Last year, three-fourths of the World Trade Center in Pasay was dedicated to children’s books, while the remaining one-fourth is for other genres such as fiction, young adult, history, biography, movies and music, self-help, among others.
Open 24 hours: 2 million new books on sale at 50-90% off
From its name alone, the Big Bad Wolf (BBW) Book Sale instantaneously catches attention. Inspired by the scary, fictional animal character in “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Three Little Pigs” and other children’s tales, Big Bad Wolf is coming to Manila for the second time on Feb. 22-March 4 at the World Trade Center, Pasay.
On its Manila debut last year, the Malaysia-based book fair brought a staggering two million books, comprising almost 20,000 titles, offered at an astounding 60-80 percent discount.
On Feb. 18, 2018, a story by former Inquirer desk editor Marlet Salazar on Big Bad Wolf’s first Manila edition said: “Three-fourths of the World Trade Center in Pasay… is dedicated to children’s books, while the remaining one-fourth is for other genres such as fiction, young adult, history, biography, movies and music, self-help, among others.
“A typical fiction book that is usually priced around P700 sells at P190, while hardbound comic books can go as low as P480. A children’s pop-up book is priced at P320, while Apple founder Steve Jobs’ biography that is priced at P1,000 in regular bookstores sells for only P230.”
If that’s one hell of a bargain, this year is practically a giveaway, with a reported two million new books up for grabs at 50-90 percent discount.
But behind the scenes is interesting as well. Francis Ilagan, chief operating officer of Southdream Corp., the logistics company handling the manpower and books delivery at the 2019 BBW in Manila, says the books come from Malaysia in 50 40-foot containers via sea freight to Manila.
“Last year, BBW used a different logistics company and there were issues regarding the local supplier of manpower,” recalled Ilagan. “When the book fair went to Cebu, Southdream was tapped to take over the logistics. Then we also did Davao, and this year we’re doing Manila.”
The ground personnel includes an operations manager, administration staff, team leaders, cashiers, baggers, porters, floor ushers, customer service assistants, people handling the store top-up, store floor, book storage, hard labor and other essentials to ensure a successful book fair.
So, will there be two million books again on sale?
“Yes, of course,” says Bing Ilagan, Southdream CEO and Francis’ brother. “We hope to see as many people as the books waiting for them!”
The Big Bad Wolf Book Fair runs Feb. 22-March 4 at the World Trade Center, Buendia Ave. Extension, Pasay City. The book fair is open 24 hours. Limited VIP passes on Feb. 21 are available.