With late night gatherings and smoking at Books from Underground, the famed makeshift bookstore in the center of Lagusnilad Underpass in Manila – especially in those times which began to darken the country – The Time of Assassins Literary Guild (TTALG) found its first footing to gather its members. The guild then was shaped into a five-author team, with a name being wrought after Henry Miller’s study on Rimbaud.

In 2019, in their first year run, TTALG released two short story-collections as zines: Open Fire, and Cheap Lives and Hard Drives: A Cyberpunk Anthology. The guild then immersed into the zine community, where it participated in Komura; Black and White Zine Fair, the AFK Print and Zine Fair, 2010’s-run of Better Living Through Xeroxography (BLTX). TTALG also guested in Jam 88.3ʼs Bigkas Pilipinas in 2019. They have also collaborated with AUX (Artists in BPO Unite for Social Change).

In the heart of the pandemic, TTALG manages to survive and write with four of its members: Kahlil Labastilla, Eissenn Tronco, Ramzzi Fariñas, and Gab Angeles.

In each of their individual accord, their poetry and prose have been published in different platforms like Philippines Graphic, AUX: Kartilya Vol. 2 and The New Normal – Lockdown Edition, Ani 41, Novice, and among others.

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Kahlil Labastilla was born and raised in Manila. He is a founding member of The Time of Assassins Literary Guild, as well as a being a member of AUX, a cultural organization of workers from the BPO industry. With TTALG he has released two short stories, “Iam Android,” and “Travel Experience in Bicol” through self-published works sold in Komura; Black and White Zine Fair, of September 2019, and BLTX, of December 2019, respectively.

He has also pursued a diverse career outside of his literary interest. From 2016 he was a technical support agent for Convergys, from 2017 to the half of 2019 he worked as a cultural officer and researcher for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and finally as an external affairs assistant for Kopiko Philippines for the remainder of 2019. Currently he is vying to contribute in the field of Disaster Risk Prevention, and where he also plans to settle.

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Eissenn Tronco grew up near a cemetery in Taguig. He worked as technical support representative for Samsung, and as a content writer for the now defunct hip-hop website undercurrentmusic.com.

For years now he has been working as a physician assistant in a clinic in Makati’s Central Business District. His love for cinema landed him odd jobs in some of his friends’ film sets and he would also sit in film classes in Meridian International, whenever he got the chance.

He is one of the five pioneering members of The Time of Assassins Literary Guild, who in their first year as a group, has released two zines: Open Fire, and Cheap Lives and Hard Drives. His stories “The Mourning Star,” and “It Took The Night For Us To Believe” appeared in the zines mentioned respectively. He plans to study films and literature, and is currently funding this return to education.

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Ramzzi Fariñas grew up in Ilocos Sur and Abra. After a brief stint in the local media in Vigan City, he pursued a career in Metro Manila, and soon worked for the BPO industry, the National for Commission for Culture and the Arts, a publishing company specializing in local government features, and the Philippine Red Cross. Being familiarized with the underground art and independent collectives, he would soon become a pioneering member of The Time of Assassins Literary Guild.

Recently, his poetry and prose were all at once selected and published in CCP Intertextual Divisionʼs ANI 41, likewise in Novice: Issue 03. Separately, his poems have appeared in Philippines Graphic, AUX’s Kartilya Vol. 2 and The New Normal – Lockdown Edition, Buhawi: Ang Unang Hagupit and Digital-Hypertext Garden 2020; while his short stories took place in TTALGʼs zine collections, Cheap Lives & Hard Drives: A Cyberpunk Anthology, and Open Fire.

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Gab Angeles is an accountant for his family’s business, while working part-time as a finance advisor. He is into Japanese literature because he finds misery inspiring.

He graduated from Lyceum of the Philippines University with a degree in Culinary Arts. Along his sophomore year he picked up the habit of reading. For the past sixteen years of his life, he could count the number of books he has read with one hand. Now he doesn’t bother to count, for he found something he enjoys, and that’s what matters to him.

It didn’t take him long to find himself writing in his spare time. He kept his works to himself as the people around him had little to no interest in reading. But that changed when he met the members of The Time of Assassins Literary Guild who encouraged him to write, so he did.