For 35 years, the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) continues to be one of the longest-running book events in Asia. It is an annual event where book sellers, publishers, authors and readers gather to appreciate both local and international literature. This year, the event ran from September 17 to 21, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia.
The first day of the event began with a Eucharistic Celebration, followed by the opening ceremonies. Different talks and events from multiple organizations followed, such as a book cover design talk, a Black Ink meet and greet, numerous band performances and the Gintong Aklat awarding ceremonies, capping off the first day of the fair. The second day started off with the Filipino Reader Conference Kick Off and Award Announcements, followed by the ASEAN Core Skill and Economic Community talks, the 5th Goodwill Bookstore Inter-School Quiz, and the Church Strengthening Ministry Grand Book Launching. The following day held a storytelling session with Vibal Group, a Family Life 101 talk by Ms. Bessie Rios and Ptr. Clem Guillermo, a Lampara Kids event by Precious Pages Corp., and a book launch of Biblica Publishing & Distribution Foundation, Inc. The fourth day saw activities like the 5th St. Paul’s Bible Quiz Championship, a Marketing 101 talk for authors by the National Book Development Board, a Lampara Story Writing Workshop, and a Eucharistic Celebration ending the day.
Finally, the Annual Wattpad MeetUp, the Annual Lampara Storytelling Competition, the Liturgical Music Workshop by the Asian Catholic Communications, Inc., and How to Write a Book by Dr. Isagani Cruz concluded this year’s installment of the MIBF.
The halls of the Convention Center were filled with stores selling books and writing supplies alike. The stores present covered a wide variety of items: religious books, children’s stories, foreign literature, and many more. Publishing houses such as Anvil Publishing, Adarna House, and Vibal Publishing House as well as bookstores like Fully Booked, National Bookstore, and OMF Literature were present.
“The Manila International Book Fair is a whole week of showcasing what our Philippine publishers can offer,” says Graciela Mendoza-Cayton, the Executive Director of the National Book Development Board, regarding the end-goal of the MIBF. “We hope that being exposed to an environment like this will just push them (consumers) to look for this kind of environment… because we want reading to be more popular than it was before, and I think it is slowly becoming like this.”