Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards 2013

This day last year was the 2nd Filipino ReaderCon at the Filipinas Heritage Library. It was a fun, fun, fun bookish event, but one of the most memorable things I did as part of the organizers of the event was be a part of the first Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. It was such a fun experience working behind the scenes in the awards, setting up voting forms, writing posts and cheering silently for the books that I hope would win. It also helped that I was working with two great girls (who know so much more than I do about books! :D).

Preparations for the 3rd Filipino ReaderCon are all under way, and that means we’re also starting to work on the 2nd Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. In fact, nominations have been open since August 9! Have you nominated your favorite book yet?

Filipino Readers' Choice Awards

What books can you nominate? Any book (print or electronic) published in the Philippines from January to December 2012. Yes, even self-published books count! 

What are the categories? Children’s picture book, Chick lit, Novel in English, Novel in Filipino, Comics / Graphic novels, Short story anthology, Essay anthology, Poetry.

I’ve been checking out my reviews before I wrote this post, and I saw some books I read and reviewed on the blog last year that fits the criteria (most fall under Chick Lit category…why am I not surprised? :D):

Have you read any of these books, too?

Nominating a book is as easy as filling out this form, and you can nominate more than one book! Don’t worry about nominating books that you think your friends have nominated too — we like reading your reasons for nominating. :) And yes, do tell your friends, your co-workers, and everyone you know about this. :D Nominations are open until August 23 — but don’t wait until the last day to nominate!

More updates about the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards will be posted on the Filipino ReaderCon website, Facebook and Twitter. :)

Happy 3, TFG, Part 1: Outreach Activity

I meant to write about this activity sooner, but as always, I wasn’t able to because I have too many things to do after this event happened. It’s kind of good that I got stuck in a reading rut now, so I have some time to blog. But since I don’t feel like writing any reviews just yet, I decided to go back to my recap of this because I want to remember this event, too.

So last April, our book club, The Filipino Group on Goodreads (GR-TFG) celebrated its third year of existence.1 In the past years, we had an extra meet-up time for the anniversary, but this year we decided to do it a little differently because we had too many activities planned and too little time. We decided to move our book club’s outreach activity from February to April, so we’d have more time to prepare and because anniversaries are the best time to give back to the community, right?

This year, our group decided to adopt another community and help build their library. We wanted to focus on teens, and we wanted to share with them our passion for reading by providing them books and spending a day with them. We decided to team up with Kaibigan Ermita Outreach Foundation (KEOF). KEOF is an independent, non-profit NGO that works on taking care of and the development in the urban poor areas in Manila. They have various communities all over Manila, and last April 20, our book club had the chance to meet teens from these areas.

Image from KEOF website

Image from KEOF website

But before that — we had to do a lot of book collection first. I wasn’t with them on their activity last year because I was out of town, so I so I was organizing this without prior knowledge of how it was done before. We formed committees in the group, had several meetings and started collecting books from our members that we will donate to KEOF. So one of our first events was an afternoon of book-covering, since we wanted to make sure the books will last so more kids can read them.

Some of the books we covered that afternoon. :)

Some of the books we covered that afternoon. :)

Our group collected 374 books to KEOF. :) I love how everyone had books to give away, and some of them were even brand new.

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  1. By “existence”, it was more of an offline existence — the club has been alive since 2007 or something, but the first official meet-up happened in April 2010 []

On Dead Stars and Romantic Afternoons

I had a draft of this post from last night early this morning, before my shift ended, but I decided to chuck it all because that was my end-of-night-shift self talking and that self is usually more talkative than my usual self (imagine that). Let’s start over.

I wasn’t supposed to moderate a discussion for this year, but being one of the head moderators/administrators, I was ready to pick a vacant month to moderate in case no one steps up. It came a little early, after a friend made a deal with me and told me she’ll handle our other activity if someone else moderates for this month. It just so happened that the previous days, I was chatting with another friend about several activities that we can do for the group, and I realized that maybe if I moderate again, I will be able to make those activities happen.

So when 2013 rolled around, I was actually already planning my discussion. It didn’t even matter what book won, because I was going for an easy read — an easy and romantic read, because my discussion was during February. I was all about embracing the inner romantic of course! :D

The “book” that won was actually a short story, Dead Stars by Paz Marquez-Benitez. My original book of choice was Fourteen Love Stories but I could’t find a copy of it anywhere. So I decided to just stick with that story, and it won, mostly because of familiarity as this was one of the stories discussed in Literature class for most of us.

We had the face to face discussion last Sunday. I honestly felt more prepared for this discussion than my first one, probably because I have been preparing for this for so long. Heh. Plus the fact that I had several sick days in February, and I ended up having a lot of time on my hands despite my busy schedule. I had several activities planned, and while I was very excited, I was also kind of wary. Will it fly? Will people like it? Or will they think it’s too corny/cheesy? Am I just doing everything for my own fulfillment?

Discussion time :D

Discussion time :D (Photo c/o Reev)

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A Very Bookish TFG Year

Last Saturday, our book club had our last face to face book discussion for 2012, as well as our Christmas party. It was another awesome event, and really, I never expected anything less because weekends with my book club friends were always the highlight of my month. I’ve always meant to post about every meet-up like this, but I never got to, obviously (save for one post on my personal blog). I figure the year-end is always a good way to make a recap, so here we go. :)

tfg logo


Oh but wait – look we have a new logo! Thanks to Angus for bugging his friend to make one for us. :) Isn’t it purty? :D

A little background: our book club started out as an online book club that discusses books online but meets offline. When I joined, we didn’t have any book discussions offline, because our meet-ups weren’t always too many. We had about 3 big meet-ups every year from 2010, and then during those meet-ups we just talk books and gave away books and stayed together till everyone needs to go home. Late in 2011, someone came up with the idea to have a 100 Favorite Books List, which birthed the idea of finally having face to face book discussions.

I honestly wasn’t sure if it would fly. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go to the first one because I was a bit busy then, and I was going through some personal stuff. But because I was made a moderator by late 2011, I felt that I was obligated to join them for that, even if it was my real first time to join a discussion. But again, we weren’t really sure if we could sustain the momentum, because a monthly meeting almost felt too much, especially coming from the meeting every quarter (not counting the smaller random meet-ups we have). I didn’t want it to die down, but I wasn’t really expecting it to really, really grow into a big event every month, you know?

But boy, was I surprised. :-)

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United We Read

Like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, one of the many reasons why I haven’t been blogging lately is because I’ve been busy using my creative juices over at the Filipino ReaderCon website. This year, I decided to step up and have a bigger role in the conference just because it’s about something I feel passionate about. I became the head of the Online Promotions team, which wasn’t really different from what I did last year, save for a few more responsibilities.

So most of my responsibilities happened before the event: managing the website, helping out with the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, twitter, Facebook. It wasn’t that stressful, but it did zap me of some writing juices hence the silence in this blog. And that other blog.

But anyway. Last Saturday was D-day, and man, what a day it was. I love being a part of events, really, and events about books and reading really just takes the cake. Since my main responsibility for the day was to live tweet and to update Facebook every now and then, I was pretty relaxed. Especially since I had a very capable online promotions team who were ready to do the live tweeting for the different panels. :)

Online Promotions! Yay! (Photo from Ella)

So the morning sessions went by smoothly and Internet was running perfectly and tweets were coming in with the hashtag #filreadercon. I was tweeting, too, from my phone, and it was quite a tiring thing, but it gave me some time to listen to the panels. I just love the energy of the people, both online and offline.

And then, my good friend Celina tweeted this:

And then I double checked on my Tweetdeck:

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