Happy National Children’s Book Day!

Every third Tuesday of July, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), the organization committed to the development of children’s literature in the Philippines, leads the celebration of National Children’s Book Day, commemorating the anniversary of the publication of Jose Rizal’s The Monkey and the Turtle in Trubner’s Oriental Record in London.

Rizal’s The Monkey and the Turtle is said to be the first illustrated story for children. A draft of the story is scribbled on an album belonging to Juan Luna’s wife Paz Pardo de Tavera. The story is based on a Filipino fable about the silly monkey and a clever turtle and is an elementary school staple in the Philippines. In fact, one of my fondest memories of grade school is connected to this story. In second grade, this was our class’s piece for Sabayang Pagbigkas (class oratorical contest) on Linggo ng Wika, with half the class playing “Pagong” (turtle) and the other half playing “Matsing” (monkey). Hahaha, I was in the monkey group and I still remember the very emphatic “Tatadtarin kita nang pinong-pino!” (I will chop you into tiny pieces!).

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MIBF highlights


I can’t believe the 30th Manila International Book Fair is finally over, and that I have to count twelve whole months until the next one. I love this year’s book fair loot, and while a couple of specialty book stores sat this book fair out, I think it served well to highlight local publishers and smaller booksellers.

While I’ve been to the book fair almost every day of the event for five consecutive years, I must say that getting to share it with the readers of this blog has made this year’s book fair extra-special. I hope my posts were helpful to those attending the book fair, and to those away from Manila, I hope you got a peek into the book fair experience.

Here is one last post, with photos of other highlights of the five days of the MIBF.

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