UPDATED, July 25, 8:40 pm–The annual Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and Competition, a key project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, Inc., is now all set with the much awaited screening schedule. This 10-day showcase of independent films is happening on July 26 to August 4, 2013 in CCP theaters, Trinoma, Greenbelt, and Alabang Town Center Cinemas. The festival features a total of 15 full-length films with 10 on the New Breed category and five on the Directors’ Showcase category, and 10 short films.
Last Saturday, January 29th, I had the privilege to attend a once in a lifetime event by National Bookstore and The Philippine Star. It is a discussion about the writing profession here in the Philippines, basically on how to improve our craft and how to make a living out of being a writer, and it was held at the National Bookstore, Shangri-La Plaza.
The forum featured Mr. Butch Dalisay, a world-renowned writer and author, together with three highly acclaimed personalities in their respective fields, Mr. Rico Hizon – Filipino journalist from BBC World News, Mr. Pepe Diokno – filmmaker and executive producer of Rock Ed Philippines, and Mr. Miguel Ramos – marketing head of National Bookstore.
I came in a bit late because I went first to a bridal expo at the Megatrade Hall. Well, a bit late for me to have my own seat during the discussion but just enough time since Mr. Dalisay was still introducing himself and giving out tiny pieces of advice as an appetizer. I positioned myself first at the left side of the platform but all I can see was Mr. Hizon’s back and side-view profiles of Butch Dalisay and Miguel Ramos. But then I got lucky to see Pepe Diokno right in front of me as he arrived for the discussion, yeah, a bit late, too. 😉
I repositioned myself right in the middle of the standing crowd because I really wanted to see their faces as they were introducing themselves. Although I was standing there for maybe at least an hour, I haven’t felt tired and hungry since the forum was really informative and entertaining (the Q&A portion) until I saw those trays of Starbucks coffee cups and Krispy Kreme donuts that the crews were handing out to those who were already seated. I instantly looked at the back of the crowd and saw these people helping themselves to a cup of coffee and a donut or a brownie, of course I couldn’t stop myself easing my way over there and have my share of these free treats!
I know that you are now wondering what have I learned from this discussion (of course not about the free coffee and donut!) and I am going to share them all to you (or at least what I can still remember).
#1. “Eat the humble pie”, said Butch Dalisay. You should let someone see your work and ask for their comments and suggestions about it, and you should not get heavily offended when your article/novel/script came back to you with lots of red circles and lines made by your boss or your editor, even the best writers in the world get their works edited. You should learn how to be humble and also don’t let yourself get too emotionally attached to your work.
#2. Read a lot. Read books, magazines, articles, and news on diverse topics. You should know how to connect everything and anything. When writing non-fiction articles/novels, be sure that you have thoroughly researched all the facts. When writing fiction articles/novels, be knowledgeable on how to use real facts and still make your readers believe that they don’t really exist. Good examples are Andy Molligan’s work like “Trash.”
#3. The writing industry here and abroad needs, according to Butch Dalisay: more novels, more fiction, more funny/comedic stories; according to Rico Hizon: more eye-opening news articles, business articles – because whatever is happening in the business industry will affect the progress of a country; according to Pepe Diokno: more scripts for telenobelas and movies. As Diokno stated, our movie industry here in the Philippines is declining because of lack of sensible and intelligent scripts. That is true, because I for one am never a fan of Filipino movies. I find them either too corny or too shallow. He even challenged everyone in that forum to write more scripts and send them all to him so that he can make a movie out of a really good script.
#4. If you want your novel/book to get published here in the Philippines, you will sweat blood and money just to get the attention of some publication houses, unlike in the U.S.A. and other countries there are a lot of talent scouts/agents who are in constant search for new talents/writers whom they can market to all the publishing houses. Here in the Philippines, Miguel Ramos said that Anvil Publication is your best bet in getting published and automatically get your published works out there in National Bookstores’ shelves right away. If you want to get published abroad, then you have to find yourself a good agent, how? Google them, my friend, for sure you’ll find lots of them out there. Just be sure to know which ones are the real ones and which ones are fake and will only milk you for money. (Oh, and by the way, Mr. Hizon gave us a name of a Filipino editor (not an agent) abroad who is willing to help out a fellow Filipino writer get published in the U.S.A. just send me a message, and I will share it with you.)
#5. For sure you already have an idea of what you want to write, may it be a book, a novel or an article. But for you to know if it’s going to sell, make a brief description of it – like a news headline, and see for yourself if it’s catchy enough or too bland for the taste (of course you should ask your peers to hear your “headlines” and let them comment, remember #1). And you should know the difference of creative writing and news writing. In creative writing, you can write anything you want as long as it is interesting for you and your readers/audience to read and consume. In news writing, you should know and write the facts, and you should write it having in mind that you are doing it for the people and not for yourself, catch their interest and attention, then you’ll have yourself regular readers of your work.
So there you have it, my fellow writers. I hope this post will encourage you to venture more into the writing industry. Yes, we are aware that here in the Philippines we can say that Filipino writers are “tag-gutom” (always hungry) and “isang kahig, isang tuka” (poor) but if you believe in yourself that you can do better, then force yourself into doing it. Being rich and being poor is only a matter of choice. Choose yours wisely, my friend. 😉
Just to say this now before I get myself into trouble, I am not fond of any Filipino showbiz personalities, I do not care about their career, their life and most of all – their love life! So when I have decided to make this blog I just want to clarify that this is my own opinion, we are all entitled of it, so please bear with me. 😉
I first got hold of this information that allegedly ABS-CBN (a local Filipino TV Station) is planning to make a Filipino version of Twilight and make it a TV series here in the Philippines from my Multiply account where I am a member of the Twilight Saga Group. I remembered a friend of mine, Pammie, mentioned this before that maybe it will be adapted here and someone will make a Filipino version of Twilight! So my first reaction was “What the hell?!!!”. As many of you know, I am a fan of the Twilight Saga and I am not impressed by this news. I have nothing against the Filipino talents or movies but for me, really, please make something ORIGINAL for goodness’ sake and not copy or “Tagalize” (English turned into Tagalog – Filipino dialect) any English films or novels! Don’t we have any sense of originality?! And to hell with the title “Takipsilim“! I hate it! grrrr…
And so we were on a bus on our way home last Saturday (January 3) and there was a program on TV (Entertainment Live in ABS-CBN) which I am somehow forced to watch since we are sitting in the second row (and my earphones aren’t enough to block the noise!) and there I saw this news feature about this alleged movie adaptation. Thank heavens that it is just a HOAX! At least for now! I mean, how can we really tell that this news is not true? When there is smoke, definitely there is a fire…and that fire is just minimized by this claim that it is not true. If I may say so myself I would have filed a libel suit against those people who made such “announcements” about this alleged project! But no, ABS-CBN didn’t even bother making such a move…why? Because any kind of publicity is still good publicity! It caused a riot among the loyal fans and followers of Twilight and it somehow made everyone curious as to what this TV series will be like, in return they will watch it and it will rake in ratings for this TV station! There I said it! Oh my gosh, what is happening to this world!
Anyways, I am still glad and relieved that this “news” of “Takipsilim” is just a hoax… and I hope that it will STAY that way! Period! Rather, exclamation points!!! 😀
If you haven’t read any of the Twilight novels above and are planning to read them in the near future, I firmly suggest that you DO NOT read this blog and browse somewhere else or better yet start reading the novels first. This will contain all of my personal views and comments plus results of my research about all of the 4 books of the Twilight Saga including a few extra. Don’t say that I did not warn you! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. 😉
I have to admit that I got hooked in this vampire-human love story saga that Stephenie Meyer created. Honestly, I have no idea about it since I’m not very much into reading novels (I easily get bored) and I’m not familiar with the author. I just saw a small article about the release of the last novel, Breaking Dawn, in the promotional brochure by Powerbooks that I received and I got intrigued by the book cover and the synopsis.
When I heard a news about the latest movie of Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) being moved from it’s original release of November 21, 2008 to next year to give way to the release of Twilight the Movie (apparently the same release date) I got really more intrigued as to how and why this movie which is also an adaptation of the novel Twilight got Harry Potter be moved!
I’ve asked some friends and acquaintances of mine who have read the Twilight Series, and they all have the same comment about the book one which is Twilight: The Best Romantic Novel Ever! A guy friend of mine, Joe, who also got intrigued about the novel was also hooked into reading it! I even opened a topic about it on the Rusher’s forum to help me get some convincing comments from other readers and it seems that these novels are very highly recommended! And so I’ve asked around as to how much each book cost (paperback and hard-bound) but I didn’t get any chance to buy me a copy of the first book. I didn’t want to be left out when the movie is released and I don’t have any idea about the novel so I settled for the ebook that was sent to me by Cherry, a friend who really influenced me into reading it (Thank you so much, by the way!).
Oh, and when I saw the movie trailers of Twilight, I am so into reading the novel! Oh well, I confess that when I saw Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, the vampire from the novel (who also played Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) that got me decided that I will watch the movie and read the novel! 😀
And now I give you my opinion about the 4 novels that I have read via ebook only and I can tell you right now that you can never make me read a novel this long using only an ebook and reading it in front of the pc for long hours which is so uncomfortable if it’s not really worth the time!
Book One: TWILIGHT – I’ve read from Stephenie Meyer’s website about how she got the idea of a vampire-human love story, got it from one of her dreams, yes, literally! She dreamt of a dark night with a faint character of a human woman and a handsome vampire confessing their love for each other. Who would have thought that this dream of hers will bring her a lot of fortune afterward! And indeed, I agree with everyone who have read this novel, it is indeed the most romantic love story I have ever read in my whole life (or existence 😉 ), the way the author described the characters, their emotions, their conversations, the development of the love affair and the twists and turns of the story were just so great! This novel were told from Bella Swan’s perspective though and so it is a female’s view of what happened. There is another novel that I hope will be out soon when the author feels like finishing it, Midnight Sun, which is written from Edward Cullen’s perspective. I have read it’s partial draft (a PDF file that can be downloaded from the website) and I must say that it is more interesting to see, hear and feel Edward’s side of the story of the Twilight. While I’m reading Midnight Sun I also opened the Twilight to compare and relate each side of their story, like their First Sight of each other, what really is happening to Edward when she first got a sniff of Bella’s blood, etc. I’ve also read some of the outtakes from Twilight (outtake – part of the novel that was removed by the editors) where you will know Alice’s character more and some details about the Prom night.
Book Two: NEW MOON – Okay, to be honest, I got so depressed by this novel to a point that I wanted it finished as soon as possible to make me get over it quickly! I didn’t even go online to chat with my friends for two days until I’ve really finished the novel and get to the part where Bella and Edward are reunited in the end. I hate the part where Edward left Bella without anything to hold on to, well of course I have been there and I didn’t want that feeling back that’s why I hated that part. I can’t really say that I like the part about her “friendship” with Jacob Black (who turned out to be a ‘werewolf’, the only enemy of the vampires) but then I realized that it is necessary to the story and it really helped Bella to become human again and not be a zombie anymore! The only part of the novel that got me excited was when Bella and Alice were on their way to Italy to rescue Edward from his suicide attempt because of a BIG misunderstanding. Alice saw in her “vision” that Bella jump off a cliff but didn’t see Jacob rescuing her so she thought that Bella died. Then Rosalie told Edward that Bella is dead and then Edward called Charlie pretending to be Carlisle to ask about Bella but Jacob was the one who answered the phone since he stopped Bella from answering it and told “Carlisle” that Charlie is in a funeral which is true but it’s a funeral of his friend who died but then Edward thought that it was Bella’s funeral so he went to the Volturi in Italy to provoke them into killing him! Of course, Bella was just in the nick of time to rescue Edward from his stupidity and so the story ended with a dilemma of choosing between her special friendship with Jacob or her undying love for Edward. And the problem with the Volturi checking on her if she has become a vampire or maybe dead and the pursuit of Victoria to kill Bella. And of course, the marriage proposal of Edward which Bella accepted, actually it’s a compromise to make her a vampire by Edward after the wedding. A nice way to end a novel, huh? 😀
Book Three: ECLIPSE – This is where the legends about the Quileute tribe were elaborated and the real story behind the change of their human form into that of a ‘wolf’ and of course how they got to be the ‘worthy’ enemies of the vampires. Here in this novel where the love triangle dilemma between Edward, Bella and Jacob have been highlighted especially in that scene where they go camping in the snowy mountains where Jacob is the only one suited to ‘warm up’ Bella and Edward couldn’t do anything about it, the Cullen family with an alliance with the ‘werewolves’ to fight against Victoria’s coven of newborn vampires and the elaborate fight scene between Edward and Victoria and also between Seth (a new ‘werewolf’) and Riley (Victoria’s ‘partner’). And also here is where Bella told Edward that she wanted him to ‘make love’ with her in her human state before turning her into a vampire, the last human experinece as she calls it! Bella’s engagement ring was also introduced here, mind you that they really made a ring exactly as the author described it in the novel and now being sold in Twilight Teez ranging from $59-$2,199. Oh and also Bella’s bracelet with a carved wolf and a crystal heart (turned out to be a diamond) charms attached to it. And this I really hate, in the eleventh hour of the novel, the part where Bella kissed Jacob and realized that she’s ‘in love’ with Jacob! I mean what’s up with that? How can you be ‘in love’ with someone else while you are so deeply and madly in love with someone? For me, that never really happened! You have to be falling out of love with someone before you realize that you are ‘in love’ with another person. Oh well, the author needed something to keep the spice of the story so I forgive that! And so this novel ended with a preparation to Bella and Edward’s wedding.
Book Four: BREAKING DAWN – A new car for Bella, a Mercedes Guardian, her “before” car and a Ferrari F430 for her “after” car. Very nice! So this is where you will witness their wedding, their honeymoon (yes, a real honeymoon while Bella’s still a human) and her “fast forward” pregnancy! Yes, she and Edward had an immortal half-human half-vampire child, Renesmee Carlie aka Nessie, who grew up so fast inside her mom’s belly and grew a lot faster when she was born! Imagine that in no more than 3 years after her birth she will be an adult already! And this child became the reason for the Volturi to visit and punish the Cullen Family for the “news” of creating an immortal child which is very much a taboo. Also, after giving birth to her daughter, Bella almost died until she was changed to become a vampire because of Edward’s ingenuity of injecting his “vampire venom” directly into Bella’s weak beating heart. But Bella isn’t really an average newborn vampire here who doesn’t know how to control herself, she was very remarkable indeed and even Jasper couldn’t believe it! The cover of the novel where you can see two chess pieces, a Queen and a Pawn in the background, showed the big difference of the old Bella and the new Bella. Here is where you will know what “super power” Bella has and how she used it against the Volturi, of course with the help of some of their vampire friends who were preaparing for a battle against the Volturi army. And I was surprised by the turn of events where Jacob imprinted on Renesmee so he’s now a member of Bella’s family (which makes her Jacob’s mother-in-law…)! First, a vampire and a human, and now a half-human half-vampire and a ‘werewolf’ (which later on called the ‘shape-shifter’ and not actually a werewolf)! What an odd pair! Anyways, I love the ending of this saga, though I wished that it had a blood bath but of course it’s not really that necessary to the story, but I really want to know how all of those vampires and ‘shape-shifters’ will fight the Volturi army with Bella as their SHIELD! Oh well, still we have a very happy ending indeed! An eternity of love and making love between Bella and Edward! 😀
Before I end this blog, I want to share with you the composition made by Edward for Bella, titled “Bella’s Lullaby”…Enjoy!