Since declaring April as National Literature Month or Buwan ng Panitikan the National Book Development Board (NBDB), in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), has continuously promoted Philippine literature, supported growth of independent book stores, and encouraged reading of excellent Filipino-authored books.
This year, Buwan ng Panitikan aims to present and promote the different aspects of the book publishing industry in a new light. Themed Banyuhay Panitikan, the month of April will feature new works and new perspectives on old works to encourage the development of new literary form, ideas, and expression.
The NBDB will kick off the festivities with the 2nd Pinoy Bookstore Tour highlighting independent bookstores within and south of Metro Manila on April 7 to 8. National-Book-Award winners will be featured through book talks, poetry readings, and music performances.
On April 23, various book-related activities will be held in celebration of World Book and Copyright Day (WBCD). As declared by UNESCO in 1995, WBCD aims to pay tribute to books and authors and to encourage more Filipinos to discover the pleasure of reading. This year, NBDB will spearhead another literary fair with KWF and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). Book lovers and copyright advocates will be treated to a whole day of festive gathering with a book market by Philippine publishers and activity/exhibit booths by various book clubs and writers’ groups.
As NBDB’s culminating activity for the National Literature Month, the 8th Philippine International Literary Festival (PILF) will be mounted on April 27 to 28. Plenary sessions and parallel working group sessions will explore socially relevant issues in literature and the book industry.
With these activities lined up to promote Philippine literature, the month of April promises to be a venue for the development of literary forms, discovery of new literary artists through workshops and performances, and promotion of indigenous and community knowledge, history, and tradition as framework of various literary expressions.