Book Fairs

Feeling bookish? What to expect at the Philippine Book Festival in April

Luna Coscolluela

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Feeling bookish? What to expect at the Philippine Book Festival in April

Dennis Mendoza

The local book fair's 2nd edition will have over 160 exhibitors at the World Trade Center in Pasay City

MANILA, Philippine – So many books to read, so little time! Let the book hoarding begin again as the Philippine Book Festival returns for its second year from April 25 to 28 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

The festival is organized by the National Book Development Board (NBDB), a government agency tasked with advancing the country’s literary industry. They said that the four-day event is meant to “promote a culture of reading and develop the publishing industry in the Philippines.”

PROMOTING READING. NBDB Chairman Dante Francis “Klink” Ang II shares the purpose of the festival. Luna Coscolluela/Rappler

“It’s an engaging activation space that brings together large-scale procurers of books and learning materials and the Philippine publishing industry with Philippine creatives at the heart of it,” said NBDB Chairman Dante Francis “Klink” Ang II at a media launch held on Wednesday, April 3.

160 EXHIBITORS. NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade talks about the scale of the event. Luna Coscolluela/Rappler

“We’re going to have more than 160 exhibitors [and] hundreds of [programs] for everyone,” said NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade.

Aquino-Tugade also emphasized the importance of events like these for Filipinos. “The country needs more reading spaces that encourage conversation, creation, and collaboration.”

The event will feature a variety of talks, workshops, and events catered to people of different interests, as well other highlights bookworms can look forward to at the 2024 edition!

Interacting with the literary community

Fans of author and historian Ambeth Ocampo can look forward to his book signing session called Ambeth Without the Overcoat. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a book signing and meet-and-greet with author Gwy Saludes in A Day with Gwy Saludes.

Trip to Quiapo will be presented by National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Ricky Lee. You can also look forward to Dahling Nick: A Tribute to National Artist Nick Joaquin.

Festival-goers can also participate in sessions like Comics Can Change the World with Patti Ramos and Zine-making 101 with Bunny Luz.

Literature come to life

The festival will feature the Rare Book Collection by the National Library of the Philippines, with new additions for the public to view. The Philippine Book Festival’s Book Bar, a curated collection of award-winning books, will also be available to attendees. The exhibit Guhit Pambata will display works by Filipino children’s book illustrators.

The event also offers attendees the chance to participate through Cosplay Filipiniana for fans who want to cosplay as characters from Filipino literature.

The festival’s four realms

The festival will highlight works divided into their four popular realms: Kid Lit for children, Komiks to showcase our country’s komiks industry, Booktopia for lovers of fiction and non-fiction, and Aral Aklat for textbooks and educational materials.

Attendees can participate in talks, activities, and workshops based on their interests at the Creators Lab, Main Stage, and Kids-at-Play sections.

The Philippine Book Festival is intended to support not only the Philippine literary industry but Filipinos themselves. Ang emphasized the agency’s plans to “improve access for every Filipino reader, democratize distribution, and enable our publishers and authors to keep producing Philippine books.”

The Philippine Book Festival was first held in 2023 from June 2 to 4 at the World Trade Center. It was then brought to SMX Davao City from August 18 to 20.

The four-day festival will be open this year from 8 am to 8 pm, April 25 to 28. Entrance is free of charge. –

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