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SM City Fairview's Book Festival; Backpacker Robert Alejandro and the Kids; And The Culture of Reading (Or The Absence Of It) [w/Pics]

Saturday, March 10, 2012 comments powered by disqus

I was invited to a book festival and the first thing that came across my mind was "Am I for this?" 

Of course I'm elated. Because every invitation is welcome and I'm a book worm, I must say. At least in my heart.

But when was the last time I read a book and finished it? When was the last time we read books? Blame the technology. Blame the affordable pirated DVDs. Blame youtube, facebook and twitter. Blame the PS3. Blame porn. Blame the busy work schedule. But of course, the real reason is laziness.

Going back, I always took pride introducing the culture of reading to my nieces and nephews. That when they were kids, and their friends were busy with their coloring books or playing brick games, I was acquainting them with books, literature, graphic novels, anime and european films. Oscar Wilde, Tony Perez, Guillermo Arriaga, Neil Gaiman, Jun Cruz Reyes, Quentin Tarantino, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Chobits, etc. 

But now, the closest thing to this is buying some books. And well, starting to read some of the pages. But that's it. Some close encounters were with Samantha Sotto's Before Ever After because she's our first author in Freelance Writers' Guild of the Philippines' OpenBook; Bebang Siy's It's A Mens World, again because we featured her in our monthly OpenBook; Bob Ong's Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin, because I'm a fan; Ricky Lee's Si Amapola Sa 65 Na Kabanata because he's an institution and he knows how to mix mainstream sensibilities and good content; and Norman Wilwayco's Responde because I like his earlier work "Paano Ko Inayos ang Buhok Ko Matapos ang Mahaba-haba Ring Paglalakbay".

With all the nuances and some other forms of entertainment, how can we stimulate ourselves to read books again? Is it through the efforts of groups like the FWGP having the monthly OpenBook event? Or by attending book fairs and festivals? Or by revisiting old and favorite books in the hope of rekindling our lost love for it? Or are the books and theater, now some forms of lost art?

I hope not.

Because while I am one of the millions guilty of abandoning this habit, I would like to believe that love is still there. The want is still present. What's absent is the push. 

And despite the popular adage that it should come from within, a little inspiration from external factors is not bad. I went to SM Farview.. Uhmm, I mean Fairview. And hope that some influences motivate me to read again. The Book Festival at the annex atrium was featuring, during that time, book author Ronald Molmisa and former Probe reporter and now a sketching backpacker Robert Alejandro.

It was Ronald Molmisa's book signing. His books are "Lovestruck: Love Mo Siya, Sure Ka Ba?" and "Pass or Fail? Paano Maging the Best Student Ever". And was followed by Art Factory and Backpacking Stories with Robert Alejandro. 

As I am tempted to say the how and what happened, I will let the pictures tell you the story. But before that, let me first tell you, in case you want to know, that the SM City Fairview Book Festival is running until Tuesday, March 13. Astigirl Tweet Sering will be there, Peter Pan will tell some stories, there will be book signing sessions (Precious Pages authors), and an open discussion about digital publishing, among other things.

Yes, teenybopper stories of Precious Pages might not be what you want. Because you want sad stories of broken promises, death and futile efforts. 

Or you think Peter Pan's Storytelling session will just be for kids. Because what pleases you are gore fest, complicated plots and twisted characters.

And actually, I'm saying it to my self. Because what's cool for me is Death Note and Elfen Lied. Fight Club, Pulp Fiction and Magnolia. Amores Perros and Life is Beautiful. Battle Royale. Gaspar Noe's Irreversible and I Stand Alone. Among other tales. Those stories that explore melancholy, hopelessness and the sick human mind. 

But amidst all these, our former Business Unit Head, and now a film director, Sir Enrico always said, "All stories are love stories. Or at least, should be." Any genre, any target market, any medium. And I agree.

High School Musical, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, Titanic, Grey's Anatomy, Cedie, Princess Sarah, Dog of Flanders, Spirited Away, etc. Fuck! I love them all. Honest! Because the love to watch or read dark stories is not a negation of it's opposite themes. 

And now I think I'm not making sense anymore :) You can take a look at the pictures now :) Happy week-end. Start reading books now! :) 

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