(featured photo by Veronica Silagpo)
It’s been four days since the #romanceclass April Feels Day, and I’m still kind of all over the place with my feelings. So’s everyone else, apparently, because the Twitter hashtag is very much alive and there’s been a lot of post-event noise so far. Anyway, here’s my attempt at a recap of my #AprilFeelsDay2017 experience. Note that the operative word is ATTEMPT.
You have been warned.
(Why yes, I am breaking this event up into three parts: Pre-Live Reading, Live Reading Proper, and Post-Live Reading. Because let’s be honest… live readings are always the highlight of every #romanceclass event. And this time, we have NEW FACES.)
At a little past 10 in the morning, Representatives from RomanceClass Trash, a group of seriously amazing ladies who support the community, were already waiting outside Rodic’s when my sister and I arrived. We asked them to come inside the venue even if we have yet to set up because DAMN the heat outside is unbearable. After having breakfast at Rodic’s (TAPSILOG YEAAAAAHHHHH!), I set about to work.
I’ve been facilitating games for events since last October’s #FeelsFest (the one I set up for Feels Day was pretty ambitious, and I’m not sure I’m going to do that again–but I’ll figure that out some other time), and this time, I had teams sign up for a FEELS TRIP. The teams had to do five different missions and collect a Feelsy every time they complete one. Work that day meant gathering prizes, having people sign up for the games, answering questions, and so forth. It was stressful, but thankfully, I acquired the help of Jothee, Carla, Brij, and my sister Jill for ~things. Thanks guys.
— Jera Irish (@jrasnchz) May 1, 2017
^ Jera, asa ka pa sa nametag ripping. Kagulo yon, baka ma-technical tayo. 😛
Here are the things I missed while I was working:
#myPINKYpromise2017 #photophilia2017 04/30/17 I recently learned that there's a whole set of romance novels about Filipinas (!) written in English (!!) by Filipino authors (!!!) Where have you been all my life @romanceclassbooks? My plan is to devour every single book by each author. Join me? I'm buying them in ebook form on Amazon because there are so many. But you can order the hard copies from them if that's your jam! I started with @itstimeana 's books and it felt so good to realize it was the first time a protagonist could actually be me or someone in my IRL circle. (Representation matters.) Today they had a live reading in UP Town Center with theater actors performing scenes from selected books. I watched authors and readers alike go bananas for @giogahol ⭐️ #aprilfeelsday #romanceclass
^Caryn’s Book Bar looked amaziiiing I was so sad I couldn’t even take a photo of it. I didn’t even see it in its completed glory, so here… have a photo instead.
May bentahan ng pag-ibig o. Bumili nga ako. 😂 Huhu a lot of the books I wanted were already sold out 😢 This was my 1st time at a #romanceclass event and man, wish I came earlier/had more time so I could join the people sitting and listening to the readings! Of course, got some new reads. 🙂 Support Filipino authors!!! #AprilFeelsDay2017 #pinoyauthors #filipinoauthors
^WE HAD SHELVES this time around! Thank you U.P. Town Center! (And this is where we realized we need shelves for every event now. There are just too many books! #happyproblem)
Lots of things were happening around the venue even before the anthology launches began at 1:00 PM. The Summer Feels anthology authors were sitting at the stone bench between Rodic’s and Friuli, diligently signing books. I was instantly reminded of that day in December when a bunch of us #romanceclass authors were signing over 100 copies of the Make My Wish Come True anthology. 😛
On the huge, long table in front of Rodic’s was the arts table where Janus Zate and Gia Leuterio did calligraphy and sketches, respectively. I am so sad I wasn’t even able to get my own calligraphy quote and sketch because I was a little too busy.
Anyway, at one o’clock sharp, we started with the anthology launch. Authors Yeyet Soriano and Liana Smith Bautista introduced Summer Feels, a collection of 23 stories all set during the summer season. Not all 23 authors were there to attend the launch, but I believe they had a good number of authors present too. Six and I took over for the Summer Crush launch (because busy manlalaki si Jay–JK, she was helping Mina facilitate live reading rehearsals downstairs), wherein we did nothing but joke around about Michael Brian and the Shinta standee. We were so out of it, we didn’t even have a plan for that fricking segment, but ohwell. At least we had our shirts.
Finally, the ladies of Promdi Heart: Hometown Love Stories took the stage and engaged everyone with a game. (I think this was Ines’ idea, heh.) Some friendships might have been compromised. 😛
There was a break after the anthology launch, and I was able to sign books, meet people, take pictures. It was so nice to finally meet people I’ve only been interacting with on Twitter or Instagram, but I’m still getting used to the fact that people want to take pictures with me! ACK. Most of the time pa naman, I look so harassed, haha!
Live Reading Proper
WARNING: I might start sounding incoherent from here on.
A little backstory before launching into this part of the recap: Back in March, Mina asked us to contact Fred Lo for a possible #romanceclass live reading gig. This was because we weren’t sure Jef Flores was going to make it, and we wanted another male live reader to fill in. I ventured to ask Gab Pangilinan if she can push the idea to Fred, and 2 days later, I got Fred’s number. I contacted him and, long story short, he agreed to live read for us.
This was a bad (READ: really good) idea, and I’ll let the videos speak for themselves. Here’s the live reading line up for #AprilFeelsDay2017:
One Certain Day by Jay E. Tria
(from Promdi Heart: Hometown Love Stories)
Kate, Finally by Yeyet Soriano
Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David
Fake It Till We Make It by Ana Tejano
(from You Could Be the One)
That Kind of Guy by Mina V. Esguerra
Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas
Another Word for Happy by Agay Llanera
NOTE: This lineup is still incomplete. I will be updating this as soon as the other videos are available online.
You’d think getting your work live read twice would at least prepare you for this.
WRONG. Especially when the work being read is very close to your heart, and the people reading it are your actual character pegs. Yep. Doesn’t help that Mina decided to have two readings for Waiting in the Wings. Doesn’t help that Fred and Gio were so good as Pio and Ramon. Doesn’t help that Graie pretty much OWNED Erin. At several points during the readings I had to hug someone (Chi, Jay, Six) because it was TOO. EFFING. MUCH. <3
My heart was so, so, so happy after the readings and I still am, four days later, watching the clips over and over again like I’m seeing them for the first time.
When I released #WaitingInTheWings in February, a lot of people couldn't decide if they were on #TeamPio or #TeamRamon. 😊 Ultimately, the majority went to #TeamRamon, but now their requests for Pio's book have gotten louder after #AprilFeelsDay2017, thanks to this guy right here. 😂 Thanks for bringing Pio to life, @mrfredlaw! (I wasn't kidding when I said you got yourself a bunch of new fans after Sunday; the feedback is insane!) We hope to see you at the next #romanceclass event! ❤ Photo by @itstimeana 💋 (Sorry ang late ng credit, omggg)
I might not have taken a bunch of photos last Sunday, but at least I have this. And it is everything. ❤ Fred and Gio, you are awesome. #WaitingInTheWings is very special to me in many different ways, and I pretty much struggled to finish the book. But the reader response and you giving Pio and Ramon their voices made the writing journey all worth it. Thank you. ❤❤❤ #romanceclass #AprilFeelsDay2017 Photo by @inesbyao 😓😘 (Sorry, ngayon ko lang naalala icredit OMG)
Gioooooooo! ❤❤❤ What else can I say but THANK YOU so much, not just for always being game for #romanceclass, but also for being awesome enough to inspire a book character. (And you should know the character is so well-loved, too. 💕) 😅 You reading Ramon was a delight! Thank you, love you, and see you soon! 😘😘😘 #AprilFeelsDay2017 #WaitingInTheWings
I look happy, right? Tell me I do.
#ROMANCECLASS MILESTONE: On this day, we had our very first M/M and F/F readings! Gio and Fred read Agay’s Another Word for Happy, and Rachel and Sam read Don’t Tell My Mother by Brij Bautista. ^_^
This part is hazy for me, so I’m gonna go do bullets:
- Pictures. Lots of them. We had an obligatory “class picture,” and I took photos with Gio and Fred. (No Graie! ;; I’m stupid like that.) I also got to give Graie and Fred presents. ^_^ Nauna na yung kay Gio, haha. He was so amused with that bunny plush I gave him, it made me happy seeing him play with it.)
- I got Fred to sign my Mula sa Buwan CD. HA! Who’d have thought I’d be able to do that at a #romanceclass event? I was hoping for a rerun so I can approach him and have my CD signed, but hey, Universe… thanks! Not that I’m not still hoping for a rerun.
- Gio asked me who my inspiration was for Ramon. He didn’t believe me at first when I said it was him. Kainis.
- People were asking the live readers to sign the books too. It’s become a thing now, and it amuses me so much. But you know what’s even more interesting? It seems that the boys have learned to prepare for this occurrence. Observe:
Aren’t they SO EXTRA? Sobrang delikado na kayo guys, hahaha. 😛 Mahal na nga namin kayo e, gumaganyan pa kayo. Let us live. Please.
- After the live readers have left, we continued with the book launches. At this point, I had no more books left in stock (YAY!), so if you were at the event and didn’t get to buy a copy of Waiting in the Wings or Summer Crush, you can order here. And thank you to everyone who bought my/our books! <3
- TIREDNESS. EXHAUSTION. EMOTIONAL FATIGUE. LOL
- Short bouts of kilig. I found myself sitting on the floor at one point, “reassessing my life choices.”
- Random photo taking moments.
- Shawarma. Post-mortem powwow.
Truth be told, I am still exhausted from everything that happened last Sunday, but I’m not complaining. That was an awesome day, and I would really really love another one like it in the future. Like, maybe October?
Yeah. We’ll see you then.
Many, many thanks to everyone who came out and joined us for #AprilFeelsDay2017 last Sunday at U.P. Town Center! We hope you had a wonderful time, and that you enjoy the books you bought during the event. If you’re posting about the event on social media, please don’t forget to use the #romanceclass and #AprilFeelsDay2017 hashtags. We’d love to hear what you thought of the event so we can improve and bring you better ones in the future. <3
Till next time!