Philippines joins Frankfurt Book Fair 2021


(Left to right) Remains of Daryll Delgado, Seven Slippers by Divine Gil Reyes and Benjor Catindig, Journey of a Thousand Shuttles: The Philippine Weave by Norma Respecio, and You Shall Be As Gods: Anting-anting and the Filipino Quest for Mystical Power by Dennis Santos Villegas are just a few of the books the country will showcase at the 2021 Frankfurt Book Fair.

Filipinos will once again raise their flag on the international creative scene as the Philippines join the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2021 (Frankfurt Book Fair 2021), the largest and oldest trade fair for books and content. The fair will take place from October 20 to 24.

For this sixth consecutive appearance at the show, the National Book Development Board (NBDB) – a leading research and development agency in the book publishing and production value chain in the Philippines – gathered in Frankfurt, Germany , the best publishers in the country, including 19th Avenida, Adarna House, Anvil Publishing, Ateneo de Manila University Press, Milfores Publishing, University of the Philippines Press, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, Komiket and many more.

“We wanted to go beyond just showcasing Filipino literature, Filipino works, and the skills of others in the Philippine publishing industry. We wanted to sell rights, in other words, we wanted generate concrete economic returns for the Philippines, ”said the president of the NBDB. Dante Francis “Klink” Ang 2nd said at a press conference.

According to Ang – who is also the president and CEO of the Manila Times – his dreams of using international book fairs like Frankfurter Buchmesse as platforms to change the mindset in the Philippines. He wants to prove that books can also be an export product from the country.

“Who better to tell our story than the Filipinos themselves. Of course what we are showcasing are not only published products but also other industry stakeholders – writers, editors, artists and we hope that through our participation in Frankfurt and other international events, these people will also gain recognition and possibly contracts from which they would benefit, ”noted Ang.

Award-winning designer Jowee Alviar of Team Manila created this year’s booth with the theme “Myth, Magic, and the City: Reclaiming our Narrative”.

A wide range of Filipino books including contemporary fiction, graphic novels, children’s literature, young adult literature, and non-fiction titles, especially on culture, history and cuisine, will be presented.

“Our vision is“ An archipelago of stories ”. By identifying ourselves as an archipelago, we put into perspective how the Philippines should be valued – a community that thrives on its great diversity. Whatever the myriad of our voices together, we are a harmony of cultures focusing on stories rather than a storyteller, ”Charisse Aquino-Tugade, CEO of CDBN 3 shared her message.

“We have 7,641 islands with 110 regional languages ​​and immense creative capital, rich literature and a very unique Filipino history and this is what we would like to translate,” she added.

An exciting digital program from the Philippines awaits the 2021 Frankfurt Book Fair. Offerings range from virtual exhibits, special presentations, to loud voices on climate stories, epic sagas and colorful messages of inclusiveness and modern twists. on Filipino folklore.

The theme for this year’s Filipino booth, “Myth, Magic, and the City: Reclaiming our Narrative,” was imagined by Tugade and designed by award-winning designer Jowee Alviar of Team Manila.

“The design weaves images of Filipino mythology and textures of ethnolinguistic designs and patterns. The effect is a series of panels, each serving as a piece in the narrative creating a rich tapestry of Filipino culture and identity.” , explained Tugade.

NBDB will also launch the world’s first digital content at Frankfurter Buchmesse this year.

Proceeds from sales will be used to donate printed copies of “The Last Moon” to BNDB’s “The Book Nook” project, at storytelling and reading sites in indigenous and remote communities in the Philippines.

This year’s participation is a step in the long journey ahead for the Philippines, with their intention to bid for guest of honor in 2025.

It was in 2015 that Indonesia became the guest of honor at the prestigious publishing event – which is why the team believes 2025 will be the time when they return to Southeast Asia. .

“Our theme will be ‘Imagination Populates the Air.’ Being the guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair, a transnational and transdisciplinary global event, is to consolidate attention to Filipino books, ”explained Tugade.

“Bidding is letting our postcolonial imagination rehabilitate air and space, letting our people express themselves and tell our story, with our many voices. To bid is to affirm the important work we all do in the book publishing industries of the world. Imagination populates the air and makes all our books fly, ”she added.

Vice President Loren Legarda, a strong supporter of the project and having visited the Philippine pavilion at FBF 2018 and FBF 2019, reiterated her support for the Philippines’ bid to be the guest of honor.

As a reminder, the country participated for the first time in the Frankfurter Buchmesse in 1998 until 2000 but was not able to maintain it. The BNDB managed to participate again in 2015, although under very modest conditions, and in 2016, was able to set up a pavilion executed with professionalism thanks to the support of Legarda, who, then chair of the Senate finance committee, increased the budget for the participation of the Philippines.

“In this year’s participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair, we will be the revealing punch. All the beautiful titles we will present at the fair will testify to the undeniable talent, intelligence and creativity of the Filipinos,” Legarda said in her post. during the press conference.

“I am optimistic that all titles will shine for the Filipino collective and that our stories will be heard loud and clear – a strong voice that we will present to the world. This was in 2015, when the Frankfurt Book Fair had a country of Southeast Asia as a guest of honor, and I hope and claim that 2025 will be our year and it will be the Philippines’ turn to stand out and shine, “she concluded.


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