First post of the year
Welcome back to my blog — I can’t quite believe it’s 2013 already!
2012 literally whizzed by me, and while I haven’t been able to blog as regularly as I would have liked, it was definitely a year of new experiences for me.
In May, I attended the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore for the panel on writing book reviews, wherein I (in front of an international audience, gulp!) talked about writing reviews both for a newspaper and this blog. It was an honor representing the country, and it was a very memorable experience, easily one of the highlights of my year. It was simply invigorating to be able to meet so many wonderful people involved children’s content in the region (and beyond!) and keep abreast of all the developments in the industry.
I also gave another talk at the Filipino ReaderCon in September, which I am proud to say is an initiative of the Filipino Book Bloggers Group, this time on the ethics of book blogging. Being one of the book bloggers with a running sponsor and collaborations with publishers, I hope my talk was helpful to the people who sat in that session.
But my ReaderCon responsibilities did not end there, I also chaired (with the lovely Tarie and Tina) the first ever Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, which was a challenge to mount, but ultimately rewarding. After finally pinning down the mechanics, we launched the site, recruited reader judges, and called for nominations — it was great to see all the responses pouring in! The awarding ceremony capped off the ReaderCon festivities. Now that there’s a template going, we’ve got big plans for the FRCA this year, and I’m really looking forward to it.
The ReaderCon itself was a resounding success, and it was great to see the reading community band together — the tireless organizing committee and the volunteers, the book clubs, the authors and publishers, the book development board, teachers, and of course, the readers! Talk about awesome!
My favorite authors also had books out this year: Sophie Kinsella, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Jasper Fforde, J.K. Rowling (of course), Trenton Lee Stewart and my new favorite YA author Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve found new discoveries in the works of Orson Scott Card, Megan Whalen Turner, Jeffrey Steingarten, Maira Kalman and Lemony Snicket, Norman Jorgensen, Suzy Lee, Candy Gourlay, and many more — I’m wading through the reviews I need to write, but I’ll get there, hopefully in the first quarter of the year.
I got to interview Lauren Oliver, Alyson Noel, and Jennifer Hillier (and a bit of Alex Gilvarry) on their Philippine tour. It’s always great to meet authors and talk about books, and I love how more and more international authors are making their way to the Filipino fans.
And of course, there were all those parties (and costumes!) — the Game of Thrones cosplay (with handmade iron throne) on top of our book club’s SteamPoe halloween party and Noli Me Tangere Christmas party (which you’ll read about in another post, I promise!). We love parties (Food! Themes! Costumes!) over at Flips Flipping Pages, and my cousin and I couldn’t have found a better book club to fit our party
planning production tendencies.
Year of firsts
2012 was a year of firsts, in many other ways.
In January, I got the partnership at my firm, marking a very busy year for me.
In February, I climbed the Pongas Falls in Sagada, a more harrowing experience than the Cave Connection I swore off years ago!
Summer was fun – the sweltering weekends I spent training in fencing, something not many beyond my family knew. I’d always meant to get back to fencing after college (and who knows what might come in handy in a zombie apocalypse?), and finally found myself a coach. It was tough training on book geek muscles, but it’s a lovely sport and I was sad when I ran out of sessions. Hopefully I get to see the pistes again this summer!
A few more highlights of my summer: the Flippers went on a beach (and of course, food) trip! I also went with my Geek Fight team to Baler, surfed for the very first time, and found out I could actually do it. Totally stoked!
Another one for the books (unintentional pun!) is the long-overdue trip to Cambodia with my high school friends in July — the Angkor Temples made such a breathtaking experience! Beng Mealea, Kompong Pluk, Angkor Wat, Banteay Stei, Ta Prohm, and Baphuon, even Pub Street — it’s one of those bucket list kind of trips!
All in all, 2012 was a spectacular year, but I’ve really missed blogging. That’s actually my new year’s resolution: to blog more regularly this year, starting with this post.
Thank you to all the readers for your patience, and I do hope you keep coming back. I have some posts lined up for you guys in the coming week, and my birthday’s coming up, too so there’s a giveaway coming your way very soon.
Wishing all of you peace, love, and more books in 2013.
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