The 7th Philippine Readers and Writers Festival brings together celebrated Filipino authors who push our own cultural heritage forward through different mediums

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It is through literature that history can be relived, cultural heritage be recorded, and society be put under the microscope. Likewise, it is through the written word that we can begin putting our best foot forward and tap into our imagination for a while.

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Now in its seventh year, the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival brings together celebrated Filipino authors in the realm of poetry, pop fiction, children’s literature, fantasy literature, graphic novels and comic books, and many more.

Immerse yourself in the week-long festival of insightful discussions on a plethora of topics, from an exploration of stories in the time of COVID-19 to the behind-the-scenes making of a book. The talks will feature the likes of Ambeth Ocampo and Lourd de Veyra among a host of other talented and multi-awarded writers.

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The books featured during the festival will be made available at National Book Store branches and online at www.nationalbookstore.com. There will also be select imported and local titles that will bear special discounts until the last day of the festival on October 4.

Check out our picks from the scheduled talks below, all streaming for free on National Book Store’s Facebook page. Save the dates!

Writers Write the Pandemic with Reine Arcache Melvin, Angelo Lacuesta, and Dorian Medina I September 28 (5:00–6:00 p.m.)

Acclaimed authors from the Ateneo de Manila University Press will share how they find creativity and inspiration for writing, and the challenges they face in their craft in the midst of a pandemic.

One Year of Solitude: A Literary Panel from UST Publishing House with Paul Alcoseba Castillo, Joselito Delos Reyes, Chuckberry Pascual, and John Jack Wigley I September 29 (1:00–2:00 p.m.)

These celebrated writers will discuss what it’s like to come from the solitary world of writing, while also being thrust into unprecedented times where distancing has become the norm. Here, they will answer questions that examine their best practices, their creative process, and persistence in their pursuits.

UNCENSORED: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Making of Méme: The Baby Book with Reni Roxas I September 30 (11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.)

This talk will tackle all the elements that go into making a children’s picture book today, specifically with Reni Roxas’s ode to babyhood as a case study. The book chronicles a single day in the life of a baby, and makes use of basic Filipino words.

Amplifying the Stories of the Lumad through Children’s Literature with Mon Sy I October 1 (11:00 a.m.12:00 p.m.)

Jose Monfred Sy is known for bringing awareness to the plight of the Lumads through his stories like “Si Laleng at ang Lakbay-Paaralan,” which tells the story of Laleng and friends and how they navigate their schooling. Here, he will share more on how he translates the Lumads’ struggles into children’s books.

Stories beyond Imagination featuring Epik Studios’ Graphic Novels I October 1 (5:30–6:00 p.m.)

Graphic novels like Pedro Penduko, Republika, Bernardo Carpio, Osyana, and Maria Makiling have been part of our fabric for years. In this talk, the creators of these classics will walk you through the process of storytelling using the medium.

Writing Komiks in the Time of Pandemic with Russell Molina I October 2 (11:00 a.m.12:00 p.m.)

The komiks is another literary art form that is part of our cultural heritage, and Russell Molina has had his share of notable works in the medium, including Tuwing Sabado, 12:01, and Sixty-Six (which now has an English edition to cater to the international market). In this talk, he will share the tricks of the trade for aspiring komiks makers.

Progresibong Aklat para sa Progresibong Pag-iisip: Kung Bakit Kailangan ng Tapang sa Pagsusulat at Paglalathala with Genaro R. Gojo Cruz I October 3 (9:00–10:00 a.m.)

When the children’s book Ako Ay May Titi came out, it immediately went viral on social media because of its straightforward approach to teaching young boys about proper hygiene. The book’s author Genaro Gojo Cruz will be joined by fellow award-winning children’s storybook author and Lampara Publishing House Inc. publisher Segundo Matias Jr. in this talk about no-holds-barred writing.

Dasalan at Trashtalkan: Poetry as Social Commentary in the Digital Age with Lourd de Veyra I October 4 (1:00–2:00 p.m.)

On the heels of Lourd de Veyra’s release of Marka Demonyo, which features forty-six verses on social issues plaguing our country today presented in his brand of dark humor, the Palanca awardee talks about the role of literature in letting the common folk’s voice be heard.

History in Quarantine: A Conversation with Ambeth Ocampo I October 4 (3:00–4:00 p.m.)

Renowned historian Ambeth Ocampo talks about how food, particularly the sorbetes or “dirty ice cream,” is not just a catalog of taste but also a lens at how Filipinos have been shaped over the years.

Stories beyond Imagination featuring Anitu by Jason Paul Laxamana I October 4 (5:00–6:00 p.m.)

The filmmaker talks about his first comic book that showcases bits and pieces of our ancestors’ spirituality, which sees man, spirit, and nature living in harmony. The story tells of Uri, a young warrior who resides in a mountainside settlement in Pampanga, and his resistance against a foreign army of conquistadores, who invade the land by preaching a new religion that threatens to abandon their people’s worship of nature spirits and ancestors.

For the full list of talks and events, check out the full schedule here:

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