Writing Now

#AprilFeelsDay Recap: Here Have My Feelings

I wasn’t there in 2013. If I was, I would have been able to see how the seeds of feels that the pioneer #romanceclass lovingly planted then have sprouted branches in many directions and blossomed into these Things that are happening now. I mean, we know we’re not yet convention hall levels (although we’ve joked about that) or quit-day-job-suck-it-boss levels (wish). But can you imagine how wonderful it is that before there was just one person and one class, and some three years later, one hot, sticky April summer day looked like this?

That’s got to count for something, right? 🙂

That packed, summer afternoon was #AprilFeelsDay, a celebration of romance the way #romanceclass does it. Held last April 17 at Pegi Waffles in San Juan, it was our very first event after participating in a slew of other people’s bookish/artsy events. We wanted a fun space where we can sell our books, hang out with author friends and reader friends and other people we like. That day we:

Sold books. Our selling table was crowded with indie and trad pub books, stickers (#NatGioWeekend stickers!) and lots of giveaways from the authors. The small door fee of P200 came with a free book, generously donated by Summit, Anvil, Visprint, and some indie authors as well.

@fandomfeelsph stickers at #AprilFEELSday #romanceclass @romanceclassbooks

A photo posted by @dementedchris on

Ate waffles. You go to Pegi Waffles for the waffles, man. Seriously. There was a buffet spread of waffles and pasta, and then there’s coffee, ice cream, and other things people can order from the venue. Sure, in all the hype and excitement most of us forgot to eat, but during those intervals when the waves of our feels subsided, we did remember to stuff our faces with the delicious waffles.

Guys, si Pol, nag-buffet. ? #ForeverSucks #AprilFeelsDay #NatGioWeekend #romanceclass

A photo posted by Tina Matanguihan | Ana Tejano (@storiestotell) on

Had a tarot reading. Author CP Santi (who was fresh from Japan, by the way) volunteered to read for people, to the point that she was hardly able to watch the remainder of the program hehe. I think she had too much fun gossiping with–er, telling the fortunes of her ‘clients.’

The cards have spoken ? #AprilFEELSDay

A photo posted by Kristel Ann Cruz (@krissyfied) on

Gave people #romanceclass quotes for coloring. This was also CP Santi’s doing. She surprised us all with quotes from our books, done coloring-book style for readers and guests to play with in between activities. 

Relax. Color. Fun. #AprilFeelsDay

A photo posted by Kat Sales (@saberkite) on

Had our heartbroken listening to poetry. Herv Alvarez and Salve Villarosa read from Pierra Calasanz-Labrador‘s The Heartbreak Diaries. You can probably tell from the book’s title–the short poems were meant to hurt your heart, and so they did.

Met and hugged readers. This is still very strange and new to me, the thing when people come up to say hi and say they liked my book, say that they bought the book and want it signed, and that they want their picture taken with me. Also the thing is I have an RBF, also known as a resting bitch face, and for people to still come up to talk to me is just beyond comprehension. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my overflowing heart. And I’m so sorry for the RBF. I’m really a nice person, hehe 😀 

Died and went to heaven from the live readings. I don’t think I will ever get used to that exhilarating rush from watching live readings. It’s an even maddening thing when the talented, glorious actors read from something I’ve written. The last time, Rachel Coates and Gio Gahol (of #NatGioWeekend, heh) read from Songs of Our Breakup. This time Rachel and Jef Flores read from Songs to Get Over You. Both times, I honestly didn’t know where to land my gaze, how to arrange my face, how to process their words and expressions and the reactions of the people in the room. I ended up keeping that buzz of happy energy, carrying it around with me for the rest of that day and beyond. *sigh* Thank you, thank you wonderful actors, and of course to the producers Mina V. Esguerra and Tania Arpa for letting me experience that thrill <3

Live reading ‘set list’:

Salve and Herv – Settle the Score by Tara Frejas, Picture Me Naked by DR LeeChoco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera

Rachel and Jef – That Kind of Guy by Mina V. Esguerra, One Night at the Palace Hotel by Bianca Mori, Songs to Get Over You

Rachel and Gio – Welcome to Envy Park by Mina V. Esguerra, The Real Score by Kesh Tanglao, All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria


Got the amazing opportunity to bring to life several stories by Filipina authors at #AprilFEELSDay! ? (c) Arlene Manocot

A photo posted by Salve | Booktuber from ?? (@cuckooforbooks) on

I still sometimes wish I was there in the beginning of Things. But what’s more important is that I’m part of this crazy wonderful, ever supportive community now. And I’m always grateful for these lovely humans. Convention-hall levels soon, guys! But for now some rest, because tita bones, then on to the next Thing!

#BeautyandtheBookish @ #AprilFeelsDay

A photo posted by The Bookwhore Diaries (@tbd_bookblog) on

Favorite ?⭐️❤️ #Repost @hunnydew0205 with @repostapp. ・・・ #NatGioWeekend ??? #AprilFEELSday #romanceclass

A photo posted by Tina Matanguihan | Ana Tejano (@storiestotell) on

Class photo! Authors and actors of the #romance books live reading on #aprilfeelsday

A photo posted by Tania Arpa (@taniaarpa) on

Signing off with words from Chandler Bing (sans the vitriolic sarcasm he is known for): “Feelings. Such strong feelings.”

Note: Songs to Get Over You and other books are available as eBooks and in print. Full list of #romanceclass books here. Subscribe to the podcast here so you don’t miss the launch of the new seasons featuring Herv and Salve, and Rachel, Jef and Gio.

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