There Goes the Rub

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Being at this year’s 34th Manila International Bookfair (MIBF) is such a joy not only to dig your hands to books but also to meet authors of your favorite books. I know National Bookstore, Summit Media and PsiCom have guest authors dropping by to meet and greet fans, Christian publishers and ministries have their own version of it. For us readers it meant a lot to see the writers who made our day by enjoying their books. For the publishers’ side it adds flair to the event and encourages people to read Christian stuff. So this year, I met three Christian authors at Church Strengthening Ministry (CSM) booth.

First one is the author of the“O Assuming Lang?” series, Ptr. Armand Canoy. I grab his book “Pastor Nga Ba o Assuming Lang?” and got it signed. With the looks and how he talks, I could dismiss him as more of a businessman rather than a pastor! Nevertheless, he is a nice and accommodating. Like William Girao last year, I ask him my “million dollar question”. “Are you a Calvinist?” He replied he teach both theological views in Bible school. So I clarify my question: “What’s you stand on Calvinism?” Again, he replied that he don’t favor any views because both can be found in the Bible (well that’s how I recall it). To change the topic, he asked me if I’m a pastor. I said I’m not. He followed it with another question: “Do you have a calling?” “I’m praying for it…” I replied. He told me that in this book you’ll read about how I will know if you have a pastoral calling. After a couple of photos, he gave me a handshake and I’m off to the next booth.

Its 12 noon and I don’t feel hungry.  That time I fetch (or is it vise versa) Dems outside at the counter so we can tag along (which happens to be documented at my Part 2 of MIBF 2013 adventure). She’s eager to meet another author at the CSM booth. So after visiting the OMF booth, talking to Mr. Lawrence Chan and finding an ATM, finally it’s time to meet Ate Marlene Munar Legaspi. She is the author of the bestselling book “Add Mo Ko As Friend” (which this blog reviewed) and her fresh new book “Life In the Middle”. She is very warm and friendly, we immediately had this delightfipul chat. Dems didn’t know that Ate Marlene and I are already friends. Dems met her at the OMF Bloggers Fellowship. So she told us a little bit about the new book about being in the mid-life (which Dems and I don’t relate but enthusiastically endorse it). I ask Ate Marlene to sign my Bible. As she was signing it, she wrote “Enjoy your Life in…” which I made it a joke that she should not put the words “in the Middle” (pertaining to the new book) because I not in my mid life yet. She finished it with “Christ” so I made sigh of relief which made us all laugh. That was one funny moment!

As we are talking with Ate Marlene, I notice a familiar face sitting on the sofa, signing and having pictures with a kid that made me look twice. Wow its Grace Chong! So I told Dems about it and she gave me a nod that it’s Grace Chong indeed. So I approached her, gave my Bible and ask for an autograph. She signed it and asked me if I’m a pastor (twice that day someone asked me that). I told her I’m not and I’m still praying for it.

Thank you again to CSM and OMF for having their authors over the event. I had an awesome time rubbing elbows with people who you take pleasure in reading their works and looking up to them as writers. As readers we will continue to support your books and authors especially Filipinos.

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