Who would have thought that it would become this three years ago?
When Ron asked that question sometime in the middle of that hot Sunday afternoon while we were in Pegi Waffles, I smiled. I’ve asked the same thing about other things several times (like Filipino ReaderCon, or the book club), but hearing it again for another thing just never gets old. It’s amazing what people with like-minded interests can do.
Especially like-minded romance writers and readers with lots of feelings.
So, last Sunday, April 17, was the first ever #AprilFEELSday! It’s a celebration of romance books and authors and readers, with various activities like book selling, tarot card reading, writing and publishing Q&A, poetry reading, and the much-awaited live reading sessions from the next seasons of the #romanceclass podcast.
It was a hot, hot day made even hotter by the number of people that sat inside Pegi Waffles. I just realized that I hardly sat down that day – save for the time that I ate lunch, and then when all was over and we were all hanging out and waiting for everyone to leave and settle the payment. But it was fine, because the place was so packed that I didn’t have any place to sit, anyway.
After the writing and publishing Q&A with Mina, we had a poetry reading from Pierra Calasanz-Labrador’s The Heartbreak Diaries. The best part of Herv’s reading is when Chi and I caught each other’s eyes and uttered lots of angry stuff because of the sheer hugot of the piece. Huhu. </3
Then time for some live reading. First up was Salve Villarosa and Herv Alvarez (aka #Alvarosa) for some excerpts from the YA books: Settle the Score by Tara Frejas, Picture Me Naked by DR Lee, and Choco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera. Notable lines: “I met this girl.” (cue gasps and angry comments, haha) and “Picture me naked.” Both were delivered by Herv. 😛
Then it was time for the adult books, part 1, with Jef Flores and Rachel Coates (aka #Floates), reading from One Night at the Palace Hotel by Bianca Mori, That Kind of Guy by Mina V. Esguerra, and Songs to Get Over You by Jay E. Tria. Notable part: when Jef/Anton said “Same time tomorrow?” and the entire reading of Songs to Get Over You. (cue hugging and hand holding because damn it, Miki.)
After a break, it was another batch of readings by Rachel Coates and Gio Gahol (aka #Gahoates). They read from Welcome to Envy Park by Mina V. Esguerra, The Real Score by Kesh Tanglao, and All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria. The best parts were British Gio (hee hee) and Dave from All’s Fair in Blog and War. Oh, and that bungee jump scream. 😀
It was such a crazy, awesome day that just affirmed me (and all of us) that we were doing something right. Or at least, something fun, something that not only we can enjoy, but readers, too. And we’re still reeling from all the feelings. ♥
After that, we all just hung out, talked, took pictures, squealed, and discussed what worked and how we could do better. Yes, it means there will be a next one. 🙂
So, did any of us thought that this kind of thing would happen the first time #romanceclass happened in 2013? I don’t know. Back then, I think all of us just wanted to finish and to publish just so we can say we did it (that’s what I thought, anyway). And now…so many other things are possible, and the word exciting is a bit of an understatement for it.