Finding the perfect read can be a challenge, luckily there’s one or two (or ten) at the upcoming Manila International Book Fair bound to catch your attention. Less than a month away, the country’s premier book event returns to a physical format (with hybrid components) and showcases an awesome selection of books.
If you’re (not so) secretly into zombies
Katrina Martin’s “At Home With Crazy” (Milflores Books) is a powerful story about family, friendship… and zombies. Cayt is zombie-obsessed, but draws the line when her mother starts acting like one. Their family moves to Manila and Cayt longs for a normal life but her mom’s eccentricities are driving her up the wall, making her think she is bound to transform into a zombie herself.
If you’re a big fan of local comics
“Kikomachine Komix Blg. 17” (Avenida Books), the latest installment in Manix Abrera’s National Book Award-winning comic series, drops at the MIBF. Expect more of the series’s hilarious and relatable depiction of everyday realities—both mundane and eventful.
If you think women in history need to be given more recognition
“Fierce Filipina” by Maxie Villavicencio Pulliam (Edushop) is an illustrated biography featuring national hero Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio and her contribution towards Philippine independence. Written by her great-great granddaughter, this details Gliceria’s unstoppable drive to empower her fellow Filipinos and overthrow both Spanish and American colonists alongside other historical figures like Dr. José Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and Emilio Aguinaldo. A timeless depiction of love, loss and the relentless pursuit of equality, “Fierce Filipina” will inspire readers of all ages to follow their hearts and fight for social justice.
If you like being knee-deep into Philippine history readings
Philippine historian Ambeth Ocampo’s books are always top sellers at the MIBF, and there’s a chance you can get a signed copy, too. Consume bite sized pieces of history across his “Looking Back” series (Anvil), a collection of his long-running and widely read editorial column on various topics and minutiae across Philippine history, or check out the reprint of Nick Joaquin’s “Rizal in Saga” (Milflores Books), introduced and annotated by Ocampo with new photographs from his vast Rizaliana collection, a perfect book for new fans of the national hero.
If you’re currently in your artist era
National Artist Ben Cab’s “London Punk Drawings” (DLSU Press) features a collection of drawings from his life in London in the 1980s, when he would draw punks as diversion from his signature paintings. Expect plenty of leather, black shirts, studs, and a whole lot of mood from this retrospective book.
If you wear an imaginary “green thumb” badge on your shirt
“A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants” by Dr. Domingo Madulid (Bookmark) is a comprehensive guide and updated reference on more than 1,000 species of Philippine plants and flowers, with pictures for easy identification. Makes a perfect gift for your plant-obsessed parent, friend, or self (admit it!).
If you’re curious about the intersection of fashion and history
“Clothing the Colony: Nineteenth Century Philippine Sartorial Culture, 1820-1896” by Stephanie Coo (Ateneo University Press), is the 39th National Book Awards Best Book on History, and is the most comprehensive and rigorously-researched study on the forms of dress worn across types and classes of inhabitants of the Philippines under Spain at the turn of the century.
Find these books and more at special book fair rates at the Manila International Book Fair. MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc. (ACCI), Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc. (PBAI), and Overseas Publishers Representatives’ Association of the Philippines (OPRAP).