Wow, that title is very long. And I have a feeling this post will be quite long too. πŸ˜€

It was one of those boring, lazy days at the office sometime in August 2008 that I found myself signing up in Goodreads in the internet and built my own virtual library. I cannot exactly recall what led me to Goodreads, but I have a strong hunch I might have been looking for a book review (What else could it be? Duh :P).

Almost 3 years later, I attended the Filipino Group Anniversary Meet-Up at Racks, El Pueblo, Pasig City. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, I have known for quite sometime that I am never comfortable with strangers, virtual or otherwise. I have poor social skills. Suffice it to say, I do not easily make friends because of my shy nature. But talking about books doesn’t seem to bring any harm so I began to join in the threads and book discussions at the Filipino Group in Goodreads. After quite a while, I got a little comfortable and made good friends with the members. But I never really imagined to get involved. You know, like attending meet ups or doing book swaps. I intended to be a mere member.

But fate (or fortune) had other plans. Reading about the group’s activities online and looking at pictures of the meet ups made me a little envious. Who wouldn’t, with all those books piled up for giveaway? πŸ˜› The group already had three previous meet-ups – one out-of-town trip and one Christmas Party – and numerous mini-meet ups in between.

When I posted that I’ll be in Manila on April 10, 2011, I did not expect such a warm, positive response. I mean, I’m just a stranger who butts in at some of the discussions from time to time, I haven’t even actively joined the Monthly Group Reads, and to organize a meet up because of me is just overwhelming. Now, I feel so evil leaving early and bringing away most of the loot. Hihi.

To say that I had been looking forward to the meet up is an understatement. I even did a countdown in my calendar. I couldn’t wait for the Subic convention to end so that I could finally be in Manila for the meet up. Talk about being excited! And I was not disappointed.

The Filipino Group Anniversary Meet Up was attended by a crazy bunch, in a positive, funny kind of way. What’s negative about books and reading, anyway? πŸ˜€ I enjoyed every minute, not only because of the books I got to bring home with me, but also of the interesting people I met. Where else can you find book discussions with matching knife and fork in hand just to drive home a point? Haha.

One thing I learned. Booklovers are not only book hoarders. They are book givers, too! Evidence is the paper bag full of books I, uh, the boyfriend, carried back home.

Here are highlights of the meet up, in pictures and captions:

We had lunch at Racks, El Pueblo. I arrived a little late, and after the initial awkwardness, got acquainted with the others already there. Of course, book discussions have already begun in little groups of 2 or 3.

Racks serves the best baby ribs. Ever.

After lunch, we trooped to Dunkin’ Donuts next door for coffee and dessert, but the small space cannot seem to contain us and our noise, so we headed to McDo instead. We lined up (almost) all the tables there for the White Elephant Book Swap. Tina explained the mechanics for the swap.

Atty. Monique was so generous to let me have one of her books to enter for the swap – which I ended up bringing home as well. See that book, The Knife of Never Letting Go? πŸ˜€

Book Swap in progress.

Monique silently praying nobody steals her book.

More of my thank yous for the loot I brought home:

Kwesi, for the effort to speak Ilonggo to me and for the cute bookmark. πŸ™‚
K.D., for reserving Trash for me. And for the hardbound copies of Catching Fire and Mockingjay. No, I didn’t bring home The Hunger Games, promise. πŸ˜€
Monique, for True Colors. And The Knife of Never Letting Go. πŸ™‚
Jzhun, for Speak, and the ingenious idea for a keychain. πŸ™‚
Louize, for the Never Let Me Go DVD, the bookmark, and Dean Koontz’s False Memory.
Joyzi, for Ella Enchanted. It’s a good thing I gave you Odd Thomas, or else I wouldn’t have won the book I got from the swap. Right, Monique? πŸ˜‰

This was my first meet up of any kind, and for this bunch of wonderful people, I wouldn’t mind a next time. πŸ™‚

Thanks K.D., for the coffee, sundae and lots of fries!


  1. Hi, Lynai! πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed this account of the mostly harmless (I, too, remember the knife and fork in Angus’s hands. Hehe.) events that transpired during the last TFG meetup–also my first. See you again next time! I’m hoping we could swap books then seeing that we didn’t get to take home books from each other. Oh, and the biscocho butterscotch was delicious, by the way. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Aldrin! It was nice meeting you. I’ll bring more butterscotch next time. And biscocho too, so you would see the difference. Hehe! πŸ™‚


    I knew there would be a “special mention” of me when you finally post something about the meet-up, hahaha. And yes, you’re very welcome for the books. I hope you enjoy them, although I didn’t enjoy “The Knife” very much. (That was why I gave it away, mwehehe!)

    When you’re back in Manila, don’t forget to let everyone know again! πŸ˜‰

    1. Monique!
      Of course, you should be in the post. You were the one I recognized first when I got to Racks. πŸ˜€

      If I ever get to go to Manila again on vacation, I’ll definitely post a shout out. πŸ˜€

  3. As usual I came β€” or rather commented β€” late again!

    It sure do was exciting to meet you finally in person, Lynai! Mahal ka naman kaya espesyal ka! Awww! ^_^
    Thanks also for the Butterscotch you brought! Next time tabi na tayo para magkausap naman tayo ng matagal-tagal.
    Really appreciate it that you liked the keychain and the book I gave you.

    Happy reading! ^_^

    1. Jzhun, alien!
      I really had fun during the meetup. And as you said, it was indeed “bitin”. Next time, I promise to stay much longer. Sayang, we didn’t get to talk much. Ikaw kasi, late na dumating. πŸ˜›

      See you next time! πŸ™‚

  4. “Where else can you find book discussions with matching knife and fork in hand just to drive home a point?” – Haha, I get very animated most of the time. It’s a good thing I don’t read suspense/thriller novels. πŸ˜€

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