Well yes, happiness!
Your very own Batchoy Boi adds another title tome up his list of published works.
I could still remember that afternoon at the Panublion - Roxas City, Capiz museum when these two very agreeable 'gentlemen' came to seek help with materials they were collecting for a coffee table book on Ilonggo Style. Ronnie Alejandro (Rest in Peace dear) and Mike Santos sought the curator, my best bud Bryan Mari Argos. I was instantly summoned by his royal highness, being the Presiding Chairman for Literary Arts of the Capiz Council for Culture and Arts, and official bestfriend slash save-my-ass-I'm-so-fucking-busy guy to give the visitors what they needed. After being rewarded by an afternoon of good talk and culture and Arts, these two fine gentlemen happened to be headed to Iloilo, where, in the same time frame, I was also set to be going back too.
We met in Iloilo, and I kinda tagged along with them in their research, and ended up writing a few articles that got included and found their way to the book. Well, not after agonizing wait and many road blocks, including Ronnie's passing away. I can not forget the term he used to describe me and Bryan, 'Culturati's'. He would say that "Capiz's culture and arts legacy is safe for the present generation in the hands of two very young, yet prolific, intelligent and very knowledgeable keepers of the heritage." It makes the heart swell, ya know! It was fun being with these bibliophiles and highly intelligent individuals, and did I say charming too?
As a proud Capiznon and Ilonggo, It felt great to be showing them around town and be rewarded by great interest, wide eyed wonder and unconcealed appreciation from these two. It was more a treat than an obligation. One can't help but overdo things with their reactions.
Finally, after so many years of waiting, the book is hitting the shelves. So much time went by that one other individual also instrumental for the materials in the book also passed away already - The late but great Zaphiro Ledesma.
By some mistake, my copy was sen back to Roxas, even though I'm already Manila based, but a few more months waiting won't hurt. Except of course the jittines when people text to congratulate me before I have even seen the book and the articles myself.
Anyhoot, do grab a copy if you can. Ilonggo or not, it is one good coffee table book filled with pictures, anecdotes and cultural tidbits for the 'culturati's' in you. Oh, and a little pride won't hurt. Text me, I'm willing to sign copies of the book for you... Well, at least the pages where my articles appear. Hehehehe!!!