Hola! Over a week ago exactly on July 16, 2017, I went to a bookish event called #BookwormsUnitePH. An event where Filipinos in the bookish community gathers, share their love for books, make new friends and basically just have fun! Ever since I started this blog and I became a fan of YA novels, this is just the second bookish event I have ever attended – the first was Victoria Aveyard’s Book Signing that was already more than a year ago. And I didn’t get the chance to write a recap for that because Afire Pages wasn’t born yet around that time. But now, I will be sharing to you my first timer’s experience on this year’s #BookwormsUnitePH! ❤
*Brace yourself for the low quality photos from my phone 😂*
Imogene @ Amidst The Pages and I decided to meet around 9:30 a.m. but because I was not feeling excited for the day ahead – which always happen to me every time I reach the day I had been anticipating – I moved like a turtle inside our house and prepared myself lazily that resulted to me being late. Not to mention that on the way there, I got stuck in traffic several times and I thought (or “maybe” hoped) that Imo’s far from the meeting place. Fortunately, Imo is already used to me being late and really loves me so she didn’t get mad. Unfortunately, she was with her dad waiting for me. *cries because I felt so ashamed* So her dad took us to the Tweedle Book Café where #BookwormsUnitePH is being held.
The event’s registration started around 11 a.m.. Imo and I arrived approximately at 11:15 a.m. and we were both like scared and feeling shy and awkward as heck so we didn’t get out of the car right after pulling in front of the café. Imo and I were pushing each other to go first because we’re so nervous – or I was so nervous to the point that I almost regret going. Fortunately there’s Imo’s dad who pushed us to just go outside of his car and don’t be shy or scared anymore. And when we entered and approached the hosts, we were so awkward, I swear. 😂
After registering, we received our kit – a totebag consisting lots of goodies! And also picked one swag on the table full of swags! I actually had the urge to just grab them all especially the posters! Though, I chose a Warcross keychain instead. Because HELLO? That’s Warcross keychain! And I’ve been anticipating to read Warcross!
After the registration have been closed, the hosts – Kuya JM, Ate Inah, Ate Salve, Ate Hazel, Ate Jasmine and Kuya Shelumiel – welcomed us all and asked us all attendees to introduce ourselves by stating our name, where can we be find on social media and what are we currently reading or the last book that we’ve read. And of course, unsurprisingly, it made me more nervous. I actually panicked a little inside because I wasn’t expecting that I’ll have to speak in front of them all. I went there planning to just be in the corner, being an observant. But I did it anyway. And it was fun because we all ended up knowing each other more. It was also full of laughter – yes the beginning of the event was already full of laughter ‘till the very end! – because everyone was just so nice and the bond that held us all there was so strong. And it also felt awesome to know that I wasn’t just in the same café with my co-bloggers, readers, and some authors but a librarian and the chairperson of Philippine Board On Books For Young People (PBBY) as well! How cool is that, right?
Aside from the introductions, the hosts also explained to us the mechanics of some minor games, the Guess the Quote and Words Soup from Hell – which both I didn’t play – before playing the first game which is the Cover Guessing Game!
Imo @ Amidst the Pages (left) and Alyssa @ Bookhuntress’ World (right) are my buddies in the Cover Guessing game. I swear, it was so fun! This game made me feel so hyped. And because of this, I became comfortable and didn’t feel awkward anymore. We saw everyone’s competitiveness. And we almost won, guys. We ALMOST won. A-L-M-O-S-T.
After the fun Cover Guessing Game, we had lunch break then after less or more than an hour, we proceeded on the We Need Diverse Books Panel discussion where the hosts talked about diversity in books – specifically in YA – especially its importance and some recommendations. They also shared their personal experiences and why/how diverse books have been part of their lives.
Their discussion about diverse books is just one of my most favorite part of the event. I loved listening to them especially when I cannot help but just agree on all of the things they were saying and be inspired on their stories. The panel were just so truthful and thoughtful in answering questions Ate Hazel were asking them. Some of the books they also mentioned and recommend are All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, Dumplin by Julie Murphy , Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy , Happy More Than Not by Adam Silvera, Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven.
Right after the We Need Diverse Books Panel discussion, there was a live reading for Miss Ana Tejano’s book, Keep The Faith where Ate Salve and Kuya Miguel read an excerpt from the book.
It was my first time witnessing a live reading of a book from #romanceclass and OMG I was so shook. I was so amazed by their voices and how they carry the emotions of the characters. Plus they’re so “nakaka-kikig” I swear. I swooned while they were reading! I wished there was more! After this live reading, I noted in my mind to buy that book and other #romanceclass books as well as soon as I can.
Miss Mina Esguerra followed the live reading by an introduction to #romanceclass. I knew Miss Mina since I was in high school and even before I heard about #romanceclass. Because in high school I used to write in Wattpad *cringe* and I was so eager to learn more about writing and I used to read her works where she wrote some really useful tips about writing. And from that, I became so amazed by her. And when she entered the café and I finally realized that it was her – it kinda took long – I felt like I saw a super star! *seriously*
Miss Mina’s introduction helped me a lot to know more about the #romanceclass. And made me more eager to buy some #romanceclass titles! There is also a #romanceclass event oming on September. If you want to hear or experience being in a live reading sesh *which you should* you really should attend this event. If my schedule will just let me, I will go to this event. For more details about the event click here.
Know The Bookworm: A Game followed Miss Mina’s #romanceclass introduction where we were all grouped by three. And I was grouped with these lovelies!
Danica @ Hogsmeade Reader (middle) and Avy @ Morgan Matson PH (right) were my buddies in this second game. We were given a set of questions where we discussed *and memorized* each other’s answers. It was such a really good game because we get to know things about each other. It was so fun. And for the second time, the team where I belong in almost won. ALMOST. Like, WE.WERE.THIS.CLOSE.TO.WINNING.
After loosing yet another game when we’re already so closed to winning, I actually thought that maybe I’m just unlucky when it comes to games. Like, seriously “Pera (libro) na naging bato pa.” Lol just kidding. It’s okay that we didn’t get the prices. We met and got to know each other anyway. ❤
The last part of the program was the Blind Date With A Book a.k.a Hunger Games. 😂
It was my first time joining a book blind date! And it was so fun and exciting. 😂 Especially with these people. I got only one book because obviously I gave only one because I have attachment issues.
After the program there was a raffle. A raffle where there were tons and tonS and toNS and tONS and TONS of books. And fortunately, I got one! Well, I think everyone got at least one.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of those books for the raffle but I swear there were lots. But I have this one photo – but I think these are prices and not for the ruffle. But anyway, I’ll share them for you guys to have a glimpse of what books were taken home by the attendees.
After the raffle of course, was the picture taking!!!
That’s me on the left beside Kuya Miguel. And after this photo was taken, we scattered and I took *failed* selfies with some of them! Most pics are blurred either because my hands were shaking or the lighting is just bad.
Up until now, every time I see photos from #BookwormsUnitePH I still COULDN’T believe it. I am just like “HAVE I ACTUALLY BEEN THERE?” “ARE ALL OF THESE MEMORIES REAL?” Because it’s just- ugh. Unbelievable.
And lastly, I want to thank the hosts, the organizers, the attendees and all of the sponsors for letting me have such experience! July 16, 2017 just became an unforgettable and special day of my life all because of you, so THANK YOU SO MUCH! ❤
So that’s it! If you happened to be a bookworm residing in the Philippines and didn’t get the chance to join us on this year’s #BookwormsUnitePH and bond with your fellow bookworms, there are more events you can attend to! Like Philippines Readers and Writers Festival and Manila International Book Fair. And I will try my very best to attend both events so see yah!
***I’ll edit this post and add the links to my fellow bookworm’s blogs/social media accounts as captions of our photos so you’ll know where to find them, the massive sponsors’ links and also the links to the next bookish events here in PH once I get the chance to use a computer.