Sunday, December 11, 2005
We arrived a little after 6 p.m. just in time before the big event. It was a triple book launch for Nautilus Comics who's coming out with three books: Project: Hero, Siglo: Passion, and Philippine Speculative Fiction (quite a feat not only for the publishing house but also for the local creatives). I still wasn't feeling anything except for that mild excitement brought upon by the anticipation of hobnobbing with the best in the business of local comics. That instead of me standing in the sidelines watching them, I was about to be thrust into the limelight sharing space with them on the pedestal for more than the proverbial fifteen minutes. Having grown up with the idea that I'll never be one of the cool people, I developed a "me and them" mentality (I always stood apart from every group and every endeavor, even in church where people were supposed to be there for each other. I guess I just tend to question everything and they, in turn, don't understand where I'm coming from). But this time it was different. It was a surreal moment that takes one by total surprise. Dare I say it was altogether fun and humbling at the same time.
I had fun meeting lots of new people like Nautilus Comics' big boss Jaime, comic creators and fellow Siglo: Passion artists like Marco and his cousin, Jeremy (who flew in from the U.S.), Andrew, Quark, and Tobie (who's a lot taller than he looks in his pictures). I also had fun reacquainting myself with some of those I haven't communicated with for the longest time, although they're just a click away online or through text like Vin, Dean, Oliver, Ed, Kat, Woofy, and Joel and meeting up again with dear old friends like Camy, Jac, Jonas, Gerry, and Reno. There are lots of others I should have met or reacquainted with but being the introverted guy that I am, I stuck with my friends (and their constant ribbing), signed books, and asked others to sign my copies.
Jac and Gerry wait for Camy to finish signing
Jonas busy signing
Yours truly with one of the best comic creatives in the land, Gerry Alanguilan.
Andrew looks while Jaime waits for the artist he called
Jaime, Elbert, Andrew, and Vin
Signing my copy
Chillin' with Quark Henares
Siglo: Passion creatives! Yehey!!!
After basking in the afterglow (or reflected glow, as my college friend, Sandy puts it) me, Sands, and Lico retired to a nearby McDonald's to eat dinner and take stock of what had happened. After which we went our own separate ways, they to their home to get some sleep and while I found myself rushing to Makati City to attend our high school batch's Christmas reunion. It was already a little past 11 p.m. when I arrived and they were all having the time of their lives playing a trivia game related to our batch experiences and the 80s. A lot of them asked where Reno was after finding out that we both attended the same event earlier (Reno's my classmate from Grade 3 and a good friend all the way up to high school).
There were a lot of old faces and some of those that look vaguely familiar. But the biggest surprise of the party was the appearance of former Assistant Principal, Pete Hidalgo (those belonging to the batches of Don Bosco Makati spanning from the 80s to the early 90s would remember him well). Here he was virtually surrounded by former bullies who got called to his office more than thrice. There was no love lost between him and us as both parties showed with the speeches and pats in the back of everyone there. Also the appearance of Ali was quite a surprise too as his schedule usually doesn't allow him the luxury of attending our reunions (he's the son of Manila Mayor, Lito Atienza and my seatmate in almost all the sections we're in).
Having fun with old classmates and friends
Michelle facilitating a game of "Meron o Wala"
Beer drinking contest through a baby's bottle
Old beloved Assistant Principal, Mr. Pete Hidalgo
Michelle waits while Ali explains his cash contribution to the game
Rico explains some socio-civic projects he proposes we undertake.
Batch 80's Alex along with party organizers Ali, Robin, Edwin, and Doc Jess.
One last shot before we go our separate ways
We finished around 2:30 a.m. capping the night off with a round of videoke songs, beer, and red wine courtesy of our batchmates who generously contributed to the party. It was really great seeing old friends again, although I was a lot quiet this time around than I was earlier. We'll be seeing each other again next month at our annual Alumni Homecoming and I know we all can't wait till that moment arrives when we get to see each other again to continue where we left off, the joshing, the horseplay and non-stop reminiscing of the good old days.