Catch the Philippine Literary Festival 2014 from October 23 to 25 at Raffles Makati


( Trends come and go but no matter what happens, books will always be the brain’s best friend. Whether you read it electronically or you invest in good old paper, the important thing is to let literature affect you-vividly and deeply.


To celebrate the adventures we’ve had while reading, Raffles Makati and National Book Store partnered up to give us the first Philippine Literary Festival. It’s three days of celebrating the best and freshest ideas in the local literary scene, from teaching classic Filipino novels to new frontiers in komiks and even, yes, writing romance.


The festivities start on October 23, 9 a.m. and Raffles will be packed with various lectures. The registration starts at 8 a.m. and seats are on a first-come, first-served basis.


If you’re there early, you’ll get to choose between Poetry Jamming (with Mark Anthony Cayanan, Mikael de Lara Co, Kristian Cordero, and Allan Popa) or Pushing the Envelope: Trends in New Philippine Writing (with Shane Carreon, Dean Alfar, Emil M. Flores, Karl R. De Mesa, Mark Anthony Cayanan, Maria L.M. Fres-Felix, Ned Parfan, Nikki Alfar, Ramil Digal Gulle, and Ramon Guillermo). Parallel these, the University of Santo Tomas and Boy Abunda will simultaneously launch books in Ballrooms 1 and 2. How do you split yourself in four?



Reserve the afternoon for comics, beginning with the Komikero Signing and Exhibit. Meet and greet Manix Abrera, Mervin Malonzo, Freely Abrigo, Paolo Fabregas, Tepai Pascual, Paolo Chikiamco, Koi Carreon, Jules Gregorio, Cristina Rose Chua, Alan Navarra, Carljoe Javier, Ferdinand Jarin, and Elbert Or. You’ll also catch the launch of Manix Abrera’s silent comics, "14." Ballroom 2 will be filled with activities until 7 p.m. and while it’s easy to get trapped, you might also want to check out the other rooms (the New Literature talk by Sarge Lacuesta and Dean Francis Alfar should be interesting.)


On October 24, National Artist for Literature Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera will give a lecture on How Pop Can Regional Literatures Be? We’re eager to learn from a master, but there’s also Short Fiction by Women with Menchu Aquino-Sarmiento, Nikki Alfar, and Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta. Decisions, decisions.


If you’ve always wondered what the hell goes on in people’s minds when they write or read cheesy, sappy fiction, two talks in the afternoon may hold the answer. Choose between Precious Hearts Romances Turned into TV and Film or Pop Lit: Online Stories, New Phase of Literature. Remember, you can always learn something new.

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The last day of the festival is a little less hectic, but for fans of Amy Tan and Chang-rae Lee, it’ll be like Christmas-the one from your childhood, not the "oh no, traffic jams" adult version. In the morning (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) the spotlight will be on Chang-rae Lee during the book-signing of his latest title, On Such a Full Sea. In the afternoon (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.), Amy Tan takes the pen for a book-signing of The Valley of Amazement.


Readers and writers, grab a bookmark, put down that pen, and for three days, let’s mingle. (Deadlines? What deadlines?)


Visit the official website of the Philippine Literary Festival for the complete schedule and other inquiries. Admission is free but slots are limited.

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