Legarda – PH Guest of Honour status at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2025 to promote local publishing industry in global arena

August 18, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda said the Philippines’ participation as the Guest of Honour (GOH) at the Frankfurter Buchmesse (FBM) 2025, the largest book fair in the world, will promote the country’s publishing industry in the global arena and will prove to be a great venue to highlight the Philippines’ culture and arts.

Since 2016, Legarda has pushed for this distinction as Guest of Honour at the world’s oldest and most prestigious book fair. It was late in 2015 when Karina Bolasco, then Director of the Ateneo de Manila University Press, presented the idea to support the Fair, and Legarda has done so ever since.

“As Guest of Honour, we will be in a unique, prominent position in the global arena to show our publishing industry’s creativity and intellectual prowess. I have worked tirelessly for this, together with then NBDB Chair Neni Sta. Romana Cruz and Board Members Karina Bolasco and Ani Almario. After eight years, since I learned about this Fair and its importance in 2015, we have worked tirelessly, and now we have finally clinched that honor and distinction,” shared Legarda.

“This should translate to tangible, economic impact such as an increase in the number of actual book exports, in sales of translation rights and other derivative rights, and will expand opportunities internationally for our writers, book designers, artists, and comics illustrators, all these while we establish, strengthen, and expand our ties to our networks of publishers and cultural institutions across the world,” she continued.

Legarda, the project visionary behind the country’s bid for the GOH, noted that the book fair is also seen as a significant boost to the country’s reputation, which will result in an uptick in tourism numbers, along with positive branding of growing exports from the country’s creative industry, such as film, music, architecture, and others.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is held annually in Frankfurt, Germany. It remains to be the most important marketplace for publishers, authors, literary agents, media professionals, illustrators, and book and trade associations to negotiate their publishing and licensing rights.

It has attracted over 4,000 exhibitors across 100 countries and is seen as a convergence of political, cultural, and economic significance.

Before the Philippines’ bid to be the Guest of Honour at the FBM, Indonesia, in 2015, is the only ASEAN country that has become GOH.

On August 18, 2023, the official Guest of Honour contract was signed in Davao City, led by the book fair’s President and CEO, Juergen Boos, and the officials of NBDB, led by Chair Dante Francis Ang II and Executive Director Charisse Tugade.

Legarda, who spoke as the keynote speaker of the Philippine Book Festival in Davao, stressed the importance of such events for the enrichment of the education of many.

“As your senator who is deeply dedicated and committed to promoting education and literacy, I fully support this significant undertaking that instills a lifelong love for learning,” said Legarda.

“It is an honor to be here in the gathering of literary enthusiasts, authors, publishers, and readers, who have all come together to celebrate and promote a culture of reading and writing in our country,” she continued. (end)