Readercon Filipino Friday: Weeks 2-4

I know this is 2 posts delayed but I feel that it's better that I did it than never. Having Sydney in my life is going to make a difference and making this post -- as well as others, in the near future -- would be one of the many changes.

Okay, done apologizing/rationalizing and on with my answers to Readercon Filipino Friday... ;)


For Week 2's installment, it's about my story as a reader...

How did you become a reader? What factors influenced you to take it up as a hobby? For instance, was it your mom who read to you every night? Or was it a high school friend who started lending you books? Or maybe it was a really inspiring teacher whom you wanted to emulate. Whatever it was, we hope you tell us all the story of how you became a leisure reader and what it is about reading that you enjoy so much.

When I was young, I always see my dad and my mom read every morning in our living room, either holding on to that day's paper or a pocketbook. But I was never interested to pick up reading as a hobby until I was ostracized by my classmates during 1st grade for not being able to speak Filipino/Tagalog well. In my haste to get away from them, I found myself in our school library. I found the silence comforting thus, I stayed. One of my teachers, Mrs. Ferrer, who was checking papers, saw me and asked why I was there. I think I cried and told her about my situation thus, Mrs. Ferrer decided to let me stay and gave me some books to entertain myself. From then on, I became one of our school library's frequent patrons and that's when I picked up reading as a hobby.

What I like about reading as a hobby is its ability to stretch your imagination and appeal to your emotions through nothing but words. Reading fiction allows me to relax, momentarily forget about my worries and somewhat live vicariously through the characters.


For Week 3's installment, it's about my challenges as a reader in our country...

How hard or easy is it to be a book lover in the Philippines? What are some of your frustrations as a Filipino reader (e.g. availability of books)? What are positive aspects of being a reader based in the Philippines (e.g. book prices are lower here than they are abroad)?

When I started reading leisurely as a kid, I didn't feel challenged at all because most of the books I wanted to read were available in our school library. I think I didn't find any challenge in reading because I didn't have a favorite genre and I hardly discriminated on books. To me, as long as the story seems good enough, I'll read it.

When I shop for a new book, I randomly pick it off the shelves: I look at the cover and the title, read the synopsis and a few pages just to get a feel of the writer's voice. If I like it, I buy it. If I don't, I put it back. I used to shy away from the bestseller shelves; that was pretty anti-mainstream of me. Thus, it took me years before I read, as an example, Harry Potter. But when I do like something that's considered mainstream, I overcompensate. I think I read all 6 Harry Potter books in a span of a month and bought all original DVDs of the movie adaptations afterwards.

The fun thing about being a reader in the Philippines, which I agree with the question above, is that the books are sold relatively cheaper than the posted USD/CAD SRP. I don't know how our country manages to do that but I'm grateful. However, it would take a while before new releases for specific genres to get to our shores. This can really test a reader's patience especially when you see reviews posted about the books you wanted to read but are not available. I don't know how the Powers-That-Be decide on what books to carry in their shelves but there has to be more variety to cater to a lot more Pinoy readers.


And lastly, for this week's installment, it's all about Filipino Literature...

Do you read Filipino literature? If you do, tell us your favorite books by Filipino authors and name a few that you'd like to recommend to fellow readers. If you don't read much Filipino lit, then tell us why.

Honestly, I don't read much Filipino literature not because I think that the stories are bad but mostly because it feels like required reading. Most of the Filipino literature I've read were done as part of school work thus, it lost its appeal to me. I like seeing Filipino references though in the books that I read and it's a thrill to see such.

While I did say I don't read much Filipino literature, I do have books from the following Filipino authors -- Francis Kong, Arlene J. Chai, Bob Ong & Samantha Sotto. I would recommend that you read any of their works especially The Last Time I Saw Mother, Before Ever After and Stainless Longganisa.


Whew! I did it. Thanks for reading my meme post and do check out The 1st Filipino Reader Conference on September 14 at SMX Mall of Asia.



    funny (not in a haha way) how you became a reader because you we being bullied. well, you came out a winner :)

    and i overcompensate too. i think i read 3 or 4 of murakami's books within a few months. i as getting sick of cats! :)



    Hi there! Yeah, I didn't have time to do the memes the last two weeks ergo the 3-in-1 post. ;)

    That being bullied part, I was not enjoying school then. Our school library gave me something to look forward to. When I started getting good grades as a result of my reading, I think my bullies shut up and they even wanted to be my friend. I ignored them. Hahaha.

    Overcompensating is a funny thing but it's good to know that I'm not alone.

    Glad to know you enjoyed my post. Thanks! :D



    My coping mechanism for the delayed release of some books was to train myself *not* to want it that much! Tuloy, I got used to it and in many cases didn't buy the book when it was finally here, figuring I could wait a little longer for sale time. Too bad for the bookstores, haha. :)



    Wow, that's some discipline you got. I'm afraid I'm not as patient especially with books that conclude a series.

    Too bad for the bookstores indeed. :D


    Oh my gosh, you did a three-in-one, too! Just posted mine today.:) Anyway, interesting how you veered away from mainstream books. You must have been a more mature reader. And I do that overcompensating bit, too. For instance, I read Twilight and the next 2 books in 3 days. And pimped them to my friends. Hahaha!



    Hahaha. Apir sa 3-in-1! :D

    Honestly, my rationale for veering away from mainstream/bestseller books was because the authors on those shelves would have guaranteed reader base; people would tend to pick a bestseller due to popularity. So I stuck on searching for my next best read in regular fiction shelves; the kind that would carry 1-2 copies of a certain book. Through them I discovered books like The Feng Shui Junkie by Brian Gallagher, which is part of my re-read pile too.

    Grabe, you read Twilight, New Moon & Eclipse for 3 days? Saludo ako sa iyo! Took me about 3 weeks to finish all 3 books but only because my schedule's challenging. And yes, I pimped them to my officemates after reading the books. Sabay-sabay kami lahat nagbasa ng Breaking Dawn, nagkaroon pa kami ng impromptu book discussion sa office. LOL!

    I hope you're going to the Readercon because I'd like to meet/see you in person. :D


    I'm glad you found a sanctuary in your school library and that nurtured your love for reading. It's really frustrating when there's a book that you REALLY WANT but it's not available in local bookstores' yet. Usually, I grab the Kindle edition when I can't wait and then just purchase an actual copy when I like the book enough to reread it again.



    I'm toying around the idea of getting a Kindle for the following reasons: mobility and accessibility to books not readily found locally. I find it surprising though how overpriced the gadget is locally. =|


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