For Día del Libro or International Book Day on April 27 at the Ayala Triangle in Makati, Instituto Cervantes Manila will hold a poetry recitation of “Mi último adiós” to pay tribute to Philippine patriot and writer José Rizal.
The Spanish cultural center is inviting 70 volunteers to recite the poem, which was Rizal’s valedictory before his execution on Dec. 30, 1896.
Each recitation will be video-recorded, compiled and edited. The final video will be uploaded on the website and social media pages of Instituto Cervantes Manila.
Those interested should sign up at 9:30 a.m. during Día del Libro on April 27.
Participants will be given a rose and the chance to win a free Spanish language course.
Main highlight of Día del Libro is the Book Market, in which bookstores and publishing houses will be selling books at a 20 percent discount.
Another is the “Rewriting of Don Quijote.”
Some 500 participants will hand-write excerpts from the novel by the celebrated Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes. After years of contributions from the volunteer writers, once the hand-written book is finished, it will be deposited in the library of Instituto Cervantes.
Other activities include sketching, book-signing sessions, film screenings, storytelling for children, and chuta-gol for football fans.
At 7:30 p.m. there will be the concert, Posporos, featuring Vulk, a Basque punk band from Bilbao, and The Late Isabel, an art rock band from the Philippines.
First introduced in Manila by Instituto Cervantes in 2006, the tradition of Día del Libro began in Barcelona, Spain, to celebrate St. George’s Day (April 23), during which men and women exchange roses and books.
This date also honors two of history’s greatest writers— Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare—both of whom died on April 23, 1616. The significant coincidence prompted the Unesco in 1995 to declare April 23 as “World Book and Copyright Day” to instill the love of reading among the youth and to promote respect for the rights of authors over their literary and artistic works.
April has also been declared by the National Commission for Culture and Arts as National Literature Month.
Instituto Cervantes de Manila is at Ayala Tower One & Philippine Stock Exchange Tower Plaza, Ground Floor, Ayala Triangle, Ayala Avenue, Makati. —CONTRIBUTED