Manila International Book Fair 2017: Photo highlights from the 2017 MIBF
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When sunlight broke through feathery clouds on a clear Wednesday morning (September 13th), I knew it was going to be fine day to go and check out the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) at the SMX Convention in Pasay City. Just the day before, rain had come down in torrents, submerging Metro Manila in ankle-deep floodwater where I live (and up to waist-high in other areas). I’d been worried if the weather would improve enough the next day for me and my son to go. I prefer to visit the MIBF on its first day, which always falls on a weekday, when crowds are thinner and queues to the cash register shorter. As it turned out, I didn’t have to worry for long, as the sun shone brightly on the day the 38th Manila International Book Fair opened.
Our admission was free, courtesy of children’s book publisher Adarna House. You may download the free entrance passes from Adarna House’s website. As far as I know, they do not accept electronic copies/images of the ticket. You’ll need to print them out (black-and-white or colored) and hand them to the gatekeepers. Otherwise, admission will cost P20 per person.
The organizers had promised this year’s Manila International Book Fair would be bigger than ever, and boy, they weren’t kidding! The 2017 MIBF occupies two exhibition floors, teeming with books catering to all kinds of persuasion imaginable, from fiction to self-help, from cookbooks to travel anthologies, from Harry Potter to Nick Joaquin, and everything in-between. In addition to books, you’ll find teaching materials, magazine subscription offers, specialty paper and stationery, and painting and calligraphy tools. Meet-and-greet sessions with authors are always a big hit, so be sure to check out publishers’ Facebook pages for schedules and turn up early so you can secure a place offering the best vantage point.
I’ve transitioned mostly to e-book reading, and that helped me control my spending impulses. My book haul was paltry: earlier editions of Grades 5 and 6 Social Science textbooks from Rex Book Store for my son and an older edition of a High School I Social Sciences textbook covering Philippine History. I purchased them to supplement his homeschool Araling Panlipunan textbook, which is written in Filipino, a language he struggles with. Each textbook costs only P50, which is quite a steal. If you’re going to the Manila International Book Fair just for older textbooks, take my advice: go straight to the Rex Publishing booth on the first floor, because the lines to the cashier can be exceedingly long. There was only one working cashier when we visited, but I expect more to be open in the weekend.
Here’s another tip: Adarna House is on the second floor (the floor plan erroneously says “Third Floor,” but it’s really the Second). National Bookstore has Flash Sales for certain titles, when they slash the price for already-discounted books. I guess it’s a ploy to keep customers from straying, and I have to say the person who came up with this idea is a genius. Children’s book titles from National Bookstore are also located on the second floor, so if you want to snag the Harry Potter boxset at 20 percent off, that’s the place to go to.
Don’t forget to bring your own reusable bags. Happy book hunting! The 38th Manila International Book Fair runs from September 13 to 17, 2017, 10:00 AM-8:00PM, at the SMX Convention Center.