The 34th Manila International Book Fair is back!  We went yesterday, on the first day, and were surprised by the number of people at opening time.    It’s good to know Manila has its share of voracious readers of all ages!

For the past few Book Fairs, my decision has been to buy books by Filipino writers – we must support our own – with the occasional international trade paperback.  Prices were slashed by 20% to 50% for most outlets.  My haul above was quite modest, given my limited budget and the fact that I’m running out of bookshelf real estate.  From Anvil Publishing I got Manila Noir, an anthology edited by Jessica Hagedorn (20% off), and Jose Dalisay, Jr.’s Killing Time In A Warm Place (50% off, since it was the only copy available).  “Killing Time” will go to a friend in the US, after I’ve had Butch Dalisay sign it at one of our fountain pen meets.  I also got Anna Maria L. Harper’s Agueda: A Ballad of Stone and Wind from University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Publishing House.  That one was P400 (I wonder if it’s because UST just turned 400 years old?).  It’s in my local book club reading list.  For my father I got  Matthew Pearl’s The Poe Shadow (20% off, from Fully Booked).

I also went to Cosmos Bazaar’s stall, where they were selling Pilot Pens galore. I got two Pilot 78Gs and a Birdie (fountain pens, for P220 and 180 each).  The sales staff gave me a Pilot GreenRoller rollerball (with refills available at National Bookstore) and a 5-inch Pilot teddy bear on a keychain as promo items!

One thing I noticed about the Book Fair this year is that there seem to be less exhibitors, but these exhibitors had bigger stalls.  The food area was also much smaller.  Albergus catered as usual, but served undercooked pinakbet as a side viand with their lunch, not to mention undercooked rice.   However, their roast beef was excellent.  Maybe  on the other days of the Book Fair their food will improve, and we were just unlucky to have had lunch there on opening day.

It’s worth a visit!  The 34th Manila International Book Fair is from Sept. 11-15, 2013, 10:00am to 8pm, at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia complex, Pasay City.




(Waterman inks photo by Cesar Salazar.)

More and more people are growing interested in using fountain pens here in Manila, as evidenced by the growing membership in our pen group Fountain Pen Network-Philippines.  For a long time Parker, Waterman, Cross and Montblanc were the only brands readily available in the local fountain pen market.  Now there are new brands available:  Lamy, Pelikan, Sailor, to name a few.  Waterman,Aurora, Cross and Rotring are now no longer being sold here, while Sheaffer recently reintroduced itself.  The local Pilot distributor sells only school pens, not the fine writing instruments, nor the ink.

I’ve compiled a list of stores that sell fountain pen inks, in bottles and cartridges as of 2013: (click on links to see directory info)

National Bookstore branches  – Parker, Lamy, Sheaffer, Inoxcrom (cartridges)

Montblanc branches – Makati (632) 813-3739, Powerplant Mall (632) 898-2347, Shangri-la Mall (632) 633-4636, Manila (632) 521-1140, Robinsons Place (632) 551-2095, Ayala Town Center (632) 850-5532

Scribe Writing Essentials – 3/F Eastwood Mall, QC.  (632) 900-0053, Shangrila (632) 654-5071, Glorietta 5 (632) 386-4826. – Herbin, Lamy, Sailor, Pelikan (4001 and Edelstein), Noodler’s

Cutting Edge (Greenbelt 5, Trinoma, Eastwood, Megamall, Mall of Asia) – Waterman

Times Trading– Lamy

Updated:  We now have a distributor for Diamine inks!  Since I don’t have permission to post the contact details here yet, please join the Fountain Pen Network-Philippines forum or on its Facebook page and make your order there, addressed to Peter.

Updated September 2013:  Scribe Writing Essentials now carries Noodler’s inks!  Contact Cindy Fulo at 0998-9983998 for which branches carry specific Noodler’s colors.

Updated August 2014: Scribe Writing Essentials now carries Platinum Mix Free and Carbon inks!

As of this time, there are no local distributors yet for Rohrer & Klingner, Aurora, Visconti, De Atramentis, Pilot (regular and Iroshizuku), and other popular brands of ink.  For these, we resort to buying from eBay or online stores based overseas.