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‘Young Blood Six’ launched

/ 01:19 AM April 25, 2017
The “Young Blood Six” launch was held atNational Book Store in SM City North Edsa. —ALEXIS CORPUZ

The “Young Blood Six” launch was held atNational Book Store in SM City North Edsa. —ALEXIS CORPUZ

In its sixth iteration, “Young Blood,” the book, continues the legacy of telling the stories of young writers in a collection that mirrors their hopes, dreams and fears.

“Young Blood Six,” the latest volume of essays chosen from a crop of published works under the column of the same title in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, was launched at National Book Store in SM City North Edsa in Quezon City on Saturday.

The best essays appeared in the paper’s Opinion section from 2014 to 2015.

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Ruel S. De Vera, one of the book’s editors, called the collection the highlight of the young generation’s lives. “It is the guitar solo in the middle of a fantastic song. It is the twist in the story you didn’t see coming,” he said.

Contrary to the increasing digital world, fellow book editor and Inquirer social media head JV Rufino described the selection as more of an “analog process.”

De Vera, Rufino, Opinion section editor Rosario A. Garcellano and Super editor Pam Pastor selected 75 essays from over 340 published pieces to best tell the stories of the Filipino youth today. The popular column comes out in the Inquirer thrice a week.

One of the authors, Lian Nami Buan, said the collection showed “a slice of a generation.” “It holds up a mirror to the generation we represent,” she said. “Even if our stories are unique, we are still interwoven together.”

Ryan Faura, 29, stood up to the “bane of his existence” in his essay that tackled baldness at an early age. The public school teacher, who was out of words and yet full of emotions when he read excerpts of his work, “From hair to eternity,” to the packed audience, expressed his surprise when people related to his flaw.

The cut-off age for Young Blood authors is 30 years old, leading many young aspiring writers to consider getting published in the column a rite of passage since its inception in 1994.

The essays dealt with a wide range of topics and a diversity of voices, from a Muslim professor who spoke of the role of her hijab in her life, to a woman’s love-hate relationship with the transit system.

From the reader who flits from one secondhand bookstore to another, ladies finding love through digital tools, to young professionals dealing with their fears, the collection featured the souls of the young Filipinos now immortalized in book form.

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Said graduating journalism student Faye Orellana, who came to the launch with all previous five books in hand: “Through these books which I grew up with, I was given the opportunity to discover the lives of other people. That, to me, is a privilege.”

The first Young Blood collection came out in 1996 and the fifth, in 2015.

Garcellano called the launch of the sixth book a milestone. The editor who reads through all Young Blood submissions—which can reach up to 300 submissions weekly—said the essays create a connection between her and the writers: “It’s like you’re all speaking to me.”

“Never lose faith in the written word, even in this age of alternative facts, fake news, limited attention span and 140-character declarations,” Garcellano told the crowd during the launch. “May you always say your declarations of love in an essay than in a tweet.”

De Vera called the books a “legacy of the Inquirer.”

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