ANYBODY OF THE opinion that no one reads physical books definitely hasn’t been to the annual Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), which traditionally welcomes hordes of bookworms. On its 39th season, the fair, which runs from Sept. 12–16 at the SMX Mall of Asia, is expecting around 150,000 visitors.
The annual festival hasn’t only grown in number of attendees but in scope as well. Aside from offering discounts on textbooks, fiction stories, limited prints, collector items, and school supplies, MIBF is also organizing a comic and pop culture event.
Called the “Pop Hub: Comic Splash x Fandom Fest,” it caters to all things millennial, like fandom groups. Following its success last year, the event promised that this year’s edition would be “bigger and bolder… not only for fandom groups, but also for the whole comic and pop culture community.” The lineup includes cosplay competitions, workshops, selfie opportunities, and panel discussions.
Prominent comic book creators, artists, writers, directors, animators, illustrators, collectors, academics, comic fans, editors—basically, anyone—is welcome to attend the event at SMX Mall of Asia Function Room 3 this the weekend, Sept. 15 and 16.
Pop Hub aside, MIBF will see thousands of best-sellers and new releases available at discounted prices, from young adult and fiction novels like Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians trilogies. The inventory also includes children’s classics like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Jeff Kinney’s Diary of A Wimpy Kid series; non-fiction and reference books, ranging from academic, business, lifestyle, self-help, and more.
The schedule is packed. Fans will get to meet and greet literary legends Butch Dalisay and Lualhati Bautista, best-selling authors Marcelo Santos III and Juan Miguel Severo, and celebrity authors Mark Bautista and Lloyd Cadena. Meanwhile, Younger actor and queer poet Nico Tortorella will have a book signing event on Sept. 16; they will discuss their book all of it is you, and perform spoken word poetry.
More than a hundred exhibitors are joining this edition of MIBF, among them indie bookshops, bookstore chains, university publications, local publishing outfits, and religious publications. For the complete schedule of events, go to manilabookfair.com/schedule-special-events. — NDG