of school visits and feasting – Manila Day 3

All the hard work for me was done yesterday. Today I was thrilled to go and visit a local school,  the Immaculate Conception Academy in Greenhills, where the teachers were in session – on Saturday! Some thorough investigation was done of my website because I didn’t have to introduce myself at all … they used my website info!

What an absolutely fantabulous time I had there talking to the teachers in the school hall … and it seems as though it went wonderfully well for when I finished after nearly two hours (yes the teachers listened to me for that long!) a photo was requested by some – and this is the result. “You have groupies Mr. Cheng”.

a photo before I begin
the groupies

Hopefully the teachers were able to take something away about the joys of teaching and some ideas for encouraging kids to write and to read and hopefully it will give their reading and writing programmes just a little boost. I know that MOST of them loved joining in as i read Sounds Spooky! And it was just delightful receiving the gift … the notes books will come in extremely handy!

Back at the hotel just in time to attend Mita Kapur‘s session and book launch – she even prepared the food to be cooked by the chefs for us from her new book …

cooking with Vita

That done the First International Manila Literary Festival was concluded with a screnning of the movie Slumdog Millionaire – with annotations by Vikas Swarup – the author of the novel Q&A on which the movie was based. What a thrill to see the movie with Vikas there. After the screening he chatted about the creating of the screenplay and gave wonderful insights and illuminations on the characters and the differences between his book and the movie. And of course he wonderfully avoided the perennial question – how much money have you made from the film! ARGH!!

But not quite over for us. DINNER was at a restaurant that was only open to us … and it was even an open-mike night! Here is the visual evidence … I know there were rather a number of snaps taken of me singing (with David Parker) and that these will start popping up on a number of blogs! Sigh! Viakas and his wife were in fine voice!

not quite Bollywood but great singing
with Vikas

So to sum up – an absolutely thrilling conference.
Thanks to ANdrea, Ciela and her team for such great work and looking after us so wonderfully well – I can’t think of a thing that we needed and we were certainly wined and dined to perfection – but as I as told … this is the Philippines where we have mastered the art of many eatings!

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