as i have been a regular participant at the manila international book fair (of which pistang panitik is a side activity), i am no longer surprised at the number of friends, literary stars, and celebrities one can see in a day at the fair. and today proved to be no different.
it was all about pop lit today at pistang panitik. i emceed the event, and i was amazed by the talent of the featured artists. today's session at stage area 1 featured storytellers from alitaptap storytellers philippines (madz, ethel, and franky), puppeteers from teatrong mulat with their founder amelia lapena-bonifacio, violinist jonathan livioco of the u.p. college of music, poets/rappers from tribu (young scent, lil coli, raynoa, and o.g sacred who are featured in the jim libiran film, tribu), and poets jim libiran, kooky tuason, joel toledo, frank miranda, and gelo suarez. joel toledo and frank miranda were surprise readers. the surprise being theirs and mine. they were there to watch the show, but vim nadera, the man behind pistang panitik, had me call them to the stage. the two surprise numbers added more quirkiness to an already quirky show, and it was all good.
the show started to get even more amazing during the second set of performances from the poets when the tribu guys rapped freestyle. because the crowd's energy was aready electric, gelo suarez was a bit worried that he wouldn't match the tribu performance, but he needn't have worried. he floored the audience with his funny poem that dealt with body parts and things you can do to them. And kooky tuason closed the segment beautifully with her spoken word performance.
after the four-hour show, i passed by meeting rooms 5 and 6 where abdon balde's novel and khavn dela cruz's (he was part of the pistang panitik show last friday) poetry book were to be launched by the u.s.t. publishing house. at the foyer i saw bishop teodoro bacani and tony perez among the people waiting to get in. i didn't stay, though, because i had to look for our dean, virgilio almario at the adarna booth. on my way to look for him, i bumped into mookie katigbak who congratulated me on my palanca win. i congratulated her back. she made me beso, and i'm sure if i weren't gay, that would've made my already happy day even so much happier. haha. mookie told me she was on her way to another meeting room where she was sitting in a panel with sarge lacuesta.
i decided to tarry a little before riding the down escalator and watch the milling crowd at the smx's lobby. i saw luis katigbak, and he smiled hello. he was on his way to yvette tan's table at the lobby cafe. i decided to go down and say hello to them, but because it takes forever to reach the lobby given the extra long escalator, they had already gone by the time i reached the cafe.
so i proceeded to look for rio alma when i bumped into jun balde again (he watched part of the pistang panitik show earlier), and i told him i had to save up first to buy his novel because it costs almost 700 pesos. he laughed and punched me on the shoulder lightly. he rode the up escalator, and i made my way to the exhibition area. there i managed to find rio alma near the u.p. press booth. after our quick talk, i showed him the way to meeting rooms 5 and 6, and i joined the rest of the icw secretariat to prepare to leave for u.p.
on our way out of s.m.x., we saw tingting and maikee (is this how she spells it?) cojuanco walking in surrounded by bodyguards. after a few paces we also saw ligaya rubin.
today's pistang panitik session was happy. i hope tomorrow's session with bloggers will be even better.