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New Books (April 2017)

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Last April 1, we celebrated the launch of two new books by 8Letters. The first one was written by my partner Marigold Uy, an interactive notebook entitled 8Letters Psychic Research – The Cursed School. Here you are provided with a preliminary plot and default characters. You can then, add your character and continue the story on the 8-page space to write in every chapter.

The goal behind this interactive notebook is to motivate people to write and to have fun while doing so. Here are some photos where Al Joseph of Lapis sa Kalye interviewing Marigold.

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An Excerpt: 

You first learned about them not through social media. You expected they would be on Facebook, bragging about how many spirits they’ve exorcised or how they could see the future, like most scammers would claim to make them seem that they’re legit.

Contrary to that, you heard about 8LETTERS Psychic Research through a neighbor who claimed they exorcised a malicious spirit in their house. You let the old woman share her story, unbelieving at first but eventually realized that the group might be legitimate after all.

Even as someone who has the ability to sense spirits, you were hesitant to believe that there was actually a weird team of ‘psychics’. And here in Manila even.

The second book is an anthology of memoirs by various of writers including me. The book entitled Ekspedisyon – Biyahe sa Nakaraan started from an online workshop I organized where I asked three mentors who are expert in writing creative non-fiction. Out of 40 students, only 7 finished their manuscripts. One of them was Christian Loid Valenzuela with his memoir entitled Amor Infinitus. He came all the way from Olongapo to Parañaque! On his memoir, he wrote about the death of his grandmother and his relationship with his parents.

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An Excerpt:

Natapos ang isang oras na panunood ko ngunit hindi pa rin lumalabas ng banyo ang aking lola. Akala ko ba nais niyang ng maaga upang marami siyang maitulong sa paggawa ng kalapati? Excited nga siyang suotin ang bago nilang uniporme na makukuha niya pagkatapos nilang gawin ang nasabing replika.

“Anong oras na? Umalis na ba si nanay?” tanong sa akin ng aking tiyahin na nanggaling sa likuran ng aming bahay. Katatapos niya lamang maglaba no’n.

“Hindi pa. Ni hindi pa nga siya lumalabas mula sa banyo, e,” sagot ko naman. Kung kaya’t agad naming tinungo ang banyo upang sabihin sa aking lola na malapit na siyang mahuli sa takdang oras ng pakikipagkita niya sa mga gagawa ng kalapati.

Nakailang katok kami pero walang sumasagot mula sa loob ng palikuran. Tanging ang lagaslas lamang ng tubig mula sa gripo ang aming naririnig. Kinabahan na kami dahil do’n. Puwersahan naming binuksan ang pinto ng banyo.

Jonalyn Mencias’ memoir entitled Mga Lihim ng Kahapon is about her relationship with his father, who was very strict while she was growing up. It entails how it affected her perception in life, and the changes to the whole family over the years.

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An Excerpt:

LAGI AKONG NAPAPALO noon ng aking tatay dahil magagalitin siya, dahil dito hagulgol naman akong umiiyak at pinapangakong di na uulitin ang pagkakamaling nagawa. Sabi nga ng aking ina, ako raw ang pinakamakulit sa aming magkakapatid kaya lagi akong napapagalitan at namumura ng aking tatay. Iba ang pagdidisplina niya sa amin na laging may kaakibat na pamalo. Gusto lang daw ni tatay, sabi ni nanay, na lumaki kaming may paggalang at disiplina sa sarili, dahil nga siguro sa puro kami mga babae at kailangan protektahan nang mabuti at bantayan.

Lagi siyang may tsinelas na handang ipamalo sa amin.

The memoir entitled Musikera by Raine Rillera tells the story about her love of music, the struggles how she started the band and the adventures of playing while studying.

An Excerpt: 

The first “band” I played in was an all-girl acoustic group. After playing one gig in school, the girls and I had a falling out with each other and we never got together again to play.Then there was the 4-piece ensemble that couldn’t get out of the so-called garage phase. After that nameless band died a natural death, the cute drummer invited me to play rhythm guitar for his other band. They called themselves “Empty Minds,” which, looking back now, should have been a clear sign for me to go running in the opposite direction. One studio session with them confirmed my suspicion that it was, indeed, a pogi rock band. To this day, I don’t know whether I should be flattered or offended that they had deemed me pogi enough to be in their band.

Afterthat spate of failed band attempts, I was starting to feel jaded. Among all the people I had played with so far, I hadn’t felt that connection, that undeniable gravitational pull of a Music Bond. Putting together the perfect band was a lot like looking for Mr. Right, except I waslooking for three—or more —of him. I had no idea where to find the perfect bandmates, but more importantly, I began to doubt they existed at all. Were they all just rock fairy tales, fueled by my naïve adoration for bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and Dream Theater whose musical minds seemed to fit each other’s like a jigsaw puzzle?

Even her fashion states that she is a true hearted musician! And have I mentioned she came all the way from Baguio?

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I (Cindy Dela Cruz) also wrote my fair share of memoirs entitled Unang Halik. Here, I wrote about my travels in life, reminiscing how I ended where I am. Basically it was about the last ten years of my life, right after my 18th birthday where I needed to fly to Hong Kong to help with the family’s financing, and how I decided to get in a secret marriage.

An Excerpt:

UNA KONG NAKILALA si Raymart nang naging magkaklase kami nung grade 4, taong 1999. Isa siya sa mga naunang crush ko kasi ang puti at ang tangkad niya. Nacu-cute- an ako sa kanya, isang paghanga na hindi nagtagal. Katulad ng iba kong naging crush ay tumagal lang ito ng tatlong buwan. Nakita ko na kasi agad ang kapintasan niya. Masyado siyang maputi kumpara sa kayumangging balat ko. Tapos, lagi pa siyang late sa school bus. Kung ano ang kinaaga ng paggising ko dahil ako ang unang sinusundo ng schoolbus, mukhang saka pa lang siya nagigising sa pagkakatulog sa oras na siya na ang sinusundo. Naiinis na ang mga ka-schoolbus namin dahil male- late na kami dahil sa kanya. Tapos papasok siya sa bus na puno ng pulbo ang leeg at may hawak pang pandesal. Ew, pampered. Turn off. Hindi ko na nga siya crush.

Dalawang taon pa kaming naging magka-schoolbus at naging mabuting magkaibigan nga kami. Tinutulungan niya ako sa paghila ng stroller kong bag, habang ako naman ay pinagtatanggol siya sa mga nang-aasar sa kanya.

There were three other authors who couldn’t make it. Two were in overseas: Analy Midsapak and Suzi Oliva; Then Gab Barrantes who lives in Lucena.

Mystic Brew Philippines where the book launch was held, created a cozy environment for our books and visitors. Their food was great too, local pinky food with new twists!

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The night was capped by songs played by Raine’s band, Koko Pyup! 

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For more information on our books, you can find us on:

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/8lettersbooks

INSTAGRAM http://www.instagram.com/8lettersbooks

The above beautiful photos are taken by: HIGHLIGHTS, EVENTS & PHOTOGRAPHY.

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