Our 38th Manila International Book Fair (#MIBF2017) Experience

20170922_142228.jpgThe 38th Manila International Book Fair, also known as MIBF2017 has come and gone at di nagpapigil ang mga tao sa bagyo! (and the typhoon wasn’t enough to stop the people from attending the event!)
Last week, I published a blog on 15 Things You Need to Know Before Going to the 38th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF2017) based on my experiences of attending the annual fair. And since every visit is different and Anja is now three, I would like to share our 38th Manila International Book Fair (#MIBF2017) experience.
I have been following the event’s for announcements and updates. I got so excited when they finally posted teasers for this year’s MIBF. I felt even more thrilled when they announced that they are taking over two floors!
The second floor was dedicated to children’s materials and young adult literature. This is also the floor where you’ll find the persistent agents who will invite you for a demonstration of their product.
National Bookstore had toys on display and demonstration. Their staff were accommodating and inviting to the kids. However, there were other booths that weren’t as child friendly.
Most booths were small and the space between booths were wide making it seem like MIBF wasn’t able to maximize the space on the second floor. The wide space helped me run after Anja though. There weren’t as many people on the second floor as there were on the first floor so it wasn’t difficult to keep track of kids.
I spent at this year’s fair more than I ever did previously. I wanted to get more, especially the gigantic kids books but I knew I didn’t have the space to store them. Anja’s book collection and list of future reads is beginning to compete with mine. I think I’ll just attend events and workshops next year unless I receive errands and requests for a book hunt 😉 But before I dive deeper into the rabbit hole and day dream about next year’s book fair, I would like to share Our 38th Manila International Book Fair (#MIBF2017) Experience

5 Ways We Prepared for MIBF2017

1. Our printed pass
20170922_155121.jpgI got us printed passes from and ooh their booth did not disappoint. I wanted to pass by Fully Booked because I heard they had interesting (read: beautiful, book mark-type) passes but didn’t get a chance to do so.
2. Our “grocery list”
I jotted down the list of books I’ve wanted to get my hands on, ready for a book hunt between shelves. I also have a list and photos of books for Anja. Lastly, I had a list of items I needed wanted to purchase and use for our arts and crafts. I had these lists on my phone but also wrote them on paper so I woudn’t risk losing my phone if I had to jump into a mosh pit. It also saved me from constantly having to switch apps and screens because I was taking a photo here and looking at our list or checking for schedules, etc. Analog always works!
3. Our budget
I had Php1,000.00 for a budget and was aiming for everything under Php100.00 It may have been more of a quantity over quality thing but I was looking for simple books for Anja, activity books we won’t feel bad ruining. Standard novels and popular titles, Bibles – even the ones for toddlers and children range from Php300-500. Book sets are always over Php1,000.00 each, way beyond our budget.
4. Our schedule
I signed up for an event of Rex Bookstore but wasn’t able to attend it. MIBF announcements weakened towards the event day and other exhibitor announcements were also difficult to find. I had a hard time looking for events to attend other than the ones hosted by MIBF itself. National Book Store released the schedule of their authors but the image was so small (or of low quality) that I only guessed the details. I only found out about the Sharpie workshop AT THE NBS BOOTH when I saw their stage and workshop area. I suppose I should have also been following the social media pages of frequent exhibitors.
5. I did not bring a friend nor a stroller. I brought an extra bag!
Pasay City is a no-plastic-bag zone so most of our purchases were placed in paper bags. It was a good thing our usual bag has a huge pocket outside and the extra bag came in handy to stash what didn’t fit.

As expected, there were

1. Beautiful exhibits

While National Book Store wins at advertisement being the biggest booth and the first one you’ll see upon entering the halls, Rex Bookstore brings in a mini museum!

A mini museum at Rex Bookstore
Other booths were small but had wonderful props just like PortkeyEvents and that other booth that featured literature from Mindanao. Culture and art from that part of the country is undenyably beautiful (I’m so disappointed in myself for not being able to take a photo. Find them here )
Vibal Publishing had rubber mats and Anja insisted on removing her shoes! (She has been conditioned that rubber mats are a no shoes zone.) She danced around the area and a few other little kids stopped by. There was a bench too, for parents story telling, probably.
Abiva Publishing had a bus photo booth. Pilot had a freedom wall-ish.
2. Discounts
Nakakainggit ung may shopping cart full of books sa National Book Store. (I feel envious of the people who had a shopping cart full of books at the National Book Store.) Part of me wanted to just grab every popular title and then retail them at a regular price. 😭
Adarna House dropped their prices on many titles. They also had bargain books.
WS Publishing, the mosh pit I was looking forward to, had books at Php10.00 They were mostly for the little ones. They had book sets or toys – like alphabet floor puzzle things where you match the image to the letter, C is for cat, or my first words/animals/toys/whatever – at around Php500.00
Marvy dropped prices on school supplies – scissors, white board pens, rulers, etc.
3. Crowds
MIBF posted a photo on their Facebook page about the long lines at the entrance on Saturday. The photo encouraged me to just stay home instead of returning for round 2. Anyway, I was no longer going to purchase anything but was planning to attend events.
4. Authors
There was this crowd on the second floor when we arrived. It was a book signing and fan club meet up. I din’t really know who she was but they were playing Britney Spears and 90’s songs so Anja just went and ran up to the area. If there weren’t barriers at the side, she would’ve made it to the stage 😅
5. More than just books
Sinong best pen mo doon? (Who is your best pen?) National Book Store would have calligraphers, hand lettering enthusiasts, and wannabe’s swooning. I recently jumped into the band wagon of hand lettering and the materials on display got me crying inside – soo many to choose from, soo little money!
There were also dedicated booths for Pilot, Artline, and other “office supplies related” exhibitors. Most non-book exhibitord sold educational materials and aids such as charts, wood blocks (with numbers or the alphabet), and even human anatomy models where the skeleton got Anja both curious and scared – and did not want to take a photo with. 😝

Things to remember for the next visit

1. Keep calm and stay in line
We visited on a weekday and did not visit again on the weekend. If the line at the entrance was long, then check out lines would probably be long as well. Visiting on a weekday is our best bet for survival. 👌
2. A belt bag and distinguishable clothing
Bringing a belt bag was a great decision. It kept my money and phone close. Pant pockets don’t have zips and things can easily fall out.
I dressed Anja in a bright color so she’s easy to spot; we took photos at the entrance so I’d have a reference of what she’s wearing if we lose each other – I forgot to teach her where to go for rendezvous though…
3. Visit the secretariat first
Maps and fliers from exhibitors are available at the secretariat. Maps were also available at the doors but only on the given floor. The secretariat had a table and some wiggle room to make notes – the doors are, well, busy with a flow in and out of visitors.
4. The earlier, the better
Most talks and discussions events are held in the morning. The afternoon are mostly book signings and launches. It is also easier to come and stay longer than be late and have to rush through the shopping…especially when you window shop more than actually purchasing anything – like me.
5. Enjoy
I have my list of books to buy yet rarely find them at MIBF. Next year, we will enjoy the fair, take more photos, attend events, and overall make the most of our visit to the Mall of Asia in general. Here’s to hoping they don’t suddenly move to another venue.


How was your experience at the 38th Manila International Book Fair (#MIBF2017)? Share it in the comments!


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