NBDB holds first Children’s Literary Festival in Mindanao


The National Book Development Board (NBDB) and ABC Educational Development Center will be conducting the first Mindanao and ASEAN Children’s Literary Festival, with the theme “Mindanaoans in Unity Beyond Words,” for the whole month of October until November 6.

The Mindanao and ASEAN Children’s Literary Festival will open on October 9, Saturday, at 2PM, with special shadow play and dance performances from different Mindanao groups, highlighting the artistry and culture of the people in Mindanao.

The event provides an opportunity for children, authors, illustrators, and publishers from Mindanao to promote and organize a variety of presentations and readings. They will be able to participate in community events while building strong cultural ties and fostering the love of writing and literature.

Furthermore, the festival seeks to instill in the minds of the children the importance of culture of peace through literary programs and to preserve different literature of ethnic groups in Mindanao.

“It is important to read children’s stories to our young ones. Children would get many benefits when we read such stories like learning new words and cultivating their interest in reading,” ABC Educational Development Center head and NBDB Board member Mary Ann Ordinario said.

There are series of online activities, which will be broadcasted through the Zoom platform and Facebook Live. These online events include a series of storytelling sessions, writing workshops, zine competition, and the Children’s Books Award.

The event is also an avenue for aspiring authors and illustrators to hone their craft. ASEAN award-winning children’s authors Mary Ann Ordinario and MJ Cagumbay Tumamac (Xi Zuq) will share their knowledge on writing stories and picture books. Filipino writer Eric Gerard Nebran and Malaysian illustrator Emilia Yusof will talk about zine making. Indonesian artist Evelyn Ghozalli will talk about illustrating children's books.

Storytellers from different regions of Mindanao will conduct storytelling sessions for the young participants of the event. Storytellers from Cotabato province, South Cotabato, and General Santos City will read children’s stories written by local authors to the kids from their respective communities.

The National Book Development Board is an agency of the Philippine government under the Department of Education formed through Republic Act No. 8047 or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act, which was responsible for promoting the continuing development of the book-publishing industry in the Philippines, with the active participation of the private sector.

NBDB's operational plans are grassroots capacity-building initiatives, investment and trade promotion activities, public campaigns, and institutionalized research and data gathering.

ABC Development Center is an independent publishing house based in Kidapawan City. Its goal is to introduce high-quality books for children that would promote the culture and heritage of the Filipino people.