Last year, I had attended the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) on a Saturday. It was a mad scene because, first, it was a Saturday; second, there were simultaneous book signings; third, it was packed with teenagers who were attending book signings, and fourth, it coincided with the mall’s 3-day sale.
This year, I intentionally filed a half-day leave from work to attend this. It was because I really wanted to get away from the crazy crowd like last year. Incidentally, there was an impending typhoon the next day, so, I guess it was just the right timing.
If you were a newbie, you would have to pay a 35-peso ticket to MIBF. You’d pay 20 pesos if you belong in the teacher/student/librarian category.
But, you could get free pass/es if you were a subscriber to National Bookstore’s mailing list or you belong to their Viber public group.
Likewise, I was able to score free tickets from Adarna House. I just visited the website and voila, I got more passes. You could even give some to your friends or relatives.
My MIBF Walkthrough
My main agenda on attending the MIBF was to buy books for Olive. Well, yeah, maybe buy one for myself too. ?
I went to the second level first, where the book section for kids was located. Later on, I breezed through the main hall downstairs where majority of the books can be sourced.
I checked on Tahanan Book’s booth first. The Halo-Halo Histories books were displayed there, however, there was no new upcoming title yet.
I was torn among books like “A for Adobo”, “Alpabetong Filipino” and “Philippine Pictionary:My First 100 Words”. Eventually, I bought “500 Words & Pictures : My First Bilingual Visual Dictionary”. ‘Twas because it was packed with, well, 500 pictures of various stuffs from parts of the body, transportation, opposites, food and even games.
Of course, they still have those notepads with funny quotes and catchphrases sold at a discounted price. They were a tempting buy, but I decided to forego this for this year.
You could buy other titles anytime at TahananBooks.com.
Mindwerks Toy Shop
I spent a good chunk of my time here. Yes, my main agenda was set aside for a while and ended up purchasing advance Christmas presents to my godchildren and nephews.
As its store name implies, Mindwerks offers educational as well as edutainment toys. They have loads of board games, puzzles, DIY assembly toys, mind twisters etc. Majority of the toys were imported, hence the price point were on the high side. Yet, since it was a fair after all, the items were discounted.
The stall owner (I wasn’t able to get her name) was very knowledgeable and suggestive on what toy would suit a particular age. Hence, I bought blocks, puzzle, lacing toy and robot in accordance to the recipients’ age and interest. ? And the best part was, she gave me additional 10% discount.
You could visit their shop anytime at Fishermall and Festival Mall.
Christian Literature Crusade (CLC)
The CLC booth offers various Bible and Christian books. Apart from these, I think the highlight of their booth was the fancy and attractive notebooks and planners.
The notebooks were very ideal for holiday gifts. There were sticky note pads with cute designs as well.
Cosmos Bazar Pilot Pens
This booth was meant for pen and art enthusiasts. It actually was a pretty crowded booth.
You’d be able to find all Pilot brand pen products here. However, the items were not discounted.
Their flagship store is located in Quintin Paredes, Binondo, but, Pilot products are available in all major bookstores nationwide.
Adarna House, Inc.
Again, I was back to my goal on visiting the MIBF. ?
Adarna House, Inc. had one of the biggest booth in the second level. They have various books on display for different age groups. Yes, I was torn amongst their wide array of titles. At one point, I wanted to buy their Philippine history titles, but I resisted the urge.
I also had the inclination to grab some story books, but I just thought I could wait a few years, so that Olive can read this alone.
Eventually, I bought two board books for Olivia-”Kara At Play” and “Ang Maghapon Namin Ni Nanay”.
National Bookstore’s Book Binge Bazaar
I’m not sure if this is the first time MIBF had a Book Binge Bazaar from National Bookstore. In here, they have various selection of books with prices ranging from 75 pesos to 375 pesos.
There were also toys at those given price points. But I didn’t see anything that caught my interest.
Unfortunately, I did not find anything. Or I was probably a bit tired already to scrutinize every nook and cranny.
Anyway, I just thought I still have some unread books I bought from their warehouse sale last April. So, I’m still good.
The Main Exhibit Hall
This was where majority of the exhibitors of MIBF were. From school textbooks to coffee table books, you can find them here. Spending an hour in here is not enough. A bookworm would need at least half a day in here!
Church Strengthening Ministry
All Christian books were in here, and were being sold at 100 pesos each. For smaller books, you can buy them at two for a hundred pesos.
And finally, I was able to buy Gary Chapman’s abridged version of “The 5 Love Languages” and “The 5 Love Languages of Children”. These are for my personal reads, by the way. ?
WS Pacific Publications (Learning Is Fun)
Just when I thought I was over with the kids’ books, lo and behold! Another booth that lured me in.
This company distributes imported storybook, reference books, activity workbooks, cookbooks and more.
Since my energy level was already down at 50%, what I can only do was to scan the books and take a mental note to check them out again next year.
But, one thing caught my eye. It was a Doc McStuffins Puzzle Book! Yey! Something that my daughter would definitely like.
Of course, it was not hard to miss out National Bookstore and Fully Booked. But, I learned from last year that not everything was on sale. Some were just offered at 20% off, so I didn’t spend much time in here. The only thing I had noticed for Fully Booked was an illustrated book of Harry Potter. Ooh! Great for read out loud storytelling for kids. But, as expected, price was way out of my budget.
There was something different this year. They had a display of ancient warrior armors from different countries like Japan, Indonesia and Philippines. I just forgot the exhibitor.
Some booths had invited featured authors for book signing. One booth had a live storytelling for kiddie visitors.
My Book Haul Summary
These were my MIBF book haul:
- “500 Words & Pictures : My First Bilingual Visual Dictionary” – SRP 295 sold at Php 120
- “Kara at Play” – SRP 199 sold at Php 150
- “Ang Maghapon Namin ni Nanay” — SRP 199 sold at P150
- “Doc McStuffin’s Busy Day Puzzle Book” — sold at P150
- “The 5 Love Languages” — sold at P100
- “The 5 Love Languages of Children” — sold at P100
When Visiting MIBF
These are some of my takeaways when visiting MIBF:
- Make a list beforehand. Try to check the exhibitor list in MIBF’s website at least a week before the event, so you’d know what books to buy.
- List down your book choices. If you don’t have any idea what to buy yet, at least, set a budget you intend to spend.
- If your schedule would permit, try to visit during weekdays, as it’s less crowded. Otherwise, go during its opening time in the morning during the weekend.
- If the thousand of book options seem overwhelming, look around first. List down what you’d seen, then decide later on if the books on your list are worth buying or not.
- Wear your most comfortable shoes.
- Carry an extra eco-bag, in case you had decided to haul a lot of books.
For The Love of Books
It’s great to know that books are still a mainstream in the midst of e-books. I really still prefer the smell and feel of the pages.
Hopefully, MIBF would have more children’s book and educational toy exhibitors. Maybe they could inject more school supplies exhibitors too. Hence, it’ll be worth another visit next year.