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Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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Legarda pushes guest of honor status in Frankfurt Book Fair

SENATOR Loren Legarda has expressed her support for the country’s bid to be the guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF) and said that the National Book Development Board (NBDB) should aim for 2024.

Visiting the Philippines’ pavilion at the FBF 2018, Legarda said that the NBDB, with the support of its mother agency, the Department of Education (DepEd), should ensure the continuous participation of the Philippines in the FBF and work towards being a guest of honor country.

“I laud the efforts of the NBDB to promote our local publishing industry in the global arena. That is why I did not think twice in giving my full support for our participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair when it was presented to me for budget allocation,” said Legarda.

The Philippines first participated in the FBF in 1998 until 2000 but could not sustain it. The NBDB succeeded in participating again in 2015, although very modest, and in 2016, was able to put up a professionally executed pavilion through the support of Legarda, who, as chair of the Senate committee on Finance, increased the budget for the Philippines’ participation.

“We need to sustain this presence and aim to be the guest of honor country at the FBF 2024, the earliest year available with no designated guest of honor yet,” she stressed.

Legarda explained that being a guest of honor country of the FBF would be a major feat and would greatly benefit the local book publishing industry as the country would be the highlight of the fair.

Guest of honor status allows the country to showcase different facets of its culture and arts.

The guest of honor country for 2018 is Georgia.

The only Asean country that has become guest of honor of the FBF is Indonesia in 2015.

“We need to work now to be GOH [guest of honor] country in 2024. We need to be visible and make our presence not only felt but stronger. We did it in the Venice Biennale -- we achieved many feats, from returning in the Art Biennale in 2015 after a 51-year absence, to participating for the first time in the Architecture Biennale, to securing a space for our national pavilion in the Arsenale, the historic exhibition space of the Venice Biennale art platform. We will do the same for the Frankfurt Book Fair, not only to improve every participation but to be the Guest of Honor country,” said Legarda.

“Our presence in the Frankfurt Book Fair is a good opportunity for the Philippines not only to promote our publishing industry in the global arena but also to showcase the world-class talents of our Filipino writers and the gems of Filipino literature, espousing our rich culture and traditions,” Legarda concluded.

Now on its 70th year, the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is annually held in Frankfurt, Germany, is the world’s largest international trade fair for the book publishing industry.

It remains to be the most important marketplace for publishers, authors, literary agents, media professionals, illustrators, and book and trade associations to negotiate their publishing and licensing rights.


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