By Shiela Bertillo
The Philippines through the National Book Development Board (NBDB) delegation is set to be the first ever country to release a non fungible token (NFT) story book, The Last Moon, at Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF), the oldest and largest book fair in the world, which will be held from October 20 to 24, 2021.
The Last Moon is a book by renowned author Yvette Tan and based on the mural created by TeamManila Lifestyle’s Jowee Alviar under the creative direction by Erwin Romulo. The NFT story book will be the highlight of the Philippine’s booth with this year’s theme; Myth, Magic, and the City: Reclaiming our Narrative.
“It’s Interesting for a government agency to agreeing to do an NFT project. Charisse [Aquino-Tugade – Executive Director III of the NBDB] brought together a good team of collaborators. We will be launching in Opensea marketplace using the Polygon network,” Jowee Alviar of TeamManila said in an interview.
Sharing the country’s wealth of stories, and the diverse Filipino experience, the NBDB, in its sixth consecutive appearance at the fair this year, brought the country’s top publishers, such as 19th Avenida, Adarna House, Anvil Publishing, Ateneo de Manila University Press, Milfores Publishing, University of the Philippines Press, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, Komiket, and many others.
The country’s booth offers a digital program ranging from virtual exhibitions, special presentations, to strong voices on climate stories, epic sagas, to colorful messages of inclusivity and modern twists on Philippine folklore, giving the spotlight on some of the best Filipino creatives.
The proceeds from the fair will be used to donate print copies of The Last Moon to the NBDB’s flagship project “The Book Nook“, reading centers in indigenous and remote communities in the Philippines.
The Philippines’ participation in this year’s FBF is a step closer to its intent to bid for Guest of Honor (GOH) in 2025.
“I laud the efforts of the NBDB to promote our local publishing industry in the global arena. That is why I did not think twice in giving my full support for our participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair when it was presented to me for budget allocation,” said Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda as she expressed her support to the country’s bid.
The country first joined the FBF in 1998 until 2000; after 15 years of inactivity, although in very modest terms, the NBDB succeeded in participating again in 2015.
Iin 2016, the board was able to put up a professionally executed booth through the support of Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance that time, increased the budget for the country’s engagement in the fair.
“We need to sustain this presence and aim to be the Guest of Honor country at the FBF 2025, the earliest year available with no designated GOH yet,” she reiterated.
Legarda further stressed that being a GOH country of the FBF would be a major feat and would greatly benefit the local book publishing industry as the country would be the highlight of the fair. The GOH status will allow the country to exhibit its culture and arts.
Currently, the only ASEAN country that has become GOH of the FBF is Indonesia in 2015.
This article is published on BitPinas: The Philippines is First to Drop Story Book NFT at the World’s Oldest Book Fair