This picture was taken during the launch of Write Here Write Now: Standing at Attention Before My Imaginary Style Dictator at Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4 in Makati City. With me in this picture were Tweetie de Leon Gonzalez, Xandra Ramos Padilla, and Apples Aberin.
Xandra, purchasing director of National Book Store, is my publisher while Tweetie and Apples, supermodels, style icons, and TV celebrities, hosted the launch, holding my hand as I took this plunge into the world of books. It has been many years since we were together in a newspaper and Tweetie and Apples have since evolved outside of the ramp, with Tweetie now a big accessories and jewelry brand and Apples now a big PR executive in charge of personal care at Unilever.
Tweetie and Apples and I have become good friends. When I was editor of the lifestyle section of Manila Standard, I wooed these two women to write for me, hungry as I was to bring insider points of view into my pages. I was of the belief that journalists were outsiders looking in and I wanted a different perspective, from inside out, so I got these icons to write about fashion and beauty, as well as DJ and musician Mon Castro to write about music, wedding guru Rita Neri to write about wedding tips, tricks, and coverages, and so there, so on and so forth. On my editorial staff I had investment bankers, furniture designers, socialites, and a writing “non-writer” in every key city in the world — New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo… As it turned out, I didn’t only get fresh insights, but also good, exceptional writing (from these so-called “non-writers”) and, more important, great friendships.
We are all storytellers anyway or, more precisely, each of us is a story being told, waiting to be told — in words, in actions, in tears, in laughter, in sickness, in health, in joy, in sorrow, in silence, in noise — waiting to claim its own pages in the book of life.
As Elvis Costello sang in 1983, “Every day I write the book” and so this is why Write Here Write Now is not strictly for writers. It is for everyone who has to write and that’s all of us.