BAGUIO CITY-- As protesters took to the streets to express their stance on martial law, extrajudicial killings, and the government's war on drugs, a secondhand bookstore here staged a unique demonstration during the national day of protest.
Bookends Baguio's "Book Protest" aimed to combat illiteracy by giving away free pre-loved books to anyone who visits their shop on September 21.
"The activity of Bookends today is to participate in the protest the president called for," proprietor Maricar Docyogen said in an interview with ABS-CBN News. "He mentioned you can protest whatever issue you wanted to protest, so we thought why not join in a peaceful and productive way."
Docyogen, herself an avid reader and advocate of literacy, believes that reading is the cheapest way to experience life of other cultures.
However, even with the low prices of the secondhand books she sells at Bookends, many people still cannot afford to read books.
"My books average from P60 up, which a lot of people may not be able to afford pa, because iba ang priorities or talagang walang pambili," she laments. "So affected ang literacy. A lot of teachers complain of the decline of students na really interested sa pagbabasa, which in a way, is related sa learning."
Over 150 students have dropped by Bookends Baguio while the "book protest" was going on, and around five sacks of books have been given away.
Docyogen hopes the "book protest" will not only kindle people's love of reading and promote literacy, but also give pre-loved books new homes.
Bookends Baguio will also be giving away free books every weekend of October to celebrate Literacy Month.