The Philippines brought sunshine to Frankfurt once again as the country’s top local publishing companies participated for the third straight year at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF) held on 11-15 October 2017 at the Frankfurt Exhibition Grounds, Germany.
The Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP) and the National Book Development Board (NBDB) brought together sixteen publishers and publishing groups under the theme, “Books Philippines: A New Wave of Storytelling.”
For this year, the delegation members included the following:
- ABC Educational Development Center
- Adarna House, Inc.
- Anvil Publishing House
- Ateneo De Manila University Press
- Book Development Association of the Philippines
- C & E Publishing
- Central Books
- Claretian Communications Foundation
- Lampara Publishing House and Precious Pages
- Page Jump Media
- Rex Publishing House
- University of the Philippines Press
- Vicarish Publications
- WS Pacific Publications
- Primetrade Asia
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) sponsored two artists who joined the delegation: children’s book illustrator Liza Flores and book writer Carla Pacis.
The Philippine Pavilion continued to banner the brand theme “Books Philippines: A New Wave of Storytelling,” featuring different genres of books produced by the participating publishing houses, ranging from children’s books to young adult literature, biographies and history books to contemporary fiction, and text books to hardbound books on Philippine arts and culture.
“The Philippines is coming close to the end of the ‘being noticed, being recognized’ phase,” NBDB Chair Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz observed. “This is only the third year that we have had a country stand and we are committed to participate consistently at the Frankfurt Book Fair.”
Children’s books, in particular, have been garnering special attention at the trade fair. BDAP President Ani Rosa Almario noted that “from our conversations with agents and publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Filipino children’s books are slowly being noticed for our unique storytelling and our excellent art. Children’s books showcase our country’s imagination, and reflect the issues that concern us as a nation.”
During the formal opening of the Philippine Pavilion, Minister and Consul Adrian Cruz of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin thanked the NBDB and the participating publishing groups for helping promote a culture of reading and authorship among Filipinos. He urged the Philippine delegation to help cultivate the intellect of Filipinos and encourage them to become critical thinkers.
The Philippine delegation also boosted awareness and interest in local literature and culture when, on 12 October 2017, the NBDB and BDAP participated at the ASEAN Forum and at the book launching of “The First Five: A New Collection of Southeast Asian Writing,” a joint publication venture by Ateneo de Manila University Press (Philippines), Buku Fixi (Malaysia), Ethos Books (Singapore), Silkworm Books (Thailand) and Yayasan Pustaka Obor (Indonesia). The publication represents the publishers’ commitment to shared languages and friendships that defy cultural and national boundaries.
The continued presence of the Philippines at the Book Fair was made possible through the subsidy provided by the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, who helped (NBDB) secure a budget for the professionally-designed and eye-catching country pavilion.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is held annually at the Frankfurt Trade Fair Grounds and is considered the world’s largest and oldest trade fair for books. It is the biggest marketplace where publishers, agents, authors, media professionals, artists, illustrators, antiquarians and book and trade associations converge to negotiate publishing and licensing rights. (END)