World Book Day 2016

Día del Libro (World Book Day) was held last April 23, 2016 at Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City from 11AM to 11PM. Brought to the Philippines by  Instituto Cervantes in 2006, it is a tradition that started in Spain where women and men exchange books and roses. It was my first time to attend such kind of celebration and what I expected to be just another book fair event turned out be so much more.

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Commemorating Literary Icons

Aside from reliving a tradition, Día del Libro  also pays tributes to important names in literature. In the Philippines, April is declared as the National Literature Month by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) to honor Francisco Balagtas, renowned Filipino poet. In world literature, the death of two icons, William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, is being commemorated.

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So basically, Día del Libro is about books, tradition and literary icons. Doesn’t sound that exciting, huh? That was just an introduction, okay? Just so you know the significance of the event before we get down to the fun activities.

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I’ve attended several book affairs before and I must admit, Día del Libro is a one-of-a-kind celebration! With the short amount of time I stayed, there were so many things I  truly adored during the event!

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Things I Adored at Día del Libro

Buy Books on Sale

All books are on sale! Yes, you can get a book for as low as PHP50. I was able to buy a Lonely Planet travel guide book for PHP100 (original price around PHP1K) which almost looked brand new.

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I was supposed to buy two but an old man got the other one, haha! I bought Middle East and he took India (one of my target destinations). He looked at me and said in his Spanish accent, “Why buy Middle East?”. I smiled and asked him back, “Why not (In my mind, I want to go to Turkey and Jordan!)?”. Also, I got this “exotic” and old Agatha Christie book published in Spanish. Old books are like antiques to me!

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Get a Rose for Buying a Book

As I’ve mentioned, Día del Libro is a tradition in Spain where women and men exchange books and roses. During the event, you’ll get a stem of rose when you buy a book. For me, a book and a rose is just a perfect and sweet combination!

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Read and Exchange Books in a Pop-up Library

A pop-up library called The Book Stop was also organized during the event. The Book Stop attempts to redefine the typical library that we know. They intended to put the libraries in open spaces where people will not only enjoy reading but at the same, interact with fellow bookworms and share the love for books. You can also exchange your books here!

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Rewriting of Don Quixote

This is one of my most favorite parts of the event, hand-writing a copy of Don Quixote! This is a tribute to the 400th death anniversary of its famous Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes.

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I have a copy of the book and I even watched a Don Quixote ballet show by Ballet Manila several years ago. The hand-written book will be placed in the library of Instituto Cervantes (I’m part of history, yay!).

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Buy Cool Shirts!

I love statement shirts (positive statement shirts to be specific)! I have a few in my closet. But it’s my first time to buy a shirt with cool lines from famous poems. The shirts came from Instituto Cervantes and you’ll get a free Spanish book if you buy one (and a rose, too!). I was supposed to buy the shirt with Jose Rizal’s Mi Último Adiós but it was sold out at an early time of the day!

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There are also shirts printed onsite from the National Development Board’s booth with quotes from the winning books in the 34th National Book Awards.

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Spanish Food

Those bookworms slash foodies might have feast on Spanish food during the event! I was not able to try, hopefully next time!

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Free Souvenir Photo!

Yes, there was a booth for free souvenir photos!

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Loads of Entertainment and Other Activities

Aside from the things I mentioned, there were a lot of other activities that happened. Some visitors got a henna tattoo for free!

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There were presentations including Guitarra Flamenca and performance from the UP Singing Ambassadors. There was also a free 30-min Spanish lessons facilitated by Instituto Cervantes.  And so much more!!! Next time, I will definitely stay longer!

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The Best Part

No admission fee!!!

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11 Comments

  1. Reply

    ROBERT LEE

    April 25, 2016

    I bet it was fun looking around, especially for book lovers/readers. I can appreciate a good walk looking at books since I don’t get to see much of physical ones nowadays (because of ebooks).

    Ok din yung me kasamang rose when you buy a book ha. That is a cool idea!

  2. Reply

    Jen

    April 25, 2016

    I didn’t know there is an event like that held in Makati. I should’ve come if I only knew 😐 I love books! I’ve already read 4 books since Jan 2016. You’re so lucky to be able to attend that event! The tradition of giving flowers in exchange of books was also great! Also, the idea of having the event outside and in the gardens was a fantastic idea. Readers will be able to enjoy reading their books and have quality time with their family and friends.

  3. Reply

    Berlin

    April 26, 2016

    Music. Book. Food. And roses. What more can I ask for or others who simply love all four. Didnt learn about the event, sayang.

  4. Reply

    Karla | karlaroundtheworld

    April 26, 2016

    I didn’t know such an event existed. It’s good to cultivate love for reading and for book lovers to get together. Great way to spend it definitely.

  5. Reply

    Sheri

    April 26, 2016

    This looks like a fun activity to take part in. I love reading books. even though a lot of people read online nowadays, I like the idea of having a book in my hand and reading it in bed or on the sofa. I also love going to bookstores and getting lost in there in order while searching for a book I want to by. I wish we had more events like that here for English readers.

  6. Reply

    sabine

    April 26, 2016

    This must be heaven if you love books. The food looks good and the event looks cosy. I like to read books digitally, but I think the feeling of having a book that you’re a true fan of, is the best. A real book has it’s charme.
    http://www.sofarsosabine.com

  7. Reply

    Me-An Clemente

    April 26, 2016

    Awesome! This looks really fun and worth it. My colleague was inviting me to attend this. However, I already had planned events. I can’t believe they’re just selling Lonely Planet guides for just PhP 100 especially the Middle Eastern book. Hahaha! The one that you got. I’ve been to UAE, but there are still other countries to be explored. I especially want to go to Turkey and ride a hot air balloon in Cappadoccia. Anyway, it’s cool that they give a rose for a book. It’s really a different experience. Also, I find it nice that they have jam packed activities. I hop next year it doesn’t happen with an important food event. April is National Food Month too from what I know 🙂 Hope to be friends with you in person. I’m sure we’ll have a lot to talk about with travel stories.

  8. Reply

    Nin Sogue

    April 27, 2016

    Oh my, I’m so envious that I missed this event! I love books especially when they’re old. As long as they’re not dilapidated, I’d choose a book with history than a new one. 🙂

  9. Reply

    Bettina Bacani

    April 27, 2016

    OHHH this was last Saturday! We passed by Ayala Triangle that day and I was wondering why there were so many people! Kaya pala! Ugh sayang I didn’t hear about this earlier, would’ve been cool to take part!

  10. Reply

    Raffa

    April 27, 2016

    I love book fairs (how we call it in Europe). I can’t wait for the one taking place in Lisbon in June, it will be amazing. There’s really something about going around and see all the books, sometimes antiques and sometimes new, the smell of the pages, and the fresh air all around us. Ahh I love it!

  11. Reply

    bluedreamer27

    April 28, 2016

    I am not really a bookworm but this seems like a very interesting event..
    Oh I know Don Quixote! I remember forcing myself reading that long novel LOL because our teacher asked me to haha.. I love that idea of handwritting that novel again
    you are not just part of that history but it feels like you are immortalizing your handwriting too since the book will be preserved in a library

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