Philippine Book Festival 2023: Everything you need to know

by Matthew Escosia
Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023
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The Philippine Book Festival, dubbed as the largest traveling book festival in the country highlighting Filipino books, is set to return this June 2 to 4 at the World Trade Center Manila in Pasay City.

The three-day fair promises exciting sessions, exhibits, meet-and-greets and workshops with some of our beloved Filipino book authors. SEA Wave has collated everything you need to know about this year’s Philippine Book Festival – and it is promising!

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

How to register?

The Philippine Book Festival is free to the public. If you’re interested to join, you can log on to the Philippine Book Festival website and click on the “Register to join the event for free” that’s in the uppermost area of the website.

You will be asked a few details for verification and you’ll easily get your free tickets in just a few minutes!

Exploring the Philippine Book Festival 2023

The Kids Lit section of the Philippine Book Festival will have books for children and young adults and will be one of four sections; Booktopia, where a wide range of subjects are covered by the selection of books; Komiks Land, where comic book darlings and authorities can look at exemplary and new comics, and ultimately, Aral Aklat, where understudies can find new course readings.

There will likewise be a Book Niche, where there will be a showcase of books of grant coming out on top for championships from the Public Book Grants; also, the Historical backdrop of Philippine Book presentation, which is organized by the Public Library of the Philippines and Public Book Improvement Board (NBDB).

Planning your Itinerary

The Philippine Book Festival runs for a total of three days, from June 2 to 4, at the World Trade Center.

Here’s the schedule for each day, based on the NBDB website:

  • June 2, Friday: Starts 4 p.m. until 1 p.m.
  • June 3, Saturday: Starts 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • June 4, Sunday: Starts 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Note: The schedule of events is still subject to change.

Day 1: Opening Ceremonies and Highlights

On June 2, the Philippine Book Festival will begin with a series of smaller events—namely workshops—that will take place simultaneously but in various locations.

Awards Ceremony: NBDB Grant Recipients
Time
: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Venue: Main Stage
Entry: Free of charge

The NBDB hosts a competitive grant program for writers, illustrators, and publishers. During the ceremony, NBDB will award the grantees of the Publication, Translation, and National Book Development Trust Fund grant.

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

REconnect: Reading-Writing Connection
Time
: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Venue: Joya Function Room
Entry: P600/one workshop, P1,000/both REconnect workshops
Register: To register, email reconnect.workshop@gmail.com.

The Reading Association of the Philippines can help kids (Junior and Senior High) get into the habit of reading through evidence-based practices.

REconnect: Reading Intervention
Time
: 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Joya Function Room
Entry:P600/one workshop, P1,000/both REconnect workshops
Register: To register, email reconnect.workshop@gmail.com.

The second part of the REconnect workshop ties in the needed knowledge, strategies, and best practices in regard to the reading-writing connection.

WHATCHA SAYING? Learn Filipino Sign Language with CJ Reynaldo and friends
Time
: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Venue: Komiks Land Room
Entry: Free of charge

Caldwell Jones “CJ” Reynaldo, a freelance artist, and his friends are offering free lessons on Filipino sign language.

Learning About Autism with Doobie Doo Asks
Time
: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Venue: Komiks Land Room
Entry: Free of charge

Bambi Eloriaga-Amago and Roland Amago are the writers of Doobie Doo Asks, which tells a story of how the parents in the book answered their son when he asked, “What is wrong with me?” During this panel, the authors will tackle learning autism through the book.

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

A Tribute: Luwalhati kay Lualhati
Time
: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Venue: Main Stage
Entry: Free of charge

Philippine Book Festival pays tribute to the icon that is novelist and screenwriter Lualhati Bautista. Dr. Luna Sicat Cleto, Dr. Genevieve Asenjo, Sue Prado, and National Artist Nora Aunor will participate in this event.

The Grand Reception
Time
: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Venue: Main Stage
Entry: Free of charge

This reception is a celebration of Philippine education and literature. This will be hosted by the Philippine Educational Publishers Association (PEPA).

Hagod: The Lost Art Styles of Filipino Komiks
Time
: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Venue: Komik Land Room
Entry: Free of charge

Randy Valiente will talk about the lost art styles of Filipino Komiks, their unique characteristics, and the impact they had on the industry.

Day 2: Literary Panels and Workshops

Meet and Greet: Ambeth Ocampo
Time
: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Venue: Main Stage
Entry: Free of charge

Meet the award-winning Filipino public historian and academic Ambeth Ocampo. He is known for his writings about Jose Rizal, such as Rizal Without the Overcoat and Makamisa: The Search for Rizal’s Third Novel.

Book Signing: Genaro Gojo Cruz
Time
: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Venue: Bookmark Booth
Entry: Free of charge

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

Create Your Own Cartoon Workshop
Time
: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Venue: Komiks Land Room
Entry: Free of charge

Samahan Kartunista ng Pilipinas will be holding a two-hour free workshop where interested participants can conceptualize and create their own cartoons.

Book Launch and Storytelling: Kalambing
Time
: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Venue: Kids Lit Stage
Entry: Free of charge

Author Augie Rivera and Illustrator Al Estrella are launching a new book called Kalambing. It’s a story about Kulas, a goat who wants to join a parade of carabaos.

Book Launch: Trese Presents Verdugo
Time
: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Venue: Main Stage
Entry: Free of charge

JB Tapia and 19th Avenida are launching a new book, Verdugo.

Creating Good Webtoon Stories
Time
: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Venue: Komiks Land Room
Entry: Free of charge

This free workshop will be headed by Na Seungjoon and the Korean Cultural Center. This is for webtoon enthusiasts who want to try their hands at creating their own webtoon.

Visual Storytelling in Multi-Platforms
Time
: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Venue: Komiks Land Room
Entry: Free of charge

Director Mike Alcazaren teaches how to engage your audience with visually compelling stories—ones that can leave a positive lasting impression.

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

BDAP Connect: Networking Reception for Book Development Association of the Philippines Members
Time
: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Venue: Booktopia stage
Entry: Private event, for BDAP members only

For those who are members of the Book Development Association of the Philippines, this is a great time to meet new people and widen your network.

Day 3: Launchings and Signings

Meet and Greet: Gwy Saludes
Time
: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Venue: Main stage
Entry: Free of charge

Gwy Saludes, the writer behind The Rain in España, is a rising star in the Philippine literary scene. During this three-hour meet-and-greet, she will be talking about different themes of love, identity, and mental health. Plus, this is your chance to get your favorite book signed!

Workshop: Designing and Illustrating Books for Children
Time
: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Venue: Joya Room
Entry: P600.
Register: Email bookinstitute@books.gov.ph.

Rommel Joson will teach the essential skills to illustrate and design children’s books.

Wordless Comics Creation
Time
: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Venue: Komiks Land Room
Entry: Free of charge

Manix Abrera will share his process of how he uses visual cues to tell a story—without using words.

Aklatan Ko’y Kanlungan: A Roundtable Discussion on the Libraries a Safe Space
Time
: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Venue: Joya Room
Entry: P500
Register: Email pbbyworkshops@gmail.com.

Brian Coballes, Zarah Gagatiga, and Troy Lacsamana of the Philippine Librarians’ Association, Inc. will inspire librarians to evaluate existing library services and programs.

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

Photo by Philippine Book Festival 2023

Diverse Books: Every Sunday + Super Maya
Time
: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Venue: Kids Lit Stage
Entry: Free of charge

Och Gonzales, Bambi Rodriguez, and Kahel Press will discuss inclusivity through their book Every Sunday, which is a book that talks about learning sign language.

Our Nation’s Heroes Bayani Biographies: Gregoria de Jesus
Time
: 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Venue: Main Stage
Entry: Free of charge

Historians Natasha Kintanar, John Ray Ramos, and Xiao Chua will talk about Philippine history, heroes, and how they were able to produce the Bayani Biographies series.

After its Manila leg, the Philippine Book Festival is going next at SMX Davao this August 18 to 20, 2023.

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