This will read like an Oscar speech
But I don’t care.
Because one of the biggest things I was taught when I was growing up was
keep your vibrator away from your mother the importance of saying thank you.
And now that the book launch is over, I have so many people to thank.
Thank you, Ms. Karina, Ms. Ani, Ms. Gwenn, Joshene and the rest of my Anvil family, for turning Paper Cuts into reality, for being patient with me, for giving Filipino authors the chance to put their work out there, for including my doodles in the book. Now I want to look for all the art teachers who used to laugh at my drawings and go “Ha!”
Thank you, Ms. Trina, Miguel and everyone at National Book Store and Powerbooks, for giving my books a home. Now I feel like there are parts of me scattered all over the country. An extra-special thank you to National Book Store for allowing beer to be served at my book launch. Beer! In a book store! We all got a huge kick out of that.
Thank you, Jill, for telling me to relax when I started going crazy, for the brilliant band-aid idea, for vetoing the kupas black shirt I wanted to wear and for ignoring me when I said I had nothing else to wear, for finding the nail polish I ended up wearing and making it travel halfway around the world just to reach me, for taking these awesome pictures, for the patience, for the constant, unwavering support, for not being afraid to tell me when I’m being stupid, for handing me that much-needed beer. Sadly, I was only able to drink a third of it.
Thank you, J, for not saying no, for overcoming stage fright and for giving such a beautiful speech. It was perfect, you were brilliant (as always) and I love you. And okay, I will include that gay bar story in the new manuscript. I will also write about the time I made you walk miles and miles in Cebu in search of grilled squid. Remember that night? I remember you wanting to kill me that night.
Thank you, Ma’am Thelma, for the many kind words, for the way you nurture my passion for writing, for the constant motivation. Most people wouldn’t pick their boss to give a speech about them but most people don’t have you as their boss.
Thank you, Tatin, for not extending your Hong Kong trip because you wanted to be back in time for the launch, for suggesting that we do a raffle, for helping me look for a vibrator (that “clet” episode was hilarious), for ripping open all the band-aids, for actually finding the vibrator (actually Giff should thank you), for providing the raffle bowl, for being the first to review the book (using post-its!), for being my third Jesus, for being a tireless cheerleader and for doing my makeup and spraying me with perfume. I did not stink because of you.
Thank you, Giff, for your cupcake magic, for fearlessly giving your mom a copy of the book despite knowing what’s in it, for the fairy dust, for the laughter, for accepting “Tiny Touch.” Why didn’t you wear your blazer?
Thank you, Hazel, for getting the beer to their destination. I’m sure everyone else wants to thank you too. I miss you so much.
Thank you, Macy and Eric, for getting Manny Pacquiao to sign the chessboard. Will you please ask him if he’s willing to punch me?
Thank you, Lola Charit, Tita Lourdes, Tita Lynn, Ina, Carlo, Powie, George, Jayla.
Thanks to everyone who braved the traffic, who gave me their Friday, who showed me so much love. Momon, Ram, Mamsy, Ito, Budang, Marla, Macy, Mimi, Chinggay, Roch, Jay, Bien, Rey, Joice, Mark P., Nike, Noah, Jan, Christine, Paul, Kathy, Enad, Ernie, Rita, Shine, Ivy, Lods, June, Ed, Angela, Cher, Walter, Eric, Zoe, Rollie, Lianne, Melay, Dann, FG, Jed, Coco, Mon, Karen, Ate Hazel, Anne, Che, Pod, Irene, Fran, Stef, FG, Gelo, Josh, Mark B, Miles, Archie, Niko, Annie, Raquel, Ms Joy, Kezia, Joy, Jonel, Maui, Jonas, Shirley, Leah, Jake, Atom, Tim. I want to mention everyone but I know this is a complete failure. If your name isn’t here, please forgive me, my hamster is still trying to recover from the workout. Feel free to leave a comment and I will make it up to you.
Thanks to the people who brought gifts – that was a huge surprise, I wasn’t expecting that.
Thank you to everyone who patiently stood in line – especially those who waited for over two hours. I am sorry you had to wait. I have so much love for you. I really hope Paper Cuts brings you joy.
Thank you to people who told me they’ve been reading my work since they were 12. It should make me feel old, it really should, but all it does is make me feel happy.
Thanks to the husbands/boyfriends/moms/dads who went with their wives/girlfriends/daughters/sons to the book launch to keep them company while waiting and to take their pictures. You rock.
Thank you to those who arrived and left without me knowing because I was busy signing. Raims, Le, Alistair, Ina, Lex and everyone else, thank you. You should have seen me after the launch. “What?! They were there?! I didn’t know!” I said those words over and over again.
Thanks to Noah’s yaya who made me address one book to Noah when it wasn’t really his. His dad ended up having to buy one more book. Which is kind of awesome. For me. (Sorry Mark!)
Thank you to San Miguel and Krispy Kreme for the drinks and donuts, Belo Medical Group for the raffle prizes and flowers, Oh Shoot! Toy Camera Shop for the awesome cameras we gave away.
Thank you to Jolengs for making such awesome pins. I have a feeling I will be sending more business your way soon.
Thanks to the manong who handed me food. That chicken lollipop was the bomb.
Thank you to all my friends who wanted to make it but couldn’t, who sent positive thoughts my way.
Thank you to friends who stayed until the end, who went with me to Whistlestop for a post-launch dinner, for pretending not to notice when I devoured that huge plate of bacon, for helping me attack the Whistle-izzas and for letting me order iced tea because I was sure beer would knock me out.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m really not done yet but I figure I have time.
Photos by Jill Lejano.