WE are still celebrating National Book Development Month and National Reading Month this November, with the last week of the month being made more special for it is also the 89th National Book Week. To take part in the advocacy, everyone is encouraged to nurture their passion for books and reading by supporting the events being held in celebration of these festivals, going to book fairs, joining storytelling activities, and supporting local libraries.
And speaking of book fairs, there will be a 2-day book fair at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) starting Tuesday. Dubbed Pahina at Bukana Book Fair, the event is a collaboration between the National Book Development Board (NBDB), Ateneo de Naga University Press, and Savage Mind: Arts, Books, Cinema. It will be held at the Bulwagang Elpidio Quirino, DFA, Pasay City.
This event will feature discussions among writers, diplomats, and expats—you can catch the livestream via the official DFA Facebook page if you can’t attend the event onsite. Their promo material reads:
“From the Philippines to the Vatican City, and the UK to the USA, our esteemed guests will take you on a literary journey around the world. They’ll share their fascinating tales, each contributing a unique voice to unveil the magic of how books weave pathways to profound understanding. Uncover the art of poetry, the allure of fiction, and the charm of children’s stories. Let’s celebrate the power of words with a mix of intellect, creativity, and a whole lot of fun!”
The speakers include Ambassador Eduardo Malaya, Ret. Ambassador Virgilio Reyes, Jr., Ambassador Neal Imperial, Kristian Sendon Cordero, Dr. Stephen Acabado, Dr. Jaya Jacobo, Dr. Christine Bellen-Ang, Dr. Maryjane Guazon Uy, Dr. Andrew Recepcion, Natalie Maggay, Ian Alfonso, Teddy Griarte Espela, Dr. Genevieve Asenjo, Fr. Wilmer Tria, and Abdon M. Balde, Jr.
It’s wonderful to see the country’s book scene thriving, with more writers and creators being published and more publishing houses being established, including indie presses and small publishers. The NBDB is doing an excellent job bringing books to remote places around the country and bringing our titles abroad to reach international audiences. Above all, it’s refreshing to see a lot of people getting more interested in reading, most especially the young ones. For sure, books would make great gifts for the holidays, so come to book fairs and enjoy discounts on good titles for gifting.
But let’s not lose the essence of it all. Amidst all the celebrations and festivals, the important thing is that each one of us must carve out some reading time every day. Children must take up the habit early, and adults need to have the discipline to keep on reading. In order to move the world, we must become a nation of readers.