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Asian Festival of Children’s Content
23–26 May 2024

From etching history on cave walls, writing poetry on bamboo, to chanting epics of heroism and love, Southeast Asian stories have always been rich and diverse. Faced with the socio-economic challenges of the now, National Book Development Board (NBDB) Chair Dante “Klink” Ang II weighs in on the crucial role of books and storytelling in diplomacy.

Celebrating 55 years of bilateral ties between the Philippines and Singapore, this keynote underscores the inevitability of this collaboration and the role of the Philippines as Country of Focus, given the shared Southeast Asian histories of tribulations and triumphs.

book development mother tongue identity storytelling cultural identity regional languages literary festivals diversity southeast asia narratives literary landscape curiosity publishing

Andrea Pasion-Flores

Andrea Pasion-Flores (Philippines)

Andrea Pasion-Flores is the publisher at Milflores Publishing, Inc. Before that, she was the general manager of a large trade publisher. She worked as a literary agent for a Singapore-based literary agency. She’s a copyright lawyer with a special interest in publishing.

Dante Francis M. Ang II

Dante Francis M. Ang II (Philippines)

Dante Francis M. Ang II heads The Manila Times, one of the most highly respected national daily newspapers in the Philippines. The Times is a multi-awarded newspaper and is the oldest in the country, having been founded in October 1898. Under Dante’s leadership, The Times has won numerous awards and citations,  including the “Newspaper of the Year” award for 2016, given by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) at a ceremony in Malacañang Palace featuring former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Besides journalism, Dante’s interests include education and managerial economics. He has a worldly outlook, having lived in three countries and traveled to more than a dozen others in North America, Europe and Asia. Lastly, he lives a well-rounded lifestyle, balancing hard work with hard play, corporate work and civic duties.

Dominador Buhain

Dominador Buhain (Philippines)

Atty. Dominador Buhain graduated Bachelor of Laws at Far Estern University in the late 1970s. He is the Chairman and President of Rex Bookstore, Inc. He is also part of numerous associations, such as the ASEAN Book Publishers Association (ABPA) currently as Vice President; and the Philippine Educational Publishers Association as President Emeritus.

Kristine Mandigma

Kristine Mandigma (Philippines)

Kristine "Tin" Mandigma is the President and CEO of Vibal Group and President of IBBY Philippines.

Charisse Aquino-Tugade

Moderator Charisse Aquino-Tugade (Philippines)

Charisse Aquino-Tugade is the Executive Director of the National Book Development Board (NBDB). She is a cultural worker, primary mover for CulturAid, founder of The Manila Collectible Co., and founding Director of Museo ng Muntinlupa. As the NBDB Executive Director, she is working on the National Book Database to standardize publishing industry metadata and bibliographic information of Filipino-authored publications. She also envisioned and spearheaded The Book Nook, which are storytelling and reading communities that provide Pinoy books for kids and kids-at-heart from Ifugao to Tawi-Tawi. Charisse has a B.A. in Anthropology and Marketing from San Francisco State University and is pursuing her graduate studies in Museum Studies at Harvard.

Programme dates and times are subject to change.