Monday, January 29, 2007

January 2007 Newsletter (Part 1)


Press releases


Guests of Honor Announced
Radioactive Sago Project, Up Dharma Down and Swissy To Perform Live
Forums Back Online


Portrait of the Reader as Filipino
Function Room Events Listing

I. Partnership

Powerbooks is the official partner and co-presentor of Read or Die for the Read or Die Convention 2007. Powerbooks is the pioneer specialty bookstore in the Philippines carrying the widest selection catering to every book lovers tastes and needs. Powerbooks also provides a venue for events and activities such as poetry readings, book launches and signings, author visits and lectures, book club sessions and other related events specifically created and made for every book enthusiast who visits their stores. Reading is not merely a common action in Powerbooks, it is an experience of enabling the limitless journey of the mind which every book lover takes in the process of reading.

Read or Die welcomes this collaboration with Powerbooks as we promote reading and support for Filipino readers in RodCon 2007. Powerbooks will be giving away lots of free books and special prizes in the convention and will be sponsoring several activities during the convention. Watch this space for more updates. Thank you, Powerbooks!

I. Tickets

Tickets are now on sale at all Powerbooks outlets. You can also find them at Booktopia (Libis, Quezon City) and at Aeon Bookstore (Katipunan).

Ticket rates are:

Students: P100/one-day pass; P200/two-day pass
Professionals: P150/one-day pass; P300/two-day pass

Please make sure to bring your student ID when purchasing tickets, otherwise you will be charged the professional rate.

The tickets will be exchanged for a convention kit and badge during registration. Please keep your tickets. They are non-refundable.

Also, please note that tickets will only be available at pre-registration rates until January 31, 2007. If you buy your ticket on February 1 onwards, you will be charged registration rates.

If you have any questions or concerns about registration, please visit our newly reformatted forum or contact us at

II. Hotel Reservations

Hotel Intercontinental is offering convention attendees a special flat rate of P5000+++ for both single and twin occupancies from February 3 to February 4. The package comes with a free breakfast buffet at the Jeepney Deli, among other amenities. Please note that the rate for regular hotel guests is P7000+++. If you wish to make a reservation, please contact us at We do not know when available rooms will run out so we advise interested parties to make reservations before January 25, 2007 at the very latest.

III. Online Pre-Registration

Online pre-registration will end on January 19, 2007. People who signed up through our website will be contacted this week with instructions about where and how to pay for their tickets. They will also be provided with the function room schedule once the final list has taken form and asked to make priority reservations for up to two function room events of choice. People who did not pre-register online will only receive their schedules during the convention.

IV. Registration

Registration will start at 8AM daily. Please try to come on time. Early bird registrants will receive special kits. The Dealers Room will be open at exactly 9AM. Opening ceremonies--with speeches by our Guests Of Honor and keynote speakers--will last until around 10AM. Function room events will start at 11AM.

Here's a tentative general timetable:

08:00 AM: Registration
09:00 AM: Opening Ceremony
10:00 AM: Dealers Room/Activity Area Opens
11:00 AM: Function Room Events Begin
07:00 PM: Culminating Activity (Grand Ballroom)

For a list of confirmed function room events visit this page.

V. Guests of Honor & Plenary Speakers / Live Performances

National Artists Virgilio Almario and F. Sionil Jose will be this year's Guests of Honor. Virgilio Almario will open the convention on February 3 while F. Sionil Jose will do so on February 4.

Plenary and keynote speeches on February 3, 2007 will be made by National Book Development Board Chairman Dennis Gonzalez, Powerbooks representative Jane Lopez, and Mr. Harvey Keh AHON Foundation.

The list of plenary speakers for February 4 will be confirmed this coming week. Expected: The National Library, UNICEF.

In the meantime, noted Filipino bands Radioactive Sago Project and Up Dharma Down will also be performing live in the Grand Ballroom on February 4, 2007. The bands will be debuting songs from an upcoming concept album produced by Read or Die featuring bands from innovative indie record label Terno Recordings. All the songs in the album will be original compositions based on Filipino literary works. New Terno Recordings artist Swissy will also be coming to the con to perform.

VI. Sponsors

If you haven't posted your book wishlist, please do so now, while our book dealers might still be able to do something about it.

We would also like to thank the following sponsors:

National Book Development Board
Time Life Books
Aeon Books
National Bookstore
Avalon Books
Adarna Books
Anvil Publishing
UST Press
Solidaridad Bookstore
Komikero Publishing
Ateneo University Press
University of the Philippines Press
Vibal Publishing /
Eternal Publications
Terno Recordings
Godspeed Exhibit Systems
Hotel Intercontinental

Our media partners:

Fudge Magazine
Philippine Graphic
Philippine Business Mirror
Manila Times
Net 25
NU 107
Jam 88.3

Participating organizations:

National Book Development Board
British Council of Manila
Goethe Institut
Instituto Cervantes
Alitaptap Storytellers
University of the Philippines Creative Writing Institute
Ateneo University
University of Santo Tomas Creative Writing Center
UP Islamic Institute
New Worlds Alliance
Philippine PEN
Toei Animation
Ex Libris UP
Ateneo Literary Society
UP Anime and Manga Enthusiasts
UP Main Library
Quiapo Booksellers Association
Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation
Books For Asia
Books For The Barrios
Children's Hour
High Chair
Gabriela Philippines
Cultural Center of the Philippines

VII. Activities

RodCon activities will take place simultaneously on several fronts:

1) Function Rooms: Or the panel discussions, lectures, and workshops which will run continuously throughout the convention.

2) Stage: Film screenings, raffles, auctions, contests, special performances.

VIII. Update: Portrait of the Artist as Filipino

Due to a lack of submissions (and--it's probably related--repeated requests for extensions), we're revising the concept of the photography contest Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. Instead of building a web gallery, we're encouraging people to bring their photographs to the convention and paste or tack them onto a community wall. People can then vote for their favorite photos on the spot through a ballot box. Winners will receive special prizes.

Photos must at least be 3R in size and must conform to the theme. Attendees may submit as many photographs they want, just be sure to register your participation in the registration desk .

IX. Read or Die Interactive

New! We're setting aside specific areas of the convention for meet-ups and (very) informal discussion circles. While these sessions are technically free, we'll be asking groups and individuals who do participate to pay some sort of toll fee (amount optional, money optional). It's to supplement the donation to AHON, as per usual.

1) Readers Corner : Where readers can meet up and talk about books to their hearts' content. Facilitated by Read or Die. Schedule/list of books to be discussed to follow. The swap area can also be found here.

Convention attendees are encouraged to bring their secondhand books to either swap or donate.

2) Writers Corner : Writers are notoriously hard to pin down but we've asked several writers to consider making time to meet their readers. If we see one wandering around the convention, we'll be sure to make an announcement on the PA. Or, if you're a writer or you belong to a writers' group and would like to use RodCon as a meeting place, please contact the secretariat at so we can schedule your slot in the Writers Corner. Slots can only last for an hour.

3) Artists Corner: Artists may likewise avail of a spot in the convention where they can meet up or chat with their favorite comic artist. Please note that, as in the case with Writers Corner, we cannot ensure that your favorite artists will in fact appear or will be willing to sit for an hour and sign autographs. But if you are a comic artist and would not mind donating your time to meet with your readers (and acolytes, extant or otherwise), please do so. You can either email us to avail of your slot (or fill out the web form in the site) or sign up during the convention itself. First come first served.

4) Publishing Depot: We're inviting publishing representatives to make time to meet readers or to field inquiries from potential authors in the Publishing Depot. Writers are advised to bring their manuscripts with them for the convention

X. Press Releases

Our ads and a feature article on Read or Die have appeared in the Inquirer, Star, Tribune, the Manila Bulletin, Manila Times, Malaya and other magazine publications. We would like to thank Dee Mandigma for his efforts on our behalf. An article on the convention is also appearing in Fudge Magazine (with thanks to Ms. Annie Alejo). More press notices to follow.

We would also like to thank Ms. Isabel Garcia for writing about us in her column De Rerum Natura in The Philippine Star.

XI. Volunteers

If you applied after January 1 and have not received a reply to your invitation, it's because we'll only be determining the number of volunteers we have and need by this weekend. Please note that the official application period for volunteers ended last November. We already received a total of thirty applications. If all these thirty volunteers appear on our next meeting date, we probably won't be getting any more volunteers and will be emailing you accordingly. If we get less than the projected thirty, we'll email the number of people we need, based on the date of the submissions of their applications. Thank you for your understanding.

XI. Further Notes

Members of the New Worlds Alliance will be coming in costume. Other hobby organizations who wish to attend the convention in costume or cosplay are free to do so. You do not have to ask prior permission from the secretariat. There will be no official cosplay competition, however.

XII. Wrapping Up

Thank you to everyone who's supported us this far. Special acknowledgements go to Ms. Rowena Dumaguila of Booktopia, Ms. Marilou Consing and Mr. Sanny Medina of Aeon Bookstore, Mr. James Abuan of Powerbooks, Mr. Ed Sabolvoro of the National Book Development Board, Mr. Hector Tagaysay of TIME LIFE, Dr. Harvey Keh and Ms. Cecille Bautista of AHON Foundation, Mr. Sonny Reyes of Godspeed Exhibit Systems, Mr. Gerry Alanguilan of Komikero Publishing, Mr. Toti Dalmacion of Terno Recordings, and Dr. Vim Nadera of the UP Creative Writing Institute.

We still have two weeks to go. It's been a long and exhausting and at the same time very interesting experience for all six of us in the secretariat. We've learned a lot of things (and made a lot more mistakes, which we hope to correct, if RodCon 2008 pushes through). Please feel free to give us your comments and suggestions.

We hope to see you all in RodCon. We end with a quote from the British novelist Zadie Smith:

"But the problem with readers, the idea we're given of reading is that the model of a reader is the person watching a film, or watching television. So the greatest principle is, 'I should sit here and I should be entertained.' And the more classical model, which has been completely taken away, is the idea of a reader as an amateur musician. An amateur musician who sits at the piano, has a piece of music, which is the work, made by somebody they don't know, who they probably couldn't comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you. That's the incredibly unfashionable idea of reading. And yet when you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. It's an old moral, but it's completely true.

I would add that talented writers begin as talent readers, though I've scarcely heard it remarked upon.

The two activities are not only fundamentally similar, they're the necessary halves of a single human activity.

The reader completes the arc.

If there is no reader, there is no text."


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