Of Book Covers and Blunders

Hey, readers. David from Flipside here. It’s been a while since we posted anything at all on this blog, but something happened a week ago which I felt I needed to address.

First, a chronology of events:

Last Thursday, March 5th, Paolo Chikiamco alerted me to the fact that Manilarama Music—which from what I gather is a local events organizer, focusing on indie bands and musicians—had put together a gig at Selda-Dos Music Bar and Studio with the theme ‘Alternative Alamat’. (Alternative Alamat is also the title of a book Paolo edited.) The gig took place on Thursday, February 26th. To promote the gig, Manilarama used the cover of the Alternative Alamat anthology in a poster—

Please pardon the incredibly low resolution.

Please pardon the incredibly low resolution.

Compare to the original book cover (presented here with a far more tolerable resolution)—


It would appear that all the folks at Manilarama did was to slap on a bunch of band names and some logos and then called it a day — they didn’t even remove the ‘EDITED BY PAOLO CHIKIAMCO’ at the bottom. But sloppy work wasn’t the problem. What bothered Paolo was that no one informed him that Manilarama would be repurposing the book cover as a poster, and that no one credited Mervin Malonzo (of Tabi Po fame), the person who designed said cover. Somehow, though, Paolo heard about the gig and saw the poster on Facebook. He shared the poster on his own timeline, where his friends and colleagues, including Mervin and myself, could see the lapse of judgment on Manilarama’s part. (I use that term with no sarcasm—I’ll explain later.)

A few people were quite pissed off at this infringement of rights, and quite understandably so. Paolo contacted Manilarama (not entirely sure, but I think it was either an email or a private message on Facebook) and asked them to—at the very least—credit Mervin. Mervin comically commented on the original post on Manilarama’s page, to the effect of “Ako ang nag-design ng book cover na ito. Walang nag-credit sa akin, kaya ako na lang ang magke-credit sa sarili ko.” I wasn’t directly involved in the book (I wasn’t even a Flipside employee yet when it was published), but as the current head of Flipside’s trade publishing arm, I thought I’d jump into the fray, anyway. (Because, hey, three voices are better than two, yeah?) I sent Manilarama a private message, requesting that they “update the post linked above to state explicitly that [they] used the cover of Paolo’s book to make the poster, and to give due credit to Mervin.” To this day, it appears that they haven’t even opened my message, so I guess I can’t really say I contributed much to rectifying the situation. I periodically monitored Manilarama’s page, but there would be no changes until the next day.

On Friday, March 6th, I checked Manilarama’s page again, and found that the caption to the poster (which previously only listed the gig’s details) had been edited—

Again, please forgive the low res.

Again, please forgive the low res.

On my end, I thought that was enough. But as Paolo pointed out, “‘thanking’ us for the art makes things *worse* not better,” and so he contacted them again to explain what, in fact, should be done. And so, another revision to the post was made, and thankfully, Paolo took a screenshot of said post—

Proper Credit v2.0 (or Apologia v1.0)

Proper Credit v2.0 (or Apologia v1.0)

So I thought about it again—and Paolo was right. Merely “thanking” him and Mervin for the cover implies that Manilarama sought and received Paolo and Mervin’s permission to use the cover prior to using it for their poster, which is simply inaccurate. Making things right would require admitting (not only to Paolo and Mervin, but also to their audience) that what they did was wrong. And to their credit, that, they did. Unfortunately, as of Monday, March 9, Manilarama had taken down any and all posts related to Alternative Alamat.

A side note: Some of Paolo’s friends wanted more retribution than that, but as Paolo pointed out, the way that the whole thing was carried out was “too slipshod, grade-school-plagiarist.” I tend to agree—I detect no malice behind the act (again, they didn’t even bother taking Paolo’s name off the cover!), so my conclusion is that they simply didn’t know any better.

Honestly, the idea of using reimagined folklore as a theme for a music gig is kind of awesome. If the whole thing were pulled off properly (and I’d heard about it early enough), I probably would’ve gone. This whole fiasco, it seems, is borne of the widespread notion that anything and everything on the Internet is free game. This could not be farther from the truth. Paolo, Mervin, Eliza Victoria, Dean and Nikki Alfar, and everyone else in the local writing community do this not for the money (it’s no secret we don’t exactly get rich off these books), but for the love of it. They take pride in the work they produce (and I take pride in helping to facilitate its production), and it would sting if someone were to appropriate said work for their own needs without bothering to ask permission. I would launch into a diatribe regarding intellectual property rights, but I find that I am unable to launch into diatribes in general. Ergo, I shall attempt a summary: I personally believe art and knowledge should be shared with all (I’m a fan of the idea behind Creative Commons), but I also believe that a person’s moral rights to their work—or the right of attribution, the right to have a work published anonymously or pseudonymously, and the right to the integrity of the work—should be irrevocable.

That is, as opposed to what the 2015 Palancas require of applicants. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist taking that dig!)

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Tikum Kadlum: Sugidanon (Epics) of Panay (Book 1)

After twenty-five years of hard work—the recording, transcribing, translating, cross-checking and more—the ten epics of Panay have finally been documented for posterity.

The University of the Philippines Press and Flipside Publishing present the Sugidanon of Panay: Panay’s ten oral epics preserved for future generations in digital form. Tikum Kadlum (Black Dog), Book I, tells about the hunting spree of Datu Paiburong, the cutting of the prized buriraw nga kawayan (a yellow-colored variety of bamboo), and the heavy payment demanded by the man-eating monster, Makabagting, from Datu Paiburong for the crashing of his prized burugsak (gold bell). From the mountain of Panay Island, to the cities, this book reaches out to its varied readers in three languages: contemporary Kinaray-a, Filipino (Tagalog), and English.

A standard edition and an enhanced edition of TIKUM KADLUM: SUGIDANON (EPICS) OF PANAY (BOOK 1) by Frederico Caballero, Teresita Caballero-Castor, Alicia P. Magos PhD are now available on the following ebookstores:


Barnes & Noble | Flipreads | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play


The enhanced edition includes an audio recording of the epic Pahagunong.


Also coming soon to iTunes and Google Play.


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Chino the Whiner & Darkness in the World

Happy holidays, readers! We rolled out new titles this week!

Chino the Whiner

by Bujit Gutierrez-Tesoro, illustrated by John Ed De Vera

chino the whiner

Chino has everything a little boy could ever ask for, but he whines and complains about anything and everything. Then, one day, something happens—he makes new friends, and through them, he learns never to take anything for granted ever again.

CHINO THE WHINER is available on the following ebookstores:

Amazon | Flipreads | Kobo | iTunes Google Play

Darkness in the World

by A.S. Santos

darkness in the world - cover

Samantha Davidson had been warned—by her powerful Guardian, no less—that dark days were coming. What she didn’t know was that many of these events would be brought about not just by past choices they have made, but also by a most dangerous sinister force that had been watching her every move, right from the start.

Pretty soon, strange incidents start happening to “sensitive people” worldwide, deeply disturbing paranormal events begin to escalate, and their own Student Paranormal Research Group falls under attack.

By the time Sam and her friends realize the bigger picture of their involvement in the paranormal, they already find themselves facing what they never thought they’d see in their lifetimes: a catastrophic event that could change the world.

Grab a copy of the much awaited final installment of the SPRG from:

Amazon | Flipreads | Kobo | Google Play

Have an amazing Christmas season! :)

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Hay, Naku! 2013: Pagsusuma ng Isang Peryodista

Halina’t magbalik-tanaw at magsuri ng mga isyu sa edukasyon, pulitika, midya, at lipunan at magnilay kung paano makaaapekto ang mga ito sa atin sa parating na taon sa HAY, NAKU! 2013: PAGSUSUMA NG ISANG PERYODISTA ni Danilo Araña Arao.

Ang librong ito ay pinagsama-samang mga artikulong isinulat ni Danilo Araña Arao na tumatalakay sa maiinit na isyu na naganap noong 2013.

Pagpapatuloy ito ng “personal at politikal na proyekto [ni Prop. Arao na] magbigay ng pagsusuring nagsisilbing alternatibo sa mga madalas na makuha sa dominanteng midya … [at] magsilbing gabay … para mas lalo pang maintindihan ang katangian ng pag-uulat at pagmumulat sa pamamagitan ng alternatibong midya.”

Mabibili ang HAY, NAKU! 2013: PAGSUSUMA NG ISANG PERYODISTA ni Danilo Araña Arao sa mga sumusunod na ebookstore:

Flipreads | iTunes | Google Play

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Ginhawa: Well-being in the Aftermath of Disasters — FREE on Flipreads

In light of the recent calamity that hit the country (Typhoon Ruby; international name: Hagupit), Flipside offers the book GINHAWA: WELL-BEING IN THE AFTERMATH OF DISASTERS by Lourdes Ladrido-Ignacio, MD for FREE on Flipreads.
To download the ebook for free and learn how we can help survivors cope, click here.

Here are the instructions for download:

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“The Philippines is highly vulnerable to disasters, both natural and human-induced. In the aftermath of a disaster, massive rescue and relief operations are required — medical treatment, food, clothing, shelter, and sanitation, the immediate reconstruction of infrastructure. But beyond the physical havoc wrought by disaster, the victims’ feelings of shock, fear, grief, perplexity, and helplessness need to be addressed. For the devastation in the lives of the people and their communities is manifest not only in the mud and debris — trauma may take root and fester in the psyche as well.

“This book discusses the importance of psychosocial care in disaster management. In presenting psychosocial intervention concepts, strategies, and programs, it demonstrates that crises and adversities in people’s lives need not remain misunderstood sources of disabling symptoms, but may be taken as challenges and opportunities for growth and the promotion of well-being, turning ‘victim’ into ‘survivor.'”

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Kubori Kikiam: We Heart Short Shorts #2


Kubori Kikiam fans, do not fret! Here is Part 2 of Kubori Kikiam: We Heart Short Shorts by Michael David!

Welcome to the world of Kubori Kikiam!

Meet Dodon, Benjo, and Manny—a trio of talking and walking street food. If you want your dishes unique, served with humor and a dash of bizarre, you’re in for a tasty treat.

Dodon continues his research on how to be successful for his upcoming date with a girl he met online. He gathers invaluable knowledge like how to find the clitoris and strengthening neck muscles for cunnilingus.

Things are going well until a huge pimple appears on Dodon’s face. Can Dodon’s friends prepare him in time for his date?

Get Kubori Kikiam: We Heart Short Shorts #2 from the following ebookstores:

Amazon | Flipreads | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

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November Events

Goodness, it has been more than a month since our previous post! We here at Flipside couldn’t believe how November whizzed through us as we participated in five—yes, five events!

So what things have kept Flipside busy this month?

Paths to Publishing

November 9, The Forum, Fully Booked BGC

We were invited by Comic School Manila to a free discussion called Paths to Publishing where comic creators, artists, and writers talk about what to do after finishing their comics or their books. The panel included Josel Nicolas, Ace Vitangcol, Carljoe Javier, Mina Esguerra, Paolo Chikiamco, Kenneth Yu, and Flipside’s Acquisitions Editor David Ong. The forum was moderated by Tintin Pantoja.

The panel of Paths to Publishing.

The panel members shed light about how they got their work published, the options for publishing (traditional and digital), pertinent issues in publishing like copyright, and for the editors, what they’re looking for in submissions.

Are you interested in publishing your works digitally? Check out our submission guidelines! Got more publishing queries? Feel free to shoot an email at publisher@flipside.ph.

Digital Visionaries: the Globe Education Solution Launch

November 11, The Mind Museum

Globe, in its pursuit of offering world-class services for education, introduced the Globe Education Solutions to the public through Digital Visionaries: the Globe Education Solutions Launch. The line of solutions include the following: Brightspace, an integrated learning platform by Desire2Learn; Educube, a school management system by Globals Inc.; and last but not the least, ebook solutions by Flipside.

The program started with a plenary session with the CEOs of Desire2Learn, Globals Inc., and Flipside sharing the advantages of the solution that their respective companies offer.

Flipside CEO and President Anthony de Luna shares the advantages of going digital.

Flipside’s CEO and President Anthony de Luna discussed the advantages of going digital for reading materials and how Flipside can help schools shift to ebooks with its conversion and ebookstore and elibrary set-up solutions.

The session was followed by breakout sessions where attendees experienced hands-on demos of the solutions. Flipside’s Project Manager of Business-to-Consumer Operations Sevastian Romberg led the attendees to a demo of the company’s latest offering, the Philippine Educational Ebook Reader (PEER).

Flipside’s Project Manager of Business-to-Consumer Operations Sevastian Romberg shows the attendees the demo ebookstore of PEER.

The CEOs of Desire2Learn, Globals Inc., and Flipside with Globe representatives, Globe EVP & COO Gil Genio, and host Menchu Macapagal.

Different media outlets and bloggers reported about Digital Visionaries, of which a few are listed below:

The Daily Tribune

Apps and Gadgets

All Chucked Up!

eLifestyle Manila

Ilonggo Tech Blog


Techie Style

The Rebel Sweetheart

Pinoy Metro Geek

To know more about Globe Education Solutions, click here. Interested in setting up your ebookstore with PEER? Send us an email at info@peer.ph or call us at (632) 730-4038.

The 5th Philippine International Literary Festival and Book Industry Summit (Aklatan, Filipino ReaderCon)

November 12-14, Bayanihan Center, Pasig City

2014 marks the fifth year of the Philippine International Literary Festival (formerly known as Manila International Literary Festival, not to be confused  with Philippine Literary Festival). This year’s festival highlighted sustainability of the book industry amidst ASEAN integration and globalization. PILF also included the Book Industry Summit, and the co-located events Aklatan and Filipino ReaderCon.

Flipside’s VP and General Manager James Pacaba talked about the pros and cons of traditional and digital publishing in the context of environmental impact in a discussion called “Lightening the Carbon Footprint.”

Flipside’s VP and General Manager James Pacaba discussing the steps on lightening the carbon footprint.

Flipside’s VP and General Manager James Pacaba discussing the steps on lightening the carbon footprint.

And of course, Flipside also sold ebooks at the three-day event. How was this possible when we normally accept online payments, you ask? Well, we sold them through ebook cards—cards that contain the Flipreads link and the promo code which you enter on the book page to download the book. Sounds pretty cool and convenient, doesn’t it?

Flipside ebook cards and booth display.

Flipside ebook cards and booth display.

Flipside's Acquisitions Editor David Ong and the Flipside booth at PILF-BIS.

Flipside’s Acquisitions Editor David Ong and the Flipside booth at PILF-BIS.

Globe Enterprise Innovation Forum 2014

November 18, Edsa Shangri-La

To quote from the event website, the Enterprise Innovation Forum “gathers the country’s top business executives and progressive industry thinkers in an environment where they can explore and consider new business ideas and strategies, and discover cutting-edge innovation.”

This year’s Globe EIF featured Guy Kawasaki, the chief evangelist of Canva, as the keynote speaker. In the talk called “The Art of Innovation,” Kawasaki shared the steps on how enterprise owners can take the lead by bringing bright ideas to the work table, coupled with his experiences in the industry.

Anthony de Luna, Flipside’s President and CEO, discussed the advantages of going digital in the workplace with digital documents and materials in “The Digital Corporate Lifestyle: Communicating Better, Easier, and Cooler.”

Flipside also entertained questions from the attendees about its solutions for the corporate market which include its prime offering, the Document Hub, at its booth.

Flipside’s account executives Raymond Ramirez and Thine Bariuad at the Flipside booth.

Flipside also gave away a Document Hub Package in the raffle. The package included the design and development of a company-branded document hub with free conversion of a company-owned material, plus employee log-in system for security. Our lucky winner is Mancy Joaquin of PTT Philippines. Congratulations, Mr. Joaquin!

Mancy Joaquin of PTT Philippines receives the Document Hub package prize certificate.

Mancy Joaquin of PTT Philippines receives the Document Hub package prize certificate.

Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 9 Launch

November 22, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Shangri-La Plaza Mall

Editors, contributors, and friends and family of the country’s spec fic community gathered to celebrate the launch of the latest volume of Philippine Speculative Fiction, edited by Andrew Drilon and Charles Tan.

Flipside sold not only the latest volume of PSF but the previous eight volumes as well, plus the Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction via ebook cards.

Ebook cards of the Philippine Speculative Fiction series.

Ebook cards of the Philippine Speculative Fiction series.

The contributors and their friends present at the launch got complimentary copies of the book, stickers, and origami dragons from the Alfars!

Giveaways from the PSF Vol. 9 Launch. Photo by Eden Sarmiento.

Just look at these beaming faces! Congratulations to the contributors and editors!

The contributors and editors of PSF Volume 9.

The contributors and editors of PSF Volume 9.

Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 9 is now available on the following channels:

Amazon | Flipreads | Kobo | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Smashwords | Scribd | Weightless Books

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