The first annual Aklatan

Aklatan: The First All-Filipino Book Festival
September 7, 2013
The Tents, Alphaland Southgate Tower, Makati City


The entrance fee was P50 and P10 for students. Luckily, I’m a student again! lol
The woman who gave me the receipt was a little startled when I gave her my i.d. She read the ‘law’ out loud. Yeah, I really don’t look like one hoho. The guards in my school even asked if I’m a freshman in College of Arts and Sciences or in College of Law. I might not look like an old intelligent person but I really am not. haha.
There’s no ticket to have as souvenir, I have this instead:

good job
I arrived at quarter to 11a.m. While waiting in line for the fee, I already saw pretty Ms. Bebang Siy in a white formal gown. When I entered, the talk on stage was closing the topic of Fliptop. I greeted my bookworm friends and ate Bebang (she prefers ate Bebang than Ms. Bebang, it’s too formal she says).

the book loving bride Bebang Siy

Ate Bebang is really a soon-to-be wife of Poy in December. She is one of the moderators of my book club Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books (PRPB) so she wanted to us to take part in the program. It was very unplanned. Each of us was given a topic for a little discussion. The moment Biena told me that, I was doused with cold water. I don’t really like spotlight, attention or anything with speaking to a crowd whatsoever. (and I’m a law student? meh -.-) I got the scissors and slashed my wrist and slashed my neck–in my mind, for humor and distraction.

I strolled the stalls for book hunting. I was disappointed to see the prices. I thought this Filipino book festival will contain massive sales and discounts but I was wrong. It may have some discounts but it’s still expensive than what I expected so I was robbed again.

While I was buying books, the contemporary writers were on stage. They kept on telling that our generation should submerge in Filipino literature. They asked the young writers to be work hard and replace them (and Eros said that the Filipinos will be pitiful if his works will be the only one existing for a very long time haha).

Contemporary Writers’ Panel Carlo Vergara, Eros Atalia, Ricky Lee, and Lourd De Veyra.

After that, ate Bebang called our group. Biena, Billy, and Charlot went up on stage while Jhive, Zim and I merely hovered beside the stage. Jhive might have stood there but he saw me not moving. Zim was also reluctant because he’s not a legit member yet. Biena started with the introduction of our group.


Top Picks of PRPB

These are the printout flyers of top picks by the PRPB members. It was consolidated, organized, and prepared by Biena. Here’s the idea that popped: instead of going towards the stage, we went away to it. We distributed these to the audience while Biena was speaking on stage. I’m a little disinclined to do it but it’s better than speaking up haha and I need to contribute something for the group.
Some people were interested and some pretend to but it’s okay than people who really rejected it.
It’s a list of Filipino books, you’re in a Filipino book festival. Two words: FILIPINO. BOOK.
It made me think, why did some people reject it?
a) they thought it’s advertisement
b) they don’t need it, they know more books than you.
c) they’re just plain rude
Sorry for judging but not so sorry. Moving on…

Biena finished her talk on stage. I knew it, she can do it! Thank God she did not had a chance to make a segue and call us. (God really knows I will die of embarrassment and now’s not the time)

Women Writers Panel Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, Mayette Bayuga, Eliza Victoria, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, and Nikki Alfar

Of all these lovely writers, I only read Prof. Hidalgo’s work. This is another call for exploring more works of Filipina writers. They gave advices to aspiring writers.

20130910-114312.jpgwith Carlo Vergara

My parents have a Zsa Zsa Saturna but it’s in Cavite. I haven’t read it yet =.=”
But meeting him makes me want to.

20130910-114319.jpgRicky Lee
He hurriedly bid goodbye because he have an airplane flight and can’t be late. I was not given a chance to take a picture with him because of those reporters and young writers interviewed him 😦 My copy of Para kay B was left in my province.

Mina Esguerra and Bebang Siy

I finally met Mina Esguerra. I wanted to see her because I already read some of her works. I’m not prepared, my books are left in my province, so I bought her newest book the Interim Goddess of Love. I asked for an autograph and said my name. She said, “Phoebe…? Phoebe in Goodreads?” I was a little shocked and I just nod slowly. I was shocked because what if she remembers me because of my rants on her works (e.g.Love Your Frenemies) and not because of liking it (e.g.That Kind of Guy). Well, either way, she smiled brightly and I think she’s pretty.

20130910-114343.jpgwith Rhandee Garlítos and Mina Esguerra

Rhandee Garlítos was typing in his laptop when I came over and he stopped what he was doing. He’s very approachable. He writes children’s books. I even read his “Chenelyn! Chenelyn!” when I was young. I bought his newest book Ang bonggang bonggang batang beki.

20130910-114349.jpgManix Abrera ❤

I’m a hardcore Manix Abrera fan. I cut Kikomachine komix strips in newspapers when I was in highschool. I always get happy when I see him on any events like this. All my books, however, were already signed by him. I can stand in the line and take a photo with him but I didn’t. I don’t know, it’s quite embarrassing for me not to have a book or something lol.


20130910-114411.jpgComic Book Panel Manix Abrera, Paolo Fabregas, KaJo Baldisimo, and Budjette Tan

I saw some people were taking a picture with a guy in Bowler’s hat and they were all holding the Trese books. I know what Budjette looks like but I haven’t met KaJo yet. I asked the guy for a picture and I said “I left your books at home”. Later I found out, he was not KaJo. O.O
embarrassment level: 9000

Budjette Tan was the host because his excuse was that he is not good with drawing. He asked questions that I think were interesting.


Virgilio Almario a.k.a. Rio Alma

Rio Alma is one of the National Artists for Literature. I read his books when I was little. Did you get surprised? I read his children’s books, not the ones with literary prizes and distinctions. But someday I will.
Good thing I brought one of his books.

I finally bought Sa Kasunod ng 909. I’ve been looking for this in bookstores but it’s always out of stock. I’m also glad Edgar Samar was also there.

I will look forward to the next Aklatan.

♡ P


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