Since most people from our book club were busy due to different kind of activities during the Holiday season, we at Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books always want to start the New Year with something easy and light. That is why for January 2016 we choose to read and discuss the bestselling novel Para sa Hopeless Romantic by none other than the Hari ng Kilig, Marcelo Santos III.
What makes this month’s Panayam memorable, and a bit different from the way we do book discussions previously, is that this is the first time that the discussion leader was not one of our members but by a published author. Yes, you heard that right: a Pinoy author! Once he heard of our plan for the discussion of Para sa Hopeless Romantic, Genaro Gojo Cruz (or Sir Gene to many) generously volunteered to be the facilitator for the said book discussion. Talk about a double-author feature!
Given that Marcelo’s first novel was already adapted for the screen, we aptly started our Panayam with a movie showing of Para sa Hopeless Romantic while waiting for the guest authors and other members to arrive at our discussion venue. Pressed for time, we proceeded then to the discussion once Marcelo arrived. Sir Gene’s questions for Marcelo are really insightful; we learn more about the conception and birth pangs that Marcelo went through to be able publish his first novel, as well as the creative compromises he took when the novel made its transition from page to screen.
Sir Gene is one hell of a brilliant interviewer, and believe me when I say it that he asked some of the toughest questions to Marcelo during the Panayam. Yet through it all, what emerges is a different side to Marcelo that the public do not usually see or may not be even aware of. Throughout the Panayam, we got the chance to see Marcelo as how he really is and more. That despite his fame, he remains humble; despite his young age, there’s a maturity in how he views things; that being a popular author, he has no pretensions whatsoever about the genre or the kind of books he writes; that he has a perfect grasp of his vision or “branding” as an author, and as one, knows well his responsibilities towards his readers. Throughout the Panayam, Marcelo’s personality shines through, and I’m really impressed with the authenticity of his answers.
I admit that I’m one of those who are not utterly fascinated with Para sa Hopeless Romantic (as can be seen from my book review), but after this Panayam, the guy truly earned my respect and admiration. You can’t expect no disapproval from me if someone even goes to lengths to say that he is an inspiration for today’s Pinoy youth, especially in how he strives and continues to fight for his dream of being a writer and sharing his stories to others.
Indeed, this month’s Panayam is one for the books!
In ending, I would like to express my gratitude to the people who made the discussion of Para sa Hopeless Romantic an astounding success. First of all, thanks to our guest authors Marcelo and Sir Gene for spending time with us and for making this a meaningful Panayam. Thanks as well for Ronie for his all his effort and preparation, as well as to Summit Publishing for allowing us to use their facilities for this activity. As always, thanks to all PRPB member who took time to read, review, and participate in the discussion and games.
See you all next time!