Luis Joaquin M. Katigbak is the Associate Editor of Esquire Magazine (Philippine edition). He has won numerous honors for his writing, including four Palanca Awards, a Philippine Graphic prize, and a Young Artists’ Grant from the NCCA.
Luis has come out with two books so far: THE KING OF NOTHING TO DO (Milflores Publishing, 2006), a collection of essays, and HAPPY ENDINGS (University of the Philippines Press, 2000), a collection of short stories which has gone into multiple reprintings. Both were nominated for National Book Awards by the Manila Critics Circle.
Luis has worked in TV and advertising, and taught Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines. He writes a weekly column for the Philippine Star, called "Senses Working Overtime." He lives in Ortigas and has a cat named Skywise.
Renegade Eyeballs: 3/5 stars Poscards: 3.5/5 stars Happy Endings: 3/5 stars Birthday: 3.5/5 stars What the World is Waiting For: 5/5 stars Away: 3/5 stars Document: 4/5 stars Kara's Place: 4.5/5 stars The Rain, Rachel, and a Wednesday Afternoon: 3.5/5 stars The End: 4/5 stars
I really, really like Katigbak's writing style. The way he breathes life into his characters was admirable, which becomes even more prominent when he tells their stories through first-person narration. There's a certain wryness and humor to his style, which really rendered the reading experience to be quite pleasant. Oftentimes it almost seems like you're just listening to a friend sharing a secret, and he does this in his crisp, beautiful prose. I felt like something was lacking in the other stories, however, especially in terms of plot. A lot of them weren't new, either, but Katigbak peppered them with vigor through his seamless narration and characterization. However, the primary danger is that a lot of his characters were too similar to each other, and sometimes it was difficult to distinguish their voices from one another. Other than that, though, this was a great read.
"With really special people, something else happens underneath all the sharing of true-life anecdotes and stories. Of course, usually that's just flirting. But once in a while it's something else: a real connection, a rapport. It's hard to define without sounding like a sap. It's just that there are people who almost convince you that the concept of soulmate isn't as hokey or as ridiculously New Age as it sounds."