On April 23, 2016, Instituto Cervantes Manila (ICM) welcomed book lovers and literary enthusiasts to the 11th edition of Día del Libro (Book Day).
In the midst of Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City and under the scorching summer sun, children and adults alike participated in several activities lined up by ICM. These engaging and interactive activities started at 10am with the ribbon cutting and opening ceremony and lasted until 11pm.
This year’s edition of Día del Libro is one of the biggest and grandest celebrations in recent memory, largely due to the change of location. Ayala Triangle Gardens provided ICM the space it needed to mount tents for exhibitors and a giant interactive map, which would not have been possible at ICM’s previous address. Also, for the first time in Día del Libro, a pop-up library called The Bookstop Project was built. It was a welcome sight in the middle of the venue, where bookworms enjoyed various reading materials and take a breather from the heat.
The wider area also meant more exhibitors, mainly publishers and bookstores that sold their books at 20-percent discount. These included Benito Legarda, Fundación Santiago, Lourdes Palayo, National Bookstore, Anvil Publishing, Fully Booked, Powerbooks, Tawid Publishing, Ortigas Foundation, Vibal Publishing, Adarna, Visprint, Philippine-Italian Association (PIA), National Book Development Board (NBDB), Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), and La Cámara – Spanish Chamber of Commerce.
Book buyers and those who participated in Día del Libro activities received long-stemmed red roses from the dashing volunteers of ICM. 🙂 Aside from books and roses, there were other activities that appealed to the young and young-at-heart: la foto del Día del Libro which saw amateur and professional photographers clicking their cameras and cellphones as early as 8am until the sun set, concurso dibujo rápido, guitarra flamenca by Batu Yilmaz, copyright forum by IPOPHL, storytelling and puppet show, clase de español, letras y música, and Balagtasan.
ICM continued last year’s Escribo el Quijote. Hundreds of participants copied by hand Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quijote de la Mancha on a thick hardbound book with red cover. There was also a performance by the colorfully-garbed UP Singing Ambassadors, a play based on Rizal’s El Consejo de los Dioses and two book launchings, Relato by Enrique Laygo and Jaime Gil de Biedma: Prose and Poetry by Vibal Foundation. As the night wore on, there was a jazz en el patio to set a relaxed mood.
Like last year’s Día del Libro (click here to read about it), I volunteered for Instituto Cervantes Manila. I was the sweatiest among those who sold shirts with famous quotes in Spanish, Catalán and Valenciano. 🙂 Despite the unforgiving heat, I enjoyed the event because of the resplendent people around me.
Here are some of the photos during Instituto Cervantes Manila’s Día del Libro 2016:
The opening ceremony of ICM’s Día del Libro 2016 was led by Carlos Madrid Álvarez-Piñer, Director of Instituto Cervantes Manila. Eron, the guy on the far left, was the emcee.
ICM’s Día del Libro 2016 exhibitors preparing their merchandise before the official start of selling period.
ICM’s Día del Libro 2016 exhibitors preparing their merchandise.
ICM’s Día del Libro 2016 exhibitor preparing its merchandise.
ICM’s Día del Libro 2016 exhibitors in the thick of things as buyers congregated in their tents. Photo by SPRDC.
ICM’s Día del Libro 2016 exhibitors in the thick of things as buyers congregated in their tents earlier than the designated 11am opening. Photo by SPRDC.
ICM’s Día del Libro 2016 had also t-shirt painting, face painting and henna tattoo for free. Photo by SPRDC.
The Bookstop Project, the pop-up library that was inaugurated during ICM’s Día del Libro 2016. When I arrived before 8am, it was being constructed. Bottom left photo by SPRDC.
One of the most popular places for photo sessions. This is what it looked before 8am.
Once the plastic cover was off, it was mobbed by people (but not on this photo). 🙂
The giant interactive map was a popular destination for children. Photo by SPRDC.
The photo booth had a long line as well. Photo by SPRDC.
The photo wall of ICM’s Día del Libro 2016. It was a hit among participants and passersby.
Another wall for writings and musings. Photo by SPRDC.
Batu Yilmaz entertained the crowd with guitarra flamenca. Photo by SPRDC.
Joana, Jaime and Cristina manning the Escribo el Quijote area. Participants waited their turn to copy by hand Cervantes’ immortal words. Photos by SPRDC.
UP Singing Ambassadors
Don Quijote (?) and José María Fons Guardiola, Cultural Affairs Coordinator of Instituto Cervantes Manila and my boss for the day. Right photo by SPRDC.
Día del Libro was a colorful event which young and young-at-heart enjoyed. Photo by SPRDC
Blue Man Group (in Manila) also made an appearance. Blue Man Group is a trio of blue and bald performers that usually enthrall the crowd with music and lights. Photos by SPRDC.
Some performers roamed around Ayala Tringle during Día del Libro
Manolo and Elmo, our neighbors, prepared the books to be given away while Mark , Jay, Che (not in photo) and I prepared the shirts with Spanish quotes. Photos by SPRDC.
Instituto Cervantes Manila gave away hundreds of free books on Día del Libro 2016.
Nelson and Manolo had books and roses at hand for those who visited Instituto Cervantes Manila’s tent. Bottom photo by SPRDC.
The shirts that sold like pancakes.
Some of the quotes on the shirts. The other designs sold out in the first hour. Shirts with Jose Rizal’s and Pablo Neruda’s quotes were the most sought after.
Some of Día del Libro 2016’s hardworking volunteers. Me, Jay, Mark and Che when we looked and smelled fresh before our shift. Yes, we were all afraid of the sun. ☺ Photos by SPRDC.
Che, Me and Robert (top). Us girls with Mark at the end of our shift (bottom). Photos by Che.
Cristina and Manolo (top) and Jeff and Elmo (bottom) never lost their smiles throughout the super hot day. Photos by SPRDC.
Before I end this, I have to say thank you to Vita Coco. It saved me and my fellow volunteers from dehydration. As a girl who grew up surrounded by coconut trees, it was almost “like sticking a straw in a coconut”. 🙂
Shout out to Juan of La Cámara – Spanish Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for translating some of the quotes. 🙂
From Right to Left: Juan, Jaime and a friend holding Blue Man Group’s output. He bought three shirts! 🙂 Photo by SPRDC
To know more about Instituto Cervantes Manila’s upcoming activities or if you want to learn Spanish, visit its website at http://manila.cervantes.es/en/default.shtm or its facebook page at www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila.