So about four days ago, past and present participants of #romanceclass, as well as dozens of Filipino romance novel enthusiasts, met up at Pegi Waffles in San Juan to wallow in feels for most of the afternoon. It was a month in the planning, and to be quite frank, I thought it would just be a gathering of the usual suspects.
I was quite happy to be proven wrong!
While there were less than a dozen people when me, Pach, Layla, and Stella first arrived, it grew steadily over the five or so hours that we were there, with people constantly coming in and making the venue look small in retrospect. It made for a very crowded event, especially as space had to be cleared for the actors who were going to be doing live readings, as well as for the authors who were going to be selling their books.
That said, I don’t think anyone was really complaining at the thought of being crowded against the actors doing the live-readings. Those #NatGioWeekend stickers weren’t printed just for shits and giggles, you know what i mean?
The close quarters certainly weren’t a minus when the readings started. Herv, Salve, Rachel, Jeff, and Gio all did tremendous jobs, and the small space gave the readings an intimacy that I feel would have been lost in a bigger venue. It felt very much like a family gathering round to watch one of their talented relatives perform, and the easy laughter and muttered expletives – you know who you guys are – certainly reinforced that feeling.
But perhaps the best thing about #AprilFeelsDay, the one that actually made me feel things, was the fact that the small group that started out in 2013 – yes, it’s seriously been that long – has grown larger over the years. It’s a testament to everyone’s hard work that #romanceclass has grown steadily over the years, and if the conversations had at TeaTap are anything to go by, there’s still more growth to be had in the future. It warms my small, chilly heart, and it should warm all y’alls hearts as well.