Hola! Instituto Cervantes de Manila will be holding the Día del Libro book festival on April 22. The outdoor Spanish fiesta will be at Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City.
Spanish Ambassador Luis Calvo, Instituto Cervantes director Carlos Madrid and Ayala Land corporate brand head Catherine Bengzon recently presented the Día del Libro activity lineup, which now includes an art exhibit and a mini concert.
“Día del Libro began in Barcelona,” Madrid explained. “April 23 marks St. George’s Day, a romantic day in which men and women exchange roses and books. April 23 also marks the death anniversary of literary greats Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, and the World Book and Copyright Day as declared by Unesco in 1995.”
In the Philippines, Día del Libro is traditionally held on a Saturday, so this year it would be on April 22, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Go early and score free books from the Instituto Cervantes booth, or buy them on sale from partner publishing houses.
Check out the classical art exhibit curated by The Prado Museum, then cap the evening with a glass of sangria while listening to the soothing sounds of the Manila Symphony Orchestra.
Madrid said this is going to be the most exciting Día del Libro, “since the annual program has been making Spanish culture more accessible to Filipinos, previous participants usually go back with their loved ones and friends, making Día del Libro a growing outdoor party for book lovers—with Spanish food.”
Top 7 highlights of Día del Libro 2017
1 Manila Symphony Orchestra concert. There will be no J. Lo or Shakira, but prepare to get mesmerized by the orchestra’s Spanish and Filipino repertoire at 7 p.m.
2 “El Museo del Prado Filipinas” art exhibit. Also called “The Prado Museum on the Streets of the Philippines,” the show will mount 50 high-definition prints of masterpieces from Prado Museum in Madrid. Highlight would be the reproduction of “Cleopatra,” a painting by Juan Luna which won a silver medal in the 1881 Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Exposition of Fine Arts) in Madrid.
The collection gathers paintings from the 12th to the 19th century: Spanish (Goya, Velázquez, Murillo, Sorolla); Italian (Titian, Botticelli, Caravaggio); Flemish (Rubens, Van Dyck, Bosch); German (Dürer); and Dutch (Rembrandt).
3 Book swap at The Book Stop. The Book Stop is a traveling popup library designed by WTA Architecture & Design Studio. It returns this summer to Ayala Triangle Gardens for Día del Libro, and the same rule applies: To get a free book, one must leave a book—any book—on the shelf. Last year, we found an array of comic books, craft books and travel guides waiting for new owners.
4 Book market. “Spain has a very powerful book industry,” Calvo said. Books in Spanish, English and Filipino will be sold at 20-percent less than mall prices, including titles from National Book Store, Anvil Publishing, Abiva Publishing House, Brilliant Creations Publishing, Ortigas Foundation, UST Publishing House, Vibal Publishing, Embajada de Chile, Fundación Santiago, Ayala Museum, Visprint, Adarna House, National Book Development Board, National Museum, Embajada de Panamá, Philippine Italian Association.
There will be book launches throughout the day: “Layag: European Classics in Filipino,” a compilation of European short stories; “The Silver Way,” a book on the history of the Manila Galleon co-authored by Juan José Morales; “Flora de Filipinas,” a book on Philippine flowers by the late Augustinian botanist Fr. Manuel Blanco.
5 “Gonzalo Rojas y la Literatura”—an exhibit celebrating the works of Chilean writer Gonzalo Rojas. The Embassy of Chile will be holding poetry readings, contests and games to introduce the works of the Latin American poet to new readers.
6 “Don Quixote de La Mancha” writing chain. The first 500 volunteers will be given two minutes each to rewrite by hand the Spanish classic by novelist Miguel de Cervantes; they will receive a red rose as a token afterward. The final handwritten copy will be turned over to the Instituto Cervantes library.
7 “La Noche de los Libros” (The Night of Books) cultural shows. The Spanish Cultural Center will be offering free Spanish classes, plus a flamenco demo, percussion and jazz performances, storytelling and puppet show.
Join the contests for a chance to win a trip to Spain, sponsored by Turkish Airlines.
Instituto Cervantes de Manila is at Ayala Triangle, Makati City. Call 5261482; visit http://manila.cervantes.es.