10 Reasons We're Excited About Dia del Libro

It's International Book Day and you can score free books!

Dia del Libro


(SPOT.ph) What is Día del Libro? What’s going to happen? When will it be? We answer all your whats, whys, whens, and wheres!


Dia del Libro


1. It's International Book Day and we're always excited about books.

Día del Libro, or Day of the Book, is a tradition that started in Spain and falls on April 23, St. George’s Day, in which men and women exchange books and roses. Today it is celebrated worldwide as International Book Day, and for this year, Día del Libro in Manila means an event with 4,000 book titles from the likes of National Book Store and Anvil Publishing, 20% discount on various books being sold, a rose in exchange for every book bought, and more.


2. Día del Libro is taking place at the Ayala Triangle Gardens on Saturday, April 23.

 It will be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., so you better bring your summer sun essentials in case you’re planning on going around lunchtime!



3. Admission is free!

And there are several activities lined up, like performances by the UP Singing Ambassadors, a writing chain that everyone can take part in, and more. But note that this is on a first-come, first-served basis, so try to get there early!


Dia del Libro

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4. You can get free books! (We’re not kidding.)

There’s going to be a pop-up library called “The Book Stop.” It’s designed and built by WTA Architecture & Design Studio, and set up as a venue for discussions among bibliophiles as well as a spot for getting books for free and leaving books in exchange. In case you’re not satisfied with that, there will also be hundreds of books from Instituto Cervantes to be given away!


5. There's going to be a quixotic challenge: Instituto Cervantes is searching for 500 volunteers to hand-write Don Quixote de La Mancha!

Since April 23 also marks the fourth centennial of the death of famous Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, it’s only fitting to hold this activity, called “Rewriting of Don Quijote.” There’s no need to register, just show up and join in on the fun. Each volunteer gets two minutes (out of the 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. period) to write a few sentences by hand. The final hand-written book will be deposited in the Library of Instituto Cervantes. See, you’ll make history!



Dia del Libro


6. Get your shirt printed with a quote or excerpt from the 34th National-Book-Award-winning books.

Do you know that April is also National Literature Month? The National Book Development Board will set up a booth where you can have a chosen quotation printed onsite. Just bring your own shirt or get one from the booth and pick a quote from poets like Marne Kilates and Joselito Delos Reyes, fictionists like Noreen Capili and Jun Cruz, and graphic fictionists like Mervin Malonzo and Manix Abrera. You can also have literature-inspired body art and calligraphy done at the henna tattoo/face paint station.


7. There’s going to be a Balagtasan!

Have you ever witnessed a Balagtasan? Poet-debaters participate in these verbal fisticuffs, in which they skillfully bandy verses about the latest issues. It’s named after classic Filipino poet Francisco Balagtas, and it’s also in his honor that the National Commission for Culture and the Arts declared April as National Literature Month. The Balagtasan will start at 3 p.m. and will be hosted by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino.



8. You can catch performances by the UP Singing Ambassadors and the Teatro Tomasino.

At 3 p.m., there will be a staging of Jose Rizal’s plays, El consejo de los dioses and Junto al Pasig (Konseho ng mga Diyoses and Sa May Pasig, both in Filipino).


9. The books Jose P. Rizal: Konseho ng mga Diyoses; Sa May Pasig and Relatos will be launched.

While the former is a bilingual book of the plays, the latter is a compilation of short stories by noted writer Enrique Laygo.


10. There will be free entertainment.

Check out Spanish food, games, jazz music, a poetry recital, a photo contest, and free Spanish classes. Even your not-so-bookwormy friends will have a lot of fun, too!


For more details, visit Instituto Cervantes’ Facebook page or website.

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