And it’s out! Ricky Lee’s second novel, Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata, was launched yesterday at SM North EDSA’s Sky Dome–the first book launch held at the venue. Or so the assistant manager guy said at the start of the program.
It was a star-studded event; though it did lean more to ABS-CBN’s side of the celebrity pool–which wasn’t surprising since Mr. Ricky Lee is affiliated with them. I have to say though, this is the most stars I’ve seen in a book launch. Then again, I haven’t been to many. Directors Gina Alajar and Mac Alejandre were there, as were Alessandra de Rossi and a host of Kapamilya talents who I don’t know. A handful of people were shrieking, so I’m going to take a guess and say that they’re known. Diether Ocampo also made an appearance, even if it was just to greet the author at the end of the event. And those are just the guests.
The event was hosted by Miss Ai Ai delas Alas and Miss Eugene Domingo, comediennes both, who followed the program script only when it suited them. What transpired then was a very lively double-act that brokered the number of readings from various celebrities–most of which you’ll get glimpses of in the video I took of the event, embedded at the end of this blog post. There were also a couple of intermissions, one from Miss Dulce, singing a poem written by Andres Bonifacio, to accompany the chapter read by Director Joel Lamangan, dgpi; and another one from Ely Buendia’s band Pupil.
This was definitely not an ordinary book launch.
The event was supposed to start at 4. We started closer to 5. That said, an hour’s delay when celebrities are involved is a miracle. Yes, I’m looking at you, Star Awards for Television. And while the event organization wasn’t perfect, it at least had some semblance of being organized. The security personnel knew how to answer questions, and volunteers/staff of the events were always on hand to answer the ones that were not part of the security briefing. So very much unlike Ayala Mall events where each guard has a different answer, if they have any answer at all. And where most of the volunteers/staff would be the first to push you out of the way if it means they get their time in the spotlight. … Wow, I have a lot of angst.
Going back to the event; Instead of the more common Q&A, the people behind Amapola’s book launch opted to have celebrities read excerpts from select chapters–as you’ve probably gleaned from what I wrote earlier. On one hand, this is great because reading needs to be promoted to the celebrity-conscious masses. On the other hand, I felt that the event ran far too long. I even told my friend that the readings were ruining the surprises for those who have yet to start reading the book. Also, not all of the celebrities brought justice to their readings. It was a good thing Ai Ai and Eugene were there to make sure that the audience members were entertained.
Overall, I think I like the more traditional book launches, with a short reading and a short Q&A, with the rest of the time spent with the author signing autographs. That way, the author gets time to meet and chat with their supporters.