Darna & Other Idols cover

Darna & Other Idols, the latest collection of profiles by Marra PL. Lanot, published by Anvil, is now off the press. Personalities written up are actors Marian Rivera, Gina Alajar, Osang Off Cam, Lucy Torres-Gomez and Richard Gomez, singer-actor-TV host Ryan Agoncillo, singer-TV host Ali Sotto, actor-politician Vilma Santos and husband Sen. Ralph Recto, composer Ryan Cayabyab, activist Maita Gomez, writers Kerima Polotan, Edith L. Tiempo and Lualhati Bautista, and human-rights lawyers Bobby Tañada and Rene Saguisag.

The book, as in Lanot’s previous collections of profiles, showcases Lanot’s interest in people from various fields such as politics, sports, and the arts. Says fictionist, columnist, and educator Butch Dalisay: “We Filipinos are inveterate, incurable gossips, and we appreciate any tidbit of information we can get about the people we admire (or sometimes loathe), but Marra PL. Lanot’s Darna & Other Idols goes well beyond dispensing juicy factoids. In these profiles–an art mastered by the late Nick Joaquin–Lanot locates her subjects in a context often missed or neglected by entertainment and political journalism. They emerge fallible, noble, capricious, generous, driven, and distracted–in other words, thoroughly human.”

Sheila Coronel, a well-respected investigative reporter and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts, further notes that “The engaging profiles in this book provide rare glimpses into the lives of some of the most interesting individuals to have walked the stage of Philippine public life. Whether she’s writing about Vilma Santos or Ryan Cayabyab, Rosanna Roces or Rene Saguisag, Marra PL. Lanot tells it like it is. Through these essays, these people come alive — in human dimension, not nobler or more colorful, but as they really are.”

Marra PL. Lanot writes poetry, creative non-fiction, and journalistic pieces in Filipino, English, and, occasionally, in Spanish. Her works have been antholigized in the Philippines and other countries, and have been translated into several languages. She also writes teleplays and video scripts, which have been produced and publicly screened. She graduated from the University of the Philippines with an AB, major in English degree. She has been official delegate to international writers’ and women’s conferences.