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Havens for book lovers

Posted on May 03, 2017

THE BUS rolled out and the books were read.

PHOTO 1 2 3 4 5 PINOY BOOK STOP TOUR: the Quezon City Public Library. 1 2 3 4 5 PINOY BOOK STOP TOUR: children�s books at Los Ba�os�s Books, Crafts, and Coffeeshop. 1 2 3 4 5 PINOY BOOK STOP TOUR: the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center in Marikina. 1 2 3 4 5 PINOY BOOK STOP TOUR: the Komikero Komiks Museum in San Pablo, Laguna. 1 2 3 4 5 PINOY BOOK STOP TOUR: the Bodhi Mind and Body Shop in Tagaytay. This year�s Pinoy Book Stop Tour, spearheaded by the National Book Development Board (NBDB), was held on April 7-8 and visited various locations in Metro Manila, Tagaytay, and Laguna.

Although condensed in two days compared to last year�s three, the 2017 Pinoy Book Stop Tour was able to visit six venues in areas around Metro Manila. The tour gathered 27 participants, excluding the walk-ins at every stop.

Activities were held in each book stop -- talks on books, poetry readings, and musical performances -- to promote excellent local titles, particularly the recent winners of the National Book Awards and the National Children�s Book Awards. The roster of speakers included Isabela Banzon, Rosa May Bayuga, MJ Tumamac, Ergoe Tinio, Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Chuckberry Pascual, Marne Kilates, Amy Uy, Jenny B. Orillos, Gerry Alanguilan, Ericson Acosta, Enrique Villasis, and Joselito delos Reyes.

By the end of the second day, almost everyone was carrying bags full of newly purchased and signed books on the way home.

Although the tour is over, here are the stops you might want to include during a summer outing:

Location: 127 Dao St., Marikina Heights, Marikina City

Lawyer Dominador Buhain, president of the Rex Group of Companies, opened the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center in 2013 to share his vast personal collection of books and artifacts from around the world with the public. He acquired all the collectibles on trips to different countries and most of the items, such as the art books, are rare finds.

Mr. Buhain�s fascination with miniatures is also reflected in the museum. The Book Museum features one of the smallest tablets which contains a Chinese poem from the city of Chongqing, one of the smallest books in the world from Mainz, Germany, and a miniature collection of Shakespeare�s works, among other things. �[The miniature books] are made in letter press -- not nanotechnology or anything advanced. Since he�s (Mr. Buhain) in the publishing industry, he knows that those things are hard to make,� Book Museum supervisor Sherleen Bautista told BusinessWorld.

The Book Museum cum Ethnology Center is also open for students to use for research and studies. Admission is P100. For more information, call (02) 570-4449 or e-mail [email protected].

Location: Quezon City Hall Compound, Mayaman St., Barangay Central, Quezon City

The Quezon City Public Library stands out for a reason -- it is one of the largest and has the best book collection of public libraries in Metro Manila. The Quezon City Public Library is composed of a main library located at the back of the Quezon City Hall and 21 satellite libraries scattered all over Quezon City.

The main library has over 18,131 books and 71 functional computer stations for online public access catalog (OPAC), encoding, and Internet available free of charge to Quezon City residents. Because of this, it was awarded third place in the 2016 Outstanding Public Libraries by the National Library of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in November last year.

The Quezon City Public Library is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday. Residents and nonresidents are allowed to avail of the library�s services. For more information, call (02) 922-4060 or visit its Facebook page: Quezon City Public Library.

Location: inside UST campus, Espa�a, Manila

Besides being the oldest university in Asia, the University of Santo Tomas takes pride in its Publishing House (USTPH) which produces numerous literary and scholarly titles. UST is also known as the home to many great writers in the country.

With the newly minted UST Bookstore located just at the side of the university�s main building, students and guests will have easier access to all the books available.

USTPH Director John Jack Wigley said that what attracts visitors most is the textbooks section because �we are primarily an academic publishing house and producing resources for tertiary education is still our priority.� Next to the textbooks is the literary section, with many poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction titles on offer.

Mr. Wigley said that the UST Bookstore, which has been operating for less than three months, is doing well and what surprises him is that many people purchase books that are not even on required readings lists -- an indication that the reading culture is doing well.

For more details, call USTPH at (02) 731-3522 or visit the Facebook page: UST Publishing House.

Location: La Bella Market Village, Brgy. Neogan, Tagaytay City

While its name may sound like a spa cum clinic, Bodhi Mind and Body Shop is a two-story shop filled with books on life and all its aspects.

The shop�s owner, 71-year-old Grace Eleazar, told BusinessWorld that her goal was to share her specialized 40-year-old book collection with the public. The topics range from the mind and consciousness, philosophy, religion, mind and body interaction, and the needs of the body both internally and externally.

�These are books on the nature of reality and how to use our mind and consciousness in order to have a better life and a better world,� she said. �This is a bookstore on life itself.�

Aside from the bookstore, Bodhi has a separate store for health and wellness products and a cozy roof deck for those who want to wind down.

For more information, contact La Bella Tagaytay head office at (02) 656-8669 local 107.

Location: Tia Maria�s Sining at Kultura #29 Marasigan Street, Lakeside Park Subdivision, San Pablo City

Filipino comic book fans will surely love this next stop. The Komikero Komiks Museum is a small gallery featuring artworks from many eras of Philippine comics history, with an emphasis on artists based in San Pablo City.

The museum is run by the �Komikero� himself, Doroteo Gerardo �Gerry� N. Alanguilan, Jr., a comic book artist and writer best known for his graphic novels Wasted and Elmer which won several international awards.

Mr. Alanguilan he started Komikero Komiks Museum in the hope that it will be a bigger venue in the future. �[It is] for Filipino artists to be inspired and to be informed of our Philippine comics history,� he said.

For inquiries, contact Komikero Komiks Museum at (049) 503-0283, (049) 521-1810, or 0926-048-0267. Follow on Facebook,

Location: Corner Ruby and Data Sts., Los Ba�os, Laguna (near the University of the Philippines Los Ba�os)

The idea is simple -- to have a place where book patrons, coffee lovers, and talented performers can get together.

It started as Yolanda Catalla�s massive collection of books and eventually become a quaint secondhand bookstore that serves as a hub for young creatives. �I used to smoke and drink coffee a lot -- I still do -- and as I was doing that, I am also reading books. So it�s a good combination,� she said.

Ms. Catalla said they allow people to come in and borrow the books while enjoying the food at the coffeeshop. Some visitors end up reserving a book or two after their stay.

�Our surprise was that there is truly love for reading the old-fashioned way... holding a book, flipping through pages, and asking for our thoughts on the book a patron is about to purchase -- is always a source of joy,� she said.

Books, Crafts and Coffeeshop can be reached through mobile, 0921-5849741, or Facebook, -- Camille Anne M. Arcilla


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