PAMPANGA – Heads up, bookworms! Big Bad Wolf, the world’s biggest book sale, is back for another round in the Philippines.
This time, organizers took this highly anticipated event to San Fernando, Pampanga, bringing more affordable books to Central and Northern Luzon.
The book sale opens its doors to the public for free this Friday, July 12, and runs 24/7 until the 22nd of the month.
“We listen to the petitions of our followers on our social media platforms,” said Nerisa de la Peña, country manager of Big Bad Wolf Philippines. “One of the demands is to bring Big Bad Wolf here in Pampanga to cater to customers in Central Luzon.”
Despite the change of venue and the smaller space, event organizers assure the book-loving public that they can expect the same huge collection of books from every conceivable genre – sci-fi, the classics, young adult, nonfiction, reference, and arts and crafts, among others.
And of course, all the books are sold at lower prices.
Parents and educators should also look out for their unique “magical books” featuring augmented reality technology, giving a more interactive reading experience to children.
‘A GROWING PARTNERSHIP’
This particular event marks the fourth time Big Bad Wolf and Gawad Kalinga are working together to help build libraries and bring books to poorer communities.
Luis Oquiñena, executive director of Gawad Kalinga, described their relationship with Big Bad Wolf as “a growing and deepening partnership.”
He spoke proudly of the many successes of the tie-up: “We are working very hard to have quality books in the country and we have already done so in the Visayas and Mindanao. We have already discussed plans with the vice mayor of San Fernando, Pampanga for a 24/7 public library.”
Big Bad Wolf and Gawad Kalinga’s efforts have already yielded seven libraries in the Visayas, and six in Mindanao.
Should the plan for a library in Pampanga push through, it will be the first in Luzon.
Malaysian co-founder Jacqueline Ng, for her part, shared how her admiration for Gawad Kalinga’s mission led her to forge a partnership with the organization.
She recounted her initial visit to the Philippines, when she and her husband saw the many shanties and homeless families near the airport: “I can’t understand how it is for the children. Gawad Kalinga is not just about giving them shelter. It’s a lot more than that. They cultivate and transform values. They teach life skills. They link up farmers with cooperatives.”
Ng went on: “I realize that a book is not just a book. To someone who hasn’t had anything a book is a dream. Gawad Kalinga is about creating dreams and to me, that’s what we could do [at Big Bad Wolf], bring books to Filipinos.”
‘NOT JUST A BOOK SALE’
After each Big Bad Wolf book sale, organizers are able to collect thousands of books from customers.
Just last February during the Manila stop, they were able to amass a total of 6,838 books that benefited public schools, Gawad Kalinga partner communities, and local government units.
“The books are not just exclusively for Gawad Kalinga. It is just a partner. The books are for everyone. We just help put the books where they are needed,” Ng said.
“This is not just a book sale,” she added, noting that part of the proceeds from the book sale goes to Gawad Kalinga.
Oquiñena, meanwhile, believes that Big Bad Wolf is “an unleashing of hope.”
“When the poor read, they begin to aspire, they begin to imagine. Poverty breaks that gift to aspire. When you are barely surviving for your next meal, it’s difficult to think five years ahead. But if you have a book, you read it, even if on an empty stomach it could create a mindset that, ‘Hey, I could be this person.’ It could inspire the young,” he said.
Ng added, saying: “Big Bad Wolf is a commercial company, but profit was never our first priority which is why we choose to sell books at a low price. What is the price that will make you buy a book not just for yourself, but to buy another copy for someone else?”
“Because the book that you’ll give is what will change the world.”
Big Bad Wolf book sale runs 24/7 from July 12 to 22 at the LausGroup Event Centre in San Fernando City, Pampanga. Admission is free.