast: February Poetry Part 2, by Jenn Grunigen, Mike Allen, Jessy Randall, Lisa M. Bradley, Anne Carly Abad, Rose Lemberg, and Danielle Higgins, read by Jenn Grunigen, Mike Allen, Tina Connolly, Lisa M. Bradley, Ciro Faienza, Julia Rios, Rose Lemberg, and Clare McBride (2/24/14) In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents poetry from the February issues of Strange Horizons.
Many many thanks to the editors, especially to Ms. Adrienne Odasso and Ms. Anaea Lay.