The ‘aswangs’ of Portland: Fantasy novel not political satire

The book is published by The Parliament House.

When Marcella Leones relocates her family of aswang vampires from the Philippines to Portland, Oregon, she raises her grandchildren under strict rules so humans will not expose them. Her only wish is to give them a peaceful life, far away from the hunters and the Filipino government that attempted to exterminate them.

Before she dies, she passes on the power to her eldest grandchild, Percival. He vows to uphold the rules set forth by Leones, allowing his family to roam freely without notice. After all, they are aswangs.

However, when the aswang covenant is broken, the murder rate in Portland rises drastically. Who is behind the murders? And who is behind the broken covenant? Along with sensie Penelope Jane, Percival must find the truth. It’s then they discover that there are other breeds of aswangs—werebeasts, witches, ghouls, and viscera—who have been residing in Portland for years.

Based on Filipino folklore (aswang), “Vampires of Portlandia” is a fantastical tale of different monsters coexisting in the weirdest city in America.

Author Jason Tanamor: He wanted to introduce Filipino folklore to the American mainstream.

“The novel will appeal to fans of ‘The Twilight Saga’ and the television show, ‘Grimm,’” Tanamor said in an interview. As one born to Filipino parents, he said he has always wanted to write about Filipino lore and to introduce such to the mainstream.

Tanamor has more than 10 years of experience as an entertainment writer and interviewer for Yahoo!, the Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus, Cinema Blend, Celebrity Cafe, Strip Las Vegas Magazine, Pulse Magazine, and Zoiks! Online. He has interviewed the likes of author Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club); comedians Demetri Martin, Jim Breuer (SNL, Half Baked), Aisha Tyler (Talk Soup, The Ghost Whisperer), Dane Cook, and Gabriel Iglesias; musicians Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Ann Wilson (Heart), Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless and Gossip Girl), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Henry Rollins (Black Flag); and baseball legend Pete Rose.

He has covered events featuring Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld and President Obama.

With novels, Tanamor said he enjoys writing in different genres. He is the author of the dark novels, “Anonymous” (which received a star review from Publishers Weekly) and “Drama Dolls;” the satirical novels, “Hello Fabulous!” and “She’s the One?” and the epic superhero themed children’s book, “I Heart Superhero Kid.” His newest novel, “Vampires of Portlandia,” is an urban fantasy.

Tanamor said his Filipino parents came to the Quad Cities, where Rock Island is, because their friends were there. The middle of three brothers, he graduated with two bachelor degrees — one in Accounting at Marycrest International University, and another in Communications at Western Illinois University “to satisfy my parents.”

Like many Filipino elders, his parents value education. “They wanted us kids to go to school,” he told The FilAm.

He is married and has four children.  

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