1. I am pleased to announce that Ramon de Veyra, contributing editor of Esquire Philippines, has a music video. It’s been out on the music channel Myx for some time now, and lucky fans of the band Ciudad got to see it at their album launch in early July, but tonight it is now available online. Watch it below.
2. Speaking of which, last Saturday was a very interesting night. Apart from the unfortunate and increasingly common incidence of smartphone theft at a typical event of the sort, the evening proved to be a very interesting one. A friend of mine from college came over, much to a lot of people’s surprise, and so did a certain Quark Henares. (His ensemble from college, Blast Ople, was the last band to perform that night, I understand, but the lateness of the hour dissuaded me.)
The good thing was, it was very much like what I wrote before about the earlier incarnation of Dope MNL, until the crowd got dramatically bigger and I headed out for a bit to drink some sangria with fruit, being quietly offered at a nearby gallery. (I suspect that the phones were lost when the bigger bands were playing, and fortunately I figured out where to stay–mostly in less crowded parts.)
I left after the set by Ang Bandang Shirley, tired but happy. Before I left, one of my younger friends asked this question, “I was also up since 4:30 AM. What’s your excuse?” I will answer it, because I was too tired to answer at the time.
3. The first Filipino Reader’s Convention was originally a fringe event at the Manila International Book Fair. It was on the same day the band TOI played its last set, and there were only about sixty people in attendance.
This year, the second convention, held in the cozy but elegant confines of the Filipinas Heritage Library, brought a much larger crowd, including writers, students, teachers, and others who were bound by a common love of reading. I was on the program committee, and I woke up at four-thirty to get to Makati early, long before even the first registrant arrived. My task was to help make sure things ran on schedule.
All I can say was, keeping time and staying alert all day was an enjoyable challenge. It was made more enjoyable by some of the afternoon’s more interesting panels, and one of these featured writer Carljoe Javier chairing a panel where three authors talked about the books that influenced them. (The other panel was chaired by Paolo Chikiamco. Both are known for their speculative fiction work.)
The conference ended with the first Filipino Reader’s Choice awards. Much to my delight, some writers I got to know these past few years won, including Bebang Siy, whose witty presentation was one of the highlights on the panel I sat in. Mina V. Esguerra, a fictionist and someone I used to see a lot around Colayco Hall in Ateneo, won for her book Fairy Tale Fail, and she brought both her husband and someone whom her Twitter followers know as the “Little Boss.” Chikiamco’s Alternative Alamat anthology also won the award for short fiction compilation, and Miguel Syjuco got the prize for the English novel. His “acceptance speech” to the Facebook announcement reads thus: “This is a fantastic honor! The best I’ve ever received, since Filipino readers are the readers I most care about. THANK YOU, Philippines!”
Yes, it was a long and tiring day, and I am grateful to everyone for making this day one of the more memorable ones this year. And after the ReaderCon, a celebration of books and reading, I went over to the Collective to celebrate other creative endeavors: music and film.
That was my excuse. Hope you could come next year and see what the fuss was all about. I’ll make sure you and everyone else are informed soon enough.
Here’s another glimpse at the second Filipino Reader’s Con, this time from the perspective of writer Eliza Victoria.
And one last announcement: if you haven’t seen the film that has angered some elements of the Left, it’s showing at selected theaters on 12 September.