It’s a busy time for book events in the metro right now, and I’m tickled pink with excitement.

First off is a project I’ve kept under wraps for the past couple of months: Fully Booked’s Moleskine Passions Launch & “Share the Loves of Your Life” Exhibition, where I was invited to be one of the contributors for the Book category.

Moleskine unveils Moleskine Passions, a new thrilling collection of journals that celebrates passions as a way of life with a new inspiring exhibition: “Share the loves of your life” with Moleskine Passions.

Over 150 specialists and celebrities in Asia share the loves of their life and reveal their creativity through notes, drawing, clipping…The passions notebooks created by the participants are showcased in over 60 spots in 12 Asian cities.

Fully Booked brings part of the inspiring works to the audience in the Philippines. Artists and specialists from the Philippines were  invited to share their passions on the new Moleskine notebooks, including  Pastry Chef Aileen A. Anastacio (Recipe), Aaron Palileo (Wine), Blooey Singson (Book), Chef Bruce Lim (Recipe), Elian Habayeb (Music), Ines Cabarrus (Wine), Jeannie E. Javelosa (Wellness), Johnny Alegre (Music), Lyle Sacris (Film), Waise Azimi (Film), Yvette Tan (Book),  and Agu Paiso (Wellness).

Let me just say how much I enjoyed the Moleskine Passions book journal — it’s absolutely amazing. The whole Passions series is really made with special interests in mind. And I really enjoyed how much they thought through the organization of the book journal. I’ve gone through a lot of ready-made book journals but structure-wise, I think the Moleskine is the best out there.

Aside from the requisite alphabetically-tabbed section for book reviews, there are sections with blank tabs, which you can personalize with the enclosed adhesive labels (and you can make your own too) and a number of blank pages where you can create an artwork inspired by a book, write a letter to the author or a lead character, or just ramble on about a book. The journal also has  three built-in ribbon placemarkers, an expandable pocket on the inside back cover, and several sheets of stickers with icons and words to help your personalize your journal. The signature Moleskine black cover is embossed with book genres and authors, too!

It’s a good balance between structure and room for creativity, and it’s up to the book lover in you to show just how passionate you can be about books!

My Moleskine Passions book journal is currently on exhibit at the Fully Booked stores, I hope my local readers (and those around Asia too!) drop by to see it and the other journals created by the different personalities journaling about their own passions.  I’m actually kicking myself for not taking photos before submitting my book journal, but when I get it back (it was sent to Hong Kong for reproduction), I’ll take photos and share them with you (haha, I had to take the photo of my page on the sly at the exhibit area at the Greenbelt 5 store — they chose my spread on Hunger Games and Catching Fire, as well as the spread under my Book Club section, which features Flips Flipping Pages).

ILUSTRADO BOOK SIGNING

Meanwhile, Man Asian Literary Prize winner Miguel Syjuco (who incidentally is also a part of the Moleskine Passions exhibit — haha his page happens to be right on the flipside of mine, that’s my claim to fame!) is finally launching his award-winning book “Ilustrado” in the Philippines.

The Man Asian Literary Prize is annually awarded to a novel written by a citizen of an Asian country and first published in English, and Syjuco is the first Filipino author to win the award, with Ilustrado in 2008. I’ve been wanting to read this book since then and I can finally get my hands on a copy next week!

Ilustrado is described as a novel that “fuses murder mystery, literary gamesmanship, historical fiction, political commentary, dirty jokes, racy sex, illicit drugs, and old-school trance music” — quite interesting, don’t you think? Can’t wait to read it!

National Book Store is hosting a meet and greet/book signing on April 10, Saturday, 2 pm at National Book Store Glorietta 5, and Sunday, April 11, 11 am at National Book Store Ayala Center Cebu (hey Chloe and Mauie!!!).

Local readers can also tune in to Syjuco’s radio interviews on Monday, April 12 Mellow 94.7 at 9 am and Wave 89.1 at 10:30 am.

ANG PAMBIHIRANG SOMBRERO EXHIBIT

A friend of mine, writer-illustrator-painter-tv show host extraordinaire Jomike Tejido is having a giclee print exhibit of his book Ang Pambihirang Sombrero at the Chocolate Kiss Cafe (Roces Ave. branch) this month.

One of Adarna House’s top 25 best-selling titles, the picture book “Ang Pambihirang Sombrero” is now on its first show of limited-edition prints on Arches fine art paper.

Jomike Tejido is an architect, author and visual artist of over 30 children’s titles in the Philippines and Singapore. He has held 5 solo exhibitions for his signature style of banig paintings. Jomike also created the Foldabots toy series, and Robotars, an upcoming designer toy to be exhibited on April 16 2010. Visit www.jmtejido.com for more details.

I’m joining Jomike’s Robotars exhibit in April, I’ll post an entry about that soon.

That’s it for now — I hope I can catch up on blogging over the Easter holidays; will be off on another trip next week.