on the brony phenomenon

This is perhaps the best Christmas gift ever – my eldest daughter Alexandra Ma. Alcasid gets published for the first time on 26 December 2011!

Her piece, “Ponies and Bronies”, appeared in the “Everyman” column of the English-language daily broadsheet Manila Standard-Today. It’s on page 4, part of the Opinion spread.

Alex’s piece explores the “brony” phenomenon – why adolescent and young men adult men have become the unexpected fanbase of the remake of the ’80s “My Little Pony” cartoon series.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Philippine Bronies group on Facebook is very active, with around 277 members and still growing. Asking around, I learned of quite a few reasons why the male members were attracted to such a colorful cartoon aimed at little girls.

At the core of it are the characters. The show’s first season starts with Twilight Sparkle, an introverted unicorn who has trouble making friends. She is sent to Ponyville in an attempt to make friends. While there, she meets the pegasi Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, the unicorn Rarity, and the Earth ponies Applejack and Pinkie Pie. These six ponies are the center of the show and it is through their antics and adventures that Twilight Sparkle, and the viewer, learns a valuable lesson about friendship.

Mis hijas: Erika and Alexandra Alcasid, 24 Apr 2011, Makati City.

Alex is a gamer, K-pop fan, and fiction writer – watch for her forthcoming YA novel, The Agency. Here’s a taste. In this scene, Vash introduces the protagonist, Lilah, to the members of the band “Hell’s Garden”:

“This is Pride.” Vash gestured to the girl, who smiled pleasantly back at him and Lilah. “She’s the leader of the group, and coincidentally the shortest. She may look carefree, but she’s the most responsible. Also, Pride is the lead singer. Makes sense seeing as how the lead singer is always the center of attention in a music group. Next is Wrath.”

Wrath was the most oddly dressed of the group, wearing a long sleeve white jacket that covered the neck, and it had short belts strapped along the arms and the whole thing was reminiscent of a strait jacket. Wrath also wore black cargo pants and high top sneakers, and a biker mask that covered the nose and mouth. Wrath glared at the opposite wall so intensely, Lilah thought it might catch fire.

“Wrath is the drummer of the group. Her jacket and mask are symbolic of rage held at bay to the raw emotion that is released to the beat of the drums.” Vash explained.

“Wait wait…’Her’? Wrath is a girl?” Lilah looked to Vash, then back to Wrath, and was taken aback as her eyes met Wrath’s. Her eyes were cold and her expression was of pure anger. Lilah shrank back but Pride just put a hand on Wrath’s shoulder. “Your eyes. Softer…Softer…” she said, and Wrath shifted her expression. “Okay, that’s good.” Pride let go and tapped Wrath on the top of her head. Wrath now wore a blank expression which was, to Lilah, much better.

I’m a proud mom – can you tell?

taste more:

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