Wow, I mean… How do I even begin to write the recap for my all-time favorite bookish event? Tell me, because I seriously need to know. For almost 4 years now, I’ve been dreaming of meeting Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, and just last Sunday, this dream of mine came true all because of the efforts of National Bookstore. They brought the What If It’s Us authors to Manila and Cebu for signing events, and we’ve been given the chance to sit down and grab breakfast with them, and MY FEELINGS?
Yeah, they’re EVERYWHERE. It’s a surprise to me that I’m able to write this roundup right now, but I obviously need to try and do it justice. So let’s get this started.
Well, my #BeckyandAdaminPH experience started last November 8th when a friend from National Bookstore invited me and my friend Hazel (Stay Bookish) to do an interview with the author duo! Of course, just like Arthur Seuss, I believe in the workings of the universe and I firmly believe that a lot of things had to take place for that interview to actually happen. And it did! And so Hazel and I decided to ask a few details about their collab-novel, What If It’s Us, to have something be ready for the next issue of the Stay Bookish Zine. We only had very limited time then, but after the interview, the authors signed a few of our books. And yes, more details about that interview soon! For now, let me just leave this awesome picture here:
Come Sunday morning, I was all groomed up and ready to go by 8:00, and was at Raffles Makati by 9:30 to meet with my SQUAD Hazel, Inah (The Bibliophile Confessions), and Miel (Bookish and Awesome). Becky and Adam specifically requested to meet with us, and if that gesture does not melt a bookworms’ heart, then I don’t know what will. We sat down, hugged (a lot), ate a few macarons, and we talked about stuff that I know I’ll remember for the rest of my life. And you would not believe how quiet I was the whole time! I was so overwhelmed by that meet-up actually happening that I almost forgot to speak. (I wish I was exaggerating but damn, girl! I’m not!)
My favorite part about all of this would have to be the fact that I was able to tell Becky—in real life, finally—just how much Molly Peskin-Suso meant to me. The Upside of Unrequited is like my Bible and it’s absurd how much I relate to Molly and her internal struggles with insecurity, and unrequited love. To be able to express my gratitude in the flesh was surreal, to be honest. And wow, I have no other words to describe how special this whole moment was, forgive me!
Afterwards, we had Becky and Adam sign more of our books—when combined, I think we have more than 30 in total—and they wrote in such heartwarming messages. (My signed books can be found a few paragraphs down, if you want to check it out!) And once our little signing session was finished, we took pictures. Lots of ‘em.
Once Becky and Adam left for lunch, and to get ready for their Manila signing, me and my friends needed a moment to let everything sink in, because DUDE, THIS WAS SUCH A WONDERFUL MOMENT, one that we’ve been dreaming for for years, and now it finally came true! We sat there for like 30 minutes feeling weak in the knees, not ever wanting to go home. But of course, the day just started, and we went to the SM Aura, Samsung Hall to register for the signing soon after we got our bearings.
We arrived at the signing venue at around 1:00 in the afternoon, and we met up with our friends once we were settled. There were people who lined up as early as 3:00 am and if that doesn’t give you an idea as to how passionate and determined Filipino readers are, then you’re a lost cause. It’s wild knowing just how excited everyone is to meet Becky and Adam, and at that point, I was oh so very excited for everybody else to meet the NYT bestselling authors. They arrived shortly right after we got settled and listening to them talk about their debuts, collaboration, struggles, and other experiences was amazing.
The signing proper began right after the talk and the Q&A, and since me and my squad was part of the last batch of people to be called, we quickly grabbed lunch down by the food court. And we took pictures (again!) when we got back to the signing hall! Here, have some more pictures!
I got to meet them again (yes, because apparently, meeting them twice still isn’t enough) at around 9:00 in the evening and I was afraid they were too tired to recognize me but they still did and when I said goodbye for the last time, Becky gave me the tightest hug (Related: I thought I was the best hugger out there, it turns out I’m wrong. I’m just a close second to Becky.) and Adam said “no goodbyes, just see you again soon” and dude, my heart can only take so much. I’m so, so proud of them both for powering through the over-enthusiastic and extremely eager Manila fans and I’m sure they know just how much we appreciate them, and AHHHH I NEED TO STOP.
During the signing proper, I went ahead and talked to a few people asking if I could take photos of them with their books, and I captured quite a few shots. Were you one of them? Check out my gallery below:
And like I said, I was part of the last batch of people to meet the authors and so it was way past 8:00 in the evening when I met with Becky and Adam again. I’m so proud of them for powering through the enthusiastic and overeager Filipino crowd and I couldn’t be happier for everyone since they finally met these lovely authors. Getting to share this special moment with lots of other fans of Simon and More Happy Than Not meant a great deal to me and I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.
After the signing, we didn’t really get to hang out more since it was way past 9:00 in the evening when we got out of the venue. I got home at around 10:30, with nothing but a heart that was filled to the brim and a brain full of happy memories shared with so many lovely people. By the time this recap is posted, it would have been 3 full days after the signing and your homeboy still wouldn’t have been able to move on from #BeckyandAdaminPH, I assure you.
Anyway, here are some of my signed books—these aren’t everything, by the way, just a few of my favorite signed books:
And as usual, for the thanks…
1. Thank you to Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera themselves for wanting to spend some extra time with me and my squad. They mentioned that they rarely request to meet with people while they’re on tour and they almost never wake up early for anything, but they went ahead and asked National Bookstore if they could have a chill hang out sesh with us last Sunday before anything else. And dude, how sweet and how thoughtful could you both get? Getting to meet you, like I’ve said countless times now, is the best thing that has ever happened to me this year and I’ll cherish all of our moments together forever.
2. Thank you to my squad, Inah, Miel, and Hazel, for sharing this experience with me. For having the same no-chill energy that I have whenever we get to talk about Becky and Adam and their books. And for giving me a safe place to express my thoughts and feelings just about anything under the sun. Thank you for the friendship, for the love, and for everything.
3. Thank you to the Filipino (YA) reading community for possessing the same no-chill energy that we have that allowed for National Bookstore to bring the What If It’s Us authors here. It is without a doubt that it’s because of each and every one of you that NBS finally decided to fly out Becky and Adam into our territory and I hope you’ll continue to be enthusiastic and vocal about your love for books, even if it’s a vexing thing to do every now and then.
4. And lastly, thank you to National Bookstore for 1) bringing Becky and Adam to the Philippines for signing events—which has been years in the making—and 2) for giving us the chance to meet with these authors for literally nothing in return. NBS made no profit or gained anything from hosting our breakfast at Raffles Makati, but they still went ahead and accommodated us. We are forever in your debt, and I hope you guys realize just how much we appreciate y’all. You made our dreams come true and for that, we are eternally grateful.
Did YOU get the chance to meet Becky and Adam while they were here in the Philippines? How was it for you, and what books did you have them sign? Share your experience with me in the comments section below!
Until the next one!
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