LOCAL publishers on Saturday held the country’s first annual Aklatan: The All-Filipino Book Festival in a bid to widen accessibility of books written by Filipino authors.
The event was spearheaded by Visprint, Inc. and co-presenter National Book Development Board (NBDB. The media partners include Summit Media and The Manila Times.
Aklatan also features multiple book launches and book-related seminars.
Renowned Filipino writer and screenwriter Ricky Lee said he believes this event will help encourage more readers to read books written by Filipino writers.
“Sana dumating yung panahon na may mga Filipino book stores na may section para sa mga Filipino writers. This is just one step so darating ang panahon na makatutulong ang event na ito,” Lee told The Manila Times during the book fair at the Alphaland Southgate Mall in Makati City.
Aside from Lee, other artists like Lourd de Veyra, Eros Atalia, and Carlo Vergara were also present.
Lee said he was saddened by the fact that most book fairs and libraries carry foreign books.
“Nasa Pilipinas tayo, Filipino tayo, Filipino ang readers natin.
So this is the right time na magkaisa nga tayong lahat at magtulungan. Sino tutulong sa atin kundi tayo-tayong mga Pilipino writers. Nagsama-sama ang mga Filipino writers para magtulungan para mabigyan naman ng chance na mapansin ang mga Filipino writers,” he said.
“In a way puwedeng tawaging historical ang event na ito because this is the first time we held a book fair for the Filipino writers, and hopefully masundan pa. Never nagkaroon ng book fair na 100 percent Filipino authors, usually 10 percent lang ang Pilipino books eh,” he added.