3 Comic Books, 1 Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day gets more and more exciting in the Philippines!

Beginning 2002, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) has been an annual promotional event done on the first Saturday of May by the North American comic book industry in an effort to introduce comics to new readers. With its popularity, it reached the Philippine shores and now, Filipinos get to enjoy the same freebies as long as they are patient enough in falling in long lines at their favorite participating bookstores.

Last year, a friend and I accidentally participated in the FCBD of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street since we were really headed to the store, got a free comic book each, and met some of the great graphic artists of the country together with their sketches. Not on the first, though, but third Saturday of May (That was a May 19 and I don’t have any idea why).

Our free comic books each and the FB stamps on our wrists at last year's Free Comic Book Day  of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street

Our free comic books and the FB stamps on our wrists at last year’s Free Comic Book Day of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street

This year, I went with another friend, Claa, a fellow blogger, at National Book Store Quezon Avenue, Quezon City for the Free Comic Book Day of National Book Store (NBS), CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds wherein we received not just one, but three free comic books! With the theme “Setting the Record”, the event aimed in setting the highest number of sketches done on a blank cover comic, a record they hope to beat every succeeding year.

The three establishments combined seemed so hyped-up with this event. In fact, aside from the increased number of freebies, they also came up with a Survival Guide, which was used for the event’s promotion, great discounts on comic books, and added comic-related items and more on sale, to make it more exciting to the fans and would-be fans.

The Survival Guide to Free Comic Book Day -- Setting the Record (Photo grabbed from National Book Store's Facebook page)

The Survival Guide to Free Comic Book Day — Setting the Record (Photo grabbed from National Book Store’s Facebook page)

Claa and I arrived at the NBS branch at 9am and were surprised by the number of fellow participants already waiting outside. This just proved that comics in the country already established a wide fandom, and of course, the industry is ready to welcome more.

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The line around 9am, outside National Book Store Quezon Avenue

The line continued on the registration area

The line continued at the registration area

Right after writing our details on the registration form, the freebies started with these:

First set of freebies: FCBD 2013 tattoos, sticker, and well, I don't know why, but a lollipop. :)

First set of freebies: FCBD 2013 tattoos, sticker, and well, I don’t know why, but a lollipop to brag about. 🙂

Then we headed toward another long line for, what else, but our much awaited three free comic books! Yey!

Another line for the free comic books! ^_^ Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue...

Another line for the free comic books! ^_^ Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue…

The comics were spread out on a long table and the participants chose three from this collection.

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FCBD 2013 (31)

My free comic books: Ugly Doll Comics (vizkids), Scratch 9 (Hermes Press), and Kellerman L’Amour (Bantam). Oh, I’m such a girl! LOL.

After checking the number of items we got, we were stamped with CASTLE GEEK logo and we were good to roam around the area.

The first to see upon entering the place was National Book Store’s discounted local and international comics. Great deals to greet everyone!

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20% off on graphic novels!

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Manga, or Japanese comics, were also available for less than 100 pesos.

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I found Fushigi Yuugi manga! I didn’t buy them, though.

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Then on the stack of 200-peso comics was where I found Stephen King’s N., which was from the author’s short story collection, Just a After SunsetIts original price was 789 pesos and I can’t wait to read it!

Stephen King's N.

Stephen King’s N.

Back issues were also on the event for only 75 pesos each, courtesy of CASTLE GEEK.

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Aside from the comic books, souvenirs, and comic- and movie-related stuff were also sold at the event.

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FCBD caps

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T-shirts sold for around a thousand pesos each

Pop figures or something. hehe

Pop figures or something. hehe

Want some popcorn? Darth Vader wants to serve you while you watch your favorite movie! :3

Want some popcorn? Darth Vader wants to serve you while you watch your favorite movie! :3

V for Vendetta masks for around 1,000 pesos. I love it!

V for Vendetta masks for around 1,000 pesos. I love it!

Faber-Castell joined the fun, too, and featured its artist pens which anyone can try by sketching for free!

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Faber-Castell’s artist pens!

Sketch for free and feel like a professional artist with every stroke!

Sketch for free and feel like a professional artist with every stroke!

Speaking of sketches, an FCBD isn’t complete without any graphic artists in the vicinity, especially in this one since the record to be set was about drawing. Because of that, an area was allotted for the artists, although at the time we were there, there were not that many of them yet.

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One of the artists

One of the artists

Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street also gave three free comics this year, while its other participating branches (SM Mall of Asia, Greenbelt 5, Power Plant Mall, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Greenhils’ Promenade, Gateway Mall, and SM North EDSA) gave only one. Establishments Druids Keep and Planet X Comic Shop also took part on this exciting day. Hmm… Looks like the FCBD competition of our local bookstores are getting fiercer and fiercer.

I don’t know if NBS, CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds reached their goal, though, but I hope they do.

May the third be with you on next year’s Free Comic Book Day! 😀

 

 

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REFERENCES:
Wikipedia
FLIPGEEKS
Fully Booked
Free Comic Book Day Philippines Facebook page

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First Visit to Bookay-Ukay

I’d been wanting to go to Bookay-Ukay since college when I saw a photo about it on a social networking site, but never had the chance since it was far from home and I had no one interested enough to go with me. Then came last year and I thought I finally found that perfect Bookay-Ukay buddy, but sadly, our bridges burned a few weeks after we agreed on going there together. I couldn’t brave the big Quezon City on a search for it alone so I thought my desire for book-hunting at the store went to ashes along with my “incinerated” friendship.

But then at the start of the year, I went excited ’cause my friend and fellow blogger invited me to visit Bookay-Ukay. So without hesitation, a date was marked on the calendar.

Bookay-Ukay 01

To give a good picture of what the store is about and why I’ve been meaning to pay a visit to it, let me explain its name. Bookay-Ukay is a play of words certainly thought of by its lovers-of-words owners. “Book” and “ukay-ukay”, those are the two terms. “Book”, we have no problem about its description, but “ukay-ukay” is a  Filipino term for “thrift store“, so put them together, and we’ll know that the shop sells second-hand books that are still in good condition.

Since settling in Maginhawa St in 2008, it has been visited by cool and book-loving celebrities like Saab Magalona and Mercedes Cabral. Not that I want to look and be labeled cool, I’m actually proud to border on the nerd side, but Bookay-Ukay is a must-visit simply because it has books. And cheaper ones, I must say.

I didn’t know it was so easy to get there, but still, I wouldn’t know how to if not for my friend who frequented the area back in college (She studied at Miriam College and its near there.). We met at SM City North EDSA and took a jeepney ride to Quezon City Hall from its terminal for 8 pesos each person. After that, we walked to the side of National Housing Authority and told the driver of the first tricycle in line to drop us at the restaurant Tomato Kick for 17 pesos for two persons. As soon as we got off the tricycle, we were greeted by a two-storey old commercial building, and looking at the right side of its second floor is the sign of Bookay-Ukay. We finally arrived.

Contrary to what I imagined, the store is quite small, in fact, it’s only a room full of books. Perhaps I visualized it to be like those giant bookstores Fully Booked and National Book Store, which was so wrong of me. But at least its interiors speak of what it offers, unlike the formality and plainness of its rival book thrift store Booksale. The green wall on the left is filled with doodles and other stuff like a poster of local pop punk band Kamikazee, and the shelves just below contains other stuff sold in the store like magazines, CDs, and wall clocks which numbers are in counter clockwise. On the counter next to it are key chains from Pop Relief.

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Then after those, everywhere else was filled with nothing but books, books, and yes, books on the shelves resting on the remaining walls and even on the floor. Just the perfect haven for book lovers like me and my friend.

Books on the wall

Books on the wall

Books on the floor

Books on the floor

For some time, my friend and I seemed strangers to each other as we both engaged in separate solitary quests for the books we like. From novels, both local and international, to medical books, Bookay-Ukay has second-hand books for everyone.

While I was busy on my hunt, a couple entered the shop and as the guy looked through the shelves, I heard him mutter to his girlfriend in Filipino something like, “I’ll be out of budget again because of books.” Hello there, fellow bookworm! Nice to meet ya! I wanted to tell him, but of course, that’d be crazy. hehe.

Bookay-Ukay 05Bookay-Ukay 04

At the end, I wasn’t able to buy myself a book (Booo! Shame on me!) as I remembered my pile of unread books at home and how I’ll just decrease the chances of finally reading them if I buy more. At least now I know where Bookay-Ukay is. Meanwhile, my friend was able to buy two books for only 350 pesos. She got James Clavell’s Shōgun and Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha, and she was very happy with her finds.

My friend and fellow blogger, Claa (http://watchamacallit-claa.blogspot.com/) with her two new books

My friend and fellow blogger, Claa (http://watchamacallit-claa.blogspot.com/), with her two new books (Photo grabbed from her)

Are you a fellow bookworm who loves to hoard and read books for less? Visit Bookay-Ukay today and satisfy your book addiction! 😀

 

 

Bookay-Ukay
55 Maginhawa St, UP Village
Diliman, Quezon City
Mobile #: 0905.428.3125
E-mail: bookayukay@gmail.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/bookayukay
Operating Hours: 1pm – 12pm, daily

Heaven on My Palate, Whore’s Style

Along Maginhawa St, Teacher’s Village in Quezon City is a restaurant with the best puttanesca I’ve ever tasted.

But wait, what is puttanesca? In the Philippines, I find some people who bleep its first two syllables because it sounds like the first two syllables of probably the worst Filipino swear term. I find this act weird and irksome, but I just discovered that they were somewhat right in doing so since they really mean the same thing.

Puttanesca, or spaghetti alla puttanesca, is the name of an Italian pasta which literally means “whore’s style spaghetti” (Yes, it’s the “whore” part that people censor). There’s no definite reason as to why it is called such, but one of the hearsay has it that it smells like the cheap meal prostitutes serve their customers back in the day. Anyway, this pasta is made up of black olives, garlic, tomatoes, onions, anchovies, and olive oil.

I’d been hearing and reading the said dish on restaurant menus, but I used not to care what it was until my friend suggested we eat at Friuli Trattoria, a small restaurant that serves affordable yet definitely yummy Italian dishes, when we were in Maginhawa St, Teacher’s Village in Quezon City. With the words “Angel” and “Hair” just before the magic word, the name finally caught my fancy so it was what I ordered. And oh boy, I didn’t regret my choice!

The restaurant’s version of puttanesca has the usual tomatoes, capers, anchovies, and olives, but instead of using spaghetti, its pasta is capellini, a variety of Italian pasta similar to spaghetti, only thinner, and I believe better, thus, the term “angel hair”.

I’m not a fan of pasta ’cause I’m more of a rice person, but this one became my instant favorite. Its sauce is poured generously enough making me savor every mouthful of its rich flavor, in fact, I could distinctly taste the deliciousness of anchovies (I love seafood!). I also think choosing angel hair as its pasta has to do with its supreme taste, you know, the thin strands give way to experiencing more of its sauce than the pasta itself, which is truly celestial. Just a theory, though.

Anyway, I fell in love with puttanesca because of this that I promised myself that I’ll cook the same one of these days, and it led me to ordering the same dish in Bigoli and Pizza Hut. So far, Friuli Trattoria’s is still the best! I recommend everybody to have a taste of it! ❤

It’s affordable, too. For only 130 pesos, an order, served with a slice of garlic bread, is already good for two persons.

Friuli Trattoria's Angel Hair Putanesca

Friuli Trattoria’s Angel Hair Putanesca

Our other two orders were Spaghetti Carbonara, served with a slice of garlic bread, too, at the price of 130 pesos for my friend, and an eight-slice Mushroom Pizza, which comprises of four different kinds of mushrooms (My favorite!) for only 185 pesos for both of us.

Spaghetti Carbonara of Friuli Trattoria

Spaghetti Carbonara of Friuli Trattoria

Mushroom Pizza. YUM!

Mushroom Pizza. YUM!

If the street isn’t far from my place, I would dine at Friuli Trattoria over and over again so I can endlessly satisfy my taste buds! Visit the restaurant, too, and discover heaven on your palate and its other offerings! ❤

 

 

Friuli 1

 

 

 

 
 

Friuli Trattoria
79A Maginhawa St, UP Village, Quezon City
Tel. #: 434 .1416
Operating Hours: 10am – 2am, daily

 

 

 
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REFERENCES:
POPSUGAR
Wikipedia
I Love QC

Ramon Bautista’s Funny yet Logical Book about <3

Love can rock your world, but it can also pick rocks of different sizes and throw them to you.

Indeed, love is both wonderful and crazy. And when it has already turned your world upside down and whichever way it wanted, who’s the best person to run to? Well, believe it or not, it may only be Ramon Baustista.

Ramon Bautista's Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? book cover

Ramon Bautista’s Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? book cover

A self-proclaimed Internet action star, Ramon Baustista began conquering the local print world in 2012 with the publication of his first book, Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo?: At Iba Pang Technique Kung Paano Makaka-Move On sa Wasak na PusoIt is basically a compilation of some of the questions and answers about love from his formspring account, one of the platforms of his popular Internet trapezoid.

His book gives smart and oftentimes sarcastic answers to bothered and usually stupid love questions like:

Q: Sir RB, ‘yung GF ko niloko ako. Naghanap ng iba. Pero di niya pa din ako binibitawan at nilagay ako sa friendzone, di niya daw ako kaya mawala kasi ako lang daw nakakaintindi at nakakaunawa sa kanya. Ano gagawin ko?

A: Malandi yang GF mo at makapal mukha niya ginagawa ka pa niyang reserba. Anong gagawin mo? Do whatever makes you less tanga…isip!

and

Q: Hello Mr. Bautista. My friend is an NBSB (no boyfriend since birth) and she’s already 29. She feels really down about it and embarrassed. She feels ashamed for her situation and feels she’s behind life. She’s never dated either. What advice can you give?

A: Nararamdaman ko ang pressure niyong mga girls sa tumatandang NBSB. Kung pakiramdam niyo na it makes you less of a woman dahil wala kayong BF, ibaba niyo ang standards niyo. Pero para sa mga “wala akong BF hanggang ngayon, weno ngayon?!” ang attitude, saludo ko sa inyo!

and even to school-related queries like:

Q: Sir Ramon! Naramdaman n’yo na ba ‘yung gusto n’yo nang sumuko noon sa pag-aaral at iwan ang lahat ng hirap? Sir!! TULONG! Pagalitan n’yo po ako para matauhan ako. 😦

A: Hindi option ang pagsuko sa school. Kalma lang at isipin mo na lang ang future mo. Papanget ka rin someday at pagdating ng araw na ‘yun, atleast may trabaho ka.

Of course, it also contains the 10 possible reasons that answer the book’s title:

1. Panget ka.
2. Masama ugali mo.
3. May shota siya.
4. May shota ka.
5. Bakla/Tomboy siya.
6. ‘Di kayo match sa horoscope.
7. Okay ka naman pero siniraan ka ng mga friends niya.
8. High maintenance ka.
9. Trip mo ‘yung mga ayaw niyang TV show.
10. Wala ka sa radar A.K.A. Hindi ka niya napapansin.

A 90’s-inspired notebook with a note that says “Study hard!” that comes with the book. It seems like a friendly reminder like what he always tells his viewers in TFTFZ that “There’s more to life than love.”

A 90’s-inspired notebook with a note that says “Study hard!” that comes with the book. It seems like a friendly reminder like what he always tells his viewers in TFTFZ that “There’s more to life than love.”

The book is entertaining with the approach that’s funny yet not without logic. Ramon Bautista made sure to give advices based on his rationale and not just his emotions and carnal desire.

In fact, right in the introduction of his book, he explained to his readers that he believes that human beings are composed of three decision-making bodies: the mind, the heart, and the sexual desire. And among the three, the mind must be the strongest since it should be able to control the other two when both have decided to join forces.

But when in love, it is natural that the heart and the sexual desire succeed in beating down the mind. And with that, his formspring account was created, and then later on the book, to give wise and truthful advices to troubled and dumb hearts without making the situations too heavy.

My friend and I became instant fans of Ramon Bautista just recently when one night, while talking about what else but love–a topic that never seems to go out of style–on Facebook chat, then I suddenly remembered watching episode 6 of his YouTube show, Tales from the Friend Zone (TFTFZ), and I told her that I could relate to it. We then got inspired in seeing all its seven episodes which made both of us laugh and trace his Internet trapezoid sites on Twitter, Tumblr, Formspring, and Instagram. And thus, the story behind my purchase of this book.

You don’t have to be in love or be broken hearted to buy this book. If you’re in for some entertainment in the Filipino language, this book is a good read.

Love in the Time of the 33rd MIBF

I once declared to the world wide web: “If I am to drown, I want to drown in a sea of books.” (Whoa… Did I just quote myself there? Haha.)

Books everywhere! *drools

Of course, I didn’t sink literally. But just imagine how elated I was when my friend and I were finally surrounded by books at the 33rd Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) held from the 12th to 16th of September 2012 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

Lookie! I was looking for this book almost everywhere and it was only at the fair that I finally found abundant copies of it. Wooo~

With more than a hundred exhibitors that gathered from bookstores like Fully Booked and National Book Store, Inc., to publishing companies like PSICOM Publishing Inc. and Anvil Publishing, Inc., the whole exhibit area served as a paradise for book lovers like yours truly.

Paradise just got more blissful with these! I LOVE THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY!

But what might be the most thrilling about the MIBF was the hundreds of items, from novels to educational books, that were mostly on sale. Even Fully Booked, that which may be considered as every bookworm’s favorite bookstore, had an exciting 20% discount on their books, plus, for every 1,000-peso worth of purchase, customers got to have a free Fuel Your Mind notepad, which I am more than proud and delighted to own.

SALE, SALE, SALE, and yes, SALE! ^_^

My free Fuel Your Mind notepad from Fully Booked with the books I bought: Life in Pictures: Michael Jackson (for my Mom), Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, and John Green’s The Fault in our Stars.

I learned about this fair just last month but it is actually one of the longest-running book fairs in Asia. Last year, on its 32nd, it garnered more than eighty thousand visitors, and although as of writing this there isn’t a definite figure yet, this year’s event must’ve gotten more attendees. MIBF was prominently promoted online and on newspapers especially by its ambassadors, online celebrity Ramon Bautista, stand-up comedian/cartoonist Stanley Chi, famous tour guide Carlos Celdran, and actor/DJ Tado Jimenez. Chi and Jimenez also had their respective book launches at the fair.

33rd MIBF Ambassadors online celebrity Ramon Bautista, stand-up comedian/cartoonist Stanley Chi, famous tour guide Carlos Celdran, and actor/DJ Tado Jimenez (Photo by Clarissa Catalina Repollo)

Tado Jimenez’s book signing at the 33rd Manila International Book Fair

 

Look at who was at the Best of Anime 2012… Conan Edogawa! Such a cute little kid. :3

 

Coinciding the book fair was the Best of Anime 2012, a two-day weekend event (September 15 – 16, 2012) that was already on its third year. Thousands of cosplayers, anime and manga enthusiasts, and animators/illustrators, among others, took part in the success of this fun-filled convention.

As an extra color to the event, the Japanese band Uchuu Sentai NOIZ rocked the visitors with their music for two days.

My friend and I were supposed to go there, too, but upon seeing that there was an admission fee of 190 pesos for a day and 350 pesos for two days, we decided not to anymore. It seemed totally organized from the outside, though, so the price might be just right for the event.

 

‘Til the next Manila International Book Fair and Best of Anime event! 😉