Sunday, September 18, 2011

The 32nd Manila International Book Fair Experience


* one of the entrances to the Manila International Book Fair

in SMX Convention Center

* University of the Philippines Press Booth

* Ateneo de Manila University Press Booth

* school children attending the MIBF 2011

I can readily count on the fingers of my right hand the times I have been to the Manila International Book Fair (fondly called MIBF by others): 1) in 2005 when I met in person then Mayor Lito Atienza [held then in the World Trade Center Manila], 2) in 2008 with a fellow book enthusiast and 3) this year 2011. If before I only went to do random book picking, I can say that I have been relatively successful in this year’s MIBF as I was able to collect a number of Filipiniana books, especially those that I will need for my book project.

* a simple merienda bought from Albergus

* Pastor Hiram Pangilinan in the book signing session of his new book
“Hula, Multo, Faith Healing, Atbp.”

* Trailer Pransis and Jordan, DJ of Perfect Rhythm radio program

The MIBF is a five-day event but one can visit all the booths, skim through the books on sale, in one day. However, each day has highlight activities. On the day we attended, book readings for children occupied most of the afternoon slots in the stage area.

Some booths also have their special activities. As an example, the OFM Literature Booth hosted a book launch of Pastor Hiram Pangilinan, a preacher I have known in a not-so-distant past through his writings. One bonus at the OFM booth was meeting Jordan, the DJ of the 702 DZAS program “Perfect Rhythm”, a half-hour radio show airing every Sunday. My mother always tunes in the radio to this particular station and somehow my ears have become accustomed to Jordan’s greeting as I wake up every Sunday. During our brief conversation, he mentioned that a lot of people treat his program as their alarm clocks.


* book reading session of “The Boy with the Book”

* book reading of Kuya Jun at the Stage Area

* “thou shall be known by the mark”: MIBF marks

In recalling the booths I have visited which catered to Filipiniana books, I can only say that the Philippines has a wide array of written materials, from books on indigenous culture and arts, to technical manuals on medicine or engineering. Not to mention pocket romance books! The only thing that the Filipinos need to have and cultivate is the affinity for reading. Yes, it is good to see people buying and conducting book reading sessions in that kind of activity. But unless we get to the point where reading is as commonplace as smoking in public, we still have a long way to go to entrench the culture of reading in the Philippines.

* This blog entry also appears in Back Trails blog

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