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Arts and Culture

Instituto Cervantes continues Spanish tradition of books and roses at BHS

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - On April 20, the very first Día Internacional del Libro (International Book Day) was held at Bonifacio High Street, just outside the Instituto Cervantes grounds. Originally a day that celebrates the Catalan tradition of exchanging books for roses, bookstores offered shoppers a 20-percent discount, as well as a long stemmed rose for every purchase. The annual celebration of books has transformed itself from an ordinary book fair into a full-fledged one-day cultural affair filled with music, dance and poetry.

The event marked the first time that Día Del Libro was celebrated outside the grounds of Instituto Cervantes in Ermita, Manila. Among other writers, National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose was present during the event for a book-signing session. Spanish duo Álvaro Esteban and Elías Aguirre performed their award-winning contemporary dance routine, “Entomo.”

Bersong Europinoy, a European-Filipino poetry recital organized annually by the Instituto Cervantes and the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, presented poetry from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain, as well as the poetry of Filipino writers Gémino H. Abad, Michael Coroza, Daisy López, Alice Sun-Cua and Victor Peñaranda who were present to read their own works. Bersong Europinoy has been part of the celebrations of Viva Europa 2013, the European Month in the Philippines.

One of the walkways of Bonifacio High Street served as the venue for Nikkorlai Tapan and DJ Stefan Löwenstein’s art installation titled “Bosque de Libros” (Jungle of Books) in which selected books were hung from the wooden frames to create the illusion of vines intertwined with books. This was accompanied by a continuous audio of Spanish poems read aloud and re-engineered to mimic the sounds of an actual jungle.  

One of the highlights of the afternoon program was the formal closing of the campaign “Más Libros, Más Libres,”a  month-long Facebook campaign in which, for every “Like,” a Spanish book is to be donated to a public school library. In this campaign, English books were also donated by partners — One Meralco Foundation, PLDT-Smart Foundation, UnionBank and Vibal Foundation. The books were formally handed over by the Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines, Jorge Domecq, together with Jeffrey Tarayao of One Meralco Foundation, to the recipients Quezon City High School, SilidBooklatan and UP Diliman.

Día del Libro 2013 was organized by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the Embassy of Spain and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in collaboration with Acción Cultural Española, INAEM, Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc., Bonifacio High Street and Bonifacio Global City together with partner sponsors Ayala Land Premier, Calata Corporation, Creamy Delight Yogurt, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) with the support of Mercedes-Benz and the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines.

 For information, visit www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila or http://www.manila.cervantes.es/.

ALICE SUN-CUA AND VICTOR PE

AYALA LAND PREMIER

BERSONG EUROPINOY

BONIFACIO ART FOUNDATION INC

BONIFACIO HIGH STREET

BONIFACIO HIGH STREET AND BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY

BOOKS

INSTITUTO CERVANTES

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