Thursday, November 15, 2012

I spoke too soon or more Friends from Season 57

I spoke too soon because not long after I blogged about my old drinking mates, they showed up, most of them anyway, at the book launching of Amadis Ma. Guerrero Tuesday night. Clockwise: freelance writer-researcher Bob Navarro, Francis, whose surname I still can't recall but who remains affable and steady despite the fifth bottle of beer, our favorite diplomat Alejandrino "Al" Vicente, who has served in war-torn countries and can't wait to retire so he can finally write a long-postponed novel, the blogger looking not yet inebriated, Rolly, good old Rustie Otico and his nephew Edmund (Rustie wondered aloud at the book selling table if there was a senior citizen discount!), and the author who, in true character, announced to all, even before we could drink to everyone's health, that he had only P300 in his pocket so we should all go Dutch on the bill. Rightly so for this happy bunch of genteel paupers.
Author Amadis , whose latest book is Tanghalang Pilipino:Celebrating 25 years of Philippine Theater, is also godfather to my youngest of two daughters, Ida. He informally invited me to the launch at the Cultural Center Little Theater lobby via SMS, saying, in his laconic, self-effacing manner that he has this de luxe book coming out, but he was just the hired hand so could I come as moral support? Of course, we did, Rolly and I. Rolly happened to be in town for some Inquirer seminar, and he surprised his kumpadre by showing up. He and I didn't plan our color motif (we came from different parts of town). What is it they say about sharing same wavelength? That evening we all did. Even Amadis is wearing a tunic.
Some friends and I refer to Tessie Jose (in red) as the real National Artist. It's mainly because she has made the writing life possible for Manong Frankie, a diabetic but seen here holding a glass of sweetened ice tea. Amadis is wearing a solid gold pendant with an image of his patron, the Virgin Mother, a legacy from his father who died tragically in the last war when Amadis was still an infant. The pendant from the older Guerrero (named Tristan, if I'm accurate) was from his first communion which must have happened in the late 1800s. What I like about Manong Frankie is his support of writers, aging and emerging. He always turns up at our launches. If he can't, he tells you to leave copies of your book "at the shop," his Solidaridad Bookstore, so Tessie and her staff can take care of sellling them. My poetry books all sold out, and when Solidaridad requested replenishment of stock, I could not give them more (poetry is printed in very small editions).
Post a Comment