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World Book Day 2023: Celebrating the Power of Words at Intramuros 

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In anticipation of the World Book Day, on Saturday April 22, 2023, from 10 am to 6 pm, Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the Embassy of Spain and Intramuros Administration invite visitors to the Intramuros Branch of Instituto Cervantes de Manila to enjoy a variety of activities that promote the joy of reading. 

From fiction to non-fiction, poetry to prose, thousands of books will be gathered around Instituto Cervantes’ premises in Intramuros. Día del Libro will feature Manila top bookstores and publishing houses that will be selling a wide array of books at a 20% discount. Following the tradition in Spain, every book purchase would entitle one to a free rose. 

Apart from the book market, visitors to Día del Libro will be treated to poetry recitals, free Spanish classes, book presentations, street art, games, exhibits, storytelling sessions, Spanish food, as well as fun activities for the children.  

First introduced in Manila by Instituto Cervantes in 2006, the tradition of Día del Libro began in Barcelona, Spain. To the present, the tradition is commemorated on St. George’s Day (23 April), during which Spanish people exchange roses and books. This date also honors two of history’s greatest writers – Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare – who coincidentally died on the very same day, April 23, 1616. These significant incidents prompted the UNESCO to declare April 23 as “World Book and Copyright Day” to instill the love of reading among the youth and to promote respect for the rights of authors over their works. April is also the birth month of the classic Filipino poet Francisco Balagtas, and to honor him the National Commission for Culture and the Arts declared April as National Literature Month.  

In the spirit of this year’s celebration, UNESCO has chosen the theme “Read for the Future” to emphasize the role of books in shaping our collective future. In a world that is constantly changing, books provide us with the knowledge and imagination to navigate the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. 

In this edition, to commemorate the Day of Miguel de Cervantes, Instituto Cervantes is challenging visitors to join a Quixotic attempt: to handwrite Don Quixote de La Mancha. The final hand-written book will be deposited in the Library of Instituto Cervantes. People interested in taking part in the writing of Don Quijote can join on the same day with no prior registration. Participants in the handwriting chain will receive a rose.  

Through the 2nd Recital of Filhispanic Poetry, Instituto Cervantes is inviting poetry lovers to recite verses written in Spanish by Filipino poets. All the recorded recitations will be compiled in a video that will be posted in Instituto Cervantes Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/@InstitutoCervantesManila at the end of April 2023. Interested poetry aficionados can register here: https://forms.office.com/e/EZwcmKDsTN 

Thanks to the collaboration of publishing houses, visitors will have the opportunity to meet authors who will be signing their works. Among the writers who will be signing copies are Jessica Zafra, Charlson Ong, Wilfredo Liangco, Katrina Martin, Kannika Claudine D. Peña, or Vince Groyon. Book lovers will also have the chance to attend book presentations organized by some publishers. Please check program schedule at https://www.facebook.com/events/1224034514883637

As one of the perks of Día del Libro, Instituto Cervantes will offer a 10% discount and special gifts for those enrolling on 22 April. And to cap it off, Instituto Cervantes will close Día del Libro 2023 with a live concert by leading Filipino rock band Talahib People’s Music, from 5:30pm.   

Whether you’re a lifelong reader or just discovering the joy of books, World Book Day 2023 at the Instituto Cervantes de Manila is a day to celebrate the power of words to connect us to each other and to the world around us. Join Día del Libro at Intramuros and experience a jam-packed evening of excitement. And for this year’s celebration, Instituto Cervantes will be giving out hundreds of books – for FREE! 

Día del Libro is organized by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines and Intramuros Administration, and with the support of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Consejería de Educación of Spain, and the embassies of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela. Participating bookstores and publishing houses include: Ateneo University Press, Milflores Publishing, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Vibal Publishing, Far Eastern University Publications, La Solidaridad Bookstore, Kahel Press, and Artbooks.ph.   

Admission to all Día del libro activities is FREE on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED basis. For more information about World Book Day 2023 and events at the Intramuros Branch of Instituto Cervantes de Manila, visit the website www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila.  

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