The 36th Manila International Book Fair, Part I

Earlier, some friends and I went to The 36th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, in Pasig City. MIBF is the biggest and long-running book fair in the Philippines and as such I expected hundreds of books, thousands of people and hundreds of discounts off the cover price of each book. My expectations were easily met right off the bat. As soon as I entered the main hall, I saw thousands of books. The soft, almost negligible voice of the book lover in me screamed like a lunatic and prompted me to be like her, go crazy and buy all the titles in sight. I did not do that, but I saw teenagers and their parents hugging dozens of books to take advantage of the 30% to 80% discount offered by the sellers. I was elated to see many young people buying books and actually looking at them and not at their tablets or mobile phones.

The maze-like area was too huge and too easy to get lost in. Within five minutes, my friends and I separated and decided through text messages to meet at the booth of Instituto Cervantes Manila (ICM). I was surprised because I did not know that ICM had a booth there. 🙂

I walked at a turtle pace and took in the scene in front of me: endless rows of shelves teeming with books, children’s toys, Biblical characters walking around (promotion of a bookstore that sell religious items), the smell of burger wafting through the air, the continuous movement of people, most of them with purpose – buying books at a huge discount or finding that rare source material needed in class. I took photos using my mobile phone while looking at the number of each booth (I was looking for booth 434, ICM’s space). I started with 100+ and did not know that 434 was at the opposite end of where I was. So I continued walking until I stumbled upon the booth of National Historical Commission. I immediately looked at the books, particularly the ones about Jose Rizal. I was not disappointed because there were shelves of books by and about Rizal. There were even shirts for sale with his image and likeness.

Jose Rizal shirts.

Philippine heroes shirts.

Books available at National Historical Commission (NHC)

Some of the books available at National Historical Commission (NHC)

Prosa by Jose Rizal

Prosa (Prose) by Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo (Facsimile)

Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. These copies are not tiny because they are the same size as the original edition.

Jose Rizal and his powerful masterpieces, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

Jose Rizal and his powerful masterpieces, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, as they measure up to their creator. I would like to think that this is a life-size standee of Rizal.

Of course, I had to pose beside Rizal and his novels. :)

Of course, I had to pose beside Rizal and his novels. 🙂 I stood closer to El Filibusterismo because I like it more than Noli Me Tangere. It is the second Filipino novel I finished (Noli is the first), and at 14, I was so frustrated at how the story ended. I reread it when I was in my 20s and my frustration became less severe.

The novels are in Spanish, and in Rizal's penmanship (he had really good penmanship, like Apolinario Mabini) because well, they are based on the manuscript.

The novels are in Spanish, and in Rizal’s penmanship (he had really good penmanship, like Apolinario Mabini) because they are facsimiles of the original manuscript.

Page 34 of Rizal's Noli Me Tangere.

Page 94 of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. There are revisions on the left side of the page. Thank you, Mr. NHC for securing the page for me while I took photos. 🙂

Page 102 of Rizal's Noli Me Tangere.

Page 102 of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere.

Page 103 of Rizal's Noli ME Tangere.

Page 103 of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. I translated some parts of it for the people who let me take these photos. 🙂

Page 141 of Rizal's Noli ME Tangere.

Pages 140 and 141 of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere.

I left the NHC booth to proceed to ICM booth to find my friends, but they were not there. Instead I found Manolo, ICM’s newly-appointed librarian. He arrived in the Philippines less than two weeks ago.

Instituto Cervantes Manila booth at The 36th Manila International Book Fair.

Instituto Cervantes Manila booth at the 36th Manila International Book Fair.

Some of the books on display at ICM booth

Some of the books on display at ICM booth

Some of the books on display at ICM booth

Some of the books on display at ICM booth

Some of the books on display at ICM booth

Some of the books on display at ICM booth

Some of the books on display at ICM booth

Some of the books on display at ICM booth

Aside from holding classes, ICM also promotes Spanish language and culture through books and films.

Aside from holding classes, ICM also promotes Spanish language and culture through books and films.

With Manolo at the ICM booth at The 36th Manila International Book Fair

With Manolo at the ICM booth at the 36th Manila International Book Fair

With Mai at the ICM booth

With Mai at the ICM booth

On our way to lunch, we passed by people handing out cards that would enable the holders to have their photo taken with the image and likeness of the Philippines’ pride, Manny Pacquiao. So I asked my companions to wait for me (hehe) while I complete the set of eight and have my photo taken. I asked eight different people for a card each. Within five minutes, I was done.

The first 4 of the set of eight cards starring Manny "Pacman" Pacquaio as aswang vanquisher.

The first 4 of the set of eight cards starring Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio as aswang vanquisher.

The last 4 of the set of eight cards starring Manny "Pacman" Pacquaio as aswang vanquisher.

The last 4 of the set of eight cards starring Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio as aswang vanquisher.

And this was my best imitation of Pacman. :) Photo by SPRDC.

And this was my best imitation of Pacman. 🙂 I know I did not move my feet! Photos by SPRDC.

The 36th Manila International Book Fair runs from September 16 to 20, 2015 at SMX Convention Center Mall of Asia Complex, Pasig City. Gates open at 10am and close at 8pm. Entrance is P20.00 (US $0.43) or one can get free tickets from the participants like National Book Store or Fully Booked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *