Manila International Book Fair

Who’s a happy bookworm?

The Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) is an annual event organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. at the SMX Convention Center. This year’s fair was the thirty-third MIBF ever held, although it was only the third I ever attended. Two years ago, my siblings and I merely passed the time here while waiting for someone’s arrival into the country. Last year, I heard about it from an Eng-Lit classmate and then attended it with Ara.

By this year, I was already anticipating it as an annual event, and scampered around for people to go with. It would have been incredible to attend with my orgmates–most if not all of whom are book-lovers–but hell week crept up on all of us. I ended up making it a date with AJ, which was a great decision because I missed her terribly, and anyway we had so much fun book-geeking together.

AJ and her old friend, Nico

Despite having overspent for the month already, I had a pretty generous budget for this fair, which tells you a lot about my priorities. So I thought I’d cut down on expenses wherever I could. I was also craving for an adventure to counter my recent bleakness, so I decided to take a big but important risk. I commuted to Mall of Asia alone. People who are overprotective of me usually discourage me from going anywhere alone, so this is not something I make a habit of.

Still, it felt like a right thing to do, not just for the monetary savings, but for the rich experience I wanted (and eventually found). For my loved ones who worry about me: please don’t. I am safe, sound, happy, and careful. This trial adventure will last me a while.

Now, on to the bookworming!

I get stuck at the Literary Winners section all the time.
(My fangirl heart when I saw these two authors’ books together.)

Then, these were the books AJ and I were lusting after: beautiful, ornate-design hardbound covers of several books in one collection. (We will have you one day.)

The book that called out to us. Haha. Arabic writing! <3

Our three main areas to visit were: National Bookstore, Fully Booked, and OMF Lit. There was a beautiful little store that sold musical booklets, but I was too shy to take a picture because the area was smaller. I wanted this booklet of ukulele chords to The Beatles songs for my sister, but it was well over Php 1000, and I didn’t have any more money to spend by then. I regret not having taken a picture at the very least. It really was a very homey, almost vintage stall.

I didn’t get to take a picture of AJ’s loot, because we separated at around 9PM. I do remember her buying The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Happiness Project Journal by Gretchen Rubin (which I tried very hard to make her not buy, haha), and The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory.

Here are my purchases, though:

  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel; purchased on Ara’s request
  • New International Version Holy Bible; because I have become picky with translations
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami; I have wanted to buy it for a while, so why not while it’s discounted?
  • Ariel by Sylvia Plath, and The People Look Like Flowers At Last by Charles Bukowski; have I ever told you that sometimes I need poetry to breathe?

And there you have it. A wonderful date with a wonderful girlfriend. I could not have been happier with how this day went (except if we had endless supply of cash, and the rest of our MidEast friends with us). We were exhausted and broke but happy.

I loveloveloved this day very much. I can’t wait for next year already!


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