I still can’t believe it. I just won 2nd place in the 2nd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards held yesterday outside Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street. The stage was pretty high, so Luis had to help me up – it looked like I had joined a beauty pageant instead of a literary contest! Fully Book’s Jaime Daez handed me a dream catcher and a certificate, then – I swear this is true – Neil Gaiman pulled me towards him and said “Here’s your hug” and then he hugged me, and then said, “Here’s your kiss,” then he made beso me (this doesn’t hold a candle to Andrew Drilon, who actually kissed Gaiman on the cheek – Go, Andrew! Idol! :D ), then he told me that he really, really liked my story. *faints* All of last year’s and this year’s winners had dinner with Neil afterwards. It felt like the prom, except with geeks in.
I got to talk to Ian Casocot (one of last year’s first and this year’s co-2nd place winner), who told me that he really liked “Stella for Star,” my entry last year (an honorable mention and is also in Expeditions, the anthology that collects all last year’s winners), and said it creeped him out. This means a lot, one, because the story managed to scare people, and two, because its Ian Casocot who’s telling me this. I also finally got to meet Tony Perez, who I think I embarrassed myself over. He gave me a pendant of the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. Also got to catch up with Paolo Ferrer, one of last year’s 3rd place comics winners, but alas, I did not get to chat with his ubercool girlfriend, Mitch. Paolo introduced me to Lienil Yu, who I have been wanting to meet for the longest time. Lienil was very nice, and said I could interview him for Tulay. Whee! I actually got to talk to a lot of people, but if I mentioned them all here, I’d begin to sound like a society columnist, and I don’t think you’d want that, right, dahlings?
We (the winners) got to chat with Neil (naks, first name basis na kami), who, after I had sign my copy of Expeditions, told me again that he really, really liked my entry. *faints again* My camera wouldn’t work the entire time, so I have no pictures of the event. The only picture I have is on my phone, and its on Neil Gaiman with his arm around me. We’re both looking at the camera except he looks dignified and I have a silly grin on my face. Aside from the fact that I’m standing beside one of the greatest writers today, I look positively skinny! Which is the whole point, really. Just kidding!
I told my mom about the win when I got home, and she set about texting everyone she knew about it, event though she wasn’t quite sure what has happened. Yes, my mother is my best publicist.
I have to apologize, I know this entry is kalat. But wouldn’t you be after hanging out with Neil Gaiman?