Instituto Cervantes Manila’s Día Internacional del Libro

Instituto Cervantes Manila (ICM) celebrated the 10th edition of Día del Libro on April 23, 2015 amidst a beautiful summer day which later turned into a wonderful evening. The wonderful evening part was fitting because this year’s Día del Libro was called La Noche de los Libros (The Night of Books). The flurry of activities started at 4pm and continued well into the night at 11. There were several well-known exhibitors and bookstores that sold their merchandise at 20% discount. These included Fully Booked, Powerbooks, Anvil Publishing, Vibal Publishing, Ortigas Foundation, Primebooks, Benito Legarda, Lourdes Paloyo, and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). For those who were penny-pinching, there was no need to worry because there were hundreds of free books available for events participants. Of course, there were roses for men and women as the tradition of Día del Libro dictates.

Below are some of the photos of what happened that day, just to whet your appetite. For more photos, please visit the Facebook page of Instituto Cervantes Manila at www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila.

The staff of Instituto Cervantes Manila in their El Día del Libro shirts

The staff and professors of Instituto Cervantes Manila in their Día del Libro shirts (most of them). The man in a suit is Carlos Madrid Álvarez-Piñer, Director of Instituto Cervantes Manila. The guy in green pants was our boss for the day, José María Fons Guardiola, Cultural Affairs Coordinator of ICM. Photos by SPRDC.

Some of the professors of Instituto Cervantes Manila

Some of the professors of Instituto Cervantes Manila. Joderick, the man on the top photo, also helped out in giving out roses to the participants of Escribo el Quijote. The photo at the bottom shows a copy of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quijote de la Mancha and the hardbound book where participants were to copy by hand Cervantes’ words. Photos by SPRDC.

The professors and kuyas of Instituto Cervantes Manila in their El Día del Libro shirts.

The fun people of Instituto Cervantes Manila in their Día del Libro shirts. Photos by SPRDC.

Two of the nicest professors at Instituto Cervantes Manila, Noe and Josué. :) Josué told our class about the film La Isla Mínima.

Two of the nicest professors at Instituto Cervantes Manila, Noe and Josué. 🙂 Noe also distributed roses to the participants of Escribo el Quijote. Josué told our class about the film La Isla Mínima. Photos by SPRDC.

I have attended several Día del Libro celebrations, but only as a student of Spanish who wants to hoard books she cannot read nor understand. This year, I upped the ante by signing up as a volunteer. Juvy and I were assigned to sort, count, pack and sell shirts and bags.

The back of Juvy halfway through shirt sorting.

The back of Juvy halfway through shirt sorting.

The shirts and bags, packed and ready to be carried downstairs to the exhibit area.

The shirts and bags, packed and ready to be carried downstairs to the exhibit area. We labeled the box with gender, shirt design, size and quantity.

As we prepared the shirts inside our boss' room, other people were busy setting up the stage, tents and tables.

As we prepared the shirts inside our boss’ room, other people were busy setting up the stage, tents and tables.

Everything was almost ready for the opening at 4pm.

Everything was almost ready for the opening at 4pm.

The view of the stage from our designated shirt table. This was taken before we started selling shirts.

The view of the stage from our designated shirt table. This was taken before we started selling shirts.

The shirt buyers arrived like Fast and Furious cars. They were waiting for us to start selling and when we did, they snapped up all the shirts in record time.

The shirt buyers arrived like Fast and Furious cars. There was a long queue of at least 50 people waiting for us to start selling and when we did, they snapped all the shirts up in record time. Regardless of their need to get to other activity areas, they waited patiently as we looked for their desired shirt design and size.

Juvy and I were joined by the vivacious Ana in selling the shirts. She handed out the receipts and helped us when we were in the weeds. Photo by SPRDC.

Juvy and I were joined by the vivacious Ana in selling the shirts. She handed out the receipts and helped us when we were in the weeds. Aside from the salespeople on this photo, there were other ladies who worked as hard behind the scenes–the ICM staff composed of Margot, Lourdes and Nanette. Photo by SPRDC.

The crowd milling around the exhibit area.

The crowd milling around the exhibit area.

A little after 9pm, all the shirts were sold out, including the shirts left from the last two editions of the event. At this point, we were treated to a nice dinner at Casino Español de Manila.

Marielle and I with the boys.

Marielle and I with the boys. Photo by SPRDC.

Paella and Tortilla de Patata.

Paella and tortilla de patata.                                                                                                              

Aside from books, there were other supplementary activities that catered to a wide variety of people: la foto de la noche, concurso dibujo rápido, recital de chelo, cadena de poesía, clase de demonstración, presentación de AVE and jazz en el patio. The jazz concert was the one that tugged at my heart because it was the only one thing that enveloped me without leaving my designated spot. It helped that my spot was adjacent to the stage where the musicians performed. 🙂

The event was a very social one but the highlight for me was something more intimate, the Escribo el Quijote. The participants were tasked to copy by hand several lines of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quijote de la Mancha in Spanish. It took a village (to borrow Hillary Clinton’s words) to fill up several leaves of a hardbound book, yet there was a sense of sole proprietorship for that particular time that I was looking at and touching the pages of Don Quijote, reading Cervantes’ immortal words and moving my hands to reproduce his thoughts. While it only lasted for a couple of minutes, there was a strange connection between me and the author and his work. It was like time stood still for a while while I savor Cervantes’ words. The last pages of that book with the handwritten words of Cervantes’ timeless work were done by the volunteers.

Escribo el Quijote

Escribo el Quijote

Marielle and Jay took their turn at copying the words of Miguel de Cervantes

Marielle and Jay took their turn at copying the words of Miguel de Cervantes. Photos by SPRDC

José also participated in Escribo el Quijote.

José also participated in Escribo el Quijote. Photos by SPRDC

Cesar1 and Isabel manned the Escribo el Quijote area. They patiently dictated the words to the participants as they stood for hours on end.

Cesar1 and Isabel manned the Escribo el Quijote area. They patiently dictated the words to the participants as they stood for hours on end. Photos by SPRDC.

After the event, my fellow volunteers and I had our photos taken to remember the day that was. And it was a successful one.

The men of IC Manila. Photo by SPRDC.

The men of IC Manila. They remained cheerful as they did backbreaking work. Photo by SPRDC.

The hardworking and gorgeous (positive adjectives! hehe) volunteers of Día del Libro 2015 with Isabel. Me, Funfunfun Lemuel, Vivacious Ana, Joyous Juvy, Aaron, and La Presa.  Photos by SPRDC.

The hardworking and gorgeous (positive adjectives! hehe) volunteers of Día del Libro 2015 with the stunning Isabel. Me, Funfunfun Lemuel, Vivacious Ana, Joyous Juvy (my heir apparent), Eron, and La Presa. Photos by SPRDC.

At the end of the day, I was able to cull four books. Everything is in Spanish except for Laura Esquievel's Malinche. Thank you to those who gave us their receipts. :) Thank you, La Presa.

At the end of the day, I was able to cull four books. Everything is in Spanish except for Laura Esquievel’s Malinche. Thank you to those who gave us their receipts. 🙂 Thank you, La Presa.

Día del Libro was a family affair. I saw several children who tagged along with their parents, some of them with a rose or two while others had books but all of them were so cute. There was also a sense of amity and cooperation among the ICM family members, the professors, staff and students, pitched in to help the volunteers. Isabel and Cesar1 were staples at the Escribo el Quijote station. They stayed there until the event ended. Abby also helped in guiding the participants go to their proper places. There was a number of people who took it upon themselves to aid the hundreds of guests and participants and because of their invaluable help everything went off without a hitch.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Instituto Cervantes Manila’s Día Internacional del Libro

  1. wow, this is very nice Rose it starts my day better when i read it, el dia del libro was such a fun experience and the experience that i had its not only about el dia it self but as a student of IC that you need to be confident in speaking spanish in front of those visitors to make a positive impression that IC is the best spanish school in the country… I would like to thank Esperanza for hiring me as one of the volunteer till next time , and to my fellow volunteer it was such a great experience working with you all ,my best friend Ana, Rose, Marielle, Juvy, Eron and to our Jefe Jose ? Rose eres lo mejor y mas poder pa ra ti en su BLOG vale?

    1. Hi, Lemuel! 🙂 Thank you for reading. The feeling is mutual; I had so much fun working with you, guys. 🙂 Even if it was the first time I met you, Ana and Marielle, I felt comfortable with you guys, and every second we spent together was enjoyable. I hope to see you, Ana and Marielle soon.

    1. Hello, Marielle! 🙂 You are welcome and thank you for reading this entry. Yes, there were several of them. It was a shame that we did not see much of them from our vantage point, but it was worth it naman no? 🙂 I hope you had fun with us.

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