Is it really strange to mix Philippines and Science Fiction? Maybe, to the uninitiated. But if you've been aware of those classic movies (Tuko sa Madre Kakaw, Anak ng Bulkan)  being shown in black-n-white tv or the sci fi adventure and horror stories in Liwayway and Hiwaga Komiks in the 50's then you can easily see that Filipinos can do sci fi. They mostly started as derivatives of the Western science fiction but today these lineup of local writers are trying to make a progressive and distinct style of Filipino Science Fiction.

In this anthology of 15 stories, I am going to put my brief description or comment per story as I understood it.

The Malaya
Dean Francis Alfar
The theme is very similar to Hollywood's found footage genre and Ridley Scott's Alien series.

Oplan Sanction
Alexander Marcos Osias
An action-packed story with an ending worthy of a starcraft-like cinematic campaign ending.

Ina Dolor's Last Stand
Raymond P. Reyes
This is what nostalgia feels like in the distant future when people have to turn to the stars as their final refuge.

The Cost of Living
Vince Torres
This is one of my favorite stories in the whole anthology. I like the balance between comedy and horror and the idea of the Overtaker in contrast to the Undertaker.

A List of Things We Know
Isabel Yap
Multiple Filipino scenes in the future that clings more on nostalgia than apathy.

The Keeper
Audrey Rose Villacorta
A woman and her family tries to cope with the government's three-child policy directive.

The Day the Sexbomb Dancers Invaded Our Brains
Carljoe Javier
A very entertaining story in this anthology and the longest to read, but you wont be disappointed.

Dannah Ruth S. Ballesteros
This is another action-packed episode when the government experiment on super soldiers took the wrong route. Almost wrong.

Eliza Victoria
Another one of my favorite stories in this anthology, the author digs deeper by not just working around with the idea of "What if?" but also by working with a plausible Filipino future. The story is highly believable and entertaining capped by unfolding of a secret or rather, the necessary lie that usually gives birth to conspiracy theories.

Gene Rx
Katya Oliva-Llego
Now, I have to think twice when somebody comments about that chick and her Alien-white skin.

Robots and a Slice of Pizza
Raydon L. Reyes
If your idea of science fiction is just to "situate" people in the future while keeping their human nature intact, then this is probably sci fi. Probably.

Raven Guerrero
Having somebody by your side at the moment of Armageddon is indeed lucky.

Space Enough and Time
Anne Lagamayo
This story is a bridge between the mortal and immortal humans in the future when they have to find a place in the overpopulated galaxy. Really cool idea.

Taking Gaia
Celestine Trinidad
This one caught me off-guard. The agents of "little brown brother" has finally took over! This is my most favorite story from the entire anthology. Simply entertaining and funny.

War Zone Angel
Emil M. Flores
I thought I was watching a beer commercial here but the chick leaves the bar. Then she meets the space soldier and begins to like him. The space soldier smiles and politely says good bye. Then he explodes into pieces. The chick is alive but now sad. Aww.

The first half of the book really needs another round of editing for some noticeable typographical errors. I am sure Emil Flores (who happened to be my Comm 2 teacher during my college days) will deal with it for the future editions of this anthology. But the book as a whole, is substantial enough to be counted as part of Philippine Science Fiction in the 21st Century.

Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 3.5 vials of glutathione injections

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