Manila Mango Bride’s Book Tour in Pictures

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Good morning, Manila! I hit the ground running last Thursday after landing on home turf. Scant hours after settling into a luxurious suite at the Fairmont Makati, an old college friend messaged me on Facebook: Are you at the Fairmont?  Come join us for lunch!

Feeling fairly flush in my fab suite at Fairmont!

Feeling fairly flush in my fab suite at  Fairmont Makati!

I hadn’t seen Carol D.  since we were undergrads at U.P. but The Mango Bride reunited us: She read the entire novel on an 8-hour flight from Sydney, loved it and persuaded a mutual friend, high school classmate Roxanne A, to host a cocktail reception to celebrate its publication. Both women have had high-powered careers in marketing and to my great surprise, insisted on setting up a sales table in Roxanne’s vestibule.  Unlike other book events, which generally took months of careful planning and rivers of email messages, Carol and Roxanne’s private book launch party came together in days. Now all I need do is put on my fancy pants and show up, pen and fan in hand at Roxanne’s place on Wednesday.  In Manila, that’s how we roll.

Friday was a full day of media interviews, and Chad, National Book Store’s  coolly efficient, fashion-forward Marketing pro managed a 6 hour series of media interviews and photo shoots in the Writers Bar at Raffles Makati.

Philippine Star

Philippine Star was the first of Friday’s dizzying round of photo shoots.

Ruel De Vera of the Philippine Daily Inquirer showed up at 10 a.m.  He had written one of the early reviews of my novel., and it was great to finally meet him. Nearly two decades earlier, he  also reviewed my children’s book Philippine Fright.  His photographer posed me under a gorgeous wall of paintings opposite the bar.

Ronald Lim from the Manila Bulletin came next, followed by Cate de Leon of the Philippine Star.

Manica of Town and Country arrived with her photographer Tammy, who toted an even larger camera and a golf-bag sized sack of paraphernalia.

Town & Country Outdoor Shoot

 

Manica was a soft-spoken journalist who looked — and I later realized was young enough to be my daughter. Oh to be 22  again!

Manica and me by the Writers Bar's wall of books

Manica and me by the Writers Bar’s wall of books

By then it was three in the afternoon, and I had a half-hour breather because one of the journalists had moved her interview to Saturday.

The Lifesyle Asia photo shoot was the last one of the day.

Lifestyle Asia Shoot

Senior Photographer Zak upped the camera props ante with two assistants and a light reflector disk.

Cousins arrived at the Writers Bar to enjoy a well-deserved and long-awaited cocktail hour.  A massive traffic jam caused by monsoon rains prevented us from  attending the National Book Store-organized movie night at Shangri la Mall, but we stayed dry and cozy at the Fairmont.

Dr. Dennis Doromal and Cecile Doromal Kaufman  arrived rain-drenched but dried out nicely  with cocktails at the Writers Bar

Dr. Dennis Doromal and Cecile Doromal Kaufman arrived rain-drenched but dried out nicely with cocktails at the Writers Bar

________________________________________

Day 2:

Saturday started off with brunch at the Spectrum, a  delicious calm before the storm:

Spectrum Restaurant at Raffles Makati

Spectrum Restaurant at Raffles Makati

Things picked up in the early afternoon with more interviews, the first one of which was with Blooey Singson, Manila’s top book blogger.    Blooey offered the surprising revelation that several years earlier, she  had designed the book cover for Spooky Mo, the collection of horror stories that first caught the attention of Literary Agent Taryn Fagerness.  Taryn challenged me to write a novel in 2007, which eventually led to the drafting of The Mango Bride.  Funny how things come around in a circle!

Blooey Singson @ the Writers

Blooey Singson @ the Writers Bar

Spooky Mo is now available in Nook and Kindle editions: http://amazon.com

The final photo session for Metro Magazine was shot by a photographer who deserved her own photo layout:

DSCN2295

With Metro Features Editor Geolette Esguerra and her amazing photographer

DSCN2291

Thank you Chad of National Book Store for taking all these behind-the-scenes photos!

From there we moved to National Book Store’s flagship store:

National Book Store Glorietta

National Book Store Glorietta

and a couple of T.V. interviews…

Lifestyle Network interview

Lifestyle Network interview

The good folks at National Book Store set up an awesome book display…

NBS and my book display

NBS and my book display

And an amazing backdrop for the stage:

Q&A with Xandra Ramos Padilla

Q&A with Xandra Ramos Padilla

Xandra Ramos Padilla conducted a Q& A session, followed by book signing:

Autographing books after the Q&A

Autographing books after the Q&A

The man above in blue is Ariel Balatbat,Penguin’s International Sales Manager.  Ariel brought his wife, daughter and niece to the book signing.

After all the books had been autographed, NBS Marketing Man Friday, Chad, handler of media interviews, photographer of all these behind the scenes picutres and all-around cool guy came onstage for his close-up:

Chad and me

Chad and me

Best of all, my brother Nolet showed up to celebrate The Mango Bride’s first book event in Manila

Nolet after the book signing.

Nolet after the book signing.

Family + friends +press coverage + books = a fabulous first 48 hours in Manila, city of my heart.  Up ahead: five campus lectures, 2 book talks, a staged reading of selected scenes at Sev’s Café and a passel of parties .  Check the Book Tour link on my page if you’d like to attend one of my readings.

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