Cebu Literary Festival: A comeback of stories and the arts

John Sitchon
Cebu Literary Festival: A comeback of stories and the arts

FESTIVAL. Cebu Literary Festival 2022 was held at the Ayala Center Cebu from November 25 to 27, 2022.

Cebu Literary Festival

Local artists get the chance to tell their stories, such as the writers behind a book written by a young boy and his father

CEBU, Philippines – After a two-year hiatus, the Cebu Literary Festival held its three-day comeback event at the Ayala Center Cebu with thousands of hobbyists, book lovers, and cosplayers in attendance.

From Friday, November 25 to Sunday, November 27, festivalgoers enjoyed a series of book signings, workshops, art discussions, and activities dedicated to film, music, spoken word poetry, and cosplay.

Cebu Literary Festival head organizer Hendri Go told Rappler that it was the first time that the festival managed to attract more than 120,000 attendees. He added that the organizers had to make adjustments on a daily basis to accommodate the people.

“That meant rearranging our layout if need be,” Go said.

At least 200 exhibitors participated in the event.

For many exhibitors, the event is an opportunity to share their art and launch their creative work. In this year’s festival, many local artists got the chance to tell their stories, such as the writers behind The Little Dinosaur Who Changed The World, a book written by a young boy and his father.

According to writer Mark Rosario, the book was based on a bedtime story he used to tell his son Yuri when he was five years old. The story follows a young dinosaur learning about the impact and consequences of the little choices he makes in life.

The young Yuri shared that he initially did not like the original ending of the story and ended up writing a different, more heart-warming ending to the book. He later became the co-author of the book with his father.

“Cebul Literary Festival is all about stories and storytelling in all its forms: spoken word, cosplay, books, film, theater, music, art, and more. We want to celebrate that and make it a gathering for people who come together to tell stories,” Go said.

What to expect next year

For 2023, Go said that there will definitely be more events dedicated to literature and the arts, ranging from arts month activities to summer events.

“We are also planning to open an art bookstore,” the organizer added.

Ayala Center Cebu and the National Book Development Board co-presented the event with Komiket, Archcon, and Binisaya Film Festival.

Esteemed artists and writers were also present during the festival. It was attended by National Artist for Literature Resil Mojares, Januar Yap, Democrito Barcenas, Jay Ignacio, Ian Casocot, Tarantadong Kalbo, and Joel Donato Ching Jacob, among others.

There were also musical performances by Cebu indie band HNT, and poetry performances by LitFest poets Maxim Iligan, Maria Juanita Romualdez, Francis Terrado, and Danielle Demecillo. –

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