The Filipino Reader Conference 2013 gathered all Pinoy readers for a day full of book talks and panel discussions. The event aims to promote camaraderie among all Pinoy booklovers as well as to come up with a general consensus on what the contemporary Pinoy readers really want.
Keynote speaker Von Tatones started the event as he discussed the general reading trend of the Filipinos. According to Tatones, the total number of Filipino readers is gradually fluctuating as Filipinos are finding lesser time to read. Also, Tatones concluded that almost half of the Filipino readers are those who are patronizing non-academic readings such as tabloid newspapers, comics etc.
The second part was made up of panel discussions with the topics "Kids and Their Stories" about children literature and "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Popular" about popular literature. The first discussion featured writers Dang Bagas, Luis Gatmaitan and Frances Ong and was led by Zarah Gagatiga. The second one featured Aly Almario, Eros Atalia and Angel Bautista and was hosted by writer Bebang Siy.
The discussion on popular literature pointed out the diversity of literature that is being patronized by Filipino readers today.
The third part of the program featured reading as a business. Panel discussions with the themes "The Digital Filipino Reader" and "What Booksellers Now" featured entrepreneurs Ronald Lim, Gilber Tan, Dan Gaffud, Chad Rosario, and Victoria Velasco.
Book clubs and literature bloggers were also given their spots on the program during the Book Reco Fair where readers talked about each other's recommended readings.
Panel discussions with the theme "Authors as Readers" then followed. The program exacerbated on the fact that all famous writers were once manic readers. It featured famous local writers such as Eros Atalia, Kate Evangelista, Gerry Alanguilan and Eliza Victoria and was headed by Mina Esguerra and Ralph Semino Galan.
The next was the simultaneous book discussions led by book clubs featuring Seasons of Mist by Neil Gaiman for Flips Flipping Pages, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for Goodreads- The Filipino Group, Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog for Pinoy REads Pinoy Books, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card for RMMM Booked Up.
The Filipino Readers' Choice Awards Ceremony was held during the latter part of event. The winners were:
Children's Picture Book: Mga Saranggola sa Tag-Ulan (Kites in the Rain) by Eugene Evasco and Bernadette Solina-Wolf (LG&M Corporation)
Chick Literature: That Kind of Guy by Mina V. Esguerra (Summit Books)
Novel in English: Woman in a Frame by Raissa Rivera Falgui (Flipside Publishing)
Novel in Filipino: Territorio de los Hombres Batch 6: Marcial Ortega by Vanessa (Precious Pages Corporation)
Graphic Novel: Trese 5: Midnight Tribunal by Budjette Tan and KaJo Baldisimo (Visprint)
Short Story Anthology: Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang (Volume 2) by Severino O. Reyes, Christine S. Bellen, Rebecca T. Anonuevo and Felix Mago Miguel (Tahanan Books)
Essay Anthology: Subversive Lives: A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years by Susan F. Quimpo & Nathan Gilbert Quimpo (Anvil)
Poetry: Lita: Poems on Women by the Cavite Young Writers Association (Balangay Books)
Readers' cocktails and socials with book raffles were done at the end of the event to deepen the interactions among the readers.
The Filipino Reader Conference was held in partnership with Rizal Library and National Book Development Board (NBDB), and sponsored by Buqo, Fully Booked, Adarna House, Scholastic, Flipreads, OMF Literature, Hachette, Simon & Schuster with media partner When In Manila.