Iloilo Mega Book Fair 2024 creates a treasure trove for writers and readers alike

Iloilo Mega Book Fair 2024 creates a treasure trove for writers and readers alike

The Iloilo Mega Book Fair (IMBF) celebrated its 7th year in Iloilo City from April 19–21, drawing in writers, publishers, and book lovers, creating a buzz of excitement in the literary community.

The Leoncio P. Deriada Conference on Literature and Cultural Work began enthusiastically, with National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario delivering a keynote address titled "Ang Panay sa Panitikang Pambansa" at UP Visayas' Cinema Exmundo.

After the keynote address, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the IMBF signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Cinematheque. At SM City Iloilo North Point, there was a lively book expo with networking sessions for buyers. Attendees also enjoyed a thought-provoking lecture by Kevin Ansel Dy titled “Reading the Filipino Readers.”

The second day featured engaging book presentations, such as a stimulating talk on writing poetry by Marjorie Evasco. Attendees also enjoyed the launch of the SEAtizens’ Field Guide to Commercially-Important Fishes of Fisheries Management Area 11, providing valuable information on marine life. Sessions on copyright, focusing on books, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) were led by experts Leonor 'Beng' Reyes and Atty. Jeremy Bayaras, exploring the connections between literature, copyright, and technology.

IMBF founders Prof. Noel Galon de Leon and Prof. Ealy Sol Gadong introduced the Literary Roadmap, outlining the future of literature in Iloilo City. This was followed by the launch of the 2024 Panayanon Monograph Series, showcasing publications from Kasingkasing Press like Gutsy by Phillippe Tanchuan, Pocket Universe by Martin Ortiz, Transience by Ian Tayona, and Pagdahu ka Surundon: A Reference Book on Panay Guimaras Traditional Knowledge Systems, which was edited by Anna Razel Ramirez. The titles added diverse voices and perspectives to the literary and publication scene.

Before the unveiling of "Benjamin," the Monumental Hiligaynon Novel by Angel M. Magahum (1907), translated by John E. Barrios and Fennie May Tanangonan, attendees engaged in a discussion with Rafael J. Jardeleza Jr., author of "Flavors of Iloilo" and a recipient of the National Book Award from the Manila Critics Circle and the National Book Development Board.

On the third day, attendees immersed themselves in lectures exploring the intricacies of publishing, beginning with “Understanding Licensing, Contracts, and Fair Use: A Guide from the Intellectual Property Office” led by Attorney Jeremy Bayaras and Ms. Malou Ilacio.

Following this, Ms. Zea Asis conducted a captivating book reading of her work “Iterations on Intimacy,” which was followed by an engaging Q&A session and book signing.

The day concluded with the exciting unveiling of the latest zine release titled "Emerging Voices" by UPV and WVSU Young Writers, marking a dynamic end to the day's events.

The lively display of exhibit booths and kiosks, filled with books and assorted items, attracted many visitors, turning the book fair into a joyful celebration of writing, publishing, and creativity.

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