Sunday, February 1, 2015
The last day of January 2015 was a double book launch day in different parts of sprawling Metro Manila. There is no longer a sleepy hour in terms of road traffic on EDSA. There was the fiction anthology Fast Food Delivery at Greenbelt 4 Makati City at 3 p.m., then Snows of Yesteryear at Solidaridad Bookshop in Ermita at 5 p.m. By 12 noon in Sison, Pangasinan, where the Victory Bus I was riding in en route to Cubao from Baguio City made a 15-minute pit stop, I decided I'd just head straight to Dr. Ordoñez's launch and buy my copy of Anvil's FFD another day.
I had only one body, which was still in recovery from surgery, and I could only manage an event at a time. It was a wise decision, considering I had my backpack on my back, a walking cane on my left hand, a bag of 40 pieces of brownies and two Mario Parial paintings that my husband Rolly had carefully packed in preparation for a Parial retrospective where they would be included. Eeek! Bag lady forever!
But the gods and goddesses of literary Olympus looked kindly on this traveler. I entered Solidaridad past six and climbed its two flights of stairs to catch Dr. Ordoñez fielding the last two questions from the audience concerning his latest book.
I make it a point to be at friends' book launches. I know the difficulties writers go through in order to write, to support writing, to finish a manuscript and to find a publisher. When others try to inveigle me to be involved in so-called "book projects" with an eye on a launch day, I pull back, decline politely (on rare times, impolitely, if the "client" is over-demanding). A book is a work of love; one's life, one's strife, one's passions and convictions are in it. It cheapens the writer if demands on meeting strict deadlines so a book party can fall on a propitious date are made.
I'm glad for the cool, laidback Prof. Ordoñez. He finished his manuscript, then saw it in printed form after turning a young 85 in December. The good news is he has another book in the back burner. I say, "Bring it on" and "More power to prolific octogenarians!" Thanks for setting such a fine example, sir.
P.S. Puwede bang bumati? Mila D. Aguilar, thank you for seeing me to my door. I love a writing community, especially one that looks out for the members' health and safety.