Support Local This Christmas

I found this over on Facebook and thought it was a nice idea.

Pasko na naman!

For those who are going to buy Christmas presents, here’s a suggestion: Buy gifts from small businesses, the neighbor who sells from the catalogue, women and mother entrepreneurs, artisans, shops in the neighborhood, the baker who makes handmade sweets and eat in a diner that serves great food. Let the money reach ordinary people so that there will be more people who will have a better Christmas. Let us support our people! If you think it’s a good idea, copy and paste this on your wall. ☺️🎄 #supportlokal

I added this bit when I reposted: Friends, if you have a business/product/service, feel free to post links to you site/page/ social media account in the comments. Post is public so you can share it.

Here’s the businesses in the comments. I’ll be editing this post as more get added. Feel free to let me know if you have something to add.

Komiket2017 Part 2: Bigger and Better

Komiket held its second event in Manila last October 14 & 15, and the crew of Kamote Kollektiv was again there. This time, we were present for both days, making the most of the weekend crowd (many of whom likely just got their salaries and/or allowances).

We’re a lot more organized now compared to last February, thanks to our experience then and the few other bazaars we’ve joined in the last few months. We have more stickers, and we also have a few more people in our group selling. We also have a better inventory system, where we can keep track of what sells and who owns them, as opposed to the old one when we did it willy-nilly.

I made more designs too!

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Compared to last February.

According to sales, the best seller was the Don’t Forget to Save one. I should print more of it for next time.

Verdict? Sales were much better this time. I’m inspired to do more fanart stuff.

Art inspiration

I was able to go around a bit to check on other artists. It was great to see the tables of popular artists who became popular online like Hunghang Flashbacks (their table was right behind us) and Libreng Komiks. Artist favorites were also present, like Manix Abrera (also a table neighbor) and Pol Medina Jr. I missed Gerry Alanguilan, as I only went on Sunday.

I also found new artists to look up: Corinne Caro (who does this really great illustrations of Filipino streetscapes), and Victoria Tadiar a.k.a. Haitori who wrote Sagala, a Filipino steampunk comic.

The best thing about this? We were tablemates with Fandom Feels PH and Numinous Studio, both of which are run by my friends Grace and Rai, respectively. I didn’t miss out hanging with my friends while trying to earn money, which was awesome.

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Sepanx magnet at work at Komikon!

Kamote Kollektiv will be back at the BGC Art Mart this November 24-25!

Found! Corner Craft Punch

I’ve been looking for a corner craft punch for a while now. I have one that’s great for big projects, but not suitable for smaller pieces like postcards or calling cards. I ordered one online but due to a mix-up on the part of the shop, I never got it.

There’s a shop in Greenbelt 5 called Noteworthy. I try to avoid this shop because it’s a big temptation. Last Saturday though, I couldn’t resist going in. Guess what they had? A corner punch.

What made this so great is that it was perfectly sized for the projects I had in mind. Not only that, it already had three different sizes. I didn’t have to look for anything else, plus, no worries about twisting or moving any parts.

I didn’t buy it immediately, though I went back today to get it. I’m pretty excited to use it.

Another interesting thing about this is the packaging. The craft punch comes in a plastic shell with cardboard backing, which is standard for a lot of products. I hate this packaging, purely because it’s such a hassle to open. Most use a stapler to keep the cardboard and the plastic splitting, and removing that is a pain (literally and figuratively) if you don’t have a stable remover.

What made this ingenious is that you don’t need to use stapler or tape to keep it together. There’s a small slot in the plastic, where an extended part on the cardboard slides into, effectively holding it all together. You can either cut it off, or slightly turn the plastic back to let the cardboard slide. The latter will let you reuse the packaging if you need to.

Neat, eh?

Adventures in Hong Kong: Exploring

It was raining when Hansel and I left Manila last Wednesday. The sky was dark grey, the rain lashing against the plane’s windows as it prepared to take off. I’m a bit of a nervous traveller, so I pushed myself to sleep.

I don’t think I slept at all. I may have, but I was still too aware of the goings on around me. Plus, I was hungry.

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This trip began as a spur of the moment idea with my officemate Lud last year. He got a few others — Hansel, Rainier, Aileen — on board, and we took advantage of the seat sale. We got tickets at different times, hence our staggered arrival.

The flight took a little under two hours, with the captain boasting that we were actually early. We didn’t have much to wait as Hansel and neither had check in luggage. Grabbed a few maps and fliers, breezed through immigration and got ourselves Octopus cards. Located the queue for the A21 bus and we were off.

The last time I was in Hong Kong was five years ago. I arrived late evening, so I couldn’t see much of HK. Today I arrived with the sun still up, but by the time the bus left, it was early evening. Not much to say about the bus ride, but it was a double decker so yay. And free WiFi.

The hotel was located in Tsim Sha Tsui along the busy Nathan Road. It wasn’t a hotel that occupied the whole building, but rather a hotel located inside a building and was compromised of small rooms. My and Aileen’s room was very small, enough to fit a bunk bed and an open shelf. It at least had its own bathroom and toilet, which was considered a deluxe upgrade. The bed was surprisingly comfortable.

After stopping off my things, we headed out to find a place to eat. Lack of planning led us to one of the side streets along Nathan Rd., and ending up in a Chinese restaurant called Ming Yuen Congee and Noodle Restaurant. Thankfully they had an English menu.

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To be honest I don’t know if the food was that good, or I was just that hungry. I finished my meal, thanks to Handel’s help, and we went off to find dessert. Aileen and I ended up at Cotton On/Typo. Massive sale; massive self-control.

Walked back to the hostel. H, R, and I went exploring further, while L and A decided to get some rest. That’s where we found a side street with some cheap street food and a recommended noodle shop. Walked further up Nathan and back down again. Despite the late hour, there were still a lot of people around.

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Finally, exhaustion came. Needed sleep, because the next day we were going to Disneyland.

Komiket 2017: Post event

I’m no stranger to cons. I’ve attended a lot over the years, and have gone to so much more since I got into Doctor Who and met my Sepanx friends. However, it was my first time to sell something last February 25, at the Komiket in Centris Elements.

I can’t recall how it all started, really, but suddenly a few of my officemates and I were talking about getting a table at Komiket and selling stickers that we designed. Next thing I knew, Kate was getting us a table, and everyone was preparing for it.

As usual, I procrastinated, thinking that I had enough time. Unlike my friends, I wasn’t a designer and dabbled only in drawing and graphic design. Not only did I have to brainstorm sticker ideas, I had to learn how to create them in digital form using software like Adobe Illustrator.

Long story short, I crammed. I finalized my designs barely two weeks before, and had things printed less than 36 hours before. Stayed up all night to cut them (because I didn’t go for the digital-cut service) and woke up early on the 25th to set things up.

Thankfully, things worked out well despite all the rush. My simple designs actually got sold, and I managed to earn back the amount I spent for printing. We even had a lady inquire about our commission prices (to which we all replied with a blank stare). It wasn’t perfect, but I’d like to think we learned a lot from this venture. We’re now planning to doing this on a regular basis, setting up a collective name and all that.

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Stickers galore!

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Here’s mine.

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Thanks for checking out our work!

Photo by @steldevera
Artists and friends

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Legit

Lessons learned:

  • Having a brand helps get people to buy from you, or at least have a way to reach out to you if the want to avail of your services and buy more of your products.
  • Have an inventory of your products, and clearly label the price of each one.
  • If you can have a system of how you sell and split the cost, that will help.
  • Signs and display cases are hella useful.
  • Promote, promote, promote!

I’m excited to see this grow. It’s a great way for me to keep creating and improve on my designing chops, and who knows how it’ll grow as a business? Too early to tell, but hey, all the possibilities!

#FeelsFest: Mamser, Pag-Ibig

You can’t read romance without having your feelings go all crazy, more so if you write it. #romanceclass #FeelsFest is all about the hugot and the kilig and everything that goes with it.

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October 22, 2016 was a long anticipated day by the community of writers and readers that make up #romanceclass. There have been many smaller events in the past, such as April Feels Day, (Trinoma thing), and workshops that helped writers be more attuned to their craft (and enjoy some time with LI and MC pegs).

The event was hosted by the Ayala Malls, who tapped the #romanceclass to help support their Little Library. Guests of #FeelsFest who donate books to the cause get to pick from a selection of ebooks, all penned by RomanceClass authors, in exchange.

Here are my Top 5 Things about FeelsFest

5: Donate a book, get a book
FeelsFest was hosted by the AyalaMalls, who tapped the #romanceclass to help support their Little Library. Guests can donate books to the cause and get the same number of ebooks from #romancelass writers, in return. It’s a great way to get something new to read, even if you’re on a budget. You’re also helping people get more books to read through Ayala’s Little Free Library.

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Just a few of the books you can get for free with your book donations!

4. Games
Registered guests can join in the games. There’s the Photo Scavenger Hunt, where you have a list of things you need to take a photo of. Mind you, it’s not just simply taking a picture. I looked through the list and some of them will require guts, if you’re a shy person like me.

Then there’s the RomanceClass Bingo. You’ll have a grid of descriptions, and you’ll need to find someone who fits those. You can’t have someone filling in more than one box at a time, so even if you know someone who can fit many of the descriptions, you’ll have to find someone else. It was a fun way to get to know the RomanceClass community.

3. Community
Turnout to #FeelsFest was amazing! I arrived past noon and there were already quite a few people going around. Past events were pretty well attended, but the venues were smaller. We had some reservations at holding it in a bigger and much more public place, but fears were laid to rest when people came, stayed, and had a great time. While majority of the crowd were friends, family, and fans (yes, there are those!), there were a few curious onlookers who came by, and hopefully got a copy of the books!

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There is no clear division between writers and readers. A lot of the writers are readers themselves, and quite a few of the readings are also diving into writing, inspired by the enthusiasm of the writers. Then there’s the people who support them: friends and family, people who contribute to the books as character pegs, knowledge resources, cover and layout artists, editors, inspirations, actors…

2. Live Readings
Mina had this idea of having parts of the book read. A year ago, she tapped the help of theater actors Gio Gahol and Rachel Coates to read excerpts. It was only for a class, but it grew and grew until now we have several actors and actresses. The first time, it was for the writers, and it was a fun way to see how their work was interpreted by other people.

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Here are the books that were read:

  • The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza
  • Sweeter by the Second by C.P. Santi
  • Tempting Victoria by Mina V. Esguerra
  • What You Wanted by Mina V. Esguerra
  • Save the Cake by Stella Torres
  • Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano
  • When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao

It also proved to be a great marketing tool, because people flocked the book merchandise table to buy what has been read, and more! Some of the books were sold out halfway through the event!

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1. New Releases
FeelsFest was the venue for eighteen new books. Considering that there was no recent romanceclass held, this was a big thing. Many were new releases from romanceclass veterans, but some were from first timers. It was awesome to see their works being snapped up and gushed over.

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Here’s the list of new releases. You can get ebook copies from Amazon.

New #romanceclass releases

Here’s to more feels!