AJ Perez’s friends, fans and family gathered together for the book launch of “A Smile of Hope: The Legacy of AJ Perez” last April 17, 2015 at the National Book Store Trinoma Branch. Present at the event were some of AJ’s friends and former colleagues Jessy Mendiola, Enchong Dee, Megan and Lauren Young, Empress Schuck, Drei Felix and Martin del Rosario.
The late actor’s mom and one of the authors of the book, Maria Victoria "Marivic" Perez, remarked that she is glad to finally share AJ’s story to everyone through the book. “Sobrang tuwa kasi finally the book is here masaya kami, the whole family that we can share AJ’s 18 beautiful years with us and we want to share it to the whole world kasi parang it’s one way of sharing also ‘yung colorful story ni AJ and the book features also the inspiring testimonies of his friends and family, colleagues and pati fans din. Actually itong book na ‘to it’s not only for our family but for all of us,” she said.
AJ’s dad, Gerry Perez, relayed that the book contains the story of AJ’s childhood and his growing up years. “’The idea of the book is ‘yung bata pa siya, actually ‘yung marriage life namin muna and then it touches him as a toddler, you could sense na special na talaga siya na bata and then love life niya and contributions from his fans. Actually maraming testimonials na in a way that AJ has touched their lives na nandito sa libro na ito so napakaganda and then it’s not only for mothers also but I think it’s also for everbody, kids and ‘yung generation ni AJ at present and even the younger ones who do not know him dito makilala nila and hopefully they will be inspired.”
Marivic added the book has been a source of strength for coping of the loss of her son.
“Actually this book was not only written by me but also by my family friend Zenaida Roy- Almario. She’s from San Diego, California so dalawa kaming authors nitong book kasi it’s a soucce of my strength na rin to cope up with my lost kasi dito parang binahagi ko lahat ng naramdaman ko. ‘Yung few months of AJ’s untimely passing and some of his manifestations din meron din ‘yung and of course the fond memories that we have of AJ. Nandon ‘yun lahat with his school and then his showbiz career hanggang don na sa pinaka last few days of AJ,” she stated.
AJ’s brother, Gelo, also remarked that he feels proud of his mom for being able to finally release the book. “[I feel] relieved talaga, three year or four years in the making nakita ko ‘yung mom ko nagsusulat. I’m thankful na rin na lumabas, with the process and finally, it’s being released. It’s one way of coping with everything that has happened natutuwa lang ako and I feel so proud of my mom na finally natapos na lahat.”