As the Manila International Book Fair celebrates its 30th year on Sept. 16 to 20 at the SMX Convention Center at SM Mall of Asia, it draws the spotlight on Tomas Pinpin, the Prince of Filipino printers, who was an important instrument in the beginnings of the Philippine book industry.

In preparation for the book’s 400th anniversary in 2010, the MIBF will showcase a replica of Tomas Pinpin’s book “Librong Pinag-aaralan Nang Manga Tagalog Nang Uicang Castilla” and the first printing press in an educational exhibit that will allow Filipinos to have greater appreciation for Pinpin’s contribution to the Philippine book industry.

The first Filipino author in Tagalog and Spanish, Tomas Pinpin was also the first native Filipino printer by typography.


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manila international book fair 2009He was the first Filipino poet in Tagalog and Spanish and the first Filipino to write a grammar book called “Librong Pag-aaralan Nang Manga Tagalog Nang Uicang Castilla” for Tagalog natives to learn Spanish.

Born in Abucay, Bataan about the year 1590, Pinpin received his education from the Spanish Dominican missionaries. But it was from Fr. Francisco Blancas de San Jose that he received his training in printing by typography.

In 1610, Fr. San Jose wrote the book “Artes Y Reglas de Las Lengua Tagala” which Pinpin printed.

The last book printed carrying Pinpin’s name was dated 1639, narrating the martyrdom of Father Marcelo Francisco de Matrilli in Nagasaki in 1637. Since 1640, Tomas Pinpin has entered into perpetual silence as a printer but his heroism and diligence is ours to remember and emulate. His story of fidelity to the Church and loyalty to his countrymen ought to be modeled through the lives we live.

For three decades now, MIBF has united local and foreign publishers, wholesalers, retailers, book lovers and collectors, librarians, authors, and publishers’ representatives.

Through economic ups and downs, it has also continuously contributed to the reading awareness of the Filipino by being the venue for book launches, dialogues with readers, and other book-related activities that reach out to a wide audience.

On its pearl anniversary, MIBF showcases the largest and most varied collection of literature, textbooks, educational supplements, general references, religious and inspirational titles, self-help books, management books, Filipiniana, coffee table books, popular novels, children’s books, art books, graphic novels, rare and hard-to-find titles, magazines, audio and e-books, multimedia, teaching supplies and services, publishers’ technology, and travel materials.

Co-located at the MIBF is Edu.Shop, a trade fair for school materials, supplies, equipment, and facilities.

MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc., Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc., and Publishers Representatives Organization of the Philippines, sponsored by Albergus Catering, The Brain, Innovation Printshoppe, and Armvet. For details, call 890-0661 or 896-0682, or e-mail [email protected]

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