reportage, NON-FICTION

Calling Out the Destruction: Meditations on Violence and Transcendence

Here are true tales of the savage and the strange, by the author of the award-winning Report from the Abyss. The visceral and the vulnerable, pugilists to pop icons, cinema to computer games. This compendium sees De Mesa, as both a longreads reporter and essayist, conjuring the best bits of each genre that make these peculiar bedfellows hang together.

blurbs & praise for the book

Georgina Monk

“Karl R De Mesa’s collection…places conceptions of mettle, both physical and emotional, under a high-intensity microscope. In examining the nuances of grit, violence and determination, the Filipino author and reporter digs deep beneath the lazy, surface-level musings of an all too modern journalism.”

Anton D. Umali

“Karl’s observations of pop culture aren’t afraid to dwell in the more shadowy corners most would avoid. Whether he’s profiling a subject, reviewing a show, or composing an essay, he never forgets to bring his flashlight just in case things take a turn for the dark.”

Joel Pablo Salud

“Karl De Mesa’s thoughts move with relative ease from Rhian Ramos’s jade-like glow to an essay on the flamenco that is Tokyo: smart, candid, and possessed with the craving to scratch.”

featured video

live among the feral

Among the main events was the virtual book launch of journalist and writer Karl de Mesa’s “Calling Out the Destruction: Collected Non-Fiction Meditations on Violence and Transcendence”, a collection of essays that will be available on Rebo Press in December 2021. Helping to make the well-rounded performance was Rica Aquino, who masterfully played the violin to Astor Piazzola’s “Etude No. 4.” Performance artist Ceej Gomera also performed a spoken word piece entitled “Entire History.” Finally, the author played his acoustic rendition of Iron and Wine’s “Claim Your Ghost.”


Calling Out the Destruction is a collected anthology of non-fiction spanning a decade that places conceptions of mettle, both physical and emotional, under a high-intensity microscope. From interviews with exiled beauty queens, reports on mixed martial arts fighters, personal reflections on orphanhood, to critical thoughts on horror movies like Midsommar, De Mesa explores how violence and catharsis can be inexorably interlaced.  

View this sampler through our FLIPHTML5 platform.


Karl R. De Mesa is a longreads journalist and author who has reported on stories in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Myanmar, and Singapore.

He is the author of the books of horror News of the Shaman and Damaged People, as well as the non-fiction collections Report from the Abyss and Radiant Void—both shortlisted for the Philippine National Book Awards for journalism and non-fiction.

His black and white photographs and photo essays have been published in CNN Philippines Life, Mantle Magazine, and Likhaan Journal. Listen to his non-fiction podcast The Dead Drop Podcast and to his fight culture podcast DSTRY.MNL Podcast, both on Spotify and all major pod platforms.

about the illustrator

Tom Estrera III is a print and motion graphics designer. He has been designing books, film posters, and other marketing materials for decades. He designed Karl de Mesa’s book covers which include News of the Shaman: Four Novellas of HorrorRadiant Void Reportage, and Report from the Abyss. His recently designed books include Daang Dokyu: A Festival of Philippine DocumentariesRiding the Waves: Fifteen Years of Cinemalaya, and Lourd de Veyra’s Marka Demonyo. He also recently designed Ang Daigdig ng mga Api: Remembering a Lost Film, a book about the lost Gerardo de Leon film.


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