A fair to remember

This year’s Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) is indeed worth remembering. It was my second time to visit MIBF and I found this experience to be different from my first time. Well, let me list some reasons.

  • It’s unusual – I was all alone when I went to the fair on September 14. I mean, I do not have any family member or friend with me. Usually when going to activities like this, I am with my mother or with friends.
  • Its special – I got to meet and greet my three favorite authors.


  • It’s memorable – I got to meet my friends from 702 DZAS  whom I worked with during my one-month training as a volunteer writer for the program, Pinoy Espesyal Program. (Aww. it’s been two years since we saw each other.)

Reunion with my DZAS friends at the book fair

  • It’s extraordinary – I had the chance to join the OMF Lit’s-MIBF Blogger’s Challenge.

The OMF Literature booth at the MIBF

So for this blog, I focused more on the last reason why this book fair is unforgettable.

A week before the fair, I regularly checked the site of the OMF literature to keep me updated on the 55 things to look forward at the fair.

Days before that, I joined the book give-away rafflecopter contest by posting a note on my facebook account  (https://www.facebook.com/notes/deborah-anne-mangahas-dayao/i-love-children-i-love-books-i-love-childrens-books-/484380401585902) telling why I love collecting children’s books. And I won a copy of Oh Mateo 14! 🙂 Yey!

My FREE copy of Oh Mateo 14. 🙂

I saw the announcement of OMF Lit (http://omflit.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/30-2012-omf-lit-mibf-bloggers-challenge/) about the contest for bloggers who are willing and “game” to do the listed challenges with prizes at stake. When I read the mechanics, I said to myself, “Game! I’ll do the challenges!” 😀

While I was preparing myself and my stuff (camera, paper, ballpen, etc) to finally begin doing my tasks, I was faced with a challenge. I was really motivated in doing all of them, but was hindered by fear and lack of confidence. I would admit that I am introvert in nature, melancholic-phlegmatic to be specific and I just can’t imagine and see myself doing the challenges. I became conscious of what others might think, feel, and say about me.

What then happened to me? Well, I ended up doing the challenges!

Challenge # 1: Interview one of the OMF Lit authors

Even before learning about the contest, I already planned of interviewing Ms. Grace Dacanay-Chong, the awesome writer of the Oh Mateo Series. I could say that I’m really a fan of her. I added her as friend in Facebook. I tagged her in one of my photos telling her that I had completed my Oh Mateo series. She would gladly respond by thanking and telling me that she was amazed. Also, I frequently visit her blog site, Leaves of Grace and got to know her more as a writer, a wife, and a mother.

During the fair, I approached her and requested her to sign my newly-purchased set of Oh Mateo series.

Ms. Grace Chong signing my Oh Mateo series books. 🙂

I also asked her if I could interview her for just a short time and she said, “Yes.”

Here’s the link to my interview with Ms. Grace. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnokQbqmxcs&feature=plcp

I really appreciate her being a “down-to-earth” person when I conversed with her. She openly shared the challenges she encountered while writing the Oh Mateo series. She even gave me some piece of advice on writing when I told her of my dream of being a children’s book writer in the future just like her.

This was a really dream come true for me- to sit beside my favorite author and hear her telling me of her experiences as a writer. 🙂

Another favorite author of mine whom I interviewed was Tito Dok Luis Gatmaitan, the author of Sandosenang Sapatos, May Lihim kami ni Ingkong and the books of the Mga Kwento ni Tito Dok Series. I was not able to take a video of of our conversation, but I could still remember his words encouraging me to write and submit my manuscript to the Palanca Awards. I admire him because he used his creativity and wit in translating medical terms to layman’s term that could be understood by the public, especially by kids. I told him that I am currently working at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and shared to him the difficulty of communicating the message of protecting the  environment to various audiences. He encouraged me to pursue writing books on the rare theme of environmental protection, which is so relevant today.

Tito Dok Luis Gatmaitan and his new released children’s books.

Challenge # 2: Talk to three customers at the OMF Lit booth and ask them what book made them fall in love with reading

For this challenge, I selected three ladies and asked them about their favorite OMF Lit book.

First Customer: I approach  this awesome lady and asked her if she could give me some time to ask her questions. I spoke in Tagalog and she immediately answered that she cannot understand Tagalog because she is from Indonesia. I spoke in English and told her of my  purpose in interviewing her.

Here is the  video of my interview with Ms. Debora Natalia Sudjito, a student from Ateneo de Manila.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=WFAGAVst9xc

Second Customer: The second lady I interviewed is Ms. Joan Monica J. Co who is working in an office in Manila. According to her, she loves reading books on evangelism. Here is the link to the video of my interview with her.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFc1Y__axJg&feature=relmfu

Third Customer: I had requested a short time from a librarian named Ms. Eloisa Dadulla and asked her about the books of OMF she love to read. She said that she loves all the story books of Tito Dok Luis Gatmaitan especially the “Sandosenang Sapatos.” Here is the link to my interview with Ms. Eloisa( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJGvzJiH9L0&feature=relmfu) and find out how blessed she is in reading Hiyas story books.

Challenge # 3: Go up to our mic and recommend your favorite book to all the book shoppers 

This challenge is indeed the most challenging of all the challenges! Imagine a shy woman like me holding the microphone,  talking to the book shoppers, and recommending them my favorite book. Yeah! I was so happy I did it!

I recommended the Hiyas storybooks to the shoppers by telling them how inspiring and encouraging the books are.

Encouraging OMF Lit Shoppers to grab their own copy of Hiyas Children’s book is my way of thanking children’s book authors for inspiring me to be one like them.

Also, in this challenge, my friend, Gian Erik (who came in the afternoon of September 14) also grabbed the opportunity to recommend a new book entitled, “Jesus +Nothing = Everything” written by Tullian Tchvidjian. This book emphasizes the beauty of the New Covenant of Grace-the once for all forgiveness, new identity, freedom, and Christ in us that is meant to  be celebrated by Christians all because of the finished and perfect work of Jesus.

Gian Erik recommends the book, Jesus+Nothing=Everything that emphasizes the pure and unadulterated Gospel of Grace. 🙂

Challenge # 4: Donate one of your favorite books to our Swap. Shop. Share. Program

I donated my book, Mentoring Matters. It is indeed a good read for Christian leaders and aspiring leaders for they will appreciate the importance of mentoring as part of leadership and an essential in building themselves up.

Donating my book, Mentoring Matters

Challenge # 5: Take a nice/creative/extraordinary shot of the booth/people/books

A great reminder from Mr. William Girao

Challenge # 6: Have a wacky picture taken with one of the Hiyas books

At first, I thought of disregarding this challenge and consider doing other challenges instead. It’s for the simple reason that I cannot do a wacky pose. 😀

However, I still decided to do this challenge just for fun. With the Tito Dok”s story book entitled,  “Ngii! Ang kati-kati ng ulo ko!”, I hope I was able to bring some “wackiness” OMF Lit is expecting for this challenge.

Ngii! Ang kati-kati ng ulo ko!

Challenge # 7: Find out what the surprise item 55 is in the 55 Things to Look Forward to at the MIBF

By  checking the facebook account andwordpress site of the OMF Lit, I was able to find out what the surprise item is- the downloadable kindle editions of new OMF books.

“Hot off the press! Paperless.”

For more details about this, kindly check OMF Lit’s site. http://omflit.wordpress.com/digital/


Wohooo! Idid seven out of the 10 challenges!

Thank you, Jesus for being with me and in me. Thank you to my friend, Gian who served as my photographer in some of the challenges. Thank you to the OMF Lit staff who assisted and accommodated us during our visit at the fair. 🙂

Indeed, this book fair is unusual, memorable, special, and extraordinary. I had so much fun!

Truly, it’s worth celebrating, worth remembering. :’)


20 responses to this post.

  1. wow, this is a great entry Deb… I enjoyed reading.. It’s as if I was also there.. Thank you for sharing this… By the way, the wacky picture is great.. Congrats Deb, you did it at last! hehe…


  2. deb!! very nice!! hehe.. you really enjoyed the book fair 🙂


  3. nice entry on the bookfair! I enjoyed the post! I wasn’t able to do this challenge coz i had all the time committed to CSM, but had fun too anyway! you’re right about Ate Grace Chong & Doc Luis, they’re very down to earth people and encourages writers like to that we too can fulfill the dream they’re now fulfilling! KUDOS!


  4. nice entry on the bookfair! I enjoyed the post! I wasn’t able to do this challenge coz i had all the time committed to CSM, but had fun too anyway! you’re right about Ate Grace Chong & Doc Luis, they’re very down to earth people and encourages writers like to that we too can fulfill the dream they’re now fulfilling! KUDOS!


  5. Posted by luis p. gatmaitan on September 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I enjoyed reading this
    post. Glad you had a great time at the book fair. See you again next year. Keep writing!


  6. I wish more people would love books as much as you do, Deb! Keep at it. And one day soon, I would be reading your own book with your own byline! God bless the wrok of your hands.


  7. Hi, Deb!

    I’m Aleks Tan. I serve at OMF Lit. Thanks for joining the blog challenge, and great blog post! 🙂 I was there when you did Challenge #3. Nice job!



  8. Posted by Charlie K on September 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    wow!!astig!!panalo na(=


  9. Posted by dyanis almadrones on September 27, 2012 at 5:04 am

    astig! naluha ako habang binabasa ko blog mo. i was not expecting na magagawa mo yung mga challenges, lalo na yung #3 at yung wacky pose. but you did it! i’m so happy for you, deb! damang-dama ko na nag-enjoy ka sa book fair at na-inspire kang magsulat ng libro. keep it up!


    • Awww. Ate Jan. :’)

      Maraming salamat! 🙂 Korek! Super nag-enjoy ako nung fair though talagang nakakapagod physically. 🙂

      Sabi ko nga sa sarili ko, manalo man ako hindi sa Blogger’s contest na sinalihan ko, panalo pa rin ako. Experience palang sa pagsali dun, winner na winner na talaga ako. 🙂

      Yeah! 😀


  10. Posted by Hannah Placer on September 28, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Hi Deb. Haha. ASTIG nito. Ganda ng pagkaka-kwento mo. Kitang-kita na talagang nag-enjoy ka sa Book Fair. Pwede ka na ring magsulat ng children’s book. I’ll support you Deb! 🙂

    Kaya lang, sayang. Di kita nakita sa book fair. Haha. Bisita ka nalang dito sa office. Haha. Miss you. 😀

    God bless us! ❤


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