General Status Update

All right, you got me.

I know a simple Hello isn’t enough to do the job to welcome you back in this dark alley on account of my long absence, Gentle Readers. So allow me if I ask your good nature to do forgive this simple blogger if he has been negligent of his duties of boring the life out of you with his long-winded, redundant book reviews as well as with news, goings on or whatnots in the bookish community.

And you know what? As a reward I will not tire the hell out of your patience with a barrage of meaningless excuses just to get away with the blame. As usual, professional and personal life run its respective course and you just can’t help it if some stuff has to be sidestepped in order to accommodate things. But let’s not linger with that and let’s just sweep under the rug. Frankly, it’s no use crying over spilt milk.

Moving on…

September has always been the month of the year (aside from Christmas) that’s has a big importance to all bookworms or bookish people living here in the Philippines as it is the time for the Manila International Book Fair now on its 33rd year, and I will not let this month pass by without doing an annual post of the happenings and the books I got during the event.

Owing to my busy schedule this month I was only able to make it to the MIBF in the weekend of Sept. 15 — and what do you know, it’s also the day of my second blogiversary (more on that later)! Anyway, back to the book fair. I made it a point to arrive early at the venue, which is once again held at SMX Convention Center, as I had learned that Ambeth Ocampo, popular Philippine historian, will be having a lecture on the said date from the program activities set for the day from his publisher’s Facebook page — I admit that I’ve only became a recent admirer or fan of his works when I bought and read his famous Rizal Without the Overcoat (it’s a reread actually since I’ve read some of the essays during college) as a supplemental reading when I reread Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo by Jose Rizal in July for The Filipino Group book club in Goodreads.

However, early though I was at the place, I was surprised to learn that the lecture was by reservation only; fortunately, after a few minutes of hopeful waiting, I made the cut and was able to enter the conference room. Because of the downpour and road traffic Ambeth Ocampo came late, yet the sheer pleasure of seeing the man on a live performance for the first time made me, perhaps along with the audience, to seem to have forgotten the long wait.

From what I can gather from his previous lectures at the Ayala Museum, I think what he presented to us is a reprise and shortened version of his Mukhang Pera! Banknotes and Nation. It’s no exaggeration to say that the whole talk just blew me away! One of the points of the lecture that made an impression to me is that often times we only see but do not observe; in that we fail to notice that such a simple thing as our bank notes contain so much history, so much so our chronicle as nation along with a few clever and innovative security features to prevent forgery. That whole morning brought much insight; of course one of the more obvious is to be sure to attend the future talks of Ambeth Ocampo.

Now we come to the good part: the book purchases!

Books by Ambeth Ocampo bought from the Anvil booth: Rizal Without the Overcoat (hardcover limited edition), Looking Back 5: Rizal’s Teeth, Bonifacio’s Bones, Looking back 6: Prehistoric Philippines, and Meaning and History: The Rizal Lectures.


Title page of the hardcover limited Rizal Without the Overcoat
signed with a message from the author.


Copyright page of the Rizal Without the Overcoat stating mine’s the
200th copy of the hardcover limited edition. 


I also brought along these books I purchased and read
in the past months to get signed by the author.


Looking Back (the earlier one published during the 90’s)
title page signed with a message from the author.


Rizal Without the Overcoat (trade paperback edition)
signed with a message from the author.


Makamisa (2009 New Edition) title page signed
with a message from the author.


Of course, I will not dare miss having a photo-op with
Ambeth Ocampo during his book signing later in the afternoon!
Thanks to Mr Gilbert Tan for taking the picture.


It’s because of the Pinoy Reader-Con that’s why I picked up Robert Magnuson’s
picture books The great Duck and Chrocodile Race and his recently released Porcupirate
Plans the Day from the OMF Lit booth.


I also scored a couple of P99 hardcover books from the National Bookstore booth:
The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø.


Honestly, this year’s purchases is just a few items in comparison to some of the sweet deals I had the previous year. Even so, I’m looking forward to the 34th Manila International Book Fair next year!

——————– ❖ ❖ ❖ ——————–


It seems that September has come and gone and I haven’t even posted anything to celebrate my second blogiversary. I just hope I can offset this “silent celebration” by posting something worthwhile at least once or twice a week. As of now, the only recent add-on or feature on the blog is a new page called The Year in Books which serves to track some of the books I had read for a particular year. Seeing as it is that I can’t accommodate writing a review for each and every book listing them on this page will make me get track if I fulfilled or reached my reading target for a particular. Let’s see what the future will hold for this small, dark alley.

For now…

Dark nights and pleasant wonders!


2 thoughts on “General Status Update

  1. Pingback: Filipiniana Book Finds | Dark Chest of Wonders

  2. Pingback: Komikon Loot and Another Round of Filipiniana Finds | Dark Chest of Wonders

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