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PH to make its debut at Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2024.

The National Book Development Board (NBDB) and its partner, The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), are set to make a historic debut at the 2024 Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) from April 8 to 11, 2024 at the BolognaFiere Exhibition Centre, Bologna. This is a milestone for the Philippine children’s book sector, as it marks the country’s first-ever participation at the world’s biggest international fair for children’s content.

With the Philippine children’s book sector thriving and highly sought-after in the local publishing industry, this debut offers a long-awaited opportunity to showcase the country’s children’s content, which is among the most widely translated genres, to a global audience.

A curated selection of 103 books, exploring themes such as culture, diversity, identity, peace, community, and the environment, will be featured at the Philippines’ country stand at the BCBF.

The delegation includes acclaimed artists Beth Parrocha (The Pencil Who Would Not Write, Bulul), Liza Flores (The Secret is in the Soil), and authors Russell Molina (Tuwing Sabado, Sandosenang Kuya), and Mary Ann Ordinario (My Muslim Friend, War Makes Me Sad).

It aims to not only present the talent of Filipino creators but also to secure translation rights, expand networks with foreign publishers, and foster collaborations between local and international counterparts.

Additionally, Philippine comics will take center stage at the BCBF’s Comics Corner, courtesy of Avenida Books founder and Trese publisher Nida Ramirez, who has been honored with a fellowship from the BolognaFiere Group.

Establishing the country’s presence in the BCBF—as well as in the upcoming Asian Festival for Children’s Content, where it will be the Country of Focus, and the upcoming Guest of Honor role in Frankfurter Buchmesse 2025, shall help solidify the Philippines as an emerging creative content capital in Southeast Asia. We cannot wait to introduce our children’s book industry to the global stage—the many Filipino authors and publishers exploring themes of peace identity and community,” notes Executive Director, Charisse Aquino-Tugade.

Since its inception in 1964, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair has been the premier platform for professionals in children’s content worldwide, providing opportunities for networking, rights selling, and cross-media adaptation, along with educational activities.

This year, with over 1,500 exhibitors from around 100 countries, including the Philippines, the fair anticipates over 25,000 visitors. The Philippines’ country stand, designed by the award-winning artist and illustrator Aldy Aguirre, is located at Hall 29, Stand B24-C23.

For industry professionals interested in attending, tickets for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair can be purchased at For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @nbdbphilippines.

Vinyl Gold Rush.

More and more audiophiles keep digging their hands for hours to score the vinyl record they have been searching for so long. Audiophiles crowded the first "One Stop Record Fair" for this year which kicked off at the new Greenhills Mall in San Juan City recently.

The quarterly music event "One Stop Record Fair" featured over 30 vinyl record sellers, such as Bunnygod Records, Tambai Records, Lennox Records, Kapitan Plaka, Musique Vibe Records, Mamsy Records, Plakatons, Ohmandys, and Perfect Day Records, among others. Vinyl records from as early as the 60s to 2020s were discounted up to 50 percent and sold for as low as 200 pesos, but everyone is welcome to negotiate and ask for discounts. First pressings are often sold for an expensive price so it's good to note for next time to bring additional cash.

Got no turntable and other audio equipment yet? Fret not because cassette tapes and compact discs (CDs) were also available at the record fair. Audio-Technica had a booth selling their audio gear such as turntables and speakers. Notable titles which are sold at the event are Bob James Trio's "Feel like Making Love" and "The World's Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings" both from UG34 Music; Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham's "Buckingham Nicks (Japan Pressing" and "City Pop Avenue" by Paper Moon Project from Bunnygod Records; Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians' "Shooting Rubberbands At The Sky (US First Pressing) and Charles Mingus' "Mingus at Monterey (Japan pressing mono)" from New Vintage Culture and other unique records sold.

Cubil's wife Keiko Necesario, who is also a singer-songwriter, joined him on stage to sing their song "Una." Meanwhile, director and actor Bobot Mortiz launched his 8-track vinyl album "Goin' Standard," a collection of standards popularized by Frank Sinatra, at the record fair.

"I am happy with the outcome of this event. One Stop Record Fair is indeed successful. I can say that 'our events are always successful, and it was different from previous fair since it was more fun and more people came,'" said Sari Osorio, the organizer of the record fair.

Osorio noted that the people are also more excited this time because they already know what the record fair offers and they want to get a look at what has been added to the mix since the last fair. Get ready to get digging because the next “One Stop Record Fair will be in June 2024.


The Philippine Book Festival is back, and it's bigger than ever!

For the second year running, the National Book Development Board Philippines (NBDB) is bringing together publishers, authors, artists, educators, and readers at the country’s biggest traveling book festival.

Taking place at the World Trade Center in Pasay from April 25 to 28, 2024, the PBF is a four-day celebration showcasing the richness of Philippine literature, culture, and arts. This unique book fair integrates education, entertainment, tourism, and shopping into a single family-friendly event.

In addition to the extensive collection of published works and titles from the Philippines, this year's festival offers a diverse range of talks and workshops.

Highlights include "A Day with Gwy Saludes," featuring an exclusive book signing and meet-and-greet session with the author. Historian and bestselling author Ambeth Ocampo will lead "Ambeth Without the Overcoat," a book signing session. National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Ricky Lee, will present "Trip to Quiapo," while "Dahling Nick: A Tribute to National Artist Nick Joaquin" will honor the renowned writer.

Other sessions include "Aklat Para Sa Accla: New Trends in Boys Love and Girls Love," "Comics Can Change the World" with Patti Ramos, and "Zine-making 101," a workshop on crafting independently-produced "fanzines" led by Komiket's Bunny Luz.

Attendees can anticipate the comeback of the Rare Book Collection by the National Library of the Philippines, which will feature a new selection of rare manuscripts and facsimiles; the Book Bar–a library of sorts filled with award-winning books; Cosplay Filipiniana, a cosplay competition allowing fans to portray their beloved Philippine literary characters; and Guhit Pambata, an exhibit highlighting the creations of some of our best children’s book illustrators.

This year, the PBF will launch the Tabuan Food Hall, wherein guests can feast in between pages.

The festival brings back its four popular realms: Kid Lit, a land just for children, Komiks, which puts the spotlight on Pinoy komiks, Booktopia, home to an abundance of fiction and non-fiction titles, and Aral Aklat, which is devoted to textbooks and educational materials. There will be a Creators Lab, Main Stage, and Kids-at-Play that highlight exciting talks, activities, and workshops more specific to the interests of readers and fans of those genres.

Panels, puppet shows, storytelling with surprise television and movie celebrities, and live performances are also scheduled throughout the four-day festival.

This year, we have more authors and we bring together the best of Philippine content for the entire family. The country needs more reading spaces that encourage conversation, creation and collaboration. Ang Philippine Book Festival ang nagsisilbing panghikayat ng NBDB sa iba pang mga organisasyon na lumahok at makiisa sa mga programang nagtutulak sa mga Filipino na magbasa dahil ang aklat ay para sa lahat,” said NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade.

The event is longer this year to give ample time for teachers, librarians, and organizations to research the books they need for their schools. Similar to last year, NBDB is working closely with the Department of Education (DepEd) to train more than 750 book evaluators and procurement officers to scope and evaluate books to purchase for public school libraries and library hubs. Evaluators from all over the country will fly in to source educational books for the students of their regions.

A Feast for the Eyes
The festival will be a feast for the eyes too as it features the designs of talented graphic designer and children’s book illustrators Marc Vincent Soriano, Liza Flores, and Beth Parrocha. Parrocha designed the four realms, finding inspiration in the four major elements: water for Kid Lit; earth for Komiks; fire for Aral Aklat; and air for Booktopia. Each realm has its color as well—pink, purple, yellow, and aqua—to make it easy for guests to figure out which part of the festival they’re in.

I had fun doing all the visuals. It’s a great opportunity for any artist to be given the whole World Trade Center as a canvas for my art,” Parrocha said.

A Stronger Culture of Reading
The Philippine Book Festival is part of the National Book Development Board’s effort to promote a culture of reading and develop the publishing industry in the Philippines.

The Philippine Book Fair is a program that, on the one hand, is about celebrating Philippine culture, but on the other hand, encompasses our agency’s long-term plans: improve access for every Filipino reader, democratize distribution, and enable our publishers and authors to keep producing Philippine books,” said Chairperson Dante Francis Ang II.

Register now at or scan the QR code. No worries, because entrance is free! The fair is open to the public from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM on April 25-28, with no entrance fees. For more information on the Philippine Book Festival and to register for free, visit


NBDB urges focus on readership and literacy initiatives; ramps up efforts to boost reading among Filipinos.

The National Book Development Board (NBDB) urges policymakers, educators, community leaders, and stakeholders to prioritize readership and literacy initiatives, while also involving parents in efforts to make reading more accessible to all segments of the population.

This call follows the release of the 2023 National Readership Survey (NRS) results, showing a notable decline in non-school book readership among Filipino adults and children. The survey revealed adult readership at 42% and children at 47% in 2023. Access to books emerged as the primary reason for the decline, with limited awareness of public libraries and constraints like time and distance cited as barriers to visits.

These results have prompted the NBDB to reaffirm its commitment to bolstering existing programs and policies to reignite a love for reading among Filipinos.

These findings, which provide a much-needed nuanced understanding of Filipinos’ reading habits and preferences, reinforce the fact that access to quality books remains a pressing issue in book publishing and education, so the sectors’ focus now clearly has to be on addressing gaps in access,” said NBDB Chairperson Dante “Klink” Ang II.

Moreover, Chairperson Ang stated that the NBDB and its partners will examine various proposals to develop meaningful policy directives aligned with the objectives of Republic Act No. 7743, which aims to establish congressional, city, and municipal libraries, along with barangay reading centers nationwide. According to a 2018 study by the National Library of the Philippines, only 3% of LGUs have local libraries across the country.

One of the main hindrances to reading revealed by the survey is access to reading facilities such as public libraries, particularly in the provinces. Some of them are really beyond the reach of those living in mountainous areas, for example. Besides expanding the Book Nook project, we will also work to bring libraries closer to the people,” Chairperson Ang added.

Meanwhile, NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade emphasized the significance of enhancing NBDB's readership efforts, particularly through initiatives like the Book Nook project. This project establishes reading and storytelling centers across the Philippines, featuring locally published books and serving as distribution hubs for publishers. By offering quality books in various Philippine languages, the Book Nook project addresses access and literacy issues in a single space, fostering education and community engagement in a safe and inclusive environment where visitors can participate in activities, borrow books, and take them home at no cost.

Additionally, the Philippine Book Festival (PBF) promotes a robust reading culture while providing guidance on institutional book purchases. Like the Book Nook project, the PBF brings quality books to readers nationwide while facilitating collaboration between major buyers of educational resources and Philippine publishers.

To encourage involvement in the local book economy, NBDB launched Booklatan sa Bayan, inviting both avid and passive readers to explore literature and culture. NBDB collaborates with reading advocacy groups such as the Reading Association of the Philippines, the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc., and the Adarna Group Foundation, Inc., to synergize efforts in enriching the nation's reading culture.

Programming must work hand in hand with policy. Besides readership programs, we will push for policies that democratize distribution and enable publishers to publish more affordable books,” Executive Director Tugade emphasized.

These survey findings should serve as a call to arms: an opportunity to acknowledge and better understand the current state of readership, to reframe the problems they pose in a way that we are pushed to act and change them rather than dwell on them. If attitudes toward reading are less than desirable, then the responsibility to create environments that make reading possible lies with us. The NBDB is hopeful and renews its commitment to better its programs and policies,” Executive Director Tugade added.

The NBDB highlighted that, according to the survey findings, overall attitudes towards books and reading remained positive. The majority of respondents recognized the importance of books beyond educational and professional contexts. Key insights from the survey included the most popular non-school book (NSB) genres among adults (the Bible) and children (picture books), the preferred reading language (Filipino for both age groups), preferred formats (printed books for both age groups), and primary considerations when selecting NSBs (availability for both age groups).

The NBDB enlisted the Social Weather Stations (SWS) to conduct the 2023 National Readership Survey from November 14th to 20th, 2023, with a sample size of 2,400 adults aged 18 and above, and 2,400 children aged 8-17. This survey is the most comprehensive examination of Filipinos' reading habits and preferences and is expected to provide invaluable insights for the agency's readership-focused initiatives.


How You Can Fall in Love with Your Own Hair.

Have you ever seen anyone, whether it be a random person passing by, an influencer, a celebrity, or basically anyone, with gorgeous hair to the point you just think, “Wow, I wish my hair was like that”? In general, there are constant trends, such as people changing their hair to keep up with the trend.

Yes, it goes beyond just makeup and clothes, but there are even trends when it comes to hair, like getting a perm in the 1980s, doing a blowout in the 1990s, having fully straight hair in the early 2000s, and even right now in the 2020s, curtain bangs, even when it comes to hair coloring, that also impacts it, like a full dye, ombre, balayage, and so on.

But at the end of the day, you need to remember that your hair is an extension of you. You need to pick what you like, not some trend or beauty standard. What do you like for yourself and for your hair? Your natural locks are already swoon-worthy; they’re already enough. But of course, it’s hard to just immediately tell yourself that, and it magically takes effect. Sincerely, it does take time. So, with that said, here’s what you need to know when it comes to falling in love with your own hair!

Photo credit: Thiago Matos on Pexels.

Embrace Your Natural Texture
You really need to keep in mind that your hair's natural texture is unique to you, so celebrate it! Yes, so what if you don’t have some other texture, that’s fine. Just love and embrace what you have! Besides, regardless of your texture, it’s not too hard to replicate other textures, thanks to styling and even hair extensions. Whether you have straight, wavy, curly, or coily hair, learn to appreciate and embrace its natural texture. But before you try to replicate another style or just fall head over heels for your current texture, do you know it?

Do you know what type of texture your hair actually has? For example, is your hair constantly frizzy? Then, there’s a chance that you might have naturally wavy or curly hair without even realizing it. It’s so important to know your hair type, and you need to understand that there are so many different types, too. For all you know, you might actually have the hair type you’ve always dreamt of.

But be sure to educate yourself, such as looking into 1B Hair: What Is It and How to Care For It if you have that hair type. Overall, embrace what you have, learn what you have, and understand how to care for it.

Practice Self-Care
In a way, that goes with what was said above: You need to learn how to properly take care of your hair. One of the best ways so it doesn’t feel like a chore would be to just incorporate self-care rituals into your hair care routine to nurture and pamper your locks. Just give yourself the chance to treat yourself to regular deep conditioning treatments, scalp massages, and hair masks to keep your hair healthy, hydrated, and vibrant.

Photo credit: Nataliya Vaitkevitch on Pexels.

But why? Well, you could say that pampering yourself is good for the soul and hair, too. When you pamper yourself, you’ll look and feel better, and these are things your hair will need anyway. Seriously, just take the time to indulge in luxurious hair care products that make you feel special and pampered, turning your hair care routine into a self-love ritual.

Celebrate Your Hair Journey
Like other aspects of you, if you think about it, your hair is just another extension of your growth and how far you’re coming along. Because it’s not exactly the easiest to just accept yourself and even get your hair the way you want it, that’s why it’s important to at least just celebrate.

Yes, you should celebrate the milestones and moments that have shaped your relationship with your hair, whether it's overcoming challenges, embracing new styles, or discovering the beauty of your natural texture. You absolutely deserve to take pride in the progress you've made and the confidence you've gained along the way.

You Need to Have Confidence in Your Style
This might sound like generic advice, but honestly, there’s so much truth to it. You probably want something else, like a different hairstyle, because you think that will give you confidence. But would having totally different hair actually do that? Most likely, no, it won’t. Building confidence is hard, and that on its own is already quite the journey.

Regardless, you still need to understand that confidence is the ultimate accessory that complements any hairstyle. How can you do this, though, with the hair you already have? Well, to truly embody confidence in your appearance, you must stand tall, own your unique style, and embrace your natural beauty.

Seriously, you need to radiate self-assurance and poise as you rock your favorite hairstyles, knowing that true beauty comes from within and shines through when you embrace and celebrate yourself authentically.

Think About the Heritage of Your Hair
Keep in mind that hair is a deep part of so many cultures, just about every culture out there. Think about the ancestry behind your hair, too! In general, your hair carries a lot of history and tradition. Because it’s so deeply rooted (no pun intended), you should take pride in the unique characteristics and qualities of your hair that reflect your cultural background and heritage.

Photo credit: Toa Heftiba Sinca on Pexels.

In fact, you should celebrate the diversity and richness of hair textures and styles around the world, recognizing the beauty in all forms of hair expression. Your hair is what makes you, well, you! Your family shares the hair, too, and there’s just such a big story to tell. Embrace that because your heritage is beautiful, just as you are!

Just Focus on Healthier Habits
At the end of the day, how healthy your lifestyle is is going to have the biggest impact on your hair, skin, nails, body, and even your mentality. You basically have no choice but to adopt healthy habits if you truly want healthier hair—hair that you’ll adore.

It’s far easier than you may think it is. Seriously, it’s all about eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients that support hair health, staying hydrated, and protecting your hair from damage caused by heat styling, harsh chemicals, and environmental factors. That's literally it! Sure, you still need high-quality hair products and a good hair care routine, but don’t underestimate the impact healthy habits have!