Filipinos are among world's most avid readers
Inquirer News Service
Reading is not a lost art in the Philippines—this was indicated by the results of a recent survey conducted on 30,000 consumers over the age 13 in 30 countries.
In the NOP World Culture Score index, Filipinos ranked third as the world's most avid readers (reading 7.6 hours a week), trailing closely after the Indians (10.7 hours) and the Chinese (8 hours), and beating Americans (23th at 5.7 hours), Brits (26th at 5.3 hours) and Japanese (29th at 4.1 hours) by a long margin.
The results of the survey confirm what local publishers have been observing: Filipinos are developing a greater appreciation for reading. More and more bookstores are opening, the magazine industry is steadily rising, and there is bigger demand for reading materials in the Philippines today.
The Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) celebrates its 26th year with the theme "It's Hip to Read!" Slated Aug. 31-Sept. 4 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City, MIBF once again unites local and foreign publishers, wholesalers, retailers, book lovers and collectors, librarians, authors, publishers' representatives, and every major player in the publishing industry in its continuing efforts to promote books and reading.
The book fair is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc., in partnership with Asian Catholic Publishers, Inc.; Book Development Association of the Philippines; Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc.; and Publishers Representatives Organization of the Philippines. It is supported by the Philippine Educational Publishers Association; Book Exporters Association of the Philippines; and Christian Booksellers Association-Philippine Chapter.
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Rio Alma National Artist for Literature "Reading is good exercise for the eyes and the mind. Books most especially are good for the mental health."
Bam Aquino National Youth Commission chair and morning-show host "Reading is interesting, exciting and enriching. It can ground you to reality or help you escape. In both cases, it sets you free. Reading is essential to a person's growth, an ingredient in a person's development. It makes a person engaging and attractive. It's the ultimate turn-on, the gift that keeps on giving!"
Chico Garcia RX 93.1 DJ "It's hip because you're a step in front of the rest of the pack. Everyone's watched the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but how many people do you know read it?"
Jones Campos Head, public relations, Globe Telecom "Reading preempts a movie blockbuster. It keeps you smiling and notably aware all throughout the screening, just munching away at the popcorn on hand."
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde Prima ballerina "It's cool to read because you can transform into anything and anyone you want or dream of becoming. You can go to any place you want to be. You can learn about any subject you can think about. You can change your very being. Just think about all that power!"
Kip Oebanda Founder, Child Laborers Advocates for Social Participation, Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) awardee "It's hip to read because you can learn interesting things, like how to be hip or how to shape your hips. You can even read about learning how to read. There are so many blessings in reading, but the most important of them all is the ability to experience another person, another world and another reality in the comfort of your room."
Joseph Patrick Echevarria Valedictorian, Ateneo de Manila University Batch 2005 and TOSP awardee "When I was 12, my father used to read to me stories by Edgar Allan Poe, like 'The Cask of Amontillado.' More than 10 years later, I can still see Fortunato following the flickering flame, going deeper and deeper into the catacombs… Reading captures the imagination and allows us to witness whole lives, centuries of experiences, and even dreams of the future. And it is often through them that we learn what it means to love, to yearn, to hope—what it means to be human. It is one of those rare acts that not only make us feel alive, but also make us better people."
Arnold Clavio Broadcaster "Because you can create a world you want to be [in] kahit na for a moment lang. You can be a hero or a villain without any worries on how people will judge you. Syempre, stock knowledge yun. It's a good mind exercise that might help prevent you from having Alzheimer's disease.
Marian Catedral Caltex Phils., policy, government and public affairs head "It's cool to be eating alone in a restaurant while reading a book. Reading is the foundation of one's future success."
Barge Ramos Fashion designer "It's hip and cool to read because reading keeps your mind young, inquisitive, logical and always with a sense of wonder about people, God and the world around us."
Irene Rada Head, public relations, Cultural Center of the Philippines "Reading opens new avenues of reflection which makes one a better person."
Ramon Rocha III CEO, OMF Literature "Reading not only develops a person's intelligence; it broadens one's perspective as well, allowing the reader to venture into different worlds, step into the lives of the characters, and share their experiences and emotions. Leaders are readers. One cannot go very far without reading, and by cultivating a love for reading, we develop a healthy nation and intelligent population."
Gerard Salonga Composer/arranger "Reading is to one's mind and soul as working out at the gym is to one's body. Our bodies fade and fall apart, but a powerful mind lasts much longer. There's nothing hipper or cooler than someone with a rich soul and a powerful mind."
Peachy Guioguio Manager, public relations, ABS-CBN "Reading is a great way to enhance our knowledge. It can stimulate us mentally and gives us the opportunity to learn about things, places and culture. Besides, reading is the most hassle-free way to go to your favorite destination. You don't even have to leave the comforts of your home. You just have to use your imagination."
Panch Alcaraz Children's book illustrator "Reading makes you smarter and increases your vocabulary. [It] opens up your mind and fuels your imagination."
Marvin Agustin Actor "Because it's good for the soul to read every day. I believe that if I stick with the things I already know and not open myself up to other people, then I will for sure stagnate and deprive myself of the fulfillment of learning."