National Book Development Board celebrates grand opening of Philippine Book Festival

It's a fun festival full of books, edutainment for the kids, book signings, talks, and more!

The National Book Development Board (NBDB) officially launched the Philippine Book Festival (PBF) on June 2, 2023, at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. The festival is the largest traveling book festival in the country, and it features a wide variety of books from Filipino authors and publishers.

A palpable festival vibe filled the air as we entered the exhibition halls of the World Trade Center. Manila Bulletin Lifestyle was invited for a sneak peek of the space before the public opening later that day. And what we saw was a book lover's paradise.

NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade welcomes guests at the Philippine Book Festival, the first ever traveling book festival in the Philippines.

Rows upon rows of booths filled with books from all genres were on display—history, non-fiction, horror, children's literature, you name it. And what's best is, all of them were from Filipino publishers.

It was a most laudable exhibition, and it's no surprise that it was the brainchild of NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade. She has been a tireless advocate for Filipino literature and culture, and this festival is a testament to her passion.

“The National Book Development Board is here with you to ensure that we have access to reading materials. It is time to give our voice primacy, to highlight our own content, the works of our Filipino creators,” she said, during her welcoming remarks. “Today, we have the Philippine Book Festival. Three days, 140 publishers, thousands of books, and 192 events.”

Special poetry reading by NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade, National Artist Rio Alma, Congressman Christopher de Venecia, and NBDB Chief Jason Tabinas during the opening ceremony.

The festival is a celebration of Filipino literature, culture, and content, and it brings education, entertainment, and shopping together for everyone to enjoy.

The PBF is the first book festival in the country to feature only Filipino content. It is a great opportunity to learn about Filipino culture, discover new books, and meet other book lovers.

Apart from books, there will also be workshops, talks, and performances by Filipino authors and artists.

“We must create more titles that address literacy proficiency of the core subjects of Reading, Math, and Science. We must create more books targeting the primary level,” added Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP) President Andrea Pasion Flores, during the opening day of the exhibition.

“With the PBF, we’ll discover that now more than ever, we have a proliferation of regional publishers from all over the country, publishing content from our diversity of cultures with many of these publishing in local languages.”

DepEd USec. Gina Gunong, Presidential Adviser on Creative Communications Paul Soriano, Cong. Christopher De Venecia, Sen. Mark Villar, Sen. Loren Legarda, and Sen. Win Gatchalian were also present during the opening event.

Guests at the PBF grand opening were also treated to a preview of what's to come during the weekend. T'boli Master Chanter and Community Leader Rosie Sula and Talaandig Master Artist and Community Leader Datu Waway Saway performed a special piece using Talaandig instruments and a chant based on the birth of the Tudbulol Epic. They then told a story in Bisaya called Lalang Banwa.

The book ceremony with NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade, Congressman Christopher De Venecia, Presidential Adviser on Creative Communications Paul Soriano, Senator Mark Villar, and NBDB Chairman Dante Francis “Klink” Ang II.

This was followed by a poetry reading by NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade, National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario, Cong. Christopher De Venecia, Jason Tabinas of NBDB, DepEd Usec. Gina Gonong, and Sen. Mark Villar.

Join the Philippine Book Festival from June 2 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and June 3 to 4 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. Entrance is free for all! Register now at to get your unique QR badge.