The All Filipino Book Fair Returns For 2019!
Gari Sy Rivera | November 25, 2019
Photos by the Author
Organized by the Book Development Association of the Philippines, Aklatan: The All Filipino Book Fair and Book Industry Summit kicked off once again on October 20 and 21, 2019 at the Megatrade Hall 3 of SM Megamall in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong. Writers, illustrators, publishers, and book lovers all over the metro gathered to celebrate the rich artistry of Filipino literature.
A wide variety of books were found at the fair: fiction and non-fiction novels, historical publications, children’s books and many more. Local publishing houses like Tahanan Books and Adarna House, Christian books publisher and distributor OMF Literature, independent contemporary reads publisher Romance Class, and University publications of educational works such as Ateneo and UP Press brought filled up the hall with booths of literary finds.
Most attendees of the fair may be book enthusiasts, but Aklatan, with the variety of reads that it showcases, caters to more people. “I’m really a book lover, I brought my sister here to expose her to the world of books so that maybe she could discover some that will match her interests,” shares university student and Aklatan attendee Pau, “That’s what I like about book fairs like Aklatan, it includes different genres and book types so it really is for all kinds of people.”
Pau’s sister, Dianne, shares of her first-time experience at the fair. “I’m learning naman, and I’m gaining interest as well, seeing all the different books. ‘Di kasi ako into reading compared to others but kapag I see a book and feel na parang, hey, this seems interesting, I check it out and I enjoy it naman.” (I’m not into reading compared to others but when I see a book and feel that it could be interesting, I check it out and enjoy it.)
With the many finds and interested Filipino readers, the Philippine literature and publishing industry continues to grow in its market and kinds of content. “Philippine literature is thriving,” expresses first-time exhibitor Ydunn Lopez, illustrator of Warehouse 6 Productions, a group of local collaborators creating local stories. Their showcased work at the fair was their comic book series titled Dapit Hapon.
The two-day festivities of Aklatan 2019 also including several storytelling sessions for children with established authors Joyce Piap-Go, Justine Hail, and Lauren Macaraeg, poetry readings by Joyful Light Contributors, and lectures and talks on literary writing in the Philippine context with respected figures in the community such as John Enrico Toralba.