Filipino Author. Traveller. Dreamer.

Hello Bookworms!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

It Might Be You (Excerpt from Titser, May I Go Out?) ni Cindy Dela Cruz


Hay Rowena, sino ba ang niloloko mo? bulong ko sa sarili.  Tiningnan ko ang sarili ko mula ulo hanggang paa, mahaba ang suot kong kulay asul na gown na siyang binili namin sa Baclaran. Hapit ito sa balingkinitan kong pangangatawan at dahil sa haba nito ay hindi na kita ang kulay pilak kong sapatos. Istilong tube ang tawag nila sa isang gown na walang strap, kita tuloy ang mabuto kong leeg na siyang sinasabitan ng kuwintas na pinahiram sa akin ni Mama. Nagpaayos din ako kanina sa parlor at pinakulot ang tuwid kong buhok na siyang nilagyan ng munting korona sa tuktok. Hindi ko akalain na kaya ko palang mag mukhang tao. Napangiti ako, hindi na ako makapaghintay na makita ni Bryan sa suot ko. Kung makikita niya ba ako sa suot ko ngayong gabi, tuluyan na niya kayang iiwan si Angel para sa akin? Maraming memorya ang naglaro sa isipan ko, kung paano niya kinuha at hinawakan ang kamay ko, kung paano niya sinabi sa akin na mahal niya ako, kung paano siya madalas na tumatabi sa akin sa klase. Pero napalitan ng inis at lungkot ang lahat nang maalala kong nakita ko silang dalawa ni Angel naglalakad at magkahawak ang kamay. Sila pa rin pala… ang sabi niya sa akin wala na raw sila. Ang sabi niya sa akin si Angel lang daw ang mapilit, ang sabi niya sa akin, si Angel lang daw ang nagmamahal sa kanilang dalawa. Pero mukhang natanga niya ako, nakipag-break ako kay Eric dahil sa kanya. Pero iniwan niya lang ako sa ere. Oo, labing limang taong gulang pa lang ako pero marunong nang umibig ang bata kong puso.

Ngunit, isang kahibangan lang pala ang lahat...

Hindi ko na namalayang pumasok na pala si Mama sa loob ng kwarto. “Ano, handa ka na ba? Nandiyan na ang sundo natin,” aniya. 
“Okay lang ba ang hitsura ko Ma?"
“Oo, maganda," mabilis niyang sambit. "Ano tara na?” 

Sumakay kami sa van na naghihintay kanina pa sa may labas ng gate. Laman nito ang dalawa kong malapit na kaibigan - si Jena at si Louie. Si Jena ay nakasuot ng purple na gown at makapal na makapal ang kolorete sa mukha gawa ng kanyang pinsan na make-up artist, samantalang si Louie naman ay mukhang pinagdamit mo lang nang maayos pero mukhang walang pakialam at di na nag-ayos ng buhok, o kahit mag polbo man lang. “Rowena!!! Ang ganda mo!” patiling bati sa akin ni Jena. Todo kuwentuhan kami ni Jena. Excited dahil ito ang unang JS prom namin. Sa eskwelahan namin ay dalawang beses mo mararanasan ang prom, kapag 3rd year at 4th year ka na. Binura ko ang kalungkutang naramdaman ko at sinubukang kalimutan si Bryan - ang maitim at matabang si Bryan na katsupoy ang buhok. Bryan na feeling guwapo. Bryan na laging nagpapa-cute! Bryan na madalas akong asarin at minsan pa ay tinago ang sapatos na sa sobrang galit ko ay hindi ako nag-alangan na ipa-discipline. Ilang beses namin siyang pinag-awayan ng kaibigan kong si Bella na hindi ko akalaing may gusto rin sa kanya! Hindi makakapunta si Bella sa prom at hindi ako sigurado sa dahilan, ang sabi niya lang ay hindi siya pinayagan dahil sobrang layo sa eskwelahan namin sa Cavite. 

Isang oras lang naman ang biyahe patungo sa Intercontinental Hotel Manila, isang kilalang hotel sa Pilipinas. “Swerte talaga ng mga bata sa panahon ngayon Mare,” sabi ng mama ni Jena. “Akalain mong JS prom lang, sa isang sosyal na hotel pa gaganapin?"
“Oo nga eh, at kung hindi ako nagkakamali, binigyan pa daw sila ng Table Manners class!"
“Aba eh dapat lang, sa mahal ng tuition na binabayad sa eskuwelahang 'yan, dapat lang ay matuto sila ng magandang asal. Magagamit nila yun in the future lalo na 'pag naghanap sila ng mga foreigner na mapapangasawa.” Kailangan ko rin banggitin na kung gaano kami kasabik sa JS prom na ito, ay mas sabik pa ang aming mga magulang na sasama at  maghahatid pa sa mismong venue. Hindi na kami masyadong umimik ni Jena. Nagkakatinginan na lang kami at napapabungisngis. 

Sa kabila ng trapik, ay nakarating din kami sa wakas sa aming paroroonan. Naluluha pang nagpaalam ang aking Mama sa akin. “Enjoy anak!” aniya. "Dito lang kami, maghihintay! Don't forget, straight body! 'Wag kang kuba!" 

Tumungo kaming tatlo sa lugar ng pagdadausan, bumungad sa amin ang isang malawak na silid kainan, puno ng puting bilog na lamesa, tanaw rin namin ang isang stage sa may dulo ay isang espasyo na wari ko ay ang dance floor. “Sige diyan na muna kayo ha, pupuntahan ko lang sina Martin,” sabi ni Louie saka siya humiwalay sa amin ni Jena na hinanap na rin ang iba pa naming kaibigan. Marami ng tao ang naroroon, na bukod sa mga estudyante ay pati mga gurong todo ang mga ayos. Inilabas ko ang kodak camera ko na may 36 shots na fim (hindi pa uso ang digital camera) at saka nakipag-picturan na rin sa aking mga kaibigan. Hindi pa man uso ang selfie, sinisigurado kong bawat shot ay nandoon ako. 

Nagsimula na ang programa. Sumayaw ang Cotillion at pinakilala na rin ang King and Queen of the night. Masaya kaming kumain at naghalakhakan ng mga kaibigan ko. Aliw na aliw ako sa aking mga kaibigan na walang ginagawa kung hindi ay magtawanan, lalo na si Jena na maraming alam pagdating sa kalokohan. “Ano wala bang sasayaw diyan sa inyo? Tara mag disco na tayo!” yaya ni Jena. 
“Di ko feel eh, dito na lang tayo.” 
“Ang KJ naman nito ni Wena eh. Minsan lang ‘to, mahal ang binayad natin dito kaya sulitin na natin!” Wala na akong magawa dahil hinihila na niya ako sa dance floor. Tinutulak na rin ako ng iba ko pang kaibigan. Okay, fine! Let’s do this. 

Nakaka-ilang disco songs na kami, at kahit malamig ang aircon ay pinagpapawisan na ako. Puro R&B ng mga sikat na western singers. Bumuo kaming magkakaibigan ng isang bilog. Meron pang mga seniors na sumali sa amin. Matapos ang halos limang kanta ay biglang bumagal ang kanta. “Ano ba ‘yan, tara balik na tayo!” inis na sambit ni Jena na siyang sinagayunan ko dahil malamang ay magsisilabasan na ang mga magjo-jowa. Hindi pa malayo ang nalalakad ko ay nagka-eye to eye kami ni Bryan na nakita kong papalapit sa akin.
“Tara sayaw tayo,” yaya niya. Hihindi sana ako pero ang bilis maglakad palayo ni Jena, hindi ko na siya mahabol. Nanlamig ang kanina ko pang namamawis na katawan, tae na, hindi ako maka-hindi. 
“S-sige,” maikli kong sagot. 

Time, I’ve been passing time watching trains go bye, all of my life...

Tama ba na ganito pa ang kanta? Ano ba, Wena? Mahuhulog ka na naman sa patibong nitong si Bryan.

Wondering how they met and what makes it last...

Di ko akalain na ang lapit lapit na pala ng mga mukha namin sa isa’t isa. Inilayo ko ito nang konti at tumingin sa malayo. Hindi ko kayang makipagtitigan lang sa kanya. “Uhm, Wena pasensya na nga pala ha."
“Pasensya para saan?" 
“Ilang araw tayong hindi nagpansinan."
“Ngeh, ayos lang ‘yun. Walang problema sa akin,” pagsisinungaling ko. Bakit ba hindi ko banggitin ang nakita ng dalawang mata ko? Bakit hindi ko sabihin sa kanya na tigilan na niya ang pakikipaglaro sa puso ko?
“Si Angel kasi eh…"
“Wag mo nang alalahanin ‘yon. Friends naman tayo…” napalunok ako sa sinabi kong ‘yon. 
“Oo friends pa rin tayo,” pagsangayon niya ng gago. 
“Umayos ka na kasi, ang bait-bait sayo ni Angel pero ganyan ka sa kanya. Hindi niya deserve na lokohin mo."
“At lalong hindi mo rin deserve ang mga ginagawa ko sa'yo." Masyado ka kasing pa-fall, Bryan! Kasalanan mo kung bakit ako nakipag-break sa dati kong boyfriend! Akala ko may patutunguhan tayo. Akala ko merong tayo! Wala pala..
“Huwag mo na akong isipin dahil kailanman ay hindi magiging tayo. Maging loyal ka na lang kay Angel, puwede?" saad ko sa kanya. 
Napabuntong hininga siya, “Sayang..."

Hindi na ako nagsalita pa hanggang sa matapos ang kanta. Para sa isipan ko ay tama lang na hindi ko na siya ibigin pa. Ilang buwan na kaming ganito, ilang buwan nang malabo. Kung sa umpisa pa lang ay pinaglaruan na niya ang puso ko, siguradong hinding-hindi niya ako seseryosohin. 

Sa wakas ay natapos rin ang kanta, at nakangiti akong nagpaalam sa kanya. Kahit papaano ay lumuwag ang damdamin ko. Magmula ngayon Bryan ay hindi na kita iisipin, sabi ko sa sarili.

Tumalikod ako nang buo ang loob. Nakahinga na rin nang maluwag.

Ngunit ilang metro na lang ang layo ko sa upuan ko ay hinarang naman ako ni Martin, na siyang matagal-tagal ko na ring kaibigan, nasa gradeschool pa lang ata kami. “Hi Wena, gusto mo bang sumayaw?” nakangiti niyang tanong. Kulay ginto ang suot niyang Americana at naka-suklay at gel ang kanyang buhok. Matangkad at payat si Martin, mestiso ang balat, mapupungay ang mga mata. Kungyari ay nag-isip ako.
"Makakahindi ba ako sa poging katulad mo?" Pumayag akong mai-sayaw niya ng slow music at kung hindi ako nagkakamali ay naka-apat na kanta kami. Nakakaaliw kasama at kausap si Martin kaya naman napalitan ng magagandang alaala ang gabing iyon. 


Tumigil ang kanta at isang nakakarinding piyok ng microphone ang aming narinig. Isa sa mga advisors ay mukhang may ia-announce. Tumikhim muna ito bago nagsalita, “Calling Ms. Jena Mingollo, Mr. Louie Cescon and Ms. Rowena Chan, your parents are looking for you outside." 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

EKSPEDISYON - Biyahe sa Nakaraan (With Excerpts!)

I have an announcement. 

I am pregnant with another book!!! 

The book entitled, EKSPEDISYON - Biyahe sa Nakaraan is launching on April 1 at Mystic Brew Cafe, in BF Homes, ParaƱaque. Remember when we had an online workshop for writing a memoir? This book is a product of that workshop I organized. In the end, we came up with seven memoirs altogether. The title "Ekspedisyon" is a Filipino term to Expedition, a book about a journey to the past, traveling/ excavating/ exploring our memories that made us what we are today. It was difficult firstly because I am not comfortable with sharing a thing I can't even face myself. We are all humans, we all have that memory we chose to forget but needed to be addressed. I don't know why I did it anyway, but if there's one thing I benefited from writing a short memoir, it was the feeling of relief that finally, I could face these demons who have been haunting me. 

Here are the titles of our memoirs in the collection:

AMOR INFINITUS - Christian Loid Valenzuela
MGA LIHIM NG KAHAPON - Jonalyn Mencias
MUSIKERA - Raine Rillera
KAILAN BA NAGING HULI ANG LAHAT? - Analy Midsapak
AVE MARIA - Gab Barrantes
ANG PAKIKIPAGSAPALARAN NI SUZI - Suzi Oliva

UNANG HALIK - Cindy Dela Cruz 


 Order the book by clicking the link: 




Excerpt no. 1 (From Unang Halik):
AUG 2008. KUMAIN kami ng tinola habang nanonood ng Disney channel - Minute Men ang palabas. Naaalala ko tuloy (na naman) tuwing Sabado pumupunta ako sa kanila at kakain kami ng masarap na tinola. Tapos manonood lang kami ng TV at hihiga kami sa sofa. Nang mga oras na iyon, ramdam ko ang bilis ng oras. Alas dos na ng hapon. “Ligo na tayo,” pangungulit ko sa kanya pero ayaw niya pa.
“Masakit ang ulo ko,” sabi niya kaya pumunta kami sa kwarto niya para umidlip muna. Pero matagal bago ako makaidlip. Niyakap ko siya agad nang maramdaman ko ‘yong takot na ayoko sanang maramdaman. Tumulo ang nagbabadyang luha.
“Bakit ka umiiyak?” tanong niya.
“Kasi mami-miss kita eh,” sagot ko na parang bata.
“Mami-miss din kita. Kung puwede nga lang ay sasama na ako sa iyo pabalik,” tugon niya sa malungkot na tinig. “Hayaan mo, magkakasama rin tayo nang mas matagal.” Tumango ako habang patuloy pa rin ang pagluha. Hanggang sa ako’y makatulog.

Sumapit ang alas tres ng umaga, oras na para umalis. Naka-impake na rin ang lahat ng aking gamit. Mahamog nang lumabas kami sa bahay nila. Suot ko ang pulang jacket niya. Akala namin wala kaming masasakyan pero ilang sandali lang ay may jeep na dumaan. Mga pupunta ata sa palengke ang mga nakasabay namin, habang ‘yong iba ay luluwas ng Maynila. Yakap niya ako dahil sobrang nilalamig na talaga ako. Kung kailan ko kinakailangan ng traffic, doon naman wala. Madalang ang mga sasakyan at ang bilis ng patakbo ng jeep. Bakit walang traffic? Hindi nagtagal nakarating din kami sa Baclaran at mula doon, sumakay kami ng taxi papuntang airport. Malamig sa airport. Siguro dahil madaling araw pa lang o dahil kinakabahan na ako sa mga susunod na pangyayari. 


Excerpt no. 2 (From Ave Maria):
“BUNTIS AKO.” ANG bungad niyang salita nang magkita kami. Napangiti ako, kasabay ng pag-iisip ng kung papaano ko sasabihin sa nanay at tatay ko na buntis ang katipan ko. Nagtanong ako sa kanya kung ano ang gagawin at sinabi niya na gusto niyang ituloy ang hindi inaasahang regalo na iyon.
Parehong labing-walong taon kami noon. Parehong bubot na bubot pa ang kaisipan at wala pang alam sa kung ano ang sistema ng mundo. Kumukuha siya ng kursong Nursing, at ako naman ay Education ang balak tapusin. Pansamantala akong natigil dahil kailangan bayaran ang mga utang ng pamilya namin sa kooperatiba na kinabibilangan ng nanay ko. 
Lumipas ang ilang buwan at hindi pa rin nalalaman ng mga magulang ko ang nangyari. Tanging mga kaibigan lang namin ang nakakaalam at ang may-ari ng tindahang tinatambayan namin na malapit sa bahay namin. Ka-chika-han ng may-ari ang nanay ko kapag nagagawi siya sa kabilang kalsada. 
Gaya ng ibang sikreto, nalaman din ng mga magulang ko ang sitwasyon na kinasasadlakan ko. Hindi ko alam kung papaanong tingin ang gagawin ko sa nanay at tatay ko simula nang malaman nila ang tinatago ko sa tuwing kumakain kami ng hapunan. Pakiramdam ko ay kinakain ako ng lupa sa tuwing mapapadaan ang nanlilisik na mata ng tatay ko sa akin. Doon ko natikman ang kauna-unahang sampiga ng totoong lalaki sa buong buhay ko. Sinampiga ako ng tatay ko habang nakaupo ako sa gatuhod ang taas na harang sa pintuan ng bahay namin. Talo ko pa ang tumugtog buong gabi sa pag-ugong ng tainga ko sa tinamong sampiga. 
Sampiga: may kalakasan kumpara sa sampal, isa sa mga arsenal ng tunay na lalaki para ipadama ang pagkasura nila sa taong minamahal nila. Madalas makatikim nito ay ang mga anak na lalake na gaya ko.
Ayaw kasi na nakikita ng tatay ko na umiiyak ang nanay ko. Bakit daw hindi ko sinasabi sa kanila ang pinagdadaanan ko? At bakit ibang tao pa ang nagsabi sa kanila? (Walang duda na ang tinderang chismosa ng tindahang tinatambayan namin ang nagsuplong sa akin!) Pakiramdam nila tuloy ay wala silang kuwentang mga magulang para hindi pagkatiwalaan ng napakahinang loob na anak.

Matapos ang “acceptance issue” at ang siyam na buwan ay nanganak na si Kras. Lalaki ang anak namin. Tuwang-tuwa ang lahat sa tangos ng ilong niya. Kamukha ko raw (malamang ako ang tatay e.) Lingid sa aking kaalaman ay may nakaumang palang problema sa akin, sa aming dalawa at sa mga magulang ko. Napag-alaman namin na may sikat siya kaya pala matindi ang paninilaw ng kanyang mga balat at mga mata. Noong una akala namin ay kulang lang siya sa sikat ng araw pero hindi pala. May sakit siyang “biliary atresia” na kadalasang dumadapo sa mga sanggol na may edad tatlong buwan pataas at kung hindi agad siya maooperahan ay tatagal lamang ang buhay niya ng dalawa o tatlong taon. Iyon din ang simula ng pagkakalaboan ng relasyon naming dalawa. Napuno ng pagdududa ang pag-uwi ko ng ala-una ng umaga mula sa trabaho na sa katanuyan ay nag-o-overtime ako para lumaki ang sasahurin sa fast food na pinagtatrabahoan.


You are invited to our book launch! 


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Indie Publishing 101

21:48 Posted by Cindy Wong Dela Cruz No comments

Where do I begin? 

Perhaps I should start with my goal ten years ago. I always enjoyed writing and reading my own stories when I was younger. For me, it seemed I was recording my thoughts and my imaginations, and these fictitious characters in my head. I hoped people would read what I wrote, but I didn't have the courage back then. I didn't think I wanted to be so open to the world; I am afraid people would laugh at it, judged my works and say it is not good enough. I kept it as a secret, and so notebooks filled with my stories written over the summer were only read by my younger sister, and then they would all be stashed away, hidden where no one else could find them. I wrote love stories and witch stuff, some poems or things that happened to me every day. There were so many thoughts in my head and writing them down was therapeutic. I later found out that, should I invest more time polishing my stories and essays, I actually can let the world to read it, and I won't feel that alone anymore. Until today, I believe that sharing my stories helped me a lot to be a better person by boosting my confidence, helping me to articulate my thoughts, having a stand and making friends. 

When I started publishing my works online, there were no rules to follow, and I didn't know whether I was doing the right thing the right way. We got a page with a thousand readers who sent us feedbacks. We all tried submitting our manuscripts to publishing companies, but they were rejected, so we gave that up. Besides, we don't want to be tied to a contract where we basically sell the rights of our work of art. We decided to publish our book. No one else in our radar had done it, so there was no one to ask. We did everything ourselves. What do we need to produce this book and make it a hit? Making it a hit means people will talk about it and buy it. That was a big question mark, and you can say, we tried all different ways, all possible channels. It worked. We sold more or less 300 copies in 3 months. Earning from what you have written is a good sign. It means people read your work; they are interested in you and stories. Therefore there is a higher chance of them buying your next book. Your imagination now has a VALUE, people think your stories and what you have to say are worth their time and money. 

The rest is history, but the lessons we learned remains. Nowadays, a lot of author friends who have existing readership had struggled to sell even ten copies. Writers thought if they keep on writing and announcing it on social media, they would eventually turn it into sales. They failed taking other essential steps to make their book successful. Here are two of the most overlooked steps in indie-publishing. 


1. Stephen Kings wrote in his memoir entitled On Writing, that once he finished a manuscript, he would show it to his wife and ask for her comments. Her wife is one of his most trusted person in the world, and whose comments he valued a lot.  He would listen to her comments and criticisms and discuss the changes he would do. Having another set of eyes to read your work without bias is a big help. These people can spot mistakes and inconsistencies you may have missed. He also mentioned letting the manuscript sit for a while, let it breathe for a few months, then read it again, this time with a fresh perception where he can spot his errors. If you do not have the time, there is always the option of getting an editor. An editor is who you paid to review and edit your manuscript. 


2. This is marketing your book even if your MS isn't finished yet. You can talk about your characters, and the settings, and what makes them special yet relatable. You can also post about the creative process you are going through and why people should be excited about the finished product like you do. You create hashtags so people can search for it easily. Create attractive graphics and videos relevant to your book. Though try not to do it every day, again to give space and to make your art breathe and have people digest so they will not be drowned with so much information. Post enough that can create anticipation, so when your book officially comes out, readers who have been invested in the free content you were sharing, they would want to buy the finished product.

Step 1 & 2 already sounds a lot of work, and actually, there are more things you need to do, that you need to be physically, emotionally and financially ready for this BIG PROJECT. You need all the guts in you in this journey of getting your book out there. Yes, it is worth it and truly rewarding.

If you are interested in the process of indie publishing in the Philippines, we have an event on April 2 in Diligence Cafe, Manila where we invited speakers who managed to get their indie published books into bookstores. You can sign up here: https://goo.gl/gHTa8z


That will be all from me for now. If you have any questions about indie publishing, feel free to comment below and I will be happy to help. Until next time! :) 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Forgotten Things to Say

06:58 Posted by Cindy Wong Dela Cruz , , No comments
What I like about my part-time job as a publisher/ book seller/ writer, is that I get to meet passionate and talented people like Porcupine Strongwill. The first time I conversed with her on Facebook, I knew she'd be perfect for the book she wanted to write. 

You probably have heard of her. Aside from publishing a book under PSICOM, she also self-published The Angelic Conflict and Corpus Delicti. Anyway, just watch out for the girl with the purple hair!



And so, I knew I wanted to help in getting this book out in the world. Now, several months after, here we are, launching the book in a week! Forgotten Things to Say is a collection of poems reflecting the journey of a young heart trying to forget a past love. 

What an appropriate book for Valentine's Day!

Watch the trailer here!!!


The first time I heard Mara's song, it just kept singing in my head. 
The ultimate Last Song Syndrome!

Here's the lyrics:

Do you think of me
the way I always think of you
at the oddest realms of time?

Do I fill your mind
the way you always do with mine,
Painful, pathetic, but perfectly fine?

But I guess you don't;
you've already turned away;
no reason at all to stay,
a hummingbird brought astray.

And I know I don't—
no need to look 'round twice
to tell I'm a spot on your dice;
better hide behind the ice,
run away from lies.

If once before
you thought of me instead of her,
the moon will cry for us tonight,

till morrow brings
a hopeful sun burning bright,
assure my soul everything will be alright.

Though I can't change hist'ry—
what has happened happened,
meant to trip when we met,
so I'll forget regret.

I can't change what's been:
you're now a part of me,
the gleaming silver streams
flowing in my deepest dreams.

A year from now, or two
my heart will laugh as blue
relishing lavish youth—
they say I was in love with you,
but what they say is not quite true:
I'm still in love with you.

LSS is real, right?

And because I love you guys, here's more preview of the book!














Order the book here (and get a free bookmark!)
https://goo.gl/uQyy3Y



I edited the book and my partner in 8Letters, Marigold helped with the layouts. It was a great teamwork! I won't dive into the nitty gritty, but this masterpiece doesn't get made overnight. 

Soon it will be available on Amazon and local bookstores. Ah, we just can't contain the excitement. 

I also would like to take this opportunity to invite you to our book launch on February 19, 5 - 8 pm, for a night of poetry and music. We have invited spoken poetry performers and Porcey will bring her guitar! 


You may click here for the Facebook event group: 



Thank you for the support and see you there! :) 

Monday, 6 February 2017

The Making of Back in Santa Barbara Cover by Andoyman

When Felicia wakes up one morning, she realizes that a year has been missing from her memory. It was a year she disappeared to the Underworld, and all she has left is a diary. Scared and clueless of what to do, Felicia decides to go back to her safe place – Santa Barbara. This time however, she is not alone but with her best friend, Lucy and the next door neighbour, Chris who was also an engkanto. It is easy to like Chris, but what Chris is offering her is too much. He gave up being an engkanto to be a mortal and to be with her. And what if she chooses to love him? Will he stay for good?
Pangalawang pagkakataon ito na gumawa ako ng book cover para kay Cindy. Naisip ko ngayong ikwento kahit kaunti kung paano ang naging proseso ko sa paggawa ng cover na ito. Siyanga pala, ito ang maikling summary para sa aklat niyang “Back in Santa Barbara” na pwede mo nang ma-order online sa Amazon (link) o kung gusto mo ng paperback, punan lang ang form na ito (link).
Unang-una kong ginagawa, nagbibigay ako ng mga sketch na pwedeng pagpilian ng kliyente. Para rito, mas napadali ang pag-iisip dahil alam ni Cindy kung anu-ano ang mga gusto niyang makita sa book cover niya. Eto ang mga naisip kong sketches.
01
Ang unang option ang napili niya. Tinanggal na rin namin ang ideyang may puno sa gitna. Pagkatapos niyang makapili, sinimulan ko na ang paggawa. Iginuhit ko muna ang mga tao pati ang background. (Hindi ko na nilagyan ng masyadong detalye ang background sa step na ito.)
02

Saka ako naglagay ng kulay. Wala pang shadows dito ang mga tao samantalang kaunting gradient para sa dagat at sa buhangin sa harapan kung saan nakaupo ang mga bida. Dark blue ang ginamit kong kulay dahil night scene ang hinihingi ng kliyente.
03

Isinunod ko ang paglagay ng shadows sa mga bida. Tapos, kaunting highlight ng yellow para sa buhangin, sa dagat, at kaunting detalye para sa mga establisyimento sa likuran. Hindi kailangang sobrang detalye ng mga ‘yon lalo’t nasa malayo naman ang mga ‘to.
04

Pagkatapos, ang pinaka-exciting na part, ang pagbuo ng night sky.
05

Pagkatapos, nilagyan ko ng cloud texture sa likod.
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Saka ko ikinabit ang christmas lights.
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Nagdagdag ako ng bokeh para mga ilaw.
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Tapos, title na.
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Panghuli, inaayos ko ang highlight ng night sky para mas mabuhay at mas maganda tignan.
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Sa totoong proseso, hindi ganito kasunod-sunod ang paggawa ko. Madalas, back and forth. Marami ring pagsubok ng iba-ibang effects para makuha ang ganitong resulta. Natuwa ako noong natapos ko ito. Natuwa rin si Cindy nang nakita niya ito.
The above post originally appeared in Andoyman's website

Friday, 30 December 2016

Thank you, 2016

Until this very moment, I am still unsure whether to write a 2016 recap. It has its own ups and downs. Perhaps what I am trying to accomplish is to one day, read about what happened this year and feel the nostalgia that although 2016 was where a lot of wrong things happened, it has also been the year for me to get some things right. I have made a lot of mistakes for 2016, but it was one of the factors for maturity.


I greeted 2016 with a bottle of wine. I never finished it, though. The planner beside it was never used. I tend to do things before realizing that 'oh, I need to do that.' I made lists, but I found that a digital list for my personal stuff works well with me. At work, I still make lists after lists and since it's more serious stuff, writing it on paper works better.


Here's a photo taken the first week of January where I looked exhausted. No make-up or anything, just huge eye bags. I still have those eye bags, though. They never left me. A year later, I now have a few different lipstick shades to match my mood, own a few legit bags and different pairs of shoes. I know people needs to be less attach to material things, but what I am trying to say is, these things help with the self-esteem, to be able to reflect my personality. I am an artist and so I want to start with myself. When I look in order, I feel that I can take charge of my life any way I can.

2016 was also the year where I kept on writing. I finished my novel, "Sakit ng Kahapon". It is a 34,000-word Filipino romance novel. It took me years to finish. It has 92,000 reads on Wattpad but unfortunately, the paperback version didn't sell much because it's expensive compared to the local romance novel available in the market. The important thing as a writer is that it's being read. :)


Meanwhile, my first English fantasy novella entitled "31st" has made it into different areas of Manila such as The Craft Central. I am still working on this series. The part two was published just this month entitled, "Back in Santa Barbara". 



There was also an anthology I have worked on along with several talented authors, entitled "Disminoriya", focusing on Women's stories. We had a memorable book launch last March, a lot of people came to a night full of stories and poetry. I am proud of what happened that day. The next day, however, was when I got a fever and struggled to go visit the museum with my sister in law. 



"Rendezvous", was another attempt to write an English novella focusing on young adult fiction. It has been included in #Project TIMES where I also collaborated with another set of Filipino authors. I met Ms. Marigold Uy who I have partnered for 8Letters - a boutique bookstore which promotes and sells Philippine indie books. It's a start-up company we're still building. We got bigger goals for 2017, so we'll see how it goes.



Then I wrote the first sixteen chapters of The Aswang Virus. It's an ongoing novel which I hope to finish by the year 2017. The reason why I started writing it, was that a friend wanted to make a computer game out of my stories.


Another project I have worked on was ProjectFlashPiction which aimed to write every day based on pictures. I have not completed a whole month of writing, but I learned a lot as I try to rack my brain to come up with something. It was torture, but fun!


This year, I started my Youtube channel. I only reached 10 subscribers, but hey, it's something! Isn't it promising? The hubby has been very supportive! He wanted to start his own Youtube channel, but he's kind of shy to face the camera so never worked. I got a thick face, so I managed to upload five videos. I talked about books, writing and surviving the weekdays.



Travel wise, one of the highlights was taking the cruise along the Rhine River. The route covers Switzerland, Germany, France and Netherland. It was with the Uniworld river cruise, and it was fascinating! Socializing every night though is so out of my comfort zone. I sure ate a lot as well!



I went to Chiang Mai too, where I witnessed a colleague's accident. It was kind of traumatic because there were a lot of blood. But hey, I managed to go with them to the hospital. And then spa in the afternoon. So yes, they ended fine as if bumping into the barbed wire with a quad bike was nothing.


Another awesome trip was with ate Carla to Edinburgh, London, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris. It was pure bliss, carrying our heavy bags and almost getting robbed. We saw Matilda, the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, the Sagrada Familia and the Stonehenge. We experienced The Fringe festival, ate a lot of paella and escargots and attended a book festival. We met a lot of awesome people along the way.



For my birthday, the whole gang went to Kuala Lumpur. My sister in law, Liezl and her friend, Princess went to Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately, our flight got delayed for a day because of the typhoon, but it all worked out in the end. We rented this Airbnb in the city, huge enough for all of us.



Cheers for being 27! 




I also tried getting myself an education. I continued my course at the Hong Kong University and attended events during the Hong Kong Literary Festival. I had a professional rate a short story I wrote entitled, "Headache". I admit that I spent a lot of hours sitting in front of the computer. The hubby and I even had a huge fight over who would wash the dishes. I insisted that I need to study. He ended up doing the chores telling me that I better get a high score. One day, I took home my test paper, and believe it or not, I got the highest score for an exam! The hubby was so proud.



I started exercising too. I hiked twice this year, ran the oval near my home around five times and ordered meals from Cadobox which are only around 500 kilocal. Yes, this is the area where I never succeeded.

The most important thing is having my family intact. We've got our struggles during the year, but at least, the last time I checked, we went through 2016 all fine. There were quarrels, jealousy, frustrations and financial problems. A lot of tears shed over responsibilities and love, but those things make us stronger as a family.



If you read through the whole post above, you may think that I've got it all worked out, right? It's not true. I don't always get what I want. Underneath all these, are hard work and sacrifices. I never had it easy. I've got my regrets and like what I have said, mistakes! A lot of them! I have lost a lot of friends too. But I would say that 2016 is a year of courage. This has been the year where I stick to my truer self, and where I shamelessly voiced out my concerns may it be politically or any relevant topics out there to be discussed.

Who knows what 2017 can bring. But if you ask me? Yes, I'm ready for another roller coaster ride. :)

About Me

My photo

I love traveling and being immersed with different cultures. It has cultivated my love for learning and has exposed me to different perspectives. I'm a travel specialist during the day, while writing has always been my first love (considering my love of books, of course). I am an editor of Lapis sa Kalye (Hindi ito ang normal mong nababasa)**a Facebook page which promotes Philippine Literature, one of the writers of the published book - **PENDULUM. I was also the Editor in Chief of our online magazine which published free literary works. I also post my works in Wattpad reaching more than 70k reads.

And when I need a real breather, I take pictures and edit them. I'm still developing my style in this area, I don't usually follow Photography rules, I just try to have fun along the way.

Adventure Time - Lady Rainicorn