Clad in my usual baggy mom shirt and shorts as I tend to Lia while juggling articles on the side, fellow blogger Richard of Mapanghingi Ka Ba? posted a congratulatory message on my Facebook wall, prompting me to obtain a copy of The Philippine Star that particular Sunday. My entry to the NBS-Philstar-Globe My Favo
rite Book 2012 contest, Becoming a Mother, bagged honorable mention in the finals.
|The sister-in-law literally just drops by. She left even before the program started|
My screams reached high up to the heavens.
When this entry made it to the roster of weekly winners, my contentment was overflowing; I have had another entry that made it to the weeklies last 2010. But crossing that finish line to the finals is a dream come true. More than the glory of the byline, such an affirmation of one’s work by literary luminaries (
Krip Yuson and Butch Dalisay among them. Holler!) is a kind of happiness that can not be replicated.
Two days later, I received an e-mail from Philippine Star assistant editor Tanya Lara with an invitation to the awarding ceremony.”You will be asked to say a few words after you receive your prizes,” it reads.
|To prevent myself from blabbing non-sense, I made a cheat sheet on my phone’s memo pad.
I was the only one who didn’t do impromptu. Ginawang Oscars! Haha,
Speeches scare me. Not exactly the most gifted public speaker, I tend to blab. Also, these are print media personalities we’re talking about for Christ’s sake! Lastly, I don’t have any decent shoes left on the rack. The best I’ve got is a pair of Tribu trekking sandals, and these days are no right time to splurge on pumps. My daughter is turning one in less than a month.
So. P650 off my wallet and two Tuesdays later, there we were, seated among fellow bibliophiles and a talented pool of established print and literary figures – Butch Dalisay, Jessica Zafra, Scott Garceau, Igan D’Bayan, and Nelson Navarro, to name a few – as hosts Reggie Belmonte and Tim Yap livened up the afternoon at the newly opened National Bookstore branch in Glorietta 1.
The atmosphere that afternoon was distinct, ingrained and felt in every corner of the room. It was a celebration of paper books amid a highly digital age of e-books and spun web content, of a community where each individual inspired another to read and write.
|Grand Prize winner Inez Reyes, who wrote about the book Eat My Globe,
together with Nanay Socorro, The Star peeps and Globe GM
Books that inspired all eight winners were piled altogether on various decorative shelves. As I saw Lualhati Bautista’s Bata, Bata Pa’no Ka Ginawa? sitting among the stacks and printed on a shiny tarpaulin on the stage, I could not help but feel proud and honored altogether.
|Moi with PS Lifestyle columnists.
And yes, we did bring home that ginormous cardboard.
Pinoy na Pinoy lang. Haha!
Shiny wine glasses and cubiertos rested on pretty round tables. The scent of gourmand food wafted through the bookstore-turned-ceremonial-space, beckoning the hungry stomach.
|Fare by Maragrita Flores. Nomnomnom!|
National Bookstore GM and founder Nanay Socorro delivered the opening remarks, wherein she relayed that the contest was designed to serve as a pulpit for undiscovered talents and their works across the country, and that reading books must be encouraged in the youth as they are essential for us to know more, learn more, and earn more. Amen to that.
|This is one of the highlights of the day!
Nanay Socorro tries to carry Lia and the little one goes into a separation anxiety meltdown!
Look at her pulling my dress. And that face. Priceless.
Three of the country’s top biographers, Nelson Navarro, Butch Dalisay and Krip Yuson, all shared insights gleaned from decades of weaving biographies. Ze writer in me was starstruck. I was deadset on having a photo taken with the latter, but he fled even before I was able to get my camera!
|NBS GM and Founder Nanay Socorro Ramos delivers introductory speech|
Nevertheless, this definitely comes as one of the highlights of my still young professional writing journey. As we bid bubbly Tanya goodbye
and took home leftover fruits on the table, she placed a hand over my arm and smiled, “Sali ka uli for next year, ha?“
For as long as there are visionaries like Philstar, Globe, and NBS who encourage us to discover more of ourselves and of the world through books, the spirit of reading and sharing each other’s journeys through written word shall live on.
*Recount of the Awards Ceremony written by Tanya Lara can be found on last Sunday’s issue of the Philippine Star. Online link here: