Friday, January 25, 2013

Out and about: Anak Bathala (Kalem) Book Launch

Out and about is a new feature here on Fragments of Life. I have always wanted to cover events and launches but for some reason, they just stick out because I don’t normally post about these things. So I decided to start a feature for events, book launches and movie adaptations.

For the first ever Out and about, I’ll talk about the Anak Bathala: Kalem Book Relaunch.

Me standing in front of the tarps at the event.

The Basics:


The authors are: Norman De Los Santos, Bernard H. Morillo & Edsel L. Africa.
The Publisher is: BHM Publishing.
The Organizer is: 2 P’s in a Pod

What: Book Relaunch (this is the second launch) of Anak Bathala: Kalem. Kalem is the first of a five-book graphic novel series that celebrates rich Filipino cultural heritage by weaving together rich elements of Philippine mythology, culture, beliefs, folklore and values through well-executed and artistic graphic illustrations Mr. Norman G. de los Santos, Mr. Bernard H. Morillo, and Mr. Edsel L. Africa.

Paperback, 128 pages
2012, BHM Publishing

Kalem's story begins as a strange young boy who comes of age in a world on th brink of change.

As mysterious creatures of lore pour into the land of Ma-I, the young Kalem faces his greatest challenges.

His childhood friend marries according to tradition, his adoptive father gone, a stranger becomes a new friend, unknown enemies lurk in the shadows, and his growing powers are becoming unstable.

Kalem must find out why they call him God-spawned; an "Anak Bathala."

When: January 18, 2013, 6:00 p.m. onwards

Where: 4th floor, Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City Fort, Taguig

Why: Why the book was relaunched: Since the first release of Kalem, the authors have worked towards a better and enriched version. This time around they focused more on the character development of Kalem to add depth to the book.

Why I went to the event: For the first time, I was invited to a book launch not simply as a reader but as a blogger. I was invited to cover the event and post about it on my blog. I was excited, of course!

How: This is the longish part.

Pearl from 2P's in a Pod started the event by introducing the authors and of course, the book. Unlike other bookish events that I've attended, this book relaunch was fun and light. The three artists/authors kept the vibe light with their jokes. The people who attended the event also had the chance to understand the background/behind-the-scenes-part of the graphic novel. The authors shared something personal in relation to the book and entertained questions from the audience in the Q&A portion. Meanwhile, everyone who attended had the chance to get an Alibata Henna tattoo.

I learned the following:

  • Norman now lives in California and has been living there for years. He's homesick and misses the Philippines. He started reading and doing research about pre-Spanish Philippines.
  • Extensive research was done not only on Philippine mythology but also about Philippine blades. So if you're interested in that kind of thing, pick this up!
  • Norman made a video game with the same concept: pre-Spanish Philippines. Some of the classes of characters were bayani (hero) and mandirigma (warrior)
  • The authors wanted to write/make a book for the indigenous people of Mindoro and integrate the baybayin/alibata.
  • They wanted to focus more on the character development of Kalem to give depth to the book.
  • The three of them work together while not seeing each other/meeting up. One is in Cali, the other is in Fairview and the other is in the province. They do everything via email. And apparently, it works well!

Of course, let's not forget the book signing:

Photo credit to the photographer at the event. I didn't even know this photo existed until my boyfriend gave me the link on Facebook.

The media kit given to me by BHM Publishing + 2P's in a Pod (Thanks, Paula!) had these inside:

If you guys have questions/comments, you can leave them below. ;) Oh, and if you have time, tell me what you think of Out and about!

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