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Book Fair Roaming: Manila International Book Fair 2016

It’s that time of the year again! The Urban Roamer has once again made its way at the Manila International Book Fair. Would you believe this is already the 37th edition of this event?

As can be expected of such events, the venue (which again is the SMX Convention Center) is packed with a lot of visitors coming in to check out the titles being sold and the new titles being introduced. Unlike last year, there were no trends to watch out for in this year’s MIBF. At least that’s from this roamer’s perspective. Still there were many interesting things to see in the recent MIBF that still makes it a must-visit trade fair every year.

So what was to see in the recent Manila International Book Fair? Let’s take a look at some of the highlights after the break

TV hosts Tintin Bersola-Babao and Chinkee Tan at a book signing event

Among the established Philippine publishers with a presence at the MIBF, Vibal showcased its Filipiniana hardbound books on Botong Francisco, Damian Domingo, Isabelo Tampinco, and Philippine Cartography

Speaking of Vibal, they also published this neat series of children’s dictionaries for the different Philippine languages, from Ivatan to Maguindanaon.

Bookmark’s “Modern Heroes for the Filipino Youth” series of children’s books which tells the lives of notable contemporary Filipino figures from Gen. Vicente Lim to Jimmy Ongpin to Lino Brocka.

Speaking of children’s books, Tahanan Books showcased a unique children’s book that tackles with Philippine prehistory.

Then there’s new children’s book by basketball player Marc Pingris which talks about his life and success in the hardcourt. The book was launched during the MIBF itself; he even had a book signing that day as well.

New and independent publishers also have a presence in the book fair, which is a good thing.

The event was also an opportunity to check out those rare books on sale, whether these are books published long ago, or books that are rarely available here.

Books published by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines

Rex Bookstore’s booth is always a treat to visit every MIBF. This year, their booth’s theme is about the unique festivals from the different parts of the world, with some festival masks on display too.

Jesuit Communication Foundation had some books to showcase and some more. In the heels of the critical praise they garnered for their film “Ignacio de Loyola”, some items and memorabilia were on display at the booth, particularly this dress worn by one of the film’s characters.

As a parting shot, I’ll close this out with this image that tells the evolution of learning as we know it. Unlike in previous years when we would see that glorious 32-volume set being sold in the booth, you will no longer see that set in Britannica’s booth in this year’s MIBF. Instead, it has shifted its focus to digital learning as tries to not only keep up with the times but also to compete with the rest Internet as far as online learning is concerned, especially that most of the online learning being shared is virtually free.

I have to say this year’s Manila International Book Fair had more to offer as far as publications are concerned, and it’s nice to see that. As always, I cannot wait to see what next year’s MIBF has in store for me and other bibliophiles out there!

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