By PERCIVAL BUNCAB
IT’S September! Aside from the anticipated start of “ber” months when Filipinos prepare for the longest Christmas celebration in the world, there is another annual event that Filipino bibliophiles have been waiting for – the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF).
MIBF, the country’s longest-running and largest book event, gets even larger! Scheduled on September 13-17, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., at SMX Mall of Asia, the 38th MIBF will now occupy two floors, expanding the exhibit area from 9,130 to 11,980 square meters. The second floor of the SMX Convention Center is designated for children’s and young adult literature. With over a hundred exhibitors, 150,000 bibliophiles are expected to come to the five-day event.
Publishers, mostly local, offer their best – from academic publishers like Rex, children’s books from Adarna and Lampara, Christian publishers like Church Strengthening Ministry and OMF, romance and young adult novels from Precious, PSICOM, and Summit, Philippine literature from Visprint and Anvil, to university presses like AdMU, UP, and UST. There is an annual contest for the best booth design; so publishers do not only launch their best books, but also parade their best booth – with their games, contests, and other fun activities.
Aside from book launches, signings, workshops, and other literary activities, there are also holistic seminars like “Building Self Esteem: Winning the Battle with Anxiety and Depression” (Sep. 14, 10 a.m. – 12 n.n.), “Bullyproof:
Approaches and Strategies to Bullying Prevention” (Sep.16, 1-3:30 p.m.), and “100 Things Successful People Do” (Sep. 16, 2-5 p.m.). One of the annual highlights of the special events is the cosplay contest. Fandom Fest Pinoy Cosplay Competition happens on September 16, 6:30-8 p.m.; while Fandom Fest Western Cosplay Competition happens on September 17, 5:30-8 p.m.
There is an entrance fee to the different special events, but tickets to the MIBF itself are given freely by different publishers and bookstores, many of which can be printed, so anyone can have as many as they want. Walk-ins can also avail tickets for only R20. Further details can be checked on MIBF’s official Facebook page, fb.com/manilaintbookfair.
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