Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nicholas Sparks in Manila


     Nicholas Sparks is in town. The international best selling author of tragic love stories will be signing copies of his new book The Best in Me at 5:00 pm at the The Podium. All you have to do is buy his new book at National Bookstore, register and then cross your fingers that you'll be drawn to have this rare chance.

     It was 3:00 pm and I was enjoying my Froyo when I remembered this. I wasn't that much interested at that time but knowing I was a stone's throw away from the venue, I decided to go. My dad went with me, and as we walked from Robinsons to The Podium I was torn at whether I'll buy the book or not. You see, I'm extremely thrifty and I never really had that much luck with raffles.

     I thought it would be a closed-door event where only the lucky fans can get the chance to see him, but when I saw that it was in the event area with a raised stage and a sofa I was so happy because I didn't have to buy the book to see him. There was already a lot of people when we arrived, so I looked for a spot with a good view and one I can easily get out of. I found one at the balcony 2 floors up, where I had a bird's eye view. Dad decided to just dine somewhere as I sat on the floor with the other fans waiting for him.

     Later on people were piling up and I was glad I decided not to stay by the stage coz there was no way I'll be getting out.

     People cheered (mostly girls of course) when he arrived, and though a bit late (5:20 pm) he didn't disappoint. I was surprised to find that Nicholas Sparks was soft spoken, somewhat feminine and if you didn't know him you might even think he's gay. He had nice skin, too. During the interview instead of sitting down, he stood up and engaged the crowd with the Tagalog phrases he knew (he has a Filipino aunt who taught him some words). He talked about his new book and his writing. Judging by the crowd's reaction, I was surprised to know most of them didn't know much about his life (like A Walk to Remember was based on his late sister). I mean you're fans, right?

     After a while I decided to join my dad and we hang around enjoying some egg tarts. He was still signing by the time we decided to leave, so I went back there to take a peak. Nicholas Sparks is such a sweetheart. He was still all smiles after 2 hours and 400+ people into his signing. Fans took a photo with him, shook his hand, hugged and even kissed him (at this point I was cursing myself for not buying the book).

     I was able to get close enough to touch him (he was right in front of me!), and if I had the guts I would have gone up the stage, kissed him, and be dragged out (which I didn't do of course). When we finally left it was 500+ in and the line was like 1000+. A writer's hand must be really strong.

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