National Artist Virgilio S. Almario, Dr. Michael Coroza, Dr. Juliet Mallari, Dr. John Iremil Teodoro, and KWF Representative Jomar Cañega.

Chairperson Arthur Casanova, Director Oscar Casaysay, and NCCA Youth and Sentro Rizal Ambassador SB19, good morning to you all!

On behalf of the National Book Development Board, it is my great pleasure to speak with you all as we prepare for the launch of this year’s National Literature Month, with the theme of “Muling Pagtuklas sa Karunungang Bayan.”

As we take part in rediscovering our traditional knowledge, the NBDB also hopes to connect our past and present, amidst the aftermath of a global pandemic that has changed many lives in extraordinary ways, to look towards a better future. As such, the NBDB presents Síbol: Charting a World Redrawn as the theme of this year’s Philippine International Literary Festival.

From the onset of a pandemic, we are now crossing the bridge towards a period where we have every opportunity to redraw or rewrite our stories. The season of pagmumuni is over. It’s time to move forward, it’s time to spring—sumíbol—amidst the shifting directions and demands of the times; to rediscover people, places, and things that make up our lives; to renew our sense of agency; and to chart the stories we hope for in a world redrawn from chaos.

Last year, we celebrated the Philippine International Literary Festival for several months. This year, we will also hold the festival throughout the rest of the coming months, from April to October.

Kickstarting the PILF are virtual events in April such as Author on Author, a series of webinars showcasing two authors interviewing each other as they go deep into their creative processes and Post-Pandemic Futures, a series of lively themed conversations with Filipino creatives worldwide.

My Book, My City, virtual tours of independent bookstores from across the country, Show Your Shelf, virtual tours of personal collections of bibliophiles, and The Book Club, interactive discussions where favorite artists talk about a featured book, are also slated to begin in May. More webcasts will follow from June to September, and the festival will end in October with The Chill Session, which will include our favorite poets and spoken word artists.

With these activities lined up to promote Philippine literature, together with the KWF and NCCA, and our partner organizations, the National Book Development Board is hoping for April to be a time when we can talk about how we can navigate our narratives as we undergo through the necessary and important process of redrawing our world. In this delicate period, we are confronted yet again of how we’re always in flux, constantly a blend of the past and the present to usher in something novel, and hopefully, a better world.

Once again, we would like to thank you, and we look forward to celebrating National Literature Month with you.

Mabuhay ang panitikang Filipino!

National Literature Month Theme: Muling Pagtuklas sa Karunungang Bayan

PILF Theme: Síbol: Charting a World Redrawn

March 14, 2022