The Filipino Reader Conference took place last Saturday. But first, I will digress for a little background.
Friday night, the night before the event, I was busy recording the video log that I posted last night. When I was done, my housemates arrived and forced me to have a couple of drinks. I had no choice anyway; it’s either I decline and suffer the noise that they will make, or join them and loosen up a bit. I kept in mind that my call time is 6 AM.
We watched Olympic videos and some gag shows at YouTube. I looked at the computer clock: 3:45 AM. I volunteered to clear up everything. I took a long, long shower. I drank coffee. I dressed up, grabbing the first white piece of clothing that I saw. I went out.
And I was sleepless for 40 straight hours.
But my sleeplessness did not deprive me of fun. I enjoyed the day for I met new people from the registration team. I did mention that I was a last minute volunteer, no? Although I was not able to attend the panels, I was glad enough to wave people in who looked like lost llamas and to help them regarding what to do. I had my lines prepared: Hi there, have you pre-registered? No? That’s fine, just write your name and affiliation on this log sheet. And oh, after that, you can pay your registration fee at the opposite counter, and then come back to us once they’ve given you a receipt.
When there weren’t any llamas or lambs who got astray, I conversed with my team mates, particularly Peter (whose blog I’ve been stealthily following for some time now), Joko (a bubbly gal; I think she’s a chef or something), Jason (a writer for one giant TV network here in the Philippines), Victor (who reads books by … Kierkegaard! *faints), and my buddy, Atty. Monique (she took over my seat after lunch).
My fellow book club members were also there, who acted as volunteers like myself or guests who had insightful reading and bookish talks. One of them mentioned that he picked a lot of good things at the panel about school reading programs. Speaking of book clubs, four were given slots for book discussions, just to give the guests a feel of what’s it like to be in a book club discussion.
After the panels and the book discussions, there’s the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. And then the cocktails plus book raffles. I got two children’s books, so I decided to give them to Atty. Monique for her daughter. No, she asked for the books, hahaha, but I didn’t mind.
Of course, the day wouldn’t be over without a palengke meet-up with my book club friends. I wasn’t able to stay out late with them because I figured I should sleep instead of doing cartwheels!
The 2nd Filipino ReaderCon was made possible thanks to the help of Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) (which can double as a wedding venue; one local women’s lit writer got married there) and National Book Development Board (NBDB). Much thanks to the sponsors: Adarna House, Anvil Publishing, Flipreads, Hachette Philippines, Lampara Books, OMF Literature (I love the magnetic bookmarks!), and Scholastic. And yes, I’m not forgetting Amici Philippines and McDonald’s. Burp!
And yes, since I mentioned the publishing houses, here’s my new stash of books:
- House of Holes by Nicholson Baker – given by Peter. It’s the first thing that he handed me when I arrived at the venue. I thought he was going to give me a stack of registration sheets, and look! A nice hardbound copy. It’s not too big, so I don’t mind it.
- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Php 200.00. An addition to my Nobel project.
- Death in Venice by Thomas Mann – Php 100.00. And another!
Let’s do this again next year! Thanks and now, we’re back to regular programming.
(Photos courtesy of Rhett c/o Peter and Ella.)