Books and Roses at Instituto Cervantes

A grand Catalan celebration awaits bibliophiles, culture lovers, and the curious this April 24 as Instituto Cervantes brings back Día Internacional del Libro (International Book Day).

The country may have been experiencing a sweltering summer heat, but on April 24 a deluge of books arrives at Manila as Instituto Cervantes brings back Día Internacional del Libro (International Book Day).

Some 4,000 book titles will be raining at the Spanish cultural center. From 10 am to 7 pm, bibliophiles can get their hands on a wide selection of books – children and young adult titles, dictionaries, novels, and non-fiction titles – for as low as P20.  Even better, for every purchase you make you will be given a rose. And the first 400 buyers will also receive a free anthology of Miguel Hernández’s poetry, one of the main Spanish writers from the 20th century.

First introduced in Manila in 2006 by Instituto Cervantes, the tradition of Día del Libro began in Barcelona, Spain, where, on St. George’s Day, people would exchange roses for books. This tradition encourages book lovers from all walks of life to gather and indulge their literary passion.

This date also commemorates the deaths of two of history’s greatest writers – Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare – who coincidentally died also on the same year in 1616.

“The Dia del Libro festivities is a day of fun for the whole family. And most importantly, this is a day where people of all ages and from all walks of life can find joy and refuge through literature,” says Instituto Cervantes director José Rodríguez.

Together with books and roses, Instituto Cervantes will dazzle guests with even more treats. Give your child a chance to embrace his artistic side. From 9 am to noon, kids will have the opportunity to take part in a film workshop, “La maleta de Cervantes”, or how to retell Don Quijote’s novel through their eyes.

From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Instituto Cervantes, in collaboration with Faber-Castell, will organize a fun-filled activity for children ages 3 to 12 years old with Pinta Historias (Color Your World), a whole day of painting and reading fun for the young artists.

Visit the Instituto Cervantes library and see the vast collection of books, videos, periodicals and audio CDs. Membership only costs 770 pesos but students and senior citizens can get it for almost half the price.

Watch the film Una Casa de Locos at 2pm, a truly European comedy about a young Parisian who decides to study in Barcelona the last year of his university degree. He finds a flat which he shares with 6 people each from a different European country. All of them are in the same situation; all of them are studying in Barcelona through the European university exchange scheme (ERASMUS).

Those who are into poetry may attend the Euro-Pinoy Poetry Recital at 4 p.m. Entitled “Bersong EuroPinoy”. This recital will feature ten Filipino poets (Marra Lanot, Pete Lacaba, Gemino Abad, Alice Sun-Cua, Joel Toledo, Mooki Katigbak, Ramon Sunico among them) and European diplomats reciting European and Filipino poems. The recital will finish with a “balagtasan” between poets. This event, organised in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union and the European embassies in the country, aims to highlight the Spanish presidency of the EU.

Photo buffs may also submit their best photo shots taken during Día del Libro. Demonstration classes will be held at 12:15 noon and 4:15 pm for those who are interested to learn the Spanish language. Diagnostic tests will also be conducted at 11:45 am for those who want to know the extent of their Spanish language proficiency. Interested applicants may get a discount if they enrol on that day.

At 6pm, Raul M. Sunico and the UST Conservatory of Music will perform a series of Philippine music written and sung in Spanish during the Philippine Revolution.  It will also be accompanied by a lecture afterwards.

A Latin party—overflowing with food, music, drinks, and dancing – caps the event.

So mark off your calendar, slather on the sunscreen and bring the whole family at Instituto Cervantes for a day of fun, learning and surprises.

Día del Libro is organized by Instituto Cervantes de Manila in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines, Spanish Department of Culture, Spanish Agency International Cooperation for Development (AECID), Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, Filipino-Spanish Friendship Day, Light Rail Transit Authority, Fundación Miguel Hernández, Icon Graphics, Mag:net Cafe Katipunan, A Different Bookstore, Powerbooks, Barcino Wine and Tapas Bar, Gobierno de Aragón, Casa Asia, Universidad de Alcalá, Fundación Banco de Santander, Gobierno de La Rioja, Universidad Castilla-La Mancha, Ayuntamiento de Barcelona, Faber-Castell and

Admission to this event is FREE on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED basis. For more information, please call 5261482 or visit You may also get updates on the event by visiting and becoming a fan of our Facebook page Instituto Cervantes de Manila is at 855 T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila


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