i posted this last night in my other blog. i figured i should post it here, too. it's mostly about writers and my happy day. so here it is.
i woke up at 5:30 because i had to be at pasay city by 9 this morning. this was part of my duties for the annual literary festival, pistang panitik. the festival was a side-activity of the manila international book fair, which was held at the smx covention center in the mall of asia complex.
today, i moderated quite an interesting discussion on blogging literature. the panelists were dean alfar, sonny villafania, vic nierva, marne kilates, and vlad gonzales. the panelists spoke with authority and a lot of insight and helpful suggestions. and the open forum was made livelier by this woman in a striped sweater who, after about two minutes of lucidity, started to go bonkers while at the microphone. interrupting her without being offensive took some doing, but i think i was able to pull it off. what made it even more interesting for me was the fact that she just vanished after i segued to the next person with a question for the panelists.
after the discussion, vlad and i went to the mall of asia for lunch. i was happy that vlad blurted out pho hoa when i asked him where he wanted to eat because i had been imagining vegetarian noodle soup as soon as we started walking to the mall. and since i am too much of a quezon city boy and had never been to the mall of asia (except for the quick merienda i took in between pistang panitik discussions last friday), he showed me around the mall. we spent the afternoon looking at and buying food--two boxes of krispy kreme glazed doughnuts, two boxes of brownies/cookies/revel bars from this baked goods stall, and hot chocolate for vlad and mango juice for me. we also looked at shoes and voodoo dolls and books. at national bookstore i ended up buying vlad's latest book, isang napakalaking kaastigan, which he autographed for me at seattle's best. we also looked at the sea, which was blinding since it was a sunny, sunny day.
on the bus ride back to quezon city, vlad and i talked and talked and talked. just when our conversation drifted to pokwang, elizabeth ramsey, and eugene domingo, a woman handed us brochures for bank loans of up to a million pesos. since she was very nice and polite, we didn't mind the interruption. actually, vlad being vlad, interviewed her for a bit. this, of course, got me slightly nervous (a giddy kind of nervous; half of me wanted him to behave and the other half hoped he didn't) because you never know what vlad will say. the guy's always nice and friendly, but his imagination's crazy, and he has this tendency to just blurt things out. luckily for all of us, it all went smoothly.
the bus ride was interrupted only when the cute little boy seated in front of us had to take a leak. the kind, butch lesbian bus conductor had the driver pull over, so she could help the kid off the bus for a bit to pee on the sidewalk. so, okay, maybe this wasn't hygienic, but i found it amusing. and the smile on the kid's face as he skipped back to his seat was so sunny, anyone would've forgiven him for causing a bit of delay.
after saying goodbye to vlad whose back had started to hurt because of the long day, i got off at my stop near mcdonald's. i bought salted duck eggs at rustan's express before hailing a tricycle to take me home.
and now i'm waiting for dinner, which my sister promised will be my favorite, vegetarian adobo and guinataang munggo. the salted duck eggs will go nicely with that--a happy ending to a happy day.