As the month of December steps in, we all know that the Yuletide season is just around the corner. To get the Holiday cheer going, we at Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books (PRPB) always schedule our annual Christmas Party during the first Saturday of the said month because we all know that the coming days are bound to become overly busy if not crazy.
For this year, we want to put a little twist in celebrating our Christmas Party and make it memorable as well. It is until our book club’s founding moderator, K.D., suggests that it’s high time to discuss It’s Raining Mens, the sequel to the popular It’s a Mens World, by Bebang Siy.
Full disclosure: time and again we have been insisting Ate Bebang to include It’s Raining Mens for our monthly book discussion or Panayam, but she always declines and even shoots down the idea whenever we open it up with her. Perhaps it is out of modesty as she is one of PRPB’s moderators? Whatever her reasons might be, the group decided that this time we are not accepting no for an answer.
Like the previous year, Christmas Party 2015 is held on Ate Bebang’s house in Quezon City. Members start coming to the venue by 6:00 p.m. with their individual food pledges for the party. Meanwhile, Ate Bebang decided to do a last minute shopping for prizes for some of our games, but before she reaches midway the door we quickly stopped her, umbrella and shopping tote bag in hand, to begin our surprise Panayam with her about It’s Raining Mens.
Just the look on her face is enough to make us all laugh as the book discussion moderators, led by Clare and Ronie, begins of the discussion. The Panayam started with a short video presentation about the book, and then we proceeded with the Q and A portion. Ate Bebang gamely answered all our questions regarding the different entries—composed of essays, radio drama, short stories, email correspondence—in her autobiographical book.
Indeed, having the author around for the book discussion gives much insight to the work as there is bound to be a story behind the story on how each of the pieces were written and accordingly edited as Kuya Ronald “Poy” Verzo weighed in as well on how he helped in arranging the entries in the book. It is also inevitable that Ate Bebang’s past failed relationships are dragged in the discussion too that for some moment the discussion feels like a showbiz chika talk show. Hahaha!😆
And so the night is young and just starting for after the discussion we played a round of games that were inspired by It’s Raining Men. For the first game, we have to correctly give the name of the person or character in the book who has spoken some of the lines that the moderators are going to flash on the computer screen. Call it a fluke or a testament to my photographic memory, I just as quickly answered the first one, and for that trouble I got an Esquire magazine. For the second game, some of the members are called to volunteer and do an impromptu dramatization of Dalagang Dala Na. But that’s not all! They are going to speak lines from the radio drama in gay lingo. Now, that was a riot for throughout that game everyone was in stitches.
We’re only in the first half our Christmas Party, but it’s enough to make us all hungry and wolf down the food that we brought.
After that, it’s now on to the parlor games. We had a Reading Challenge where each of the contestants have to read a paragraph or two from the novel Banaag at Sikat while their mouths are stuffed full of polvoron and banana. Talk about some challenging reading! Then we headed on one of the highlights of our Party: the Exchange Gifts. We played a Survival Mode of the Pabobohan Game where I once again emerged as the victor! Yeah, I’m THAT competitive! The White Elephant Game was a ruthless and devious one as some of us have to form alliances just to have that one chance to get some of the prized books up for grabs. As a way of honoring our discussion of Anim na Sabado ng Beyblade at Iba Pang Sanaysay by Ferdinand Pesigan Jarin, we also had a Beyblade Match, and a Marching Band Competition where we dubbed the guys’ group as the Aldub Band with Von standing in as the Alden Richards of the band. Isang pabebe wave naman d’yan! Hahaha! Again, that day was wholly in my favor as our group was proclaimed the winner. Ako na maswerte! Seiko wallet ata ang game ko. Joke!😆
Well into wee hours of the morning, some of our members bid us goodbye to go home, but some of us are not done for the day yet; or maybe we’re just a clingy bunch and nonetheless haven’t got tired of each other. We played another round of the Pabobo Game and had endless talk just about any hot topic ranging from the Presidential candidates to LGBT concerns just to name a few. I know, even in casual conversation we have no chill; ang heavy pa rin ng pinag-uusapan namin.😀
To say that this year’s PRPB Christmas Party is memorable is the tip of the iceberg. This party saw us at our wildest (beastmode anyone?), loudest, and most especially happiest. Indeed, I went home again with my bag bulging with books, and my heart filled up in its fleshy corners with gladness. As of writing this blog post, I’m still having a sore throat, but I don’t mind it really for it is but a small exchange for all the laughter that I’ve shared with the people who has the same passion as I for books and Filipino literature.
Maligayang Pasko sa ating lahat!
And a great big cheer for our next great journey come 2016!😉