In case you didn’t know, April is National Literature Month, and the National Book Development Board (NBDB) is planning to take Philippine literature global. In celebration of National Literature Month, they’ll be launching the 12th Philippine International Literary Festival, which brings together authors, storytellers, audiences and publishers in their shared love for literature.
For this edition, the festival’s theme will be “Reclaiming our Narrative: 500 Years of Filipino Storytelling,” which is also a great introduction to our local literature for the global audience. NBDB’s newly minted executive director Charisse Aquino-Tugade has high hopes for the festival coming from the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“The festival re-examines our narratives and celebrates our great storytelling traditions. Although this pandemic has caused uncertainty, we endeavor to provide an avenue for our creatives and the wider public to connect, dialogue, and continue the creative process,” said Aquino-Tugade.
The NBDB has numerous events scheduled this month and beyond for the literary festival. To kick things off, they’ll be live streaming conversations by Filipino creatives from around the world with their “Author on Author” and “Post-Pandemic Futures” series.
Aspiring writers will want to tune into the first episode of “Author on Author.” Entitled “Grit and Grime,” the show will unpack the creative processes of some of our country’s most esteemed authors. For history buffs, the first installment of “Post-Pandemic Futures” will focus on the Boxer Codex, Baybayin and establishing identity—which is an especially hot topic these days.
Aside from these events, the NBDB will be taking readers on a virtual tour of independent bookstores around the country through “My Book, My City.”
More events are slated to take place in the coming months. For July, a library-building program for the indigenous populations called “Book Nook” is set to launch with the aim of making Filipino-authored works more accessible to more Filipinos. This August, they’ve slated a grant-giving program that wants to provide regional micro-entrepreneurs the tools they need to build their own Filipiniana Sections called “Book-and-Buy.”