Filipino American Writer

Books, reviews and literary goings-on

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Filipino American Writer is moving

To the followers of this blog (both of you, as the old joke goes), I just wanted to let you know I started a website, Pinoy in America, where from now on I plan to post my book reviews and articles on book-related events in the Filipino-American community, as I’ve been doing here.

The website also features other articles I write about Pinoys in America in general, hence the name.  It arose out of my blog of the same name, which I’ve also stopped.

Maintaining two blogs—on what I thought where generally the same topic—was getting a little out of hand, so I thought I’d combine the two.

Thanks for the interest all this time. If you’re interested, head on over to Pinoy in America and let’s continue the conversation there.

Lorenzo Paran III

Journalist casts expert eyes on Filipinos in Hollywood

BOOK REVIEW

My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood
Author: Ruben V. Nepales
Publisher: Anvil
Details: Collection of author’s column pieces in the Philippine Daily Inquirer; 115 pages

By Lorenzo Paran III

If you wondered, while watching the animated film “Finding Nemo,” what a bahay kubo was doing in the fish tank, the answer is simple. Filipinos played a crucial role in the creation of the film.

That tidbit on Filipinos who work in U.S. animated film studios is just one of many that readers will discover in My Filipino Collection: The Philippines in Hollywood by Ruben Nepales. The book, published by Anvil, gathers Nepales’ pieces in “Only in Hollywood,” his popular entertainment column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Nepales, based in Los Angeles, has taken it upon himself to be the go-to reporter for Hollywood’s Filipino newsmakers—from actors and actresses to singers to film professionals—and, true enough, over the years his column has provided his readers with a Hollywood insider’s perspective with a focus on, and from the angle of, the Pinoy.

This, along with Nepales’ fine journalism skills, makes The Philippines in Hollywood a source of solid reportage that Filipino readers, whether in the Philippines, the U.S. or other parts of the world, will not find anywhere else.

Read the rest of this entry »

Out now: “My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood”

Title: My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood
Author: Ruben V. Nepales
Publisher: Anvil
Details: Collection of the author’s pieces that appeared in his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, “Only in Hollywood.”
More information: Anvil, National Bookstore

Filipina writers lend their voices to Women’s History Month celebration


By Lorenzo Paran III

To celebrate Women’s History Month, Philippine Expressions Bookshop served up a tasty afternoon of talks by Filipina writers and fine food that satisfied guests’ literary and gustatory appetites and yet somehow also left them hungry for more.

The bookseller held “Pinay Gathering: A Celebration of Women’s History Month Honoring Filipino American Women Authors” on Saturday (March 31, 2012) at Pizza Per Tutti Pizzeria & Tratoria in Toluca Lake, Calif. The luncheon spotlighted the authors of two new releases: Ofelia V. Dirige and Aurora S. Cudal, who have just released a revised and expanded edition of their popular Global Filipino Cuisine: Healthy Recipes; and prolific fictionist and essayist Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, whose most recent title, Out of Cebu: Essays and Personal Prose, is also now available.
Read the rest of this entry »

When a Filipino comes home: New anthology opens door to understanding Fil-Ams

BOOK REVIEW


Title: Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul
Editor: Reni R. Roxas
Publisher: Tahanan Books
Details: Anthology (memoirs, poems, short stories, essays by Filipino writers about coming home), 252 pages
More information: reni@tahananbooks.com, (425) 773-7465

By Lorenzo Paran III

Filipinos around the world will agree that there’s nothing quite like coming home. Nothing is as poignant or downright sad or joyful than when a Filipino, after spending years overseas, returns to the homeland.

A new book offers fresh testimony to that. Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul, edited by Reni Roxas, gathers some of the most memorable essays and personal narratives, along with some short stories and poems, written by Filipino writers on the subject of homecoming.

The experience is portrayed in the book as in reality: always memorable, sometimes funny, but often heart-wrenching.
Read the rest of this entry »

Out now: “Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul”

Title: Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul
Editor: Reni R. Roxas
Publisher: Tahanan Books
Available at: Tahanan Books
Details: Anthology (poems, short stories, essays by Filipino writers about coming home), 252 pages
More information: reni@tahananbooks.com, (425) 773-7465

Read a review of Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul.

Arcadia Publishing releases ‘Filipinos in Hawaii’

As Filipino centers in the United States go, Hawaii even in this age remains unrivaled. This is, after all, a state where it is said that at fast-food drive-throughs one can order in Tagalog (or Cebuano, Ilocano, etc.) and be answered in kind; a state where one in four residents claim Filipino heritage; a state that by the sheer number of Filipinos in the Philippines claiming to have relatives there might as well be a Philippine province.

Filipino-Americans may have their Los Angeles or their San Francisco or their New York, but Hawaii will always have her Filipinos.

Now a new book tells the long and rich history of Filipinos in the state. Filipinos in Hawaii, from Arcadia Publishing, is co-authored by two Filipino academics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa: Theodore S. Gonzalves, associate professor of American studies, and Roderick N. Labrador, assistant professor of ethnic studies. The book was released on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011.

Arcadia is best known for its Images of America series, which chronicles the history of communities across the U.S. Each book contains vintage photographs that bring to life the history of a culture in a town or region.

Filipinos in Hawaii brings to 15 the number of books Arcadia has devoted to Filipinos in America. The publishing company has previously released the following:

    Filipinos in Carson and the South Bay
    Filipinos in Chicago
    Filipinos in Hollywood
    Filipinos in Los Angeles
    Filipinos in Puget Sound
    Filipinos in San Diego
    Filipinos in San Francisco
    Filipinos in Stockton
    Filipinos in the East Bay
    Filipinos in Willamette Valley (Oregon)
    Filipinos in Vallejo
    Filipinos in Ventura County
    Filipinos in Washington, D.C.
    Los Angeles’s Historic Filipinotown

The books are available at arcadiapublishing.com and at Philippine Expressions Bookshop

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