Thursday, April 12, 2007

One Night for Spec Fic

You gotta ask, what's a hack like me doing in an event like that? But that's what happened when [identity-protected] and I were invited to attend the 2007 Philippine Free Press Literary Awards last Tuesday night.

When we got the Mandarin Hotel in Makati City, dean and his litcritters crew (i.e. vin, andrew, nikki, alex and kate) were already there. Given my non-literary background, they were the only people I recognized but [identity-protected] pointed out PFP literary editor Angelo 'Sarge' Lacuesta as well as the eponymous Gemino 'Butch' Abad. Now at least I can say I know how they look like.

(Later on, I recognized youth columnist Patricia Evangelista breeze in on the arm of this tall dude. Wow, am I now really hobnobbing with the literary peeps? Or given my media status, am I more of a paparazzi? Quick! Where's my flash camera!)

To kill time before the ceremonies, dean, [identity-protected] and I did what any writer would do in occasions like these: gossiping madly about one thing or another. Then it was the award-giving time, followed by speeches by some luminaries, then at last, a stand-up buffet dinner.

Of course, the kicker that night was dean taking third place for the short story category with two others, including Doug Candano (who wrote a short story for Phil. Spec Fic. vol. 1). Talk about high standards: the PFP awards-giving body said there would be no first place awardees for both short story and essay categories because 'they wanted to maintain the high standards set by Jose Garcia Villa.' "Good luck!" said [identity-protected] with a snort. "Taray!" said dean with a smile and a raised eyebrow.

Quite funny actually: dean seemed to be fretting prior to the announcement of the awards and vin was trying to get him to drink a glass of wine. "Give him more! Give him more!" I egged vin. Hey, what can I say; dean looked like he needed it. Then as dean was going up to get his award, there were shouts of "spec fic!" "spec fic!" from the crowd (my amused suspicions point to the litcritters).

Later on, I was glad to see ramblingsoul took honorable mention in the poetry category. As usual, though our online presences know each other, our actual presences were like two trains passing each other in the night.

With the concluding speech by PFP chief and congressman Teodoro 'Teddyboy' Locsin and the arrival of Big Bear outside the awards hall, [identity-protected] and I figured it was time to skip the food and skedaddle. Alas, despite the open bar, stand-up dinners are a killer on the feet.

(Nota bene: Apologies if this post comes across as an ugly offspring of party-hepsters like Tim Yap or Maurice Arcache.)

3 comments:

Dean said...

Spec Fic! Spec Fic! LOL

Alexander said...

Spec Fic! Spec Fic! Spec Fic!

Good to see you again! We should chat about our fave genres and the writer's life more often! Good to see [identity-protected] too.

banzai cat said...

dean: Ah-hah! :-)

alex: Too true. And I still have to pick your brain about local westerns on TV. ;-)