Kudos to the National Book Development Board on their latest major activity for this summer – the first Philippine Book Festival that runs from June 2 to 4 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
Entrance to the venue is free, and this is definitely a family-friendly event because it has activities for all ages.
The PBF provides a platform for publishers, writers, illustrators, and readers to come together and showcase their works, share ideas, and have a conversation.
The event is organized by the NBDB and supported by various government agencies and private organizations and is free for the public.
The festival will feature various booths from hundreds of publishers, and activities such as book launches, book signings, panel discussions, workshops, and exhibits.
It aims to promote literacy and reading, encourage the development of the Philippine publishing industry, and showcase the richness and diversity of Philippine literature and culture.
For the ardent fan, there will be meet-and-greet events with celebrated writers such as award-winning author and historian Ambeth R. Ocampo (who wrote popular history hits such as Rizal Without the Overcoat) and rising star Gwy Saludes (famous for the “University Series” of novels on Wattpad and in print).
There will also be a talk with actress and writer Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio about her latest book on marriage, Eleven Eleven: Painting the Challenge and Beauty of Marriage.
The PBF will also feature talks and workshops on creating webtoon stories, visual storytelling, illustrating books for children, and more.
Attendees can participate in literary discussions and debates, watch live performances and storytelling, and enjoy the Book Nook with its curated selection of books and comfortable lounge areas.
According to NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade, the PBF is all about giving Filipino publishers and creators a platform to showcase their work.
“How come we know about Shakespeare? How come we know about all of these global authors, but we don’t even know the works of our own?” Aquino-Tugade said.
“We have amazing Filipino-authored content yet we lack access. [So] we’ve created a space where the entire family can enjoy all genres — from children’s books to comics, textbooks, non-fiction books, and everything in between. That’s what the Philippine Book Festival is all about.”
More than 150 exhibitors, over 50 seminars and events, and a ton of fun activities are all scheduled at the PBF.
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The PBF has many exciting and interesting events that the public will enjoy.
Are you a Noranian, or a cinephile? Here’s your chance to meet National Artist for Cinema Nora Aunor in person! She’ll be at the PBF on June 2, 4:00 p.m.
Together with actress Sue Prado and novelists Genevieve Asenjo and Luna Sicat-Cleto, she will pay tribute to the late novelist Lualhati Bautista whose literary works have reframed the story of the Filipina.
Jose Dalisay, PhD, will be at the Anvil booth to sign copies of his books, as will Maryanne Moll (author of The Maps of Camarines, published by Penguin Random House SEA) Norman Wilwayco (writer of Migrantik, published by Penguin Random House SEA), Wilfredo Liangco (author of Even Ducks Get Liver Cancer, released by Milflores Publishing), and many other writers.
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What’s the NBDB’s goal in conducting the PBF and its other activities?
The agency, said Aquino-Tugade, is working to ensure that the publishing industry is robust, and to build a culture of readership and authorship.
Over the last few years, the NBDB has focused on providing solutions to learning poverty and low-functioning literacy in the country.
The agency began its mission to educate children and their families about the wide range of Filipino-authored and published books through the Book Nook in 2021.
The program provides access to books and learning materials through the establishment of reading and storytelling centers in libraries, schools, and other locations, even buses, in remote areas.
“The Philippine Book Festival is here to educate the Pinoys about our books and spaces like this that provide access points where they can see, touch, read, and be exposed to these types of literary work,” adds Aquino-Tugade.
“It’s also our chance to show everyone that we have quality materials for libraries and educational institutions.”
The NBDB also funds and supports regional book fairs in the country such as the Bikol Book Festival.
It participates in international book fairs such as the Sharjah International Book Fair, Frankfurt Buchmesse, and London Book Fair as a means to promote Filipino literature globally.
Register for free at www.philippinebookfest.com. Follow the NBDB and PBF on Facebook, and @bookfestph on Instagram and TikTok to stay updated
With the PBF, the NBDB is broadening its reach and making Filipino-authored and -published books available to more readers.
Described as the “largest traveling book festival” in the country, the PBF’s next leg will be held at SMX Davao from August 18 to 20.
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