Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Manila International Book Fair 2011 brings books closer to the Filipino people

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc. (ACCI), Overseas Publishers Representatives' Association of the Philippines (OPRAP) and the Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc. (PBAI) organized the 32nd Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) 2011 from September 14 to 18 at the Exhibit Halls 1-4 housed in the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex, Pasay City.

“32 years ago the MIBF was an odd experiment held at Philsite, a venue in Pasay that has since been demolished. Getting book lovers to come in was difficult," Lirio Sandoval, President of the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), who was a runner and jack-of-all-trades during the first MIBF, recalled.

"Many went out of curiosity but very few bought books. Nobody reported a profit, not even National Book Store. We were there simply for the love of books," he remembered.
Things have changed over the year with the Fair having attracted huge number of visitors over all five days recently with more than a hundred exhibitors occupying the four halls of SMX Convention Centre.

According to Irene Lloren, President of Primetrade Asia, Inc, the MIBF has evolved from an industry- and academe-centered occasion into a "lifestyle event." Its objective, however, has remained the same: "to bring books closer to the Filipino people."

The National Book Development Board Chairman, Dennis T. Gonzalez, in his speech during the MIBF’s opening ceremony, opined that the fundamentals of the local book industry were "solid and strong enough to meet the challenges and grasp the opportunities of the Digital Revolution."

Blooey Singson, who works as a PR executive besides being a newspaper contributor for the Students and Campuses section of Manila Bulletin, and is also a published children’s book illustrator, is a regular visitor to the MIBF having built a mountain of to-be-read books which threatened to burst through the roof if she didn’t read them fast enough.

“I’m home after the last day of the MIBF and I think I carted out the biggest haul I’ve had in years. I thought last year’s loot was quite a haul, but it pales in comparison to this year’s three-post-running loot, and I’m glad my mom is out of town, or else I’d have to smuggle my purchases inside the house,” she blogged.

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