Home » Entertainment » PH lit dominates MIBF

PH lit dominates MIBF


BUWAN ng mga Akdang Pinoy happens every August, complementing Buwan ng Wika. It started as a social media campaign by fictionist and academic, Edgar Samar.

In just three years, this campaign supporting our very own literature is celebrated by more and more people. This month, Philippine literature continues to thrive at the recently held Manila International Book Fair (Sept. 13 to 17).

Although the major celebration of MIBF is literature itself – be it foreign or local – Filipino publishers and authors continued to dominate the annual event.

On the first day of MIBF, Sept. 13, Ambeth Ocampo delivered a talk and had book signing for his bestselling “Looking Back” series, published by Anvil. Ocampo is a historian loved because of his ability to present history interestingly in what would otherwise be a boring subject.

Anvil is a partner of National Bookstore, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

On the last day of the event, Sept. 17, children’s literature publisher Adarna launched Edgar Samar’ famous series, “Si Janus Silang.” Samar is best known as a fictionist who successfully merges Philippine mythology and pop culture.

Janus Silang is considered by many young adult readers as the Pinoy Harry Potter or Percy Jackson.

The series was originally intended as a trilogy; but because of the tremendous support it gained from those who would otherwise read foreign fantasy novels, the series got extended to have five books.

Also last Sunday, Visprint launched Eros Atalia’s “Ang Ikatlong Antikristo,” the winner of this year’s Palanca grand prize for nobela. Atalia, through his Intoy trilogy and anthologies of flash fiction, is loved by the masses because of his humorous fictional works that depict the struggles of common Filipinos. His book “Tatlong Gabi, Tatlong Araw” is also the winner of 2013 Palanca grand prize for nobela.

Majority of the publishers and authors at MIBF are Filipinos. The popular romance authors are Filipinos. Even the academic and religious books are dominated by local publishers. Although foreign publishing industries are as very much welcome in this annual event – in fact, the newest books of foreign authors are one of the most anticipated at MIBF – it is not surprising that Philippine literature dominates the Manila International Book Fair. Besides, “Manila,” which implies locality, comes first before “International” in the event’s title.