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  • Writer's pictureJme Foronda

Doing Filipino-centric Events

After Emerald City Comic Con (woo!) at the end of 2022, I made a decision to stop doing in-person events and focus more on building my brand online. Engaging with people was Just. So. Tiring. My little introvert heart was utterly taxed after 4 days of non-stop talking with people and dealing with crowds.

BUT! Hirap magsalita ng patapos, ika nga. I was emailed details about an event in May by someone I met at ECCC. A Filipino community in Seattle invited me to an Asian Pacific Islanders Heritage Month Celebration at the Seattle Center. The table rate was pretty good, and since most of my stock are Filipino culture, I decided to go for it, since it was just a one day event.

Also the first time Ally was along and kept me company at the table.

I did pretty good at this event. I underestimated the amount of books and magnets I needed to bring, but just that I sold out the books was a HUGE thing. I thought over my decision to not do in-person events and changed my mind: Time to do Filipino-centric events!

Next one was one month after, the 2-day Pagdiriwang Festival again in Seattle Center.

This was pretty cool. I think I was way more prepared for this one, plus I had Migley next to me on the 1st day, and Reg showed up on the 2nd day. Some photos:

Morning on the 1st day, before setting up the table.

Ally helping set up the table:

(Note: I gave Migley my old display rack after ECCC, as I decided to stop doing events, oh welz!)

Table all ready for the 1st day!

Rundown of Pagdiriwang Day 1:

- Sold out of books!

- Sold out of magnets!

- Managed to move some prints, but not a lot.

- Stickers were okay, Filipiniana more than Tiny IPs

- Manong Lane Wilcken came over to say hello and the fangirling that happened was pretty embarassing.

We were not allowed to leave anything at the venue, so had to dismantle and take everything home. I worked late into the night making more magnets, and prepped more boxes with books to bring.

ALSO! I decided to put labels on the Indigenous Mother and Child prints. I felt like I should have printed that from the beginning, lesson learned.

Day 2!

Arnel and AJ stayed at the Seattle Center with me and Ally, mostly because I wanted a break middle of the event to watch Manong Lane's lecture and batok demo.

Compare the table fro Day 2 vs Day 1. Made some improvements, I believe:

Reg wearing some lovely pieces from indigenous people!

And an Isnag holding up my book at the appropriate page:

And, of course, I had to take a photo with Manong Lane!

Some photos of me working (thanks to Reg for the photos):

I noticed that I was way less exhausted than after ECCC. My guess is that I did not have to fake engagement with people at my booth - people who saw my stuff know what they are ("Oh!! Adobo! Halo-halo!") and I don't have to keep explaining what I'm selling. The enthusiasm is genuine.

Overall, it was an awesome event. My main takeaway is to do a few in-person events that are Filipino-centric. No more pop culture cons and such.

Sorry, not sorry, ECCC. But at least I managed to check you off my bucket list!

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