Award-winning books to be featured on International Book Day

In celebration of International Book Day and National Literature Month, winners of the 34th National Book Awards including social media non-fiction iStatus Nation by Joselito Delos Reyes, anthology Ang Labingtatlong Pasaway edited by Jun Cruz Reyes, comic book 14 by Manix Abrera, short fiction collection WonderLust by Nikki Alfar, speculative fiction Dwellers by Eliza Victoria, non-fiction Ramon Obusan: Philippine Dance and Me by Kanami Namiki, humor book Buti Pa Ang Roma, May Bagong Papa by Noreen Capili, young adult novel Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon by Edgar Samar, poetry book Kundiman sa Gitna ng Karimlan by E. San Juan, Philippine art book Journey of Thousand Shuttles, The Philippine Weave by Norma Absing Respicio; and Kinaray-a poetry book Tikum Kadlum by Federico “Tuohan” Caballero, Teresita “Abyaran” Caballero-Castor, and Alicia P. Magos will be showcased at the Dia del Libro/World Book Day/Araw ng Aklat on April 23, Saturday, from 10AM to 11PM at the Ayala Triangle Gardens. Attendees will be given a chance to have their shirt printed with quotations or designs from these Filipino-authored books. The shirt-printing booth will be paired with a henna tattoo/face paint station where book lovers are treated to lit-inspired body art and calligraphy.

iStatus Nation is a work of Professor and poet Joselito Delos Reyes. It gives readers a peek not only into his mind but into the future of creative writing. This book won the Best Book of Essays in Filipino in the 34th National Book Awards.

Bagging the prize for Best Anthology in Filipino in last year’s National Book Awards is Ang Labingtatlong Pasaway edited by Jun Cruz Reyes. The book intelligently puts together a collection of tragic and hilarious short stories using the language of the young.

In his comic book, 14, Manix Abrera deliberately omits the written word and yet successfully delivers the stories to readers. 14 is the winner of Best Book of Graphic Literature (Wordless) in the 34th National Book Awards.

Nikki Alfar writes fourteen fantastic stories such as zombie invasion and modern-day espionage with twists and turns in her book, WonderLust. Her book won the Best Book of Short Fiction in English in last year’s National Book Awards.

Eliza Victoria’s speculative fiction Dwellers draws you into a mystery where two people find themselves forced to deal with circumstances beyond their uncanny abilities. Dwellers won the Best Novel in a Foreign Language in the 34th National Book Awards.

Winning the Best Book of Non-Fiction in English in the 34th National Book Awards is Ramon Obusan: Philippine Folkdance and Me written by Kanami Namiki. In this book, Namiki beautifully weaves together the history of the development of Filipino folk dance over the twentieth century.

Buti Pa ang Roma, May Bagong Papa cleverly delves into the life and love of a single Filipina in the 21st century. Written by Noreen “Noringai” Capili, this book won the Best Book in Leisure in last year’s National Book Awards.

Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon not only bagged the prize for Best Novel in a Philippine language but also has captured the hearts of the Filipino youth. With its main character, Janus, the novel weaves into the mystery of an RPG called TALA and later delves into the legend of the Tiyanak from Tabon.

San Juan’s poetry book Kundiman sa Gitna ng Karimlan aims to intervene toward the remaking of history and intends to help in the achievement of freedom, prosperity, justice, and dignity of every person. This book won Best Book of Poetry in a Philippine Language other than Hiligaynon or Kinaray-a.

Norma Absing Respicio shares with us her journey in discovering the weaving technology and tradition in the Philippines in her book, Journey of a Thousand Shuttles, The Philippine Weave. Her book won the Best Book on Art in the 34th National Book Awards.

Tikum Kadlum (Black Dog), Book 1, tells about the hunting spree of Datu Paiburong, the cutting of the priced buriraw nga kawayan (a yellow-colored variety of bamboo), and the heavy payment demanded by the man-eating monster, Makabagting, from Datu Paiburong for the crashing of his priced burugsak (gold bell). This collection of ten epics of Panay won Best Book of Poetry in Hiligaynon or Kinaray-a in last year’s National Book Awards.


Aside from the shirt printing and henna tattoo/face paint station, other activities such as poetry recitals, dance performances, plays, concerts, and puppet show for children will surely be enjoyed by book and culture enthusiasts.

International Book Day/Araw ng Aklat/Dia del Libro, April 23, is a symbolic and significant date for world literature and publishing. On this date in 1616, Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, and the chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, died or were buried. In the Philippines, the month of April the birth and/or death anniversaries of literary pillars like Emilio Jacinto, Paciano Rizal, Nick Joaquin, Edith Tiempo, and Bienvenido Lumbera. April is also the birth month of classic Filipino poet Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar, and to honor him the NCCA declared April the National Literature Month. This event is organized by the National Book Development Board (NBDB), Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), Instituto Cervantes, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL), Ayala Land, and WTA Architecture and Design Studio.