Savor the Word book launch + DGF Food Writing Award 2012

>> Thursday, October 04, 2012

Let us first take a moment of silence to mourn the passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. For those who need more information regarding the matter, many materials are available on the Internet, from the actual contents of the Act itself to various lawyers' explanations of the implications of this law. The text below attempts to make clear, from a singular point of view, why this law is receiving much opposition.

It's not about being honest, because even the truth can be libelous.

It's not about not saying anything if you don't have anything nice to say, because freedom of speech is not limited to what some perceive to be nice.

It's not about banning instead the forms of expression that some find annoying, because people's rights and freedoms aren't dependent on taste.

It's not about being creative in wording your thoughts, because sarcasm and irony can still be libelous, and you're not supposed to hide behind them in the first place.

It’s not about getting what is judicially deserved, because action and punishment may come without the participation of the courts.

It's not about their inability to execute the law, because what stands now is their eagerness for such a law to exist.


Savor the Word & Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award 2012Now that hell week at school is over, I think I deserve some blog time. I can finally tell you about that wonderful night last week when esteemed writers got together for the launch of Savor the Word. I know my belt is still pretty empty to be included in that roster but I'll continue working on it.
Savor the Word & Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award 2012
Savor the Word editors & DGF Food Writing Award judges

As an outsider, I was just so happy to be there and watch, although watch wasn't all that I did being among this year's winners of the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award. How great is that? Placing third is one of the best things that happened to me in 2012, made more notable by the writing prowess of past winners and the judges. Just ask C how much I squealed when I received the congratulatory e-mail from Ms. Micky Fenix.

Of this year's winners, only three were able to attend the awarding ceremony. Aside from me, Ms. Elizabeth Ann Quirino, 2nd placer for her piece "A Hundred Mangoes in a Bottle", and Ms. Lolita Lacuesta, one of the honorable mentions for her "The Day My Mother Learned to Make Leche Flan", were there.

I was able to exchange a few words with Ms. Lolita when I asked her to sign my copy. She shared wonderful stories about Doreen Fernandez and their friendship. I envy her because I wasn't even able to meet Doreen at all. I wish I had the privilege of learning from her.

Oh but I did learn, in a way. Before writing "Perfecting Leche Flan", I took a lot of notes and tips from DGF's works (and past winners). That turned out to be fruitful.

Savor the Word & Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award 2012At the awarding ceremony, the winners were called to the stage one by one. Ms. Felice Prudente Sta. Maria read excerpts from each of our pieces. She was divine. Her reading was perfect--emphatic, natural and tone-sensitive. It was classy performance arts, possibly making the literature better heard than read.

And there were prizes! Aside from the complementary copy of Savor the Word, which all of the winners received, I got cookbooks that I can't wait to road test. It bums, however, that my name was misspelled on the prize, but the wonderful organizers are taking care of that already.

Savor the Word & Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award 2012This happens to me often, although the number of instances this year is climbing way beyond the average. I've seen so many variations to my name since childhood from strangers, friends and relatives (shame!) alike that you'd think they've run out of ideas or I've gotten used it.

I don't think one can get used to it, though. I have just become more aware, cautious or vigilant. In fact, spelling is one of the first things I check whenever my name appears anywhere. And I never grow tired of being relieved and happy whenever they get my name right, just like in the book. My name was spelled correctly in the book! Whew.

(To give you an idea, I've become a biological cell once. What's worse? It was in a letter from an admirer. Guess how that story went.)

Savor the Word & Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award 2012Another highlight of the evening was meeting literary genius Alfred Yuson. "Meeting", however, is bending the truth a little. I kind of pleaded him to sign my copy. Then before leaving, I pleaded him to have his photo taken with me. He happily obliged, and C happily clicked. Perhaps prodded by a few glasses of scotch (I chose the wrong seats!), he handed his phone to C to have him take our picture with it too. It was then when Margaux Salcedo joined the ruckus to sign my book (I asked her to earlier) and Sir Krip continued taking pictures with his phone.

Cool! I'm on Krip Yuson's phone!

We didn't hang around after the program because C, Father and I couldn't stay late at Megamall, and we still needed a real dinner to recharge. I would be too embarrassed anyway to be rubbing elbows, so to speak. But I was able to have some, too bad not all, of the past winners sign may copy. Parang yearbook lang.
Savor the Word & Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award 2012
Contributors who attended the book launch & awarding ceremony
To all of you, thank you so much for the greets and support. I am so happy to meet many new and talented people. The opportunity comes very rarely. After all, how often is a book that gives tribute to DGF and compiles essays from 47 award-winning writers launched?

Savor the Word is available at National Bookstore, Powerbooks and Bestseller for P475.


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