I went to catch Instituto Cervantes’ yearly Día del Libro on April 27 at the Ayala Triangle. It was a few years ago at Bonifacio High Streets that I first attended to fully immerse myself in the Spanish culture, after missing living in Latin America and speaking the beautiful language.
This year Dia del Libro was an emphasis on the iconic poem “Mi último adiós” by the Filipino writer and national hero José Rizal. There were 70 poem readers who recited it, which was recorded on video for social media and online website of the Spanish school in Manila.
I always love the concept of hanging the books written in Spanish tied with strings and you can devour your hearts out content to read them. I was given a gorgeous long stem red rose as I was checking out the t-shirts with Spanish quotes printed on them. “Nada te turbe, nada te espanta” caught my eye as it’s apt at the moment.
At the Book Market, I was happy to see the famous Filipino historian Ambeth Ocampo. We first met during a talk at The Manila Times School of Journalism over a decade ago and his funny story on how he made sure he saw Jose Rizal’s original manuscript at the National Library even if the security was strict stuck to me.
He had a book signing there along with other notable authors including Jessica Zafra, José Miguel Arguelles, Karl de Mesa, Ferdinand Jarin, Cyan Abad Hugo, Gabriella Lee, Francis Quina and Carla Pacis, Trese creators Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo and Carlos Malvar.
Dia del Libro saw the popular Don Quijote de la Mancha rewritten. It celebrated Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes when 500 participants gave it a new breath of life. The final work will be kept in the library of Instituto Cervantes in Manila.
To cap the night was the Posporos concert, featuring Vulk, a Basque punk band from Bilbao, and The Late Isabel, an art rock band from the Philippines. The Spanish school also held fun activities such as sketching, book signing sessions, film screenings, storytelling for children, and chuta-gol for football fans.
Instituto Cervantes will continue its Viva Europa celebration in Ateneo next month.
For more information, please visit Instituto Cervantes’ website:
Telephone #: 526-1482
Address: Ayala Tower One & Philippine Stock Exchange Tower Plaza, Ground Floor, Ayala Triangle, Ayala Avenue, Makati