March 17, 2024 (10:06 AM)

2 min read

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CAMPAIGNING LITERACY. Primetrade Asia, Inc., with the support of Davao Association of Catholic Schools, Inc. (DACS CEAP-XI), organized the Mindanao Book Fair last March 13-15, 2024, at the Arrupe Hall, Ateneo de Davao University, attracting numerous teachers and students from various Mindanaoan institutions. Photo by Edrian Louis Nabos

Bringing back the joy of reading and bridging social and cultural divides, Ateneo de Davao University hosted a three-day Mindanao Book Fair, organized by Primetrade Asia Inc. and sponsored by the Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS).

Vice President of Primetrade Asia, Inc., Tinette Capistrano, shared with Atenews that this is the first book fair they have organized in an academic setting to increase literacy and revive the joys of reading. 

“We always say that engaged people are literate people– literate people will help improve the country… In a nutshell, that would be it so that we can all improve and move forward through literacy,” Capistrano added.     

Aside from the University’s accessible location, AdDU Executive Vice President Jeremy Eliab also expressed that holding the book fair inside the campus symbolizes the University and the books’ pursuit of knowledge, promoting a broader understanding of social, cultural, and political concerns by acting as a lively marketplace for ideas.

“Browsing books on pressing social issues like environmentalism or racial justice or attending talks on language and literature education allows individuals to engage with different viewpoints,” Eliab said.

“This open exchange of ideas encourages critical thinking and can spark conversations that challenge existing biases, ultimately leading to a more informed and engaged citizenry.”

Eliab also stated how encounters with diverse individuals through international publishers and authors foster empathy in recognizing and bridging social and cultural divides and increase social and cultural awareness.                                                                                                                                                          

However, during the three-day book fair, many students expressed their sentiments on how the cost of the books was slightly above their means. 

“It was a refreshing type of booth fair in Arrupe; however, maybe have booths who sold affordable books, most books that were for course studies, nursing books, political science books, etc. In the fair, [there] were ₱2k+. It would be more student-friendly if the prices fit its market.”

Capistrano responded that the high prices of the books were mainly due to logistics, as most of the academic books came from abroad.

“Academic books kase are published abroad, so although books come in tax-free, freight from abroad to here is also costly. So, imagine, kunyari lang ha, US to Manila, Manila to Davao– double [price],” Capistrano said.

The Mindanao Book Fair, organized by Primetrade Asia Inc., was held at the Arrupe Hall of Ateneo de Davao University on March 13-15.



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