Traveling book festival enlivens culture of reading

The sophomore installment of the National Book Development Board Philippines (NBDB) will put on centerstage all publishers, authors, artists, educators and readers at the country’s biggest traveling book festival.

On 25 to 28 April, the Philippine Book Festival (PBF) will have its run at the World Trade Center in Pasay. Full-packed with the richness of Philippine literature, culture and arts, this unique book fair encompasses dynamic topics, ranging from education, entertainment, tourism and shopping, in one amazing event.

In addition to the extensive collection of published works and titles from across the Philippines, this year’s festival also presents a wide array of diverse talks and workshops.

Join various activities for all, including “A Day with Gwy Saludes,” as she engages in an exclusive book signing and meet-and-greet session. Historian and bestselling author Ambeth Ocampo will lead a book signing session titled “Ambeth Without the Overcoat.”

Included also in the line-up is National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Ricky Lee, ready to present “Trip to Quiapo,” while “Dahling Nick: A Tribute to National Artist Nick Joaquin” will honor the renowned writer.

Other activities include “Aklat Para Sa Accla: New Trends in Boys Love and Girls Love,” “Comics Can Change the World” with Patti Ramos, and “Zine-making 101,” embarking on the workshop about independently-produced “fanzines” led by Komiket’s Bunny Luz.

Only in NBDB

The Rare Book Collection by the National Library of the Philippines is back, featuring an incredible selection of new and rare manuscripts and facsimiles; the Book Bar — a library of sorts filled with award-winning books; Cosplay Filipiniana, where you can dress up and join the competition cosplaying your most favorite Philippine literary characters; and Guhit Pambata, accentuating in an exhibit the wonderful works of our resident children’s book illustrators.

This year, the PBF will launch the Tabuan Food Hall, where guests can feast in between pages.

Brace and brave the famous four realms: Kid Lit, a land just for children; Komiks, which puts the spotlight on Pinoy komiks; Booktopia, home to titles of everything fiction and non-fiction; and Aral Aklat, which is devoted to textbooks and educational materials.

There will be a Creators Lab, Main Stage and Kids-at-Play that focuses exciting talks, activities and workshops more specific to the interests of readers and fans of those genres.

Scheduled also through-out the four-day festival are panels, puppet shows, storytelling with surprise television and movie celebrities, and live performances.

“This year, we have more authors and we bring together the best of Philippine content for the entire family. The country needs more reading spaces that encourage conversation, creation and collaboration,” said NBDB executive director Charisse Aquino-Tugade.

The event is longer this year able to provide ample time for teachers, librarians and organizations to research the books they need for their schools. Similar to last year, NBDB is working closely with the Department of Education to train more than 750 book evaluators and procurement officers assessing books to purchase for public school libraries and library hubs. Evaluators from all over the country will fly in to source educational books for the students of their regions.

Created for the greater cause of promoting a culture of reading and elevate the publishing industry in the Philippines, the NBDB’s Philippine Book Festival is the vessel of this message.

The fair is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on 25 to 28 April, with no entrance fees. Register for free at