My whole family continues to accompany me throughout my writing journey

The Book Launch: A Celebration of Love and Support in Batangas

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The journey from pen to publication is rarely a solitary one. It’s a path paved with the unwavering support of family and friends, whose encouragement becomes the fuel for the writer’s creative fire. On Saturday, January 27, 2024, surrounded by loved ones at Lolo’s Place in Batangas City, I had the privilege of celebrating the culmination of this journey with the launch of my childhood memoir, Batangas: My Sky and Earth.

Storytelling with music and pictures from the book, Batangas My Sky and Earth.

While some dear ones couldn’t be physically present, their spirits were undoubtedly there, weaving through the gathering like gentle whispers of encouragement. Their absence, far from being a void, served as a poignant reminder of the vast network of love and support that buoyed me throughout the writing process.

The open-air venue of the book launch at Lolo's Place
Swaths of white afternoon light shimmered incandescent in the backdrop of brown vines, suspended from the canopy of the centuries-old acacia tree like a stage curtain.

The setting, bathed in the golden hues of the afternoon sun, provided the perfect backdrop for our open-air book launch. As guests mingled and reminisced, the air was filled with laughter, stories, and the tantalizing aroma of Batangueño delicacies. From the comforting warmth of arroz caldo to the savory delight of pancit tikyano, every bite was a tribute to the flavors of my childhood.

The author, Bong Serrano, holding the paperback edition of the book, Batangas: My Sky and Earth
The author proudly holding up a copy of his debut memoir, Batangas: My Sky and Earth.

And what would a Batangueño gathering be without an array of beloved kakanin? Assorted puto and cuchinta, palitaw, pinindot, and the perennial favorite, turon, graced the merienda table alongside the robust flavors of kapeng barako. It was a feast for the senses, a celebration of Batangas heritage intertwined with the pages of my memoir.

Limited paperback editions of Batangas: My Sky and Earth were available for purchase, allowing guests to take a piece of the journey home with them, complete with my personalized dedication. Their enthusiasm and support were palpable, a testament to the power of storytelling to forge connections and bridge distances.

As I embark on this new chapter as an author, I am filled with gratitude for each person who has played a part in bringing my words to life. To my family and friends, near and far, your love and support mean more than words can express. And to Jordan Acorda, whose photography captured the essence of this special day, your talent immortalizes the memories we created together.

The book launch was more than just a celebration of a literary achievement; it was a testament to the bonds of love and friendship that transcend time and distance. With hearts full and spirits soaring, we look forward to the adventures that lie ahead, knowing that we carry the warmth of this day with us always.

To view more photos from the book launch event in Batangas City, click here to browse to the book’s Facebook page.

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