So it’s been a week and a day since #FeelsFest happened, and I think I’m coherent enough to do a recap.
Soon after we finished our super exhausting and successful time at the Manila International Book Fair, it was time to get started preparing for #FeelsFest. No rest for the feelings, as we said. We’ve known about #FeelsFest even before #FeelsRushIn happened, and we figured we can make this bigger, so it was bigger. Unfortunately, work came rushing in as well in the weeks leading to this (busy with a side of crazy, involving a multi-country project launch, haha), but because all things in #romanceclass are pretty much made with (so much) love, more volunteers stepped in to make the event a success.
This is my fourth feels event (fifth, if you count ReaderCon last year, sixth if you count the first time we all gathered for the live readings), and let me tell you two things I learned that day.
1. Make sure you attend the event with a full stomach.
Eat, have a snack, or all things. During #AprilFeelsDay, #FeelsRushIn, and #AllTheFeels, I remember having a meal right before the event started. A good, full meal, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat until it ends. This time, though, I had to do some family things before I could go to the venue, so when I arrived at Glorietta, I was starving. You know the kind of hunger that you just know you need to eat something, anything, and you went to the wrong direction of the mall and all you saw was an ice cream shop (when there’s actually a Starbucks and Family Mart on the other side of the mall) so you just decided to get a cone? Yes, that. I ended up running entirely on sugar the rest of the afternoon, which wasn’t really bad, except I felt like I was partly incoherent. Haha.
(Or you know, it could be just the feelings that happened right after.)
So yes, carbs are your friends, you need carbs before a feels event. 😀 And you would need carbs for the live reading, seriously.
2. The live readings will always, always surprise you.
One thing I was really looking forward to in the #FeelsFest is the live reading of Keep the Faith. I knew about it weeks back, so I was trying not to be too excited (and work was doing a really good job at it), and that afternoon, I was really trying to prepare my feelings — not just for my books, but for the others.
But of course the readings will always surprise you. (Or sometimes, Gio will just always surprise you, and that is why we love him so much. ♥)
Gio and Gab read my favorite chapter in Keep the Faith, hee. Back in April, Gio played a British character, and we were kidding that we’d give him more accents. He said he’d rather do Ilonggo instead and I thought hey, my new LI is Ilonggo, so I put in some lines. Haha. 😉 Of course, since I didn’t speak the dialect (have to thank Lynai for the translation), I didn’t know how well he did, but the effort of trying and being game about it is just so…I don’t know how to describe it! But thank you, G!
So last #AprilFeelsDay, @giogahol said enough of the British accent, he can do Ilonggo instead. So I wrote it in my book. 😂 Here he is, preparing for the challenge. Haha. But because I don't speak the dialect, I have no idea if it was right…but I also had too many feelings to care. Thank you for being game always, G! 😍🍟 #FeelsFest #romanceclass
And at the end of it all, I was thinking: so that’s how it feels to have something read in front of everyone. To see the actors’ expressions, to hear your words spoken out loud to a live audience, your characters alive right in front of you. Hearing the podcast is one thing, but live thing is just an explosion of feelings. ♥
So that's how it feels. I mean, hearing Fall Like Rain's podcast episode was one thing but THIS. 🙈 It could be that I was also only running on sugar at this time so extra feelings? Haha. I'm still processing but thank you, Gio and Gab, for bringing Nico and Faith to life. 💚💚💚 You deserve all the French Fries in the world. 🍟🍟🍟 PS – I finally have a picture with #NJOLO together! Yay. #ForeverSucks #FeelsFest #romanceclass #NatGioWeekend
Also, they totally made my #ForeverSucks shipping heart feel more things, which kind of made conflict with my #Gahoates shipping heart.
Other books read that afternoon were Tempting Victoria by Mina V. Esguerra (the first book ever read live, and that made me read it, so now it’s my favorite) read by Gio and Rachel, The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza read by Herv and Gab, When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista Yao read by Herv and Rachel, Sweeter by the Second by CP Santi (so many reactions to this, but most notable is how many people started fanning themselves during this reading, heehee) read by Gio and Gab, Save the Cake by Stella Torres read by Herv and Rachel, and What You Wanted read by Gio and Rachel.
And remember how I said something about Gio surprising us? There was this at What You Wanted:
*cue collective shrieking and feelings in the activity area*
BONUS LESSON: 2.5. Have someone take a video of the live reading, especially if it’s your book.
I tried, friends, I tried. I thought I got the entire recording for my book, but apparently sometime through it, I had accidentally stopped the recording because of feelings, so I didn’t get the best parts. Huhu. But don’t worry, some friends did take whole videos and it will be up soon! 🙂 Here’s a clip, though:
I was trying to trim this properly but I couldn't because I couldn't go through it yet without wanting to curl into a ball while giggling. Hee. Why so cute guys~ (Also, my recording was cut short because haha, I had too many feelings that I didn't know I had stopped the video until I watched it that night. So I don't have a recording of the Ilonggo part in my phone and the way G delivered his last line in this excerpt. 😭) #KeeptheFaith, with @giogahol as Nico and @gabpangilinan as Faith 💚🍟 #FeelsFest #romanceclass
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More photos are on Instagram, but let me share two more favorite photos from the afternoon:
1. When I saw this photo, I immediately thought Fay could be Lucy, and she had a photo op with April (Rachel), Nico (Gio), Faith (Gab), and Alvin (Herv). Hee. ♥
2. Our live readers are so cute I can’t even.
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The day after FeelsFest, I woke up smiling — just like how it feels when you had an amazing kilig moment with your crush the previous night and you’re just floating with the feels the next day. Haha. 😉 Looking back, I can’t believe how crazy amazing this year has been for #romanceclass, with all the books and all the activities. Thank you, Ayala Malls, Glorietta 5, Little Free Library, Filipino ReaderCon, #romanceclass authors and readers for adding another happy memory in our already overflowing box of happy things. ♥