Rancho Palos Verdes, CA– To celebrate the Printed and Spoken Words, Philippine Expressions Bookshop will host its annual Filipino American Authors Night and present eight authors and their new works to the community. Traditionally, Authors Night is held on the eve of the LA Times Festival of Books when authors gather in Los Angeles for the Festival. This year, Authors Night will be held on Friday, April 19 from 5:30pm – 9:00pm at the Community Hall of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) which is located at 1145 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. The building is on the corner of Lucas Street and Wilshire, next to the Good Samaritan Hospital. Visit http:///www.apalc.org/for the map site. The venue host is Carmina Ocampo, a Fil Am lawyer connected with APALC. The event is free and open to the public but RSVP is requested. Call Linda Nietes at (310) 514-9139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Street parking is available or at Athena Parking for $6.00 located at 634 Lucas Street.
Featured Authors at this year’s event include two out-of-state women authors: Almira Astudillo Gilles of Chicago and Criselda Yabes, a journalist from Manila. The rest of the authors are from Northern and Southern California: Janet Stickmon of Napa Valley, Steven Yagyagan of San Diego, Santa Monica author Cecilia Manguerra Brainard and debut authors Marvin Gapultos, Giovanni Ortega and Sumi Sevilla Haru who are presenting their first books. The authors will talk, read and sign their books.
Every year, the small literary community within the big Filipino American community of Southern CA awaits the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books which is now on its eighteenth year. Philippine Expressions Bookshop has participated in the Festival since 1997. The Bookshop started with just a couple of Fil Am authors and over the years, more and more works of Fil Am authors have been published. Except for Brainard and Gilles, six Featured Authors will also sign books during the Festival. They will be joined by four other authors: Carina Forsythe known in the writing world as Carina Monica Montoya, Albert J. Mortiz, Myrna Mulhern and Leslie Ryan. Details about them and their books are in the bookshop’s blog Archive in March, September and October 2012 .
Owner Linda Nietes of Rancho Palos Verdes is “glad to be part of the cultural scene of the City of Los Angeles all these years. She is also happy that she has helped create more awareness for the Filipino literary traditions in America.” Philippine Expressions, her specialty bookshop was established in Los Angeles in 1984 in order to provide a home for Philippine writings in America. It is the first of its kind in American soil and is dedicated to Filipino Americans and Filipinos in the diaspora who are in search of their roots. When martial law was declared in the Philippines in 1972 and Philippine writings were censored, Linda Nietes bravely opened Casalinda Bookshop, her first Filipiniana bookshop in San Antonio Plaza, Forbes Park, Makati. Her aim was to encourage Filipinos to write despite political censorship and to provide a home for Philippine writings during that period. After twelve years of giving support to Philippine writings and living in a repressive society under martial law, she left for the United States in 1984 and reopened her business as Philippine Expressions Bookshop in Westwood Village near UCLA. Two years later in 1986, dictator Ferdinand Marcos was deposed but Nietes decided to stay on. In 1997, she moved to Rancho Palos Verdes where her home-based mail order bookshop still operates. Counting the years when she opened her first bookshop, Nietes has been a bookseller and cultural activist for the last forty-one years, of which 29 years were on American soil. Before becoming a Philippine book specialist, she worked for the world’s biggest stock market brokerage firm in Hong Kong. When the company opened its Regional Office in Manila, she was transferred to Manila as the Operations Manager. When martial law was declared in the Philippines, she opted for an early retirement so that she could help her country in crisis. She found her niche in the book business. Looking back, “it has not been an easy journey but it was a mission that I undertook gladly,” Nietes added. She had been exposed to the ups and downs of the US stock market and in risk-taking, so she took everything in stride. Today, the book market all over the world is undergoing tremendous challenges due to new technologies and innovative methods of doing business. And this trailblazer looks forward to retirement soon.
She further added, “the Bookshop continues to seek the support of the community as we present new programs that make a difference in the cultural life of Filipinos in the diaspora. Please support Filipino American authors as they try to find their place in the literary map of mainstream America! Inspire our authors with your presence and have a book autographed for your private library when you visit us at the Festival. Do come and bring your family and friends.” If you are unable to visit but would like to purchase autographed copies of their books, the Bookshop accepts orders. The booth of Philippine Expressions Bookshop is Booth # 033, located at Trousdale Parkway, along Exposition Boulevard at USC Campus, Los Angeles. For more details, visit the Festival’s website: http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/general-information/ For maps and direction to USC Campus, visit http://visit.usc.edu/maps-directions/