For self-confessed bookworms like me, entering a field of books or a library is a lovely dream. That is just what happened to me recently after attending the Manila International Book Fair which ran from September 12 to 16, 2012 at the SMX MOA in Pasay City last weekend. Who said the Philippines was not a book-reading country? If there is any indication that would refute this statement, then this is IT.
Throngs of young and old people made their way to MOA to sift through a wide array of books carrying a variety of topics. It probably helped that nearby SM was on a mall-wide sale, so everybody was just on a crazy shopping spree. But going back though, one will simply enjoy peering at the pages of books ranging from the popular titles (E. L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” was prominently displayed at eye level at Fully Booked to ensure that bibliophiles won’t miss it) to “manga-zines” as I like to call them. If you were lucky and diligent enough to scour the whole area, you’ll find yourself really nice titles at dirt cheap prices. I got books which I practically bought for a song! These will keep me busy for a long time.
Far from being blah, this year’s book fair was full of nice surprises. Besides the usual quiz bees and story telling contests, it was loaded with a lot of book signing too. The Saturday which I attended, I was lucky to find my favorite historian Ambeth Ocampo, actress Rita Avila, and funny man Tado signing for fans. Talk ‘N Text ball player Kelly Williams and Ai Ai delas Alas were also present to grace the event on separate occasions, the latter emceeing a bible quiz show for kids. The funny bone that she is, it is simply hard not to laugh when Ai Ai is around, entertaining everybody with her antics.
Ebooks and interactive media is gaining better coverage this year as Philippine publishing giants Central Books, Diwa, and C & E best out each other with the latest in ebook publishing and interactive learning materials for children. We are seeing a broader spectrum of materials that aim to benefit both educator and student in schools and elsewhere.
Where did people go to the most? At BARGAIN STORES? One store near the entrance sold all titles for P100 each – and these are hard bound ones! Again, quite a steal for bookworms who want to indulge in their passion but don’t want to break the bank. Other popular stores included National Bookstore, Fully Booked, Precious Hearts Romances, St. Paul Publications (as well as most religious stores selling bibles there), and PSI.
The visit could have taken longer were it not for the humongous traffic that awaited me outside the venue. With the mall-wide sale and heavy rains putting a damper on the event, I only spent a few hours at the fair. It normally takes me the whole afternoon to get lost inside a mall’s book section, but for this particular day I made it really brief and bought only a few items. If I had taken longer, I would have bought more – much to my hubby’s dismay (he’s not a bookie and treats books as junk). Regardless, I enjoyed the event and will be coming back next year to expect more surprises.
A lovely day to all!