On the sixth year of my family’s pilgrimage to the Manila International Book Fair, we not only bought quality books and magazines but inexpensive homeschool finds as well. We didn’t want to miss this year’s event so we had to tightly hold on to our wallets and close our eyes on some items.

As we squeezed our way through the packed aisles of SMX on a Sunday, I was surprised to see Bookmark’s booth at one corner aisle. This book store was “the” book store of the 80’s to the 90’s until Powerbooks and Fully Booked opened in Manila. I was unaware that the store sells Filipiniana themed books and goodies until I searched their shelves and found books written by Filipino authors and other books showcasing our country’s heritage.

The large books books on display were pricey for me but for the History buff and/or collector of Filipino memorabilia, these are priceless. But what caught my eye was the small boxed items displayed on a rattan basket labeled “3 for 100 Pesos”. We found a box of Pinoy Domino and two kinds of Memory Game Cards.

dominoThe dominoes had pictures of our local fruits including mango (our national fruit), pineapple, mangosteen, durian, watermelon and papaya. Our little girl kept tugging on my shirt and pleading that we get the dominoes. I grabbed a set and two other Memory Card Games featuring Philippine Heroes and Filipino Games.

I also found packs of reprinted vintage style postcards which depicted Philippine life in pre-colonial and colonial era. Being a History lover myself and fan of anything vintage, I had to grab these for keepsake. Who wouldn’t want postcards that costs one peso each? Aside from the vintage finds, postcards of local tourist spots as well as different animals species, some endangered, that are found only in our country were also on sale. We left the booth shelling out 146 pesos only for these unique finds. Unfortunately, the tourist spots pack I got only showed the ones seen in Baguio.


Next stop was the Lampara booth because our eldest child wanted to get a copy of the “Phantom of the Opera” pocketbook. Lampara has locally printed classic literature which is great for visual learners.  They were unable to find a copy so he got “The Lost World” instead for 69 pesos. At the other end of the booth, our our little girl found this “Frozen” novelette which costs 77 pesos. Total purchase at Lampara books, 146 pesos.

Our MIBF tradition will not be complete without a visit to the OMF booth. We got our yearly devotional by Chris Tiegreen, “The One year at His Feet”, our daughter’s book “The White Shoes” by Grace Chong and Gina Holmes fiction book “Crossing Oceans” for me. I just remembered now that all books were on sale, I should have gotten one of Karen Kingsbury’s series huhu! Anyway, our total cash out at OMF Lit was 346 pesos. It’s so sad to to visit their booth with a very limited budget however I am reassured that they will have another sale in the coming months to make way for the Christmas shoppers! That’s my turn to splurge, yahoo!

Then, the kids got a treat from my author-friend, Beng Alba-Jones, who generously gave a copy of her latest book, “Flaming Furnace, Fiery Faith”. Cost of the book, free!


Our last stop was Summit Media Publishing. I wanted to get a new Yummy recipe book but their booth was too crowded. Only my husband and our son were able to squeeze in and get back issues of the K-zone magazine for 100 pesos.

It was past 1 P.M. when we headed to the mall for lunch. As expected, all the restaurants were super packed. We walked for almost half an hour looking for a place to sit and eat. Until my husband saw this Pancit ng Malabon kiosk outside the mall with a small dining area on the side. We settled for pancit to fill our growling stomachs. Our total bill was 400 pesos which included a small size pancit bilao (good for 5 persons) and three bottles of water.

On books and food we spent only Php 1,138! In fact, the four of us were able to share an 85-peso shaved iced for dessert! As always, our MIBF tradition has been a blessing to our family. We didn’t need to purchase all the books we saw but we were able to browse through them and get ideas for future purchases.


Last night, after dinner, we slumped on the bed all eager to play the games we bought. Aside from giving them the game instructions, I asked them what fruits were shown in each domino piece. They answered me with the names of the fruits in English but I reminded them to use the Filipino names. The kids and I were laughed so hard because they called watermelon “pawikan” (which is turtle in English) instead of “pakwan” and pineapple, “pinaple”.

The game is great for both Filipino and Science subjects. Both kids have eaten these fruits in the past except for Durian, which I too have an aversion to. Our little girl can describe the color, shape and texture of the fruit as well as the taste, which is already an application for a lesson in Science.

The next game we played was the Memory Card game featuring Philippine heroes. Secretly, I wanted to check whether our eldest child remembered something in Social Studies class haha! Again, instructions were given on how to play the game. At the onset, they couldn’t get to flip the correct pair of cards but eventually they did and got the ball rolling.  I was comforted to hear our eldest child was able to give the name of the hero and what he did for our country. He remembered key figures like Jose Rizal, Apolinario Mabini, Andres Bonifacio, two of the martyred priests, Manuel Quezon, Ramon Magsaysay and Ninoy Aquino. Other prominent persons were also included in the set but I myself have forgotten their contribution to the country 🙂 Our little girl on the other hand, has yet to study these men in the future. To play the game, she just needed to remember the names and the faces!


If you were unable to visit the Bookmark booth at the book fair, check out Bookmark, the Filipino Bookstore or like them on Facebook, The Bookmark Inc. Filipino Bookstore to find out where you can get the same items we purchased. Their annual book sale is still running until September 30 so grab you Filipiniana stash now!

How about you, Mom? Were you there at the MIBF too? What were your favorite purchases? I might add them to my list next year 🙂 







About Author

The love for writing began early in life however the passion slowly ebbed away by the waves of a so-called profession. But after years of changing diapers and pulling teeth, the reluctant writer emerges to live out the gift bestowed upon her by the gracious Father.

You might also enjoy: