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Home NEWS Events 1st Manila International Literary Festival a success

1st Manila International Literary Festival a success

The National Book Development Board, in partnership with the Filipinas Heritage Library, successfully held the First Manila International Literary Festival on November 18 to 20. Held at the Intercontinental Manila Hotel, the three-day festival was part of the celebration of the 14th Book Development Month. The festival, which carried the theme, LOL: Lit Out Loud, featured prominent local and foreign writers and literary agents who discussed the state of literature today, particularly in Asia and in the Philippines.

Acclaimed writer Jose Dalisay Jr. opened the festival by delivering the keynote speech, which focused on the future of novel-writing in the Philippines. Dalisay’s speech was followed by a performance of Filipino kundimans by tenor Dondie Ong, as well as poetry readings by poets Mike Coroza, Gemino Abad, and Ralph Galan. Another highlight of the first day of the festival was a panel discussion on the Philippine novel in English and Filipino. The speakers for this session were Patricia May Jurilla, Rose Torres-Yu, and Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo.

The rest of the festival featured breakout sessions, covering a variety of topics. These include the following: Writing the Asian Experience in English; Intertextuality and Plagiarism; The Young Adult Novel; From Manuscript to Film; Filipino Poetry Over The Years; The Man Asian Literary Prize: What Makes an International Prizewinning Book?; Writing the Diaspora; and Gender Issues in Writing; among others.

On the last day of the festival, Indian author Mita Kapur and British author Andy Mulligan also launched their books, The F Word and Trash respectively. The F Word is a nonfiction book that mixes autobiography and cookery, while Trash is a young-adult book on the adventures of a young boy in a third-world country.

The last day also featured a film screening of Slumdog Millionaire, as annotated by Vikas Swarup, the author of Q&A, upon which the movie was based.