Regina Layug Rosero shares the thrills of her first time at an evening of comedic erotica performance.
Everyone has sex.
You don’t want to think about it. But your parents had sex. In Disney movies, the princess falls in love with the prince, and in the DVD release of the sequel, they have a baby.
In “A Sexier History of Time,” Timothy Dimacali explored the sex life of renowned physicist and author Stephen Hawking.
But he’s in a wheelchair, you protest. Ah yes, but he’s been married twice and has three kids. Of course he has sex. And his pillow talk may be littered with puns about large Hadron colliders and black holes.
Have more (deus) sex at Rappler.com. Published May 2015.
Patricia Calzo Vega examines the world of Lang Leav for Fully Booked Zine.
In stark contrast to the layered cultural references, the veneer of madcap and mayhem, and the polished finish of Akina’s world and her visual artworks, Leav’s verses are sparse, self-referential, and tentative (sometimes to the point of feeling incomplete). Like short verses scribbled off the cuff and sent off with nary a glance—a distinct possibility, given their social media origins; Leav was also known to respond to poem requests left in her ask box. Emily Dickinson is an acknowledged and quite obvious stylistic influence, and her partner, Michael Faudet—also an artist and poet—is both muse and collaborator.
Emotion it has in spades, and is laid bare for everyone to see. Love and Misadventure tackles the entire breadth of experience of a young person awakening to love: solitary musings of unrequited feeling, the comfort of phantom lovers, the transitory nature of relationships, the bitterness of heartbreak and regret, and, finally, the delirious joy of finding love and discovering its pleasures. Perhaps the experience of watching this story unfurl online, as Leav relived loves and imagined in verse, made readers invested in the outcome and seeing her happy ending.
Regina Layug Rosero walked five kilometers every night, seven nights in a row, and lived to write about it.
I trudged a few more steps in the evening rain, sweat dripping down the back of my neck and my chest. I could feel a few drops on my forehead, threatening to slip, stinging, into my eye. My legs were beginning to ache, my feet starting to drag across the concrete sidewalk around the park. The fatigue of each kilometer was starting to catch up with me. I spied a park bench, and made my way towards a moment’s rest. I took off my biker scout helmet as I sat, and my husband handed me a bottle of water. I couldn’t lean back to relax; the protrusion on the back of my armor was too large. I rotated my ankles as much as I could in my rubber boots, thankful that a biker scout had such little leg armor.
I’d been walking every night since September 23, at least 5 kilometers per night. Every morning when I woke, my legs were stiff, but come evening I would march once more in my biker scout armor. My husband was ready to catch me if I collapsed.
My name is Regina. I’m a biker scout, and I did this for the children of the Philippines.
Originally published in Illustrado magazine, December 2013.
Dante Gagelonia ponders the life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
While the concept of magical realism came about years before Garcia Marquez published One Hundred Years of Solitude, it was his novel that best illustrated its spirit. One Hundred Years of Solitude did more than tell the story of a family: it did so in a way that demonstrated the way he saw the realities of Latin American culture, and of Colombian identity. Through the lens of metaphorical Macondo and by utilizing the complex shadows cast by the Buendía family, García Márquez depicted ideas, morals and realities that would inspire an entire generation of Latin American expression. The Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s counted One Hundred Years of Solitude as one of its seminal works, and García Márquez as one of its four undisputed pillars alongside Mario Vargas LLosa, Carlos Fuentes and Julio Cortazár.
There is so much more to García Márquez’s writing than what can be found in One Hundred Years of Solitude, however. While it stands as a capital city in the landscape of his work, his other novels, novellas and short stories still comprise the rest of a bountiful and detailed map. Each of his stories is different yet familiar, staying true more to a sense of being rather than to a strict sense of style. He would reference specific historical periods while generalizing locations, dissect emotions while obfuscating intent, and employ other fluid narrative techniques. It’s an elusive sort of vitality, giving readers a grounded sense of reality while leaving just enough unspoken. There is room to interpret, to feel, to explore.
Originally published in the Fully Booked Zine, June-July 2014.
Paul Catiang writes about Tears For Fears and misheard lyrics.
But the nostalgia took a break at that point, and we heard something new—from our perspective, at least. As far as I can recall, the last two singles we heard from you were “Break it down Again” in 1993 and “Closest Thing to Heaven” in 2004. “Call me Mellow” came as a surprise; on first blush, we’d never heard you sound that happy before. Upon further listening, I found a wistful portrait of middle age—something absent in your previous songs.
With that, “Seven Sundays”, “Everybody Loves a Happy Ending”, “Quiet Ones”, and “Floating down a River”, the concert turned into a reunion with a childhood friend who, however dear to us, had been away for over a decade and we hadn’t heard from outside of a letter or two. After the initial frenzy of reminiscence, it was as if we all sat down, grimaced, and asked, “So … what have you been up to these past 15 or so years?” Well perhaps it wasn’t that awkward or unfamiliar. “Raoul and the Kings of Spain” still echoes with portentous overtones I usually associate with “Shout”, and in any case most of us were glad to catch up. We had missed the aftermath of your decade-long split, your reunion a few years ago, and what you had done during that time.
This was originally published on Pulse.ph in May 2010.
Originally published in the Fully Booked Zine in March 2013, Paul Catiang writes about one of his favorite science fiction authors. Here’s an excerpt:
“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” This is the sky above Chiba City in the post-World War III dystopia of William Gibson’s the Sprawl trilogy. It is a world described by metaphors derived from the scorched earth, ubiquitous technology, and mercenary cutthroats that comprise its denizens’ preconscious memories.
The Sprawl trilogy tells stories located in the vast divide between the upper and lower classes, with the middle class all but obliterated, forced into drone-like consumerism and poverty. For those who can escape the previous generation’s post-industrial entrenchment, they can swim in the waters of the emergent, innovative class of mercenary professionals. Here, professionals pit competence, discretion, contacts, and savvy to stay relevant to the black-market world of biz—one misstep and they’re dead.
Gibson likewise takes punk’s in-your-face anger, discontent, hairstyles, and internecine gang wars, and overlays it all onto the matrix of cyberspace and dystopian wastelands. Where business and government respond to this digital void by imposing orderly data lattices, console cowboys introduce chaos through socially engineered mass hysteria, chemical warfare, and cybernetic implants—a madness that conceals their precise methods.
Mary Ann Marchadesch writes about the many ways Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted, reworked, translated, performed and updated, in the Philippines and around Asia.
The earliest theatrical performances of the plays were in schools, with the opening of “As You Like It” in the Philippine Normal School and “The Merchant of Venice” in Ateneo de Manila, both in 1910, and the performance of “Julius Caesar” in Silliman Institute (now University) in 1911, all performed with a “ridiculous fidelity,” Dr Ick notes—rote productions with no room for alternative interpretations.
These performances were not solely limited to the elite learning institutions of the time. Provincial high schools also got in on the action, with Batangas High School mounting “The Merchant of Venice” in 1916.
However, of all of Shakepeare’s dramas, none holds more sway over Filipino sensibility and sentimentality than the tragedy of star-crossed lovers in “Romeo and Juliet.” The melodrama of forbidden young love struck—and still strikes—a chord in the Filipino masses, and “Romeo and Juliet” has racked up more adaptations and performances in the Philippines than any other play—from Soto’s Kapampangan adaptation to the awit, “Ang Sintang Dalisay” (1901); the 1917 novel “Bulag and Pagibig” by Pascual de Leon, and Salvador Magno’s “Romeo Kag Julieta” in Cebuano (1932).
Film adaptations of bestselling books are great for discussions of popular culture. For 8List, Patricia Calzo Vega wrote about The Fault in Our Stars:
So it comes as no surprise that TFIOS is one of the most anticipated movies of 2014. Like teen movies before it, it’s about becoming the best person you can be, experiencing love for the first time, and dealing with the curveballs life throws at you. Unlike previous teen blockbusters, there’s nothing magical, supernatural, or herculean about its characters. They’re just a bunch of crazy kids who just happen to have “a touch of cancer.”
Book-to-film adaptations are notoriously difficult to navigate: staying true to the book may mean missing out on the added depth and dimension that an expanded movie universe can bring, while too many deviations from the story may alienate its original audience. Case in point: the movie tagline, “One sick love story,” was removed in later posters after Nerdfighters complained that it did not capture the essence of the story.