I managed to make it to the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction awards last night without much problems. I was hesitant to go because I’ve seen news of the massive traffic jam along Ortigas/C5, which would’ve been my route to Rockwell.
I decided to take a chance anyway, figuring that 1) I might get lucky and the trip won’t be too bad and 2) the event will start later than 7 anyway.
Someone loves me because I got both of them. My ride from Eastwood to Cubao took about twenty minutes. I walked from Puregold to the MRT station (even had time to sneak a quick peek at Booksale haha). I got my MRT ticket in 5 minutes and another 5 minutes for the train to arrive. When I got to Guadalupe, I made a small mistake of walking to the wrong stop, but I managed to get on a jeepney to Rockwell. I also got off the wrong stop so I walked a bit farther than I would’ve if I didn’t, but who cared? All in all, my trip took me an hour and thirty minutes, which wasn’t really bad at all!
Surprisingly, there wasn’t much people at the tent. At least, it was lesser than what I expected. About a hundred or so people were milling around outside, buying last minute stuff they hope to get signed and all. I signed up at the registration booth, hoping to win one of the 100 slots open for the autograph signing later in the event.
Waiting for the event to start
A little past 7PM, they let us in. It was an hour before the program started. Jelly of RX 93.1 hosted. I saw several people I was familiar with through blogs and various interactions in the past. I introduced myself to Gerry Alanguilan, and I was a total spaz (sorry po!).
Around 8, the program started. Jamie Daez introduced Neil Gaiman. Backstage, several people with Neil Gaiman masks stood and as the camera zooms on to them, they step aside. I was so busy turning and looking for him that I didn’t really get to catch this on video. People were screaming and yelling, you’d really think he was a rock star (makes me wonder now if it’s like this in other countries or just us, home of the now infamous “Wall of Sound”).
Neil went onstage, and said a few words. He said that it was “very strange” to see all those people with his face. He showed off the jacket he was wearing, saying it was the Kambriel made for him and the one he wore at the Oscars. Wow! I never thought I’d see it up close. The ones who got near him for the autograph signing were lucky. They actually got to see that amazing work up close. And it’s got buttons! I’m still loading the video of that.
Here Neil reads one of his poems.
He read “Locks” from his book Smoke and Mirrors, then he read a poem his just wrote recently. It was so new he hadn’t had time to publish or read it to a proper audience. It was so cool.
Here Neil reads a poem he recently wrote, one that he’s never read to a “proper audience” before.
Neil gives his feedback on the stories/comics/films that won.
For the winners in each category, Neil gave his thoughts and impressions. It was great to hear how favorable he found many entries, and how it encouraged people to send in entries for the next competitions. His favorite word for the night was “glorious,” as he used it several times as he talked. I find it rather apt.
Winners of the comics category. Manix Abrera should’ve won first place but his work got published during the duration of the contest, so he forfeited the award. 🙁
VIP ako haha.
I stood for three hours. Who cares?
The winners of the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction awards. Neil was waving his hands.
Some of the names were familiar, namely Dean Alfar and Kenneth Yu, but it was nice to see some new people joining the winner’s ranks. I’ve been a fan of Dean Alfar for some time now, and I think he ought to be inducted to the awards’ hall of fame haha. Congratulations to the winners! You can view the entries here.
Various personalities read aloud passages from the winning entries. Nyko Maca (who read “Cherry Clubbing” so beautifully, I got chills), Quark Henares, Wawi Navarroza and Gabe Alipio were among them. Nyko Maca also performed.
Signing for 100 people (about 200 books) that night
People milling around outside the tent
I got home pretty late, because the bus parked in front of Galleria for about 30 minutes. Obviously, no one was going to ride, but the driver didn’t seem to care. Pfft.