My last post about Fischer backfired. Call me sentimental — my dog’s pic made me avoid this blog for some time. That, and every delinquent blogger’s pet excuse — “my day job!”
Well, save for the last post, all I’ve been recently babbling about in this blog are books and LIRA. One more article about both of them won’t hurt.
Sir Rio with some of the LIRA 2007 fellows. I’m the one in stripes and with the long hair. From L to R: (back row) JC Sola, to whom this and the next three photos belong to, Karla, Pau, Christa, Rhodge, (front row) Por, Daboi, Da Man, John, Daisy, Guia.
Last Saturday, Ia and I trooped to the much awaited 28th Manila International Book Fair to — what else? — buy a ton of bargain books, as well as attend the “Araw ni Virgilio Almario”, a tribute to the National Artist for Literature and director of the LIRA poetry workshop who’s also known as Rio Alma. The event was part of Pistang Panitik, a five-day literary festival within the Book Fair that was conceived by sir Vim Nadera.
Sirs Roger Mangahas, Bobby AÃ±onuevo, Mike Coroza, and Tata Funilas, who provided comic relief by walking up to the stage wearing a Rio Alma mask, stunning sir Rio’s good friend Roger and distracting him from his talk.
Of course, the fellows of this year’s Palihan sa LIRA were out in full force to support sir Rio. We helped out in the usual chores — preparing the exhibits, ushering in the audience (”Bagay na bagay ang polo mo ah!”), giving out leaflets to Book Fair attendees (”O, mambugaw muna kayo ng ating event”), giving the loudest applause, and whatnot. The programme was good; the critics/presenters were the distinguished trio of Rogelio Mangahas, Roberto AÃ±onuevo, and Michael Coroza. El Batch Presidente and UP Writers’ Club member Pau Hernando was the emcee.
Sirs Michael Coroza and Romulo Baquiran Jr. with Batch Sidhay. Notice the substantial loot I’m carrying; later that night, my left hand was sore.
The small Exhibit Room was jampacked, with many more Book Fair strollers peeping in from time to time. Unfortunately, some members of the audience, mostly students, weren’t paying attention to the talks. That’s respect for the country’s National Artists for you. Curiously, some of these short-attention-span gits were seen avidly lining up for sir Rio’s signature after the programme.
Ia and I having a not-so-sweet-but-sweet-enough moment. JC, thank you for this shot! Hehehe. Nagulat na lang ako noong nakita ko ‘to.