Sunday, July 22, 2018

Bookish Babble [3] - Bookworms Unite PH Year 4 Recap + Giveaway!

Year 4 Recap!


I know I’ve been MIA in the blogging sphere recently but attending my very first #BookwormsUnitePH is definitely something worth talking and sharing about. Plus, maybe this can serve as a springboard for my comeback? :)

Anyway, for anyone who follow me on twitter, you'll know I’ve been wanting to attend BU since its very first year but things haven’t been in my favor and stuff kept coming up that I had to tell myself “next year, for sure” 

2 years ago when I still CAN'T make it to Bookworms Unite PH 3 :(

FINALLY, after years of waiting, the stars have aligned and I am officially going to BU Year 4! You know I’m very excited that I signed up the very moment the preregistration opened and ended up being the first one to register haha! 

See that 001 right there? That's how excited I was!

So for all who’ve missed out on this year (who wants to experience the fun even through secondhand feels) and to those who attended (who wants to relive the day!) Sit back, relax, and brace yourself for incoming fangirling feels as I attempt to get myself together for this recap!

*Please bear with the long post, I waited 4 years for this! Plus, the event was really packed with so many things you just gotta know!

July 21, 2018 (Saturday)

For the past weeks, the skies have been pretty down but despite the rain, bookworms still toughed through it and showed up – including ya girl here!

Today's main gals:
Shai (IG: @themeanderingsoul)
Angel (IG: @whimsy_wanders)
Ella (IG: @thebookishgoddess)
Joanna (IG: @joannaderpina)
Mighta (IG: @mightazerie)

Partly because it’s my first time going to the venue at Ateneo’s Rizal library (I was scared that I’ll get lost haha), and mostly because I really was THIS excited, I was one of the first ones to arrive along with some other girls who I instantly clicked with! Being the early birds, our registration kit came in a cute The Young Elites tote courtesy of Penguin Teen!

While waiting, we were given a heads up that we can already start our “Do it for the ‘gram” prompts (more on this later) so I channeled my inner extrovert and went all out! And okay, fine, maybe I was just finding an excuse to talk to other bookworms without being too creepy #lowkeyFC

Me with Ms. Jenny and her current read!

Finally, we were invited to take our seats! Being the bibo kids that we are, we immediately claimed front row seats (hehe) and got to meet Ms. Jenny, a representative from one of our sponsors! (I’m sorry my memory is failing me huhu but if I’m not mistaken, she’s from Penguin Random House?) We got to talk about books and publishing so yay!

A few minutes later, the show is finally on the road and it definitely started with a bang, thanks to our enthusiastic hosts (especially to JM’s energetic emcee skills!)

Before we know it, it’s finally time for games! The first one was “Truth and a Lie: YA edition” wherein four (4) statements from YA characters are going to be said, and we had to guess which one is a lie. I teamed up with Joanna and Mighta but ended up losing because the questions were very tricky haha!

There was this TATBILB’s Lara Jean question and I told myself I’ll definitely be embarrassed if we don’t get this one right LOL (for the record, we did!)
Photo from 
Bookworms Unite PH

The next segment was a not-so-short talk entitled “#sorrynotsorry, TBR” wherein JM hyped us all up for upcoming Fall 2018 releases! There were ooh’s and aah’s from the audience as gorgeous covers and interesting blurbs were introduced. Definitely added a bunch of anticipated reads on my TBR!

JM telling the audience about Someday: the upcoming book in David Levithan's series Everyday

My finished list!

And just before the lunch break, we were given time to complete our Do It For the Gram prompts! Tbh, things got a bit crazy here as everyone was going around the room, asking people who fits their prompts. At first, I was just leisurely strolling and meeting people because I didn’t think I’ll win but as I was on my last two, my competitiveness kicked in and I actually finished my list first haha!

I was THISCLOSE to winning but sadly lost due to a tiny hiccup *brb crying haha kidding* but hey, I met amazing people and took A WHOLE LOT of selfies so it’s not so bad afterall! (But I’m definitely doing my big comeback next year!) Also, I was completely touched when my friends comforted me, saying “it’s okay! What do you want from the pile? We’ll get them for you later!” and I swear my heart melted! LABYU GALS <3

See Eliana's full performance HERE!
(thanks to the supportive sister - Fay!)

After an hour of lunch break, we got on to a segment I was actually excited for – “Slammed: A Poetry slam” When I heard that there was a registration for interested people, I initially wanted to join just for fun but adulting got in the way and I wasn’t able to prepare :( Next time maybe?

Still, we got to see Eliana (Fay’s sister!) perform her piece and it was BEAUTIFUL

Next up was “Young Adulting: A YA Trivia Game” wherein I teamed up with Mighta and Ella while doing a quiz bee-like game! It was really hard, actually, and we just guessed most of the answers but in the end, we got 3rd place after winning the clincher round :)

Before we even got over our excitement over winning, the next game is up! This time, it was Guess the Cover volume 2 which we actually tried to review for. However, unlike what we anticipated, the covers weren’t shown in pixels or cropped to a specific part. This year, the hosts DESCRIBED the cover and we only have our imagination to work with. SO DIFFICULT!!! Still, we (Mighta and Joanna and I) landed at 3rd place so yay!

As the day was slowly ending, the hosts (Miel, JM, Inah, and Hazel) talked about “Sharing the Love for YA Since 2015”. It was heartwarming to hear about Bookworms Unite’s humble beginnings: how it started as a small get-together by people who were driven by their love for books, and now, it is a full blown annual event that bookworms from all over eagerly anticipate!

And last but not the least is one of the iconic BU segments: Book Blind Date! I really appreciate the hosts’ efforts to ensure that it doesn’t end up as Hunger Games’ Cornucopia-esque thing – but it did anyway haha! I actually brought 6 books for the blind date (to make up for my past years of missing it?) so if I looked like I was hoarding the books at the table, I’m sorry! I’m also on the lookout for other attendees’ hauls just to see who got my book babies haha hope you enjoy them!

Nope, we aren't tributes in this year's Hunger Games
Photo from The Oikonomos Nexus

Other fun stuff! 

+ In between the segments, there were also raffle draws to give a chance for the attendees to pick from the book piles! I can honestly see people eyeing the prizes even at their seats haha! For me, I only had eyes for one (JM can prove this lol) – an ARC for Stephanie Tromly’s Trouble Never Sleeps because DIGBY and ZOE!

Stepping up my flatlay game ft. some of my books!

+ I’m not sure if this has been done before but we also had a small Bookstagram booth in one corner with cute props!

+ Thanks to our hosts’ efforts, our favorite authors noticed us and gave us a shoutout! I think this is one of the surprises that the attendees enjoyed a lot - one of them was crowd-favorite Becky Albertalli!

+ I’ve always been a swag hoarder and I got some cute ones at the event too! Yay <3 I personally loooove the personalized bookmark and the button pins!

+ Last but not the least, I think one of the best parts of BU is of course, books! I actually brought a lot (for both the book blind date and for donation which will be for Hiraya, a book drive project of people from Ateneo this November!) but I didn’t expect that I’ll be bringing home this much as well! So without further ado, here’s my gigantic book haul from #BookwormsUnitePH Year 4!

Books I got from the Book Blind Date (left pile):
1. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
2. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
3. Redemption 3-5 by Karen Kingsbury
4. The Memory Book by Lara Avery
5. Unrivaled (ARC) by Alyson Noel

Other books I received from BU (upper right pile):
1. The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro - was really eyeing this one when I saw it from the pile! I think it was a single copy and I was praying no one will want it as badly as I did!
2. Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider
4. Puddin' (ARC) by Julie Murphy
6. Trouble Never Sleeps (ARC) by Stephanie Tromly - I have no words but YESSSSS! Even before the event, I just knew I HAVE to get this one after seeing it in BU previews haha!

Books bought/traded from Hazel (lower right pile):
*note: things actually got crazy when Hazel offered her books as up-for-grabs huhu good thing I already secured mine ahead of time! Thanks H!
1. Soulmates by Holly Bourne
2. How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne
3. The Upside of Unrequited (ARC) by Becky Albertalli
4. Literally by Lucy Keating

Final words:

I know this was a long-ass post but thank you for bearing with me! I am just really overjoyed about finally attending BU because it made me feel like a belonged somewhere – a community of people who love the same things I do and a place where I can fangirl my heart out without earning weird looks and judgment from people who just don’t get my feelings for books. 

Although I missed a few friends (shoutout to Eriele and Apolo!) and failed to meet some online people who had last minute emergencies, I am still very happy to get to know new ones! 

So before I end this post, just wanted to reiterate my eternal gratefulness to the brains behind this amazing event (and organization FINALLY!) – our hosts JM, Miel, Hazel, and Inah, as well as to their co-hosts (special shoutout to Bianca! Hi! *hugs*) + our ever-amazing and generous publishing house sponsors and partner organizations + to the fantastic authors who acknowledge us, their overly loud Filipino readers + above all, to every other Filipino bookworms out there! Let’s keep the love for reading alive!

Bookworms Unite PH Year 4 Family! Thank y'all <3
*photo from @bookwrmsuniteph
Check out more Bookworms Unite PH Year 4 photos from one of our partner organizations - The Oikonomos Nexus HERE! And the recap of my co-first timer Leslie from Bibliophile Kid HERE!

How about you guys? Were you at #BookwormsUnitePH Year 4 last Saturday? What are your favorite parts? If not, will you be interested in coming at the next event? Share your answers in the comments section below!

And as a prize for reading all the way up to the end and because I know how it feels to miss out on this wonderful event, I am hosting my first ever giveaway! This is especially for those who weren’t able to join this year’s BU but even attendees can join, of course :) The prizes are a couple of books I got but already have a copy of, so hit up the rafflecopter and join in!

One (1) winner gets to receive both books and is open to PH residents only! (Sorry Int'l friends :( Still figuring out international shipping!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. So glad you had fun for your first BU! AHHH, all the books you've brought home! And I'm so proud of how successful this BU was, I literally teared up while looking at posts and updates at home 💙 Huhu next time I would be there again!! I miss everyone :(


      Really happy with my haul hihi making sure I made up for the past years I've been absent lol

      We all definitely missed you last BU! Next meet up, okiii?


    Looking forward to see you at #romanceclass events! :)

    1. SAME HERE! *hugs*

      Definitely! Bring Eliana along hehe see you!

  3. This is nice! I hope I can attend the BUPH next year. 😍

    1. Hi there Saimon!

      Keep your fingers crossed! I've waited four years before I finally got the chance to attend haha :) You'll have your time! Hopefully we'll get to see each other around during future events!

  4. I am so happy to know that you enjoyed my #sorrynotsorry, TBR! talk! I worked so, very hard for that presentation and to know just how much everyone enjoyed it (let alone learn from it) gives me all the feels. But Ailla, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for coming! I know you've been wanting to attend this for so long and I'm so happy to know that you enjoyed during your first time! We can't wait to see you in more events, and so please keep on supporting BU! And please, keep on slaying those games, ok? Congrats on such a great haul, and see you at the PRWF! :)

    I like your boots!

    Love, JM

    1. I did! I feel like I've been out of sync with recent and upcoming releases recently and I'm really glad to learn of these beauties!

      Thank you so much to all of you guys who worked REAAAAL hard to make this possible! Looking forward to seeing you guys again in future events hihi SEE YOU AT PRWF, JM!

      Ailla :)

  5. I'm looking forward ito the next BU and thanks for sharing your thoughts.I feel like I'm with you guy's just by reading this and lucky of you to attend the BU and I actually didn't heard about this so thank you for letting me know!-Quentin

    1. I'm so glad to introduce Bookworms Unite PH to other readers and book lovers! Thanks for taking time to comment, Quentin :) And I'm looking forward to meeting you at future events!

  6. I really wish I could join bookish events like this one. :(

    1. Awww Febie!

      As I've mentioned, I've waited FOUR YEARS for me to be able to attend hahaha I'm sure the time will come that you can join the fun one day!

      Looking forward to meeting you soon!



Thoughts? :)