International Board on Books for Young People names new Philippine section | Inquirer Business

International Board on Books for Young People names new Philippine section

/ 03:48 PM November 29, 2023

International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a worldwide network of children’s literature advocates dedicated to promoting international understanding through books for young readers, has designated IBBY Philippines (IBBY-Ph) as its official National Section in the Philippines. 

International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)

“After 16 years of the Philippines not being an official member of IBBY, we are happy to announce that IBBY’s executive committee unanimously approved Vibal Foundation’s application for a new National Section. IBBY Philippines is aligned with IBBY’s mission to fulfill our commitment to bringing books and children together,” said IBBY Executive Director Carolina Ballester. “We hope that all people working in the field of children’s literature in the Philippines join IBBY-Philippines and be part of the decision-making process of the section.” 

The IBBY, having an official status in UNESCO and UNICEF, has a policy-making role as an advocate of children’s books. It is committed to the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, and one of its main proclamations is the right of the child to general education and direct access to information, including an appeal to all nations to promote the production and distribution of children’s books. 

Promoting Literacy and Love for Reading

IBBY-Ph is founded by Vibal Foundation as the secretariat, with children’s book writer Eugene Evasco representing the writer’s sector; picture and comic book artist and writer Randy Valiente representing the illustrator’s sector; Dolly Carungui representing the National Library of the Philippines; curriculum expert Br. Ricky Aguirre represents the sector of educators, and Mariel Hizon-Uyquiengco represents parents and book reviewers. 

Vibal Foundation Program Director and Vibal Group President and CEO Kristine Mandigma said that the IBBY-Ph will initiate and support literacy initiatives to promote the love for reading and children’s books in schools, communities, and among the general public. 

“Among IBBY-Ph flagship projects are opening a research library on children’s literature, publishing and funding a professional journal review of children’s books, organizing seminars, workshops, and conferences on children’s literature for authors, illustrators, translators, publishers, teachers, parents, and readers, and working with government agencies and private institutions to develop libraries for children,” according to Mandigma. 

Hans Christian Andersen Award and the IBBY Honour List

The Philippines, through its National Section, can now officially submit nominations to the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the most prestigious award in the field of children’s literature. This award is given biennially to an author and illustrator whose body of works makes a lasting contribution to children’s literature. IBBY-PH has also nominated to the 2024 IBBY Honour List three Philippine books chosen for their respective excellence in writing, illustrations, and translation: Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo and Eugene Evasco’s Si Cielo at Ang Kanyang Asong si Stella for writing; Jericho Moral’s Agawan Base for illustration; and Angela Narciso Torres’ English translation of Rene Villanueva’s Bum Tiyaya Bum. These books will be officially presented to the public at the IBBY Congress in Trieste, Italy in August 2024 and will be part of the IBBY catalog and world exhibitions, including at the Bologna Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

IBBY-Ph Structure and Membership

Everyone is welcome to be part of the IBBY-Ph. Not confined to content creators, educators, parents, and readers with an interest in children’s literature can also be members and benefit from IBBY-Ph. “We envision multi-sectoral groups working together towards a common goal: to make Filipinos a nation of readers. We will need more than the usual players of writers, illustrators, and publishers. We are inviting teachers, librarians, community workers, parents, and most especially volunteers, young and old, to please join IBBY-Ph. We will have learning activities and programs for everybody”, Mandigma added.

IBBY-Ph was formally presented at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content Circle Philippines at the National Library of the Philippines. 

To join IBBY-Ph and to know more about the benefits of being a member, visit


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